Friday, August 30, 2013

Box Office Blitz Week 8!

Today is the last day you can get A Hero's Journey (Tales of the Scarlet Knight #1) FREE for Kindle!  Volumes 1-4 will soon be on Amazon in paperback as well; they're already on CreateSpace.

We've reached the end of "summer" box office season this weekend.  Until November it's another barren period with crummy movies not good enough to be released with the blockbusters and a few arty movies.  Looking at the numbers, once again the first big movie of the "summer" was the highest-grossing, which would be Iron Man 3.  How much longer before studios start releasing the big movies even earlier than May?  And how depressing that the biggest "summer" movie was released six weeks before actual summer?

Here are the top 3 in terms of box office:
  1.  Iron Man 3 $408M
  2. Despicable Me 2 $350M
  3. Man of Steel $290M
Of those three Despicable Me 2 is the biggest winner really because its budget was a mere $76M, so its profit margin is much larger than the superhero movies that cost over $200M each.  The Conjuring was another big winner since it only cost $20M and made $131M!

Looking at Box Office Mojo you can see some of the biggest losers too, movies with high budgets and low sales.  Here are the three biggest losers so far:
  1. Lone Ranger $88M box office vs. $215 budget
  2. RIPD $32M box office vs. $133M budget
  3. Pacific Rim $99M box office vs. $190M budget  (Screw you, America!)
Wow, Space Station, a movie made exclusively for IMAX theaters made as much as the Lone Ranger this year apparently.  And somehow I doubt its budget was nearly as huge.

I guess again the good news for Disney is that the success of Iron Man and probably Monsters University (no budget was given for it) and even the mild success of Planes help to offset the boondoggle that was The Lone Ranger.  That's why it's always good not to put all your chips on one number at the table.

Other movies did respectable but still barely broke even (domestically) like World War Z or Star Trek.   I'm not sure if there's a rhyme or reason to any of it, or a special formula or anything.  But I think Marvel's shown that being the first big movie on the block has an advantage.  After that first week of May you really start splitting the pie more and more among all the movies.  Plus if you're like The Wolverine and you're the last big superhero movie in line, audiences might already be worn out from the other, similar movies.

There's a lot of fascinating analysis that could be done but as the old saying goes, no one knows anything.  So studios will keep chucking out there what they think we want, based on what worked in the past and we will decide whether or not to accept it.

Now then, on with the game.  Like the box office, scores have been down lately.  Maybe it's the Curse of the Sacko as it seems since I introduced that idea everyone's been sucking.  Though the way it's going it'll be a contest between Maurice and I to win it.  I'd bet on me.

Here's the list from my local megaplex (* denotes a new release):
  • 2 Guns 
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Closed Circuit*
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Elysium 
  • Getaway*
  • Grown Ups 2
  • Instructions Not Included*
  • Jobs
  • Kick-Ass 2
  • Lee Daniels' The Butler
  • Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones 
  • One Direction: This is Us*
  • Pacific Rim
  • Paranoia
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  • Planes
  • RIPD
  • Red 2
  • Stuck in Love
  • The Conjuring
  • The Grandmaster*
  • The Heat
  • The Smurfs 2
  • The Spectacular Now*
  • The Wolverine
  • The World's End
  • We're the Millers
  • You're Next
It's a pretty stagnant selection right now.  I guess it'll come down to Oprah vs. horny teenage girls.  I'll pick:
  1. One Direction $18M
  2. The Butler $15M
  3. We're the Millers $10M
Watch, this'll be the week when people want to see new movies!  Despite that Monday is Labor Day, results should still be posted on Sunday, though if it's really close it might take until Tuesday to get official totals.


  1. Haven't been to see any new movies lately. Watched The Life of Pi on TV the other day and enjoyed it again nearly as much as I did in the theater.

  2. It has been a soft movie season Pat. While "Pacific Rim" tanked at the US box office it's done really well in the foreign market. It's made $397 million internationally which is more than respectable. "Hello sequel!"

    1. One Direction - $20 mil
    2. The Butler - $15 mil
    3. We're the Millers - $12 mil

  3. 1. The Butler: $18m
    2. One Direction: $15m
    3. We're the Millers: $10m

  4. 1 The Butler $11M
    2 This is Us $10M
    3 We're the Millers $9M

    Slow weekend!

  5. One direction - $16mil
    The butler $14 mil
    We're the millers $12 mil


  6. What's interesting is that Disney blamed it's entire losses for 2012 on "John Carter," and the director gets blamed for nearly everything (if you read the Wikipedia page on the film, as I just did, it's like a savage attack on the director.) But John Carter cost $250,000,000 to make, and has made $282,000,000 over its lifetime.

    Meanwhile, "The Lone Ranger" was equally dismally received, but made its budget back faster, and so apparently Gore Verbinski, who people like and see as an artist, is safe.

    Even more interesting? Gore Verbinski probably owes a Disney executive a drink. Rich Ross, a Disney TV exec promoted to head of Walt Disney studios, arrived with both Lone Ranger and John Carter in production. He cut back on Lone Ranger's budget, but let Carter keep going -- and was forced to resign as a result of it. So the only reason Lone Ranger made its money back already is because the guy who forced a budget cut did so -- and then lost his job.

    I think Hollywood might eventually learn what basic cable TV learned: people will watch stuff in the offseason. "The Closer" and "Archer" are two TV shows I liked that I wouldn't have seen if they'd premiered at regular times. If Hollywood was smart, they wouldn't keep throwing blockbusters up against each other, and would instead start counterprogramming. If Iron Man is opening one weekend, throw up a romcom or chick flick to draw people who don't want to see Iron Man, and save the Tom Cruise scifi blockbuster for September.

    There! I fixed Hollywood!

    1. One Direction: $25 mil
    2. Getaway $15 million
    3. The Butler, $10 million.

    Maybe the heat this weekend drives people to see movies? Are we going through Monday on these totals?

  7. One direction $18 mil
    Butler $12 mil
    Millers $10 mil

    I think I need to wash direction...really? ugh. At least the teen virgin fangirls will get their rooms cleaned by their moms this weekend...won't happen again until Hunger Games 2 lol



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