Oscar History

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Entries in box office (431)

May 09 2011

Box Office: The Slightly Mighty Thor

Thor discovers he isn't as strong as he looksOnline coverage of weekend box office is often dry,repetitive and facty.We respond to it as we do to sports stats,with curiousity that people care so much.This week is slightly different.Thor's box office take is actually a case study in how flexible numbers are,how perception is everything.FACT: Thor did not break box office records,did less impressivenumbersthan many summer heroes (if you want a comparison he'sslightiermightier thanThe Incredible HulkorFantastic Fourbut far far weaker thanIron Man --which no one remembers that people were  nervous about in terms of audience interest until the trailer arrived since history tends to rewrite itself after huge successes -- orWolverineand such.FACT #2 Just last week,Fast Fivewas a bigger draw with less of a marketing push in a franchise you'd think would be weakening.Yet many online reports,or at least the headlines,were all about Thor's "super"box office weekend or how it "hammered","smashed"and "crushed"its competition or somesuch.  LESSON LEARNED: the web roots for superheroes like young children clap for fairies inPeter Pan,in a show of enthusiastic solidarity.

USELESS FACT #3 The theater I saw it in had no more than 20ish people in it.Admittedly it was a morning show and for some reason people don't go to movies in the morning (Why not?Start the day off right!) but still...opening day.

The Box Office (Actuals)

01 THORnew$65.7[my review]
02 FAST FIVE$32.4(cumulative $139.7)
05 RIO$8.5(cumulative $115.2)

The success story of the weekend isJumping the Broom;it's opening take was more than double its budget!FACT #3 I really wanted to see it given the Loretta Devine / Angela Bassett face off.But then I saw the trailer.Interest dwindled.

In other box office news,the new limited releases had a really difficult time:The BeaverandLast Nightfailed to find much of an audience despite big stars in the lead roles.If you have big stars who are typically bigger box office shouldn't you risk a wider opening with more advertisements?It seems strange that a movie starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster is going to make less than a period piece with no typically bankable names likeThe Conspirator(which opened much much wider).Kelly Reichardt'sMeek's Cutoff,just discussed on the podcast,is also having a rough time.It's up to just $200,000.That's more thanWendy & Lucy(the previous Reichardt/Michelle Williams combo) had made at this point but the per screen average is much lower indicating it will probably not have that earlier film's very sturdy legs despite similarly ecstatic reviews.Wendy & Lucyneared the million dollar mark at the end of its long run.

What did you see over the weekend?

May 02 2011

Box Office: Faster and Furiouser

TheFast & Furiousfranchise turned the box office into a regular demolition derby destroying its competition with over 60% of the top ten dollars.It seems absurd to make the comparison but maybe it's a Bondian franchise,the kind that only grows with time?Tokyo Drift,the only entry without Paul Walker or Vin Diesel in the driver's seat was its only underperformer.Okay so maybe the Bond comparison is a bad one since that series has easily survived cast changes.(Not thatFast Fivedidn't benefit from the addition of The Rock.

ForFast & Furious: Sixth GearI think they should race famous vintage movie cars: The Batmobile,Thelma & Louise's Thunderbird convertiable,Bonnie & Clyde's Death Car.  And while we're on the Ian Fleming franchise subject,maybe throw in a musical dream segment starringChitty Chitty Bang Bang;lead feet with twinkle toes!

The Box Office (Actuals)

01 FAST FIVEnew$86.1
02 RIO$14.7(cumulative $104)
03 MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY$9.8(cumulative $40.8)
04 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS$9.3(cumulative $32.4)
05 PROMnew$4.7
07 SOUL SURFER$3.3(cumulative $33.8)
08 INSIDIOUS$2.6(cumulative $48.3)
09 HOP$2.6(cumulative $105.4)
10 SOURCE CODE$2.5(cumulative $48.8)

Points of Interest:

Brandon Routh is "Dylan Dog"

  • HOP proves that when you're holiday-themed,it's really wise to open well before the holiday.(I've never understood this with horror movies that choose to openonHalloween weekend.)Hopdid huge box office right up until Easter.Afterwards?A huge 80% drop in attendance despite only losing 10% of its screens.Kill the wabbit kill the wabbit♪ ♫
  • Dylan Dog: Dead of Nightopened wide but still coudn't crack the top ten.Ouch.
  • Best Per Screen Average: Werner Herzog'sCave of Forgotten Dreams.In 3-D!
  • Not every toon opens huge (Hoodwinked!) though it seems the norm (Rio,Rango,etc...)

What did you see this weekend?How many of the Fast & Furious films have you seen?

Apr 25 2011

Box Office: Easter For the Birds

Did you stay at home and color eggs,church it up,socialize,or hit the movies this weekend?Or maybe a little of all four?I did the latter two.I was a bit worried when I walked into an empty theater forWater for Elephants(but it did fill halfway up).Here's the top ten.

Easter Weekend Box Office

01 RIO$26.3(cumulative $80.8)
The birds have now taken over for the bunny.
04 HOP$12.1(cumulative $100.2)
05 SCREAM 4$7.0(cumulative $31.0)
06 AFRICAN CATSnew$6.0
07 SOUL SURFER$5.4(cumulative $28.5)
08 HANNA$5.2(cumulative $31.7)
09 INSIDIOUS$5.2(cumulative $44.0)
10 SOURCE CODE$5.0(cumulative $44.6)

Obviously Tyler Perry will be making Madea movies till he's in the grave since people never stop showing up once he puts on those big dresses.The debut forWater for Elephantsseems worrisome (truth: we always hope that epic period romances do well since like musicals they seem in short dead-genre supply) but they somehow kept their production costs way down so they'll be fine in the long haul.Movie budgets so rarely make visible sense on screen.This one only costs $38 million despite being a handsome period piece with wild animals andthreestars?MeanwhileBlack Swancosts half of that and looked downrright spectacular while some movies -- most movies actually -- cost more than $38 and they don't look as expensive.Guess it all depends on who the producers are handing the money to,right?

We don't like to neglect the films in limited release so let's check in on how films that have never been in wide are doing.That top five goes like so.

01 WIN WIN$1.1(cumulative $6.6)
02 ATLAS SHRUGGED PT.1$.8(cumulative $3.0)
Apparently if you savage this one in a reviewpeople get pissed.So given the6% on Rotten Tomatoesthere are a lot of pissed people out there.I totally believe this as my Dad is about as conservative as they come and worships Ayn Rand.
03JANE EYRE$.7(cumulative $7.8)
04 OF GODS AND MEN$.1(cumulative $3.2)
05 I AM$.1(cumulative $.5)

Sadly bothWin WinandJane Eyrewhich have been quite well received by arthouse auds probably won't expand that much further since they're both slowing down.One hopes that Jane Eyre will stick around untilX-Men: Mutant Babiesopens and some brave new Fassbender fans get curious.The highest per screen average went to Canada's Oscar nominatedINCENDIESwhich nabbed $18,000ish from each of its screens.Alas,it was only on three screens.

What did you see?

Apr 18 2011

Box Office Takes Flight

Davehere rounding up the box office while Nat's away thinking about nicer things.

Parrots took over from rabbits at the top of the box office this weekend,although the fact that it still isn't Easter might give that foppish British bunny a boost this week.Or did they bounce him out too early? Riosignals the coming of summer by scooping the biggest opening weekend of the year so far,besting Rango's $38.1 million.Meanwhile, Scream 4came in a pale second place,not even making half of Rio's total;and Nat will be delighted to learn that Academy Award Winner Helen Hunt's Soul Surferheld steady as others tumbled around it.Maybe Ghostface might be able to take a stab at her as he falls past her next week?
Jesse Eisenberg doesn't usually look so emotional at the movies...
The Box Office (Actuals)

01 RIO new $39.2
02 SCREAM 4 new $19.3
03 HOP $11.2(cumulative $82.6)
04 SOUL SURFER $7.4(cumulative $20.0)
05 HANNA $7.3(cumulative $23.3)
06 ARTHUR $6.9(cumulative $22.3)
07 INSIDIOUS $6.7(cumulative $35.9)
08 SOURCE CODE $6.3(cumulative $37.0)
10 YOUR HIGHNESS $3.9(cumulative $16.0)

Disastrous numbers for the $45 million-budgeted Your Highness,crashing almost 60% in only its second week;but beautiful ones for the $1.5 million budget of Insidious,a bonefide hit that even looks likely to outgross horror rival Scream 4.Sometimes the little guys win!

And how the mighty Ghostface has fallen.Here's a use fulless comparison of the opening weekends for the whole series.

Of course,the original Screamstarted out small and ended up breaking $100 million,whereas the unfavorably received Scream 3couped the biggest debut but faltered before $90 million.Those numbers are now just a forgotten dream for Scream 4,of course; how much do you think it'll end up grossing?

Lower down the chart,audiences shrugged at Atlas Shrugged(thanks Glenn), Win Winwon a little extra on further expansion,and the biggest winner of the week was Italian thriller Double Hour,snatching the biggest per-screen average with $15,400...on its two screens. But what did you enjoy this weekend,in theatres or at home?I had a scream myself.
Apr 11 2011

Box Office Zoology: The Bunny Still Reigns

Bunnies continued to be the favored animal at the weekend box office asHopoverperformed again.The cuddly bears ofArthurand the gaping wolf maw ofHannasplit ticket buyers enough thatSoul Surfer's shark was able to bite off not just a pretty girl's arm but a surprising chunk of the weekend box office.It was...wait for it...a zoo out there.hahahahhhaa unghhh.I'm here all week.Re:Soul Surfer,I understand that inspirational sports movies are a familiar comfort-food movie genre and I can live with that.But please don't let this mean Helen Hunt is back in the game.I beg you universe,I beg you!

Bears,and Wolves and Sharks.Oh my

The Box Office (Actuals)

01 HOP$21.2(cumulative $67.7)
02 HANNAnew$12.3
ARTHURnew$12.2[my review]
04 SOUL SURFERnew$10.6
05 INSIDIOUS$9.3(cumulative $26.7)
07 SOURCE CODE$8.6(cumulative $28.2)
08 LIMITLESS$5.4(cumulative $64.1)
09 DIARY OF A WIMPY KID$4.7(cumulative $45.3)
10 THE LINCOLN LAWYER$4.2(cumulative $46.1)

What does all this mean?That's for you to decide.When I try to understand the nation's moviegoers my eyes often bleed and blood attracts carnivorous animals.Why are people so eager to see an animated bunny rock star with the voice of Russell Brand?Why am I so obsessed with hating that (unseen) movie?

What did you see over the weekend,in theater or at home?(I keep a screening log over in the "reviews"section if you're curious about me.)

Apr 05 2011

Box Office: The Source of that Insidious Hopping

Fact #1: I love Easter,bunnies,Easter bunnies,chocolate bunnies,coloring eggs.
Fact #2: SeeingHopwould ruin the upcoming holiday entirely for me because nothing makes me gag harder than animated CGI characters doing hip anachronistic things like oh,I don't know dreaming of playing in a rock n roll band.Just typing this out gave me salmonella.Mainstream moviegoers felt otherwise throwing their hardearned cash at the British wabbit.It had the best opening weekend sinceRango.Where were these crowds when The Rock was doingTooth Fairy?

01.HOP $37.5new
02.SOURCE CODE $14.8new
03.INSIDIOUS $13.2new
04.DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES $10.0 (cumulative: $38.1)
05.LIMITLESS $9.3 (cumulative: $55.5)

Poor Patrick.Things never end well for him at the movies.

Hop's success frightens me and the only possible joy that can come from it is that maybe someone will give James Marsden another plum comic gig like the one inEnchanted.  I would however totally want to see this week's chart topper if it were about Jake Gyllenhaal and the Easter Bunny ibeing thrust back in time repeatedly until they saved Patrick Wilson from demonic possessions inThe Source of That Insidious Hopping.Don't you wish you could sometimes watch three movies at once?

Per Screen AverageWhich movies were you most likely to find crowds at?I've eliminated all the specialty IMAX stuff and everything that's only at one theater because "come on"and here's what'cha got.

01.HOP $10,000ish
02. IN A BETTER WORLD $8,000ish (The Danish Oscar winner is finally on a few screens.Weird to wait an entire month post Oscar win to debut.)
03.WIN WIN $7,000ish (cumulative $1.9 million.Big jump in screen count this past weekend.I almost went today but my friend shifted plans.)
04.JANE EYRE $6,700ish  (cumulative $3.4 million.Still going strong.Yay)
05.INSIDIOUS $5,500ish (and this type of movie is always better with a crowd)

What did you see over the weekend?I was entertaining so I didn't get out.Although we did watch the SXSW winnerWeekendwhich was fairly strong as indies go.It definitely knew what it wanted to be and didn't get distracted at being that and that's always a huge plus.