Archive | Box Office

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Could A ROBOCOP Sequel Be In The Making?

Posted on 04 March 2014 by William Gatevackes

RoboCop2013If you were going with domestic grosses alone, Jose Padilha’s reboot of RoboCop would be 2014′s biggest flop. It seems like fans of the original stayed away in droves as the film has only made $51 million in the U.S., just a hair over half of its $100 million budget.

However, as Cinema Blend kindly points out, sequels are no longer determined just on domestic grosses alone. See, overseas,  the film is a rock star. It has made over $136 million in foreign totals, and that’s with the film yet to be released in Japan and Belgium and having just opened in China. It’s worldwide total now stands at just under $187.6 million, close to the sequel worthy doubling of its budget of $200 million, a total it should surpass before the month is out.

No official word on the sequel has been given, but if they do go the sequel route, the bar this time around won’t be as hard to jump over. While Paul Verhoeven’s original was a classic, its follow ups were anything but. And this version of the story lends itself better to a sequel. So, RoboCop 2 might not be all that bad of an idea after all.

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Looking At The Top Grossing NC-17 Films

Posted on 05 November 2013 by Rich Drees

Showgirls

Many consider the NC-17 rating the kiss of economic death for a movie, and they would be right. Thanks to a mindset that equates the adult themes of an NC-17 film with straightforward pornography, a majority of newspapers refuse to carry advertising for them and many cinemas’ lease agreements prohibit them from screening NC-17 films. And if there is a theater chain that doesn’t have either an official or unofficial ban on screening them anyways, I haven’t heard of it.

But the recent Cannes Palm d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color might be challenging that notion. It received an NC-17 for its frank depiction of a love affair between two young lesbians. When it opened in New York and LA this two weekends ago, Manhattan’s IFC Center announced that it was not going to going to enforce the rating for its “high school patrons.” The following week, Cinemark revealed that they were going to test waving their ban against NC-17 movies and screen the film at their Evansville, Indiana location.

Such publicity has drawn attention to the film, which opened to with a $100,316 weekend at the box office, Given that the film was only on four screens, that gives it a per screen average of $25,079, which was higher than any other film’s per screen average that weekend by a margin of several thousand dollars. As the film is now in its second weekend of release and getting ready to open even wider, it has already almost quadrupled its box office take.

Given this performance, I wanted to take a look back at the economic performance of some of the 30 films that have been released over the 23 years that the NC-17 rating has been in existence. Not surprisingly, Paul Veerhoven’s campy and trashy Showgirls was the top NC-17 film of all time, though I am sure that number has been boosted by numerous midnight screenings the film received when it had its burst of cult fame following its initial release. Interestingly, Henry And June, the drama for which the NC-17 rating was initially created, is at the number two spot. These two, though, are the only ones to have grossed over ten million dollars, still a paltry sum by Hollywood standards. And for all the attention they may have received at the time of their releases, all the films in the Top 15 barely made an impact at the box office. While I am sure that they went on to make additional revenues through home video and other ancillary streams, it is discouraging to see such low initial numbers.

With Blue Is The Warmest Color being in the earliest days of its theatrical release and already posting some impressive returns, I have no doubt that it will soon be muscling its way onto the chart below. Will that have any change in the manner with which NC-17 rated films are currently stigmatized? Hopefully.

1. Showgirls (1995) – $20,350,754
2. Henry & June (1990) – $11,567,449
3. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1990) – $7,724,701
4. Bad Education (2004) – $5,211,842
5. Lust, Caution (2007) – $4,604,982
6. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) –   $4,087,361
7. Shame (2011) -  $3,909,002
8. The Dreamers  (2004) –   $2,532,228    2004
9.  Crash  (1996) -  $2,038,450
10. Bad Lieutenant  (1992) –    $2,000,022
11. Killer Joe  (2012) –   $1,987,762
12. Wide Sargasso Sea (1993) -  $1,614,784
13. A Dirty Shame (2004) -   $1,339,668
14. Whore  (1991) -  $1,008,404
15. Poison   (1991) -   $787,280    1991
16. Young Adam  (2004) -  $767,373
17. Mysterious Skin  (2005)  -  $713,240
18. Inside Deep Throat  (2005) -  $691,880
19. Dice Rules  (1991)  -  $637,327
20. Orgazmo  (1998)   $602,302

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How Well Did The $50 WORLD WAR Z Ticket Package Sell?

Posted on 05 July 2013 by Rich Drees

Last month Paramount Studios test drove a new special ticket package – For $50 moviegoers could see the Brad Pitt zombie epic World War Z two days before its scheduled opening date, as well as be rewarded with some extra goodies including customized 3D glasses, a limited-edition poster and a free HD download of the film when it becomes available. At the time of the announcement, I wasn’t sure if this was such a great value as the cost of a 3D ticket and getting the film on blu-ray would be close to that fifty buck price point. But it looks as if there were many people out there who thought that it was good enough to drop the money.

According to Variety -

[F]our of the five theaters featuring the $50 mega ticket for World War Z were sold out, with an average head count for each theater coming in at around 250 people per theater (the fifth theater was 80% full).

Certainly not a bad take, though Variety notes that the estimated $60,000 is just a drop in the $266 million bucket that is the film’s worldwide box office take. But it does look as if the $50 ticket package might have a viability going forward. We’ll see if Paramount or some other studio believes so and offers a similar deal sometime in the near future. But the long-term success of such a venture will probably depend on the films that it is attached to and whether there are enough moviegoers in some of the smaller markets who will be willing to shell out the higher price.

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JACK REACHER Franchise Possibility For Tom Cruise Looks Dim

Posted on 15 January 2013 by Rich Drees

JackReacherIt is not unreasonable to think that Tom Cruise was looking for a new film franchise when he signed on to Jack Reacher. The project was based on a series of popular thriller novels from writer Lee Child and had the potential to reach out to the same audience as the James Bond and Tom Clancy-penned Jack Ryan franchises.

Unfortunately, it is looking as if that plan might not be working out. The Hollywood Reporter has taken a look at the box office receipts for Jack Reacher and in its three weeks of release, it is looking as if the film will won’t quite hit the $250 million box office that studio Paramount has set as the benchmark to trigger a follow up film. Currently, the film has only earned $72.6 million domestically and $80.4 million internationally, for a total of $153 million. With the film not expected to get past $85 million domestically, the film would need to clear $165 million internationally to meet Paramount’s goal.

The film has yet to open in certain key Asian territories including Japan, China and Korea. But can the film basically double its current foreign box office take in these three countries? The Reporter points out that it is possible, but it will be an uphill fight. When the film opens in China on February 16, it will be competing against two other Chinese films that are opening over the Chinese New Year holidays and will only have a week before Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on the 22nd. In Japan, box office is driven more by women ticket buyers who prefer more romantic fare rather than an action film like Jack Reacher.

But if the film does hit the magic number that Paramount is hoping for, the studio and the film’s production producers Skydance will still have to negotiate a deal with Cruise to keep any sequel at the approximately $60 million budget that the current film has.

And if that $250 million goal is reached and all involved agree to move forward with a new film, there are 16 of Child’s novels waiting for adaption, providing plenty of fertile material for many sequels to come.

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AVENGERS Tickets Pre-Sales Bigger Than Individual Films Combined!

Posted on 26 April 2012 by Rich Drees

The Avengers are becoming the superheroes to beat at the box office this summer. Not only is the superhero franchise mashup currently tracking to have an opening weekend that could knock 2008’s record-breaking The Dark Knight opening off its perch, but the Marvel Studios film has already reached another amazing milestone.

According to MovieTickets.com, with just a week to go until it opens, The Avengers has pre-sold more tickets than Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America and Thor did combined! Additionally, 56% of Avengers pre-sales are from those wanting to see the film in 3D while 37% are to see the film in IMAX 3D.

Normally, we don’t talk too much about box office here, but this report is kind of exciting. Not only does it show that Kevin Feige made a brave, but ultimately right decision back in 2008 when he first announced Marvel Studios’ plans to launch individual superhero film franchises that would also dovetail into one big feature. But it also shows that the detractors’ claims that The Avengers could be a flop due to people being tired of seeing those characters summer after summer.

And the Avengers isn’t the only high–profile superhero film we have coming this summer with Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man rebooting that franchise and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding installment of his Batman trilogy. Personally, I think it is moviegoers who win when we get great movies like this, no matter what kind of business they wind up doing. But the studios will certainly be looking forward to the box office rumble if only for the bragging rights.

Via Deadline.

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AVENGERS Tracking For $150 Million Opening To Rival DARK KNIGHT

Posted on 16 April 2012 by William Gatevackes

As anybody with a passing interest in films could tell you, box office grosses are king when it comes to films. They become more important every year, getting to the point that studios count their money before the first reel is unspooled. Hits are deemed hits and flops called flops based solely on prerelease tracking. And what this prerelease tracking is telling us about The Avengers is that it should have the biggest opening of the year, and the biggest opening for a comic book film since 2008.

The Hollywood Reporter states that the Joss Whedon directed film is in line for a opening weekend in excess of $150 million, and that it is tracking better than The Hunger Games did this year (the film opened at $152.5 million),  and as good if not better than 2008′s The Dark Knight, which opened at a then-record $158.4 million weekend.

There are a number of questions to ask. One, is there any possibility of the film overtake Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s  record $170 million opening weekend. Two, if it does break the record, how long will the film hold it? I’d say, not much farther than July 20, 2012, as that’s when the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (and eagerly awaited sequel to The Dark Knight), The Dark Knight Rises, opens. Third, will it have the same kind of legs The Dark Knight had, as that film earned enough in its theatrical run ($533,345, 358) to garner a spot at #3 on the all-time grosses chart. I guess we’ll see.

 

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“Flop” JOHN CARTER Grosses Surpasses Production Budget

Posted on 02 April 2012 by William Gatevackes

Media cynics were calling it a failure from the time its first reel unspooled. But with another $2 million domestically and a strong showing overseas, John Carter has now grossed $254,510,000 worldwide in four weeks, $4,510,000 over its estimated $250 million production budget.

A $4 million profit doesn’t seem like anything to shout about, especially if you, like most of the naysayers are now doing, choose to add its advertising budget of approximately $100 million to the total hurdle the film needs to cover come (Personally, I choose not to because A) every film has an advertising budget and that cost should be considered an institutional expense, and B) when the critics like a film and promote it as a box office success, they never include the advertising then, making its inclusion here seem like dirty pool). However, the film is coming of two weeks of a strong showing in China (where it was the number one film two weeks running to the tune of another $30 million) and its set to open in Japan, another country that likes its 3-D blockbusters, on April 13th. Which means that profit will only go up.

Of course, the naysayers are still saying nay. Box Office Mojo points out that the film’s overseas grosses ”plummeted” 72% to $6.2 million this past weekend. That number seems quite dubious since the films grosses in Mainland China has averaged $14 million per weekend for the two prior weeks, and actually made more on its second weekend than its first. To have drop off that left the grosses as just a fraction of that total seems unrealistic.

Regardless, if we need any more proof of the true popularity of the film, we have to look no farther than Amazon.com. Amazon shoppers who signed up for e-mails to alert them of DVD & Blu-Ray new releases were informed that they were able to pre-order John Carter on video today. As of this writing, the Blu-Ray 3-D/Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy was the #1 selling item in Amazon’s Science-Fiction Movie list, and ranked #2 in the Action & Adventure and Fantasy Categories , behind the Game of Thrones Season One box set. It ranks #13 over all in the Movies & TV Blu-Ray list. So someone obviously wants to see it.

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JOHN CARTER: What If It Isn’t A Flop?

Posted on 12 March 2012 by William Gatevackes

Heidi MacDonald over at The Beat has a fairly good rundown of rampant, joyous, near-orgasmic display of schadenfreude the film media is exhibiting over John Carter this morning. They are attacking the film like a bunch of vultures, calling it a “flop,” a “bomb,” and  even, GASP, an “Ishtar on Mars.”  She pulls quotes from Nikki Finke at Deadline, Brooks Barnes at the New York TimesAmy Kaufman at the Los Angeles Times, and others who are all doing a happy dance after being proven right in predicting that the Andrew Stanton helmed-flick would be a massive flop at the box office.

But, one problem, what if John Carter turns out not to be a flop? Granted, it ONLY made $30.6 million domestically and ONLY opened in second place this past weekend, behind The Lorax, a movie that opened the week before. But this doesn’t mean that the film will not make its $250 million budget back.

What? I’m talking crazy? How can I say that John Carter might be a success? Every other film journalist is saying the film is a failure, so that must obviously be the case, right?

Not necessarily. Allow me to present a comparison to argue my case. Let me compare John Carter with another live action film directed by a Pixar-alum, Brad Bird’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

Now, John Carter has some advantages of MI:GP. It opened in 51 foreign markets to the latter’s 42 markets and opened in about 300 more theaters domestically as well. And MI:GP opened over the crowded Christmas holiday weekend, with competition from films such as The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and War Horse.

However, MI:GP has more advantages than that over John Carter. It was a highly anticipated sequel to a long standing franchise. It starred one of the biggest international stars of all time, Tom Cruise, leading an international cast. And the foreign markets it did open in included Moscow, Dubai, and Mumbai, all of which were used as shooting locations in the film. MI:GP was a veritable Dagwood sandwich of built-in audience, something that John Carter never had.

Taking that into consideration, MI:GP‘s opening weekend, both here and abroad, should swamp John Carter‘s right?  Wrong. Based on Friday to Sunday weekend grosses, they were about even.

MI:GP grossed $29,556,629 from December 23 to 25th, less than JC‘s $30,603,000 this Friday to Sunday. Overseas during its opening weekend, MI:GP grossed $69.5 Million compared to JC‘s $70.6 Million. Even with the discrepancies in theater counts and foreign markets, it’s pretty safe to say that the two films are just about even. But nobody ever took joy in deeming MI:GP a flop or a failure. No one wrote that film off as another Ishtar.

And the kicker? MI:GP‘s gross-to-date is a $688,784,000 combined foreign and domestic. if JC keeps on the same pace, that will mean it more than doubled the film’s $250 million budget. That, my friends, will make it a hit. Maybe not as big a hit in a cost-to-return ratio as the $145 million budgeted MI:GP, but a hit nonetheless.

But the know-it-all’s in the press really don’t want that to happen. I believe that’s why they were so in a rush to declare the film dead on arrival after a weekend where it made 40% of its budget back. Because if they declare the film a flop, people who read their columns and blogs will believe them, figure “why bother?’ and ignore the film. Then their premature damnation will become the truth.

I don’t really know if that will work this time, because the film has been getting extraordinarily good word of mouth from people who have seen it. It garnered a B+ Cinemascore rating from theatergoers. People who believed the negative, pre-release hype are surprised by how good the film was, and people who skipped the film because of the bad press are being swayed to see it. The film doesn’t really have that far to go to make a profit. I believe this might be a case of the media’s report of the film’s demise to be greatly exaggerated.

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NYCC 2011: CONAN Cast Talks About The Film’s Box Office Performance

Posted on 17 October 2011 by Rich Drees

Although it got trashed by the critics (scoring a 23% at Rotten Tomatoes) audiences who came out to see this past summer’s fantasy adventure Conan The Barbarian seemed to enjoy the film, giving it a “B minus” CinemaScore. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough audiences showing up to see the film to hit any higher than fourth place at the box office its opening weekend.

This weekend at New York Comic Con, the film’s three stars Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan and Stephen Lang appeared at a panel to discuss the film. Invariably, the subject of the film’s poor box office and the chance of a sequel came was brought up. Momoa, who had stated when he was doing promotion for the film that he had written a story for a possible sequel, stated that there was little possibility that a sequel would happen.

I haven’t heard a word from anyone and it’s kind of sad because I feel a little cheated myself because we really busted our asses to make it amazing for the fans. I was a fan and I think we really hit it but to tell you the truth a lot of people didn’t go see it so I doubt that they’ll make a sequel. I would love it, but there would be less money there and [a sequel] is something that I would want to be bigger and better.

McGowan jumped in to add that a fate of a movie can often be outside the control of its cast and crew, stating that the film’s R rating may have kept some audiences away while the PG-13 rated horror film Fright Night, which opened the same day, further siphoned off potential ticket buyers.

People don’t understand behind the scenes stuff.  Lionsgate and Millennium, the people behind [the movie], to an extent did a really good job. But the entire distribution team at Lionsgate just got replaced. Also the second weekend Hurricane Irene happened and two-thirds of the country was shut down so it was just bad luck essentially.

McGowan went on to draw an analogy as to what it was like to make a film she was proud of only to have it fail at the box office. “It’s essentially like giving birth to this really great baby, you hand it to the nurse and it falls out of her hands and flies out the window,” she said.

“They dropped my baby?” questioned Momoa after the laughter in response to McGowan’s statement died down.

“They did!” she replied. “They drop kicked it!”

Lang added that he has participated in a number films that weren’t successful right away but still went on to find their audiences. He also stated that he was disappointed that he wouldn’t get to see more of his castmate Momoa continue to explore the character of Conan in future films.

It’s really easy to do a postmortem on the thing. I think that the R didn’t help the business of the film one bit. Maybe it was necessary for the movie. I see that. I think Rose says it pretty well that the distribution didn’t work out quite it should have. I sure wish this one had done much better than it did. I think it deserved a number of sequels and I would like to see Jason track that character for a long time.

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Was This The Worst weekend To Go To The Movies Ever?

Posted on 13 September 2011 by Rich Drees

There is often a gap between what films critics pan and what films audiences flock to. All the critical accolades for a film can sometimes fail to sell tickets as much as critical brickbats won’t stop crowds from showing up to see some cinematic turkey.

But this weekend it seems as if critics and audiences were in synch over two films that debuted on Friday – the comedy Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star and the indie horror film Creature. Critics hated both films and the audiences stayed away in droves.

Bucky Larson, starring comic actor Nick Swarsdon as a hapless idiot who stumbles into the p0rn industry, earned a perfect goose egg, 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only that, but according to Box Office Mojo, it only grossed $1,450,000 in ticket sales. However, with that spread across 1,500 screens, that averages out (according to Film Drunk) to a whopping 8 admissions per showing! The film finished in 15th place this weekend, right behind The Smurfs, which has been out for seven weeks. (For some perspective, recent stinkers like Jonah Hex, Disaster Movie and Norbit all managed to score higher than 0%.)

The indie horror film Creature fared a little better with critics, earning a 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it did far worse at the box office, opening at 29th place with total ticket sales of $331,000. That’s an average of less than six people per screening. This dismal showing is also the worst-ever opening for a film showing on more than 1,500 screens.

The incredible low box office numbers for Bucky Larson are even more surprising considering the extensive marketing campaign the film got in the preceding weeks leading up to its release. Creature’s box office is a little easier to accept as being an indie release it had very little in the way of marketing.

Now traditionally, the weekend after Labor Day is a slow one at the box office, but even coupling that fact with the aggressively inclement weather in sections of the northeast of the country keeping moviegoers at home doesn’t excuse the poor box office performance seen here. I personally can’t think of a weekend when we’ve seen two complete disasters of this magnitude open simultaneously.

Judge for yourself from the trailers below. Would you have seen either of these films?

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