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26 Dec 2011 10:43


U.S.: 2011 box-office’s big drop: Major stars, horror flicks, family films flop

  • $500 million the expected drop in box office between 2010 and 2011
  • 4.5% decline the fall in box office this year, partly blamed on the lack of “Avatar”
  • hits The biggest hit of 2011? “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which scored $381 million in the U.S. alone. The latest “Transformers” and “Twilight” movies also scored this year.
  • bombs On a $150 million budget, “Mars Needs Moms” only made $39 million worldwide. Horror films struggled, and even major stars like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts were no longer bankable.
  • surprises The two biggest were “Bridesmaids” (a female-focused twist on the Apatow film) and “The Help,” both of which had solid box-office runs. The secret? Both were aimed at older audiences. source
  • » Better news in 2012? Possibly. With such high-profile films as “The Hunger Games” and a remake of “21 Jump Street” hitting the theaters, it’s entirely possible that 2012 could hold up way better than 2011. And as “The Lion King” showed this year, 3D remakes are proving to be especially financially sound. Two fairly large ones — “Star Wars: Episode One” and “Beauty and the Beast” — will hit the box office in 2012.

11 Dec 2011 21:11


Culture: Box office has worst weekend in three years — so, what’s to blame?

  • $78 million the amount the entire box office made over the weekend, with the strongest movie being the objectively awful “New Year’s Eve”
  • $68 million the amount the entire box office made on Labor Day weekend 2008, the last time the box office dipped this low source
  • » A bad crop of films, or something else? With a bunch of also-rans in the theater and two weak films — a movie that scored 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes in the lead and a Jonah Hill vehicle, “The Sitter,” right behind — to hold up the box office, it may not have been the best week for films … but December is a very strange time of year for the box office to struggle like this. One analyst blames a lack of male-oriented films. We blame a lack of exposure for Foozie Bear, who is by far the the best part of “The Muppets.”

18 Sep 2011 22:07


Culture: Circle of cash: “The Lion King” re-release roars back to life — in 3D

  • 45% of viewers went to see the second “Kung Fu Panda” movie in 3D
  • 58% of viewers saw “Rio” in 3D — a format which has been on the wane of late
  • 92% of viewers saw “The Lion King” re-release in 3D — which is like whoa source
  • » Waaaaaaaaaay above expectations: Disney expected “The Lion King” to make $15 million during its first weekend of a two-week re-release, 17 years after Simba walked his way into our hearts. Instead, the movie made $29.3 million this weekend, which tells us one thing — Disney needs to get on re-releasing movies in 3D format, stat, because it’s a money machine.

17 Jul 2011 19:45


Politics: Sarah Palin’s “The Undefeated” loses its throne right away

  • $169M the amount Harry Potter’s final film made — the biggest single weekend gross ever, BTW, but one that was very front-loaded
  • $75k the amount Palin’s “The Undefeated” made this weekend in 10 theaters (roughly — see, the distributor didn’t report exact estimates)
  • .04% share of Palin’s box-office take to Harry Potter’s take, which is like comparing an ant to an elephant, but still pretty fun source
  • » A huge amount of spin here: ARC Entertainment threw out a press release today claiming that “The Undefeated” actually did quite well amid adversity.  “We expect word-of-mouth to keep ticket sales strong and we will definitely expand the film to a wider national audience,” said  Trevor Drinkwater, the distributor’s CEO. “With merely three weeks of preparation and a virtually non-existent traditional advertising spend, the film did exceptionally well.” The distributor also noted that the film did the kind of business a film would normally require millions in advertising for. Which, let’s put it simply, isn’t true. Two fairly low-budget films this weekend — Errol Morris’ “Tabloid” and the poorly-reviewed “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” — still managed to have larger grosses than Palin’s film despite the fact that all three films showed in less than 30 theaters. And on top of that, the movie has gotten plenty of traditional media coverage in part due to its star. A dud is a dud. Sorry.

22 May 2011 15:36


Culture: Latest “Pirates of the Carribean”: Big in the U.S., bigger worldwide

  • $90 million opening for Johnny Depp’s latest meal ticket
  • $46M the amount the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” made in its opening weekend
  • $135M the amount “Dead Man’s Chest” opened at — the most successful of the franchise
  • $114M the amount “At World’s’ End” opened at; it had a bigger foreign gross than the first two source
  • » Look beyond the U.S.: While it wasn’t a super-impressive opening weekend compared to other “Pirates of the Carrribean” movies, worldwide it’s a juggernaut — earning over $256 million this weekend alone, which is the largest foreign weekend ever. Also of note: It’s still the largest domestic opening weekend of the year so far, which we credit to Michael Bolton being a major cinephile.

16 Jan 2011 14:31


Culture: Seth Rogen’s “Green Hornet” reboot does kinda OK at box office

  • $34 million the opening for “The Green Hornet,” his biggest live-action opening ever – barely topping “Superbad” and “Knocked Up”
  • $120 million the reported budget for the film, which is six times the size of the “Superbad” budget; Rogen also produced “Hornet” source

21 Nov 2010 12:25


Culture: Latest Harry Potter scores massive box-office opening

  • $125.1
    the amount that the not-in-3D-at-all “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” made in its first weekend
  • $102.7
    the amount that the next highest opener in the series, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” made in its first weekend in 2005 source
  • » One of the best openings of all-time: While it didn’t top 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” it did score the sixth-best opening of all-time and helped continue the series’ run as the most popular franchise in Hollywood history. What’s a Hogwart?

20 Nov 2010 11:28


Culture: New Harry Potter movie casts spell on everyone except us

  • $24
    the amount “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” made in its midnight showings Thursday
  • $61.1
    the amount the film made in its first full day in theaters – the fifth biggest single-day gross ever source

14 Nov 2010 21:13


Culture: Denzel Washington’s “Unstoppable” unstoppable, except it isn’t

  • $30
    the amount “Megamind” made in its second weekend; it’s closing in on $100 million after two weeks
  • $23
    the amount “Unstoppable” made, which is ironic in the really funny way that we enjoy source

24 Oct 2010 12:43


Culture: “Paranormal Activity 2” no “Blair Witch”-style flash in the pan

  • $41.5
    the amount “Paranormal Activity 2” made in its first weekend; the first film, released a year ago, had a “Blair Witch”-style theatrical run
  • $13.3
    the amount the unsuccessful “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” made in its first weekend; it made just $26 million in its entire run source
  • » Another thing to point out: The theatrical run of the first “Paranormal Activity” has the distinction of making a huge amount of money in a small number of theaters. In its third weekend, it made $7.6 million in just 160 theaters, scoring an unheard-of $49,379 per-theater average. And they didn’t even need 3D to pull it off, either. They just needed $15,000 and a great gimmick.