Box Office

Magic Mike

It feels more and more like we’re on the cusp of a cultural change in the types of movies that studios make. Or, at least, there are more signs that studios should be paying attention to. This week’s edition of Movies Aren’t Just For Teenage Boys comes in the form of a record-breaking R-rated feat. As the LA Times points out, Ted and Magic Mike (which sounds like a morning radio show duo) have become the first R-rated movies to open on the same weekend with more than $21m a piece. And they made a lot more than that. Ted scored $54.1m, and Magic Mike came in second with $39.2m. Seth MacFarlane‘s directorial debut featuring a totally ethical teddy bear had a near even split with 56% of its audience being men, but women dominated Magic Mike with 73%. So here it is, studios. Proof that adults go to movies, that they enjoy strippers, and that women buy tickets too. Maybe these aren’t the high-minded examples that everyone would have hoped for, but they display a challenge to the new-found wisdom that toys and comic book properties are the only way to make money with moving pictures.

read more...

Boiling Point

The Avengers is kind of a major success. What, you hadn’t heard? Of course you did. Avengers box office is on the tips of tongues, internet screens, newspapers, and even within the pages of Time Magazine. You don’t make a billion dollars that quickly without garnering a lot of attention. With attention comes discussion. People always want to be included in the discussion, it helps get a little bit of that attention directed their way. If at this point you feel the need to point out the hypocrisy of this entire thing, go for it. What do I care? In attempting to be part of the discussion and gather up some of that sweet, sweet spotlight, everyone has been discussing the Avengers box office results and asking the question we all ask of super hero teams and double rainbows: What does it mean?

read more...

Last year signaled a drop in tickets sold on domestic shores. Some theaters are responding by inflating their prices, but some Hollywood studios might be looking for a new audience altogether. BBC News is reporting on the new trend of big-budget filmmaking trying to get Chinese movie fans into seats. Of course, this comes alongside the growing trend of designing movies to appeal to the global audience. In a quick snapshot, the three highest grossing American movies to hit China were Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($170m), Kung Fu Panda 2 ($98m) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($77m). Here’s how they broke down: Transformers 3‘s take in China was 18.8% of all foreign sales and 12.9% of the total. It was the second highest ticket-selling country behind the United States. Kung Fu Panda 2‘s take in China was 18.4% of all foreign sales and 13.8% of the total. It was also the second highest behind the United States. Pirates 3‘s take in China was 8.7% of all foreign sales and 7% of the total. It was the third highest behind the United States and Japan. There’s absolutely an emerging market here, but the bigger picture is the rest of the planet. China is starting to open its borders to American movies (allowing 34 foreign films entering their borders as opposed to 20 in years past), and it’s no surprise that studios are starting to notice there’s more money to be made by including Chinese actors and locations […]

read more...

Maybe it was the message. Maybe there are so many people out there just dying to hear how trees save us all, how we have to take a stand for what we believe, how it’s our Earth, too. Maybe people just can’t wait for the summer movie season to become a year-round period, but we’ll get to that in the weekend analysis below. Or maybe they just thought the Lorax was cute. Whatever the reasoning behind it, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax took top honors at the box office this weekend, and it did so with a fury. There’s a healthy dose of shock that comes with learning the film topped the opening weekends for How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Jim Carrey, not Boris Karloff – The Cat in the Hat – that one’s not so much a shock as it is appropriate – and Horton Hears a Who! It easily becomes the biggest opening for a Dr. Seuss adaptation, which means Green Eggs and Ham starring Justin Bieber and Zach Galifianakis can’t be far behind.

read more...

The Reject Report - Large

Moviegoers will see it with a group. Movigoers will see it while they eat popcorn. Moviesgoers will see it with their 3-D glasses. Moviegoers will see it while they sit on their theater seats. What did you think I was gonna say? However people see it, there are sure to be millions of eyes on the latest Dr. Seuss adaptation, The Lorax, this weekend. Enough, in fact, that it’s all but guaranteed the #1 spot on the chart. Unless there’s some Danny DeVito backlash that we’re not privy to, it seems a foregone conclusion. Sure, there’s an R-rated, high school, found footage comedy hitting theaters, as well, so the little tree hugger won’t be making all the scratch, but a majority of it? Yes. The weekend box office is upon us, and one of these movies is bound to be a hit. If you don’t like what we’re saying, you can go right ahead and email us about it. Hey, that one actually rhymed!

read more...

The Reject Report - Large

You probably wouldn’t either if your film came up against Star Wars and took it down to the #4 spot. That’s precisely what happened this past weekend, as The Vow and Safe House stepped all over Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and The Phantom Menace‘s 3D re-release. The numbers between the #1 and #2 movies were so close we had to wait until Monday when the actual numbers came out to really see who won out. In the end, it was the chick flick, the one with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, the one couples went out in droves to see, probably to get in Valentine’s Day dates before the holiday even gets here.

read more...

The Reject Report - Large

A long time ago in little place called Hollywood four films vied for the top honors, the #1 spot in the charts, the chance to say for one weekend they were biggest thing out there. One of these films is familiar to making that claim. This weekend sees the return of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to movie theaters, and it’s bringing its good friend 3D along for the adventure. Other combatants going up against the George Lucas cash cow feature Denzel Washington playing training day with Ryan Reynolds, the Rock flexing his chest muscles, and Rachel McAdams forgetting who Channing Tatum is. Can you blame her? There’s plenty in the way of counter-programming out there, so you might be inclined to say it’s anyone’s prize to win. Our good friend Jar Jar might have something to say to yousa.

read more...

The Reject Report - Large

Mark Wahlberg stared the Beast, the whole IMF team, and Dolly Parton down, and he told them to all say hi to their mothers for him. Contraband surprised everyone who thought Disney was just cashing in on easy blockbuster numbers with their 3D re-releases, and the action drama ended up taking the top spot by a nice sized margin. It’s not Wahlberg’s biggest opening to day. Far from it. But Contraband was able to serve up a number that is considered sizable especially considering its mid-January release. It also is a reasonable opening as a vehicle for Wahlberg, who has only had four films in his career open higher than $30m, The Happening ($30.5m opening), The Other Guys ($35.5m opening), The Perfect Storm ($41.3m opening), and Planet of the Apes ($68.5m opening). Needless to say, all four of those films were summer releases. While Disney didn’t match the success they had with The Lion King‘s re-release in 3-D, they did pull in some expected and flattering numbers this weekend with Beauty and the Beast. At this point, they’re just covering the conversion and re-release cost, so most of the $18.4m it made this weekend is icing on top of an already well-made cake. Disney has many more well-made cakes lined up to get their own layers of sweet stuff with Finding Nemo next up in September this year. Also, in the long run of things, Beauty and the Beast is sure to continue pulling in remarkable numbers all throughout its […]

read more...

When I first saw the Hollywood Reporter piece on Melissa Rosenberg surpassing Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland) as the highest-grossing female screenwriter, it took me a while to wrap my mind around it. After all, it’s the kind of statistic that only a baseball fan could love. It doesn’t take into account the thousands of other people and factors that go into making a film a world-wide financial smash, giving credit solely to the writer (and only if that writer has official credit on the movie). On the other hand, it’s the kind of fact that feels significant. That tells us a bit about the world we live in. Maybe in a way that upsets us. At its barest, it reveals that the female movie writer responsible for banking the most money did it mostly through the Twilight series – Step Up is the only non-Twilight property she’s credited for outside of her lengthy television resume. It also means she did it mostly through means of a book adaptation. After Breaking Dawn Part 1 topped $647m, her total landed at just over $2.56b.

read more...

Boiling Point

Dear reader, I come to you bearing the gravest of news. Hollywood is not making enough money. Tragic, I know, but there is something we can do. Something we must do. We must get out our checkbooks and donate to the big studios. We must shower them with money. For, hide the children, movie viewership is down to a 16 year low. For crying out loud, only 1.2 billion movie tickets were sold in America! How have we as a country let this happen? Where have we gone wrong? Reuters, The Daily Mail, they’re all reporting the lackluster year Hollywood has had. This is serious, people. This is big news. Studio executives everywhere are “battling” against a soft audience and struggling to match the numbers of previous years. Let me find my tiny violin, will you?

read more...

The Reject Report

Out of all the family movies that were marketed towards reuniting families across America this weekend, and it’s the Twilight movie that came out on top once again. I can’t say I’m shocked, though. Only in its second weekend, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 dropped 69.8% from three-day weekend to three-day weekend. But its take last weekend was so huge that hardly any film could compete with it, even with such a massive drop. That level of drop wasn’t a shocker, either, seeing as how New Moon dropped 70% upon its release in November of 2009. As it stands, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is still in third place among overall domestic gross for the Twilight franchise, ahead of the first film and about $80m away from either New Moon or Eclipse. With a reported budget of $110 – nearly double the cost of Eclipse, the second most expensive film in the series – you would think Summit Entertainment is thankful that the series is headed towards its end. Still, you have to look at worldwide box office, and Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is running smoothly with $488.8m overall. It’s still a solid investment, and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 will only be putting more and more dollars in Summit’s coffers. The Muppets had fine footing over the weekend, too, even better when you factor in their 5-day total. It’s not quite the $65.2m The Muppet Movie pulled in total domestic in 1979. Of course, with inflation adjustment, The Muppet […]

read more...

That’s not to say it didn’t make blockbuster dollars this weekend. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 did make its groove on several record charts. It had the third biggest opening day with $72m. It had the second biggest opening in November behind New Moon, the second film of the franchise. And it had the fifth largest opening in history. Those are some impressive placements in the grand scheme of things. But this is Twilight we’re talking about, and any way to shed a negative light on the subject is grounds for some back-patting. The fourth film of the series, and first of the two-part finale, still had a very impressive debut, another clear indicator the franchise is anything but losing steam. Summit Entertainment did just right for themselves when they bought the rights all those years ago. It was a risky gamble a la Warner Bros. committing to the seven-part Harry Potter series, but, like Harry Potter, this one has proven to be paying off in abundance. With an additional $144m in foreign markets, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is already nearing $300m worldwide, a three-fold return on the reportedly $110m film. With the final final movie of the series hitting November 2012, Summit is sure to be looking for their next big venture in long-term franchising. I’m not sure the Step Up series has it in it to make up for the Twilight movies ending, but, in a perfect world…

read more...

Culture Warrior

I’ll be the first to admit that the title of this post is a tad hyperbolic. The box office should not necessarily be forgotten, and it does, to an extent, matter. Predicting openings, percentage drops, and analyzing receipts present an interesting way to interact with movies as well as provide one of many ways to attempt an understanding of audiences in terms of evolving trends and patterns, as our own Jeremy Kirk does so astutely twice a week. Waiting until the early afternoon every Sunday to see the weekend’s estimations has been part of my weekly Internet routine for as long as I’ve been a movie nerd. Box office is, simply put, a part of the conversation. But we aren’t movie executives. Our investment is the box office is tied only to our social, emotional, and intellectual engagement with the films that sell tickets. The amount of tickets sold to see the product should never be confused with the product itself, and box office has severe limitations and problems in terms of understanding audiences’ relationship to a film. My concern with the ways we interact with and form conversations around box-office is not in regard to whether we should have such conversations at all, but the problematic meanings we routinely extrapolate from these numbers. To be frank, unless you work for a movie studio, a movie’s worth is never measurable in numbers. I concede that this is an obvious point, but unfortunately the box office continues to disproportionately dominate so […]

read more...

Ever since it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, Woody Allen’s latest comedic look at relationships and cityscapes, Midnight in Paris, has been building buzz and making money. It was at Cannes that my fellow Reject Simon Gallagher saw the film and called it one of Allen’s best in years. On its opening weekend stateside, our weekly look at the box office reported that it had brought in a whopping $579,000 while only playing on six screens. I saw it in on one of those six screens opening weekend, and I was shocked to find that I was being rounded up and corralled like I was seeing a midnight showing of something huge. This was just a Woody Allen movie and I was seeing it on a Sunday afternoon, what gives? Turns out that something about this film is really resonating with people. I’m not immune to its charms either. It may be fainter praise coming from me than some, because I don’t rank Allen’s classics as highly as most, but this is one of my favorite films he’s ever done. In its fifth week of release, Midnight in Paris is still doing so well that Sony Pictures Classics has announced that they’re going to expand it to even more screens. So far it has made $16 million domestically, and this week it will be shown on 1038 screens, which is not only the most that it has been available on yet, this is the most screens that any Woody […]

read more...

The Reject Report

Finally Summertime is here. Time to kick back on a beach, crack open a nice page-turner, soak up some sun, and listen to the ocean. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll spend at least one night every weekend sitting in uncomfortable seats, listening to disrespectful teens gabbing on their cell phones, munching on 8-hour popcorn, and taking in the latest $200-million epic Hollywood tells me is going to be the end all for cinematic extravagance. Now that’s bliss. First up on the Summer blockbuster slate is the mighty Thor, the next turn in the windy road towards 2012′s The Avengers. It’s not opening alone this weekend. There are a few films being served up for counter-programming, and the Fast and Furious guys are still out there reeking havoc in the streets. But the weekend will be Thor‘s. Let’s take a look at just how much lightning the God of Thunder will be able to catch.

read more...

Early yesterday, the LA Times blog released quotes from Atlas Shrugged Part 1 writer/producer John Aglialoro which indicated that he was throwing in the towel on making Part 2 and Part 3. The reason, of course, was that the film just didn’t make its money back. Aglialoro spent a reported $10m of his own cash on the production, and a second week drop off hurt the independent flick considerably. The movie has currently only made $3.2m at the box office. It started with an impressive per screen average, but as with other films which zero in on an audience, everyone who wanted to see the movie saw it opening weekend. The numbers dropped, and an expansion was scrapped. Aglialoro very specifically blames critics and what he believes is a collective “fear of Ayn Rand” amongst them for the movie’s failings. So much for personal responsibility. However, it’s his ire and hatred of the critical response that has caused an about-face. Aglialoro now claims that, while he was once defeated, he now stands ready to proceed with making Atlas Shrugged Part 2 and Part 3. Like all misunderstood artists, he should.

read more...

Boiling Point

Before you go getting some silly idea like me believing in some silly idea like love, let me clear this up: this isn’t about the love between a man and a woman, a man and a fine cigar, and a fat kid and his chocolate cake. That’d be too easy. The price of those are heartbreak, oral cancer, and diabetes. No, this is about a love we all share, everyone of us reading this site and writing for it. This is about a love of cinema and, tragically, the extreme cost of it. Going to the theater is a great experience. Unless you’re a millionaire, the theater offers a gigantic screen, booming sound, and stadium seating. Watching Transformers on the big screen knocks the robotic pants off of watching it at home no matter how big your Samsung is. All of that is great – but is it worth the astronomical price?

read more...

Over the weekend, discounted tickets through Groupon helped The Lincoln Lawyer‘s box office numbers, which once again draws the question of ticket prices back into the forefront. It’s no secret that ticket prices are a cause for concern for both movie fans (like us) who feel hoodwinked by inflated prices of admission and movie studios who, despite record-breaking years recently, still want to make more money. Since lowering prices wholesale is apparently not an option, another solution has to be found, and Steve Zeitchik over at the LA Times gives about as smart and in-depth an exploration of flexible ticket pricing as you could hope for. Just like hotels and airfare, the movies that aren’t popular become cheaper while the huge hype of blockbusters comes with a bigger price tag. While a movie like Limitless starts to sell out, the prices go up, but as ticket sales for Paul stay low, the price drops. It’s almost as simple as that.

read more...

The Reject Report

It’s not gonna take any magical enchantments for Warner Brother to get what they want. No ifs, ands, or Crucios, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 IS going to be #1 this weekend. It’s going to blow every other film on the charts from the dollar-wrangling sky. The only question is how badly, and, on Monday, how black and blue will the other films be.

read more...

The Reject Report

The Machete Spanish title worked so well a few weeks back, we figured we should probably stick to a dialect a little closer to home this time around. Therefore, in honuh of The Town, as well the othuh fine films in contention this box office weekend, we’re shipping up to Boston, Dropkick Murphys style. It should be a fairly close race between the newbies. M Night is producing a horror film about some people in an elevator. Lionsgate’s got a new animated flick to drop bomb on us. Easy A is a nice throwback to John Hughes’s comedies. Some of them will hit the Green Monster (this week, that title denotes cold, hard cash) solid, and some will slip into the Charles River without so much as a whimper. Let’s see how it shapes up. It’s about to get wicked retahded in he-uh.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3