erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Monday February 12, 2018

Box Office: The Rock and The Show Keep Going ... and Going ... and Going

15:17 to Paris disappoints at box office

The 15:17 to Paris appears more crowded than most showings of “The 15:17 to Paris.”

Three movies each opened in more than 3,000 theaters this weekend and they all more-or-less disappointed. 

“50 Shades Freed,” No. 1 at the box office, grossed $38.8 mil, which is $8 million less than what “50 Shades Darker” opened to in Feb. 2017, which was itself $39 million less than the original, “50 Shades of Grey,” opened to in Feb. 2015. Cue Bruce. Supposedly this is the last “50 Shades.” I'd say yay but we haven't seen its replacement.  

No. 2 for the weekend was “Peter Rabbit,” whose $25 mil opening was on par with last year's “The Emoji Movie.” It's the 89th-best opening for an animated movie. It's also now raised anger among some parents because it seems to make light of food allergies. At the least, it gives them to the movie's villain, and the movie's heroes exploit it. 

And coming in third was Clint Eastwood's “The 15:17 to Paris,” about the three U.S. military dudes who stopped a terrorist act on a train headed to, yes, Paris, in 2015. They star as themselves. It grossed $12 mil. Slightly off the $35 mil Eastwood's previous American-hero movie, “Sully,” opened to in Sept. 2016, but then that one starred Tom Hanks, who does this kind of thing professionally. And that‘s way less than the $89 mil Eastwood’s previous American-hero movie, “American Sniper,” grossed in its first wide-release opening weekend in January 2015. Of course, back then Obama was in the White House, so Trump folks had to go to the movies to get their wish-fulfillment fantasy. Now they just go to Twitter.

Each of these movies didn't just disappoint at the box office, by the way. Here are their Rotten Tomatoes scores:

  • “50 Shades”: 11%
  • “Peter Rabbit”: 58%
  • “15:17 to Paris”: 21%

These disappointments, Hollywood, might be related. 

Meanwhile, two other films, both released eight weekends ago in the dark days before Christmas, keep on keeping on. 

The box office's No. 4 movie was “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which grossed another $9.8 mil, for a $365 domestic total and $881 worldwide. It's the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2017 both domestically and worldwide, and has cemented the Rock as one of the world's biggest stars. If not the biggest. 

And at No. 5? Believe it or not, “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman, which grossed another $6.4 million for $146 domestic and $314 worldwide. This is a startling story of perseverance. It opened the weekend before Christmas in fourth place, grossing just $8.8 million, and seemed dead in the water. Each weekend since, it's never grossed more than $16 mil nor less than $6. It just doesn't drop. Here are its rankings weekend by weekend: 4th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 5th, 4th, 4th, 5th. Movies that have ranked ahead of it include “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Insidious: The Last Key,” “The Commuter,” “12 Strong,” “Den of Thieves” and “Maze Runner: The Death Cure.” They all fall away. It doesn't. The show goes on. 

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Posted at 07:41 AM on Feb 12, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office
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Tuesday January 02, 2018

'Star Wars' Threepeats as No Film Franchise Has

"Star Wars" has now topped the annual box office chart three years in a row

Over the weekend, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” grossed another $52 million to become the biggest domestic box office hit of the year. Its $531 million (and counting) supplants the $504 million “Beauty and the Beast” earned this spring. 

More, it's now three years in a row that our No. 1 movie has been a “Star Wars” movie. That's never happened. I mean not nearly. Yes, every “Star Wars” but one (Ep. II) was the No. 1 movie of its year, but they used to space them out. One every three years. Now they come at us like laser blasts. Pew pew pew!

Several years ago, because of an idiot Breitbart column, I actually researched this question: Has the same franchise movie ever been the year's biggest movie two years in a row? Answer? Yes, once, in 1944 and '45, when “Going My Way” was followed by “The Bells of St. Mary's.” Otherwise, no, it's never been done. Now “Star Wars” has done it three years in a row. As the man sang: Star War, nothing but Star Wars.

Even so, even with this threepeat, the big box-office story this weekend may have been the resurgence of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” “Last Jedi” won the weekend, falling only 23% over its previous, pre-Christmas weekend frame. But “Jumanji” killed it, grossing 38% more than the previous weekend, and finishing a tight second with $50 mil. It's now grossed $185 million for the year, which is 13th and counting. It'll most certainly pass The Rock's other big b.o. hit this year, “The Fate of the Furious,” which performed below expectations. 

The only new wide-release movie this weekend, “All the Money in the World,” didn't make much of it: just $5.6 million in 2,000+ theaters, to finish in 7th place. Ridley Scott worked overtime to excise Kevin Spacey from the picture, but to not much benefit, box office-wise.

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Posted at 05:50 PM on Jan 02, 2018 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday December 24, 2017

Box Office: A 'Star Wars' First; 'Last Jedi' Stumbles

Second weekend of "Last Jedi" stumbles at box office

Two years ago, the long-awaited seventh episode of the “Star Wars” saga, “The Force Awakens,” debuted during the weekend of Dec. 18-20, grossed $247 mil, and then, in its second weekend, Dec. 25-27, it fell off by only 39.8% to gross another $149.2. How good was that second weekend? At the time, better than all but 11 opening weekends in movie history.

This year, the eighth episode of the “Star Wars” saga, “The Last Jedi,” debuted the weekend of Dec. 15-17 and grossed $220 million—a drop-off, sure, but still the second-best opening ever. This weekend? Its second? It plummeted to $68 mil, a 68.9% drop, which is akin to the second-weekend drops of such crapfests as “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (69%) and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (69.1%).

Not a very “Star Wars” thing to do. The question is why.

  1. Saturation? We had “Force Awakens” two years ago and “Rogue One” last year and now “Star Wars” is a regular holiday deal, rather than the thing you've been waiting decades to see.
  2. Backlash? The reviews were good (RT: 92%) but some of the aggragated audience reactions have not been (RT: 52%). It's still up in the air whether this is legit or some kind of sabotage. Some fanboys, apparently, aren't happy that the female characters are front-and-center in this one.
  3. Or is it just the dates?

Look at the dates for the second weekend of “Force Awakens”: Christmas day and the two days after. Prime movie-watching days. “Last Jedi”? The three days before Christmas day, when most of us are still running around and doing the dirty work of the holiday. That three-day shift could've made a huge difference. I'm not saying “Jedi” would've come near “Force”; I just don't think it would've fallen off in “BvS” numbers. We'll see how it does the rest of the week. I assume it'll pick up. Either way, it's at $365 million ($745 worldwide), and will become the biggest box-office hit of the year—as is true for every major “Star Wars” release save “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” back in 2002.

Five other movies opened this weekend in 2500+ theaters, and finished 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9. The Rock's latest, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” grossed $34, “Pitch Perfect 3” $20 (a third of “PP2”'s opening), and “The Greatest Showman” far back at $8.2. “Downsizing” lived up to its name, making only $4.6, but that was still better than “Father Figures” (“Mamma Mia” + gender switch - ABBA), which scrounged up only $3.2, an average of a paltry $1.1k per theater.

The best per-theater average belonged to the movie I wanted to see, but couldn't, because Fox in its infinite wisdom opened “The Post” in only nine theaters. Nine! Apparently it goes wide in January. Instead, P and I saw “Star Wars” on Thursday and “Jumanji” on Saturday. Mixed positives for both.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Treat yourself to “The Big Sick,” currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Posted at 04:31 PM on Dec 24, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday December 17, 2017

Box Office: Nothing But 'Star Wars'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi box office

Three days, $220 million. 

Trivia question: Which “Star Wars” movie is the only one that didn't wind up No. 1 at the U.S. domestic box office for the year?

It won't be “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” that's for sure. This weekend it grossed a cool $220 mil, the second-best opening ever—after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which grossed $248 two years ago. 2017's biggest box office hit thus far is “Beauty and the Beast,” which grossed $504 million last spring. For “Last Jedi” to not overtake it, particularly with its 93% RT rating, would be some kind of stumbling record for the franchise. “Force Awakens,” for example, wound up grossing nearly four times its weekend opening: $936 million. I don't expect that for “Last Jedi,” but assume it'll wind up north of $600 mil. Probably closer to $700. 

Is it ironic that the only studio to wide-release anything against “Star Wars” this weekend was Fox—the original “Star Wars” studio? The geniusese there decided to counterprogram against the most successful kids/family franchise ever with ... a kids/family movie, the animated “Ferdinand,” based on the story of the peaceloving bull. I guess they were going for that 2-to-3-year-old demographic It wound up a distant second with $13.5 mil.

Fox's animated division, Blue Sky, has never been a huge force. Their biggest hit was the “Ice Age” franchise, which has done better abroad than at home, but even there its popularity is melting like the polar ice caps. The last one, “Collision Course,” released last year, grossed just $64 mil here and $408 worldwide. But even it opened better than “Ferdinand” ($21 mil). 

By this time next year it might all be the same company anyway, since Disney is buying Fox, or Disney is merging with Fox, or ... choose your verb. Should they is another question. Disney has already scooped up Pixar and Marvel. On the plus side, X-Men + Avengers. On the downside, monolith.

The fourth weekend of Disney/Pixar's “Coco” finished in third place with another $10 mil for a domestic total of $150. If it doesn't get stronger over the holiday season, when everyone's out of school, it could wind up with one of the weakest domestic totals for any Pixar film. It might be the first Pixar film, in fact, to do better in China, where it's been No. 1 three weekends in a row now and is already at $128. 

BTW: “Wonder,” starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, has been an under-the-radar wonder at the box office. In its fifth weekend, it finished in fourth place with $5 mil added to a domestic total of $109 million. 

Among the Oscar contenders in limited release: “The Disaster Artist” grossed $2.6 in 1,010 theaters for $12m total gross; “Lady Bird” earned $2.1 in 947 theaters for a $26m total; “The Shape of Water” made $1.7 in 158 theaters ($3.6 total) and “Three Billboards” $1.6 in 944 theaters ($21.3m total). “Call Me By Your Name” expanded to 30 theaters and took in $500k for a $2.1 total. It's going wider next weekend. Just in time for everyone being too busy to see it. 

As for that “Star Wars” trivia question? Here: 

  Movie Adjusted B.O.  B.O. Year Yearly BO Rank
1 Star Wars $1,274,614,700 $307,263,857 1977 1
2 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $965,467,800 $936,662,225 2015 1
3 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace $757,494,400 $431,088,295 1999 1
4 Return of the Jedi $723,181,600 $252,583,617 1983 1
5 The Empire Strikes Back $704,239,800 $209,398,025 1980 1
6 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $539,743,700 $532,177,324 2016 1
7 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith $529,768,500 $380,270,577 2005 1
8 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones $464,469,500 $302,191,252 2002 3*
9 Star Wars: The Last Jedi $220,047,000 $220,047,000 2017 ?

* Behind “Spider-Man” and the second “Lord of the Rings” 

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Posted at 11:58 AM on Dec 17, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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Friday December 15, 2017


Here are the box office totals—domestic, international and worldwide—for the five “Transformers” movies. Pay attention in particular to the last column: each movie's rank in terms of worldwide box office the year it was released. The series rose and rose and rose, and then...

2007 Transformers $709.70 $319.20 $390.50 5
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $836.30 $402.10 $434.20 4
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $1,123.80 $352.40 $771.40 2
2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction $1,104.10 $245.40 $858.60 1
2017 Transformers: The Last Knight $605.40 $130.20 $475.30 13*

* And counting (down)

Splat. The last was least.

No. 13 worldwide for the year (or #14 after “Last Jedi” gets rolling) would generally get you high-fives all around—unless the previous iteration was No. 1 worldwide and grossed half a billion more. 

I read somewhere that Mark Wahlberg says he's leaving the franchise, but, given the above, would they want him back? I wouldn't be surprised if Dwayne Johnson gets the call, but how many more of these stupid franchises can he save? Or maybe they meld it with the “Fast and Furious” franchise? Fast, Furious and Transformed. Dom rides around in Optimus Prime. Why not? Both turned from face to heel in their most recent movies. It's all WWE now—in the movies and in the White House. It's movies and democracy transformed into idiocracies. 

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Posted at 10:50 PM on Dec 15, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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