erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Sunday September 14, 2014

Box Office: It's Idris; 'Guardians' Passes $300 Million; and Breitbart Predictions Continue to Be Wrong

Remember this prediction from Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood” last March?

Breitbart gets predictions wrong again 

Like a lot of analyses on the right-wing site, this turned out to be not exactly ... right.

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” opened Memorial Day weekend and promptly finished third at the box office: $16.8 million. It wound up with a domestic total of $42.7 million—one of the biggest box-office bombs in a summer of box-office bombs.

So 0-1 for Breitbart.

This weekend, “Dolphin Tale 2” opened. I reviewed it for The Seattle Times. And?

And it finished second, $16.5 million, or about $3 million less than the original took in three years ago.

So 0-2 for Breitbart.

I’m not sure if this is good news for “Big Hero 6” or not. I mean, how many movies can Breitbart get wrong?

Despite lousy reviews (12% on Rotten Tomatoes), Idris Elba’s “No Good Deed” came in first with $24 million.

The bigger news, I suppose, is that “Guardians of the Galaxy” became the first movie this year to pass the $300 million mark. It fell only 22%, grossed another $8 million (good for third place), and has now grossed $305.9 domestically and another $305 overseas.

I thought the events in Ferguson would kill the comedy “Let’s Be Cops” at the box office, but it keeps schlepping along. It finished in a near-tie with “Ninja Turtles” (around $4 million) for fourth place, and has now grossed $72 million, which is more than ... well, I guess a lot of bad movies. Including “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”

“Boyhood” took in another $1 million (14th place). It’s at $22 million domestic. See it. 

Posted at 10:24 AM on Sep 14, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday September 07, 2014

Box Office: Faith-Based Elvis Parable, 'The Identical,' Checks Into Heartbreak Hotel

How do we know we’re stuck in the box-office dregs of early September? Because the top movies of the weekend are not only not openers, they’re not even second-weekenders.

Here are the top four movies, along with how many weeks they’ve been released:

Rank Movie Weekend Gross  Wk #
1 Guardians of the Galaxy $10,160,000 6
2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) $6,500,000 5
3 If I Stay $5,750,000 3
4 Let's Be Cops $5,400,000 4

When was the last time the top four movies didn’t include a release from the previous two weeks?

Here’s a hint. It’s the first time it’s happened in 2014.

It didn’t happen last September, either. Or even last year.

No, the last time the top four movies weren’t from the previous two weeks was December 7-9, 2012, when, after offering us movies like “Killing Them Softly” and “Playing for Keeps” in early December, we went to see the November holdovers:

Rank Movie Weekend Gross Wk #
1 Skyfall $10,780,201 5
2 Rise of the Guardians $10,400,618 3
3 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $9,156,265 4
4 Lincoln $8,916,813 5

That’s what happened here, too. Among September releases, “The November Man” with Pierce Brosnan did best, finishing in fifth place with $5.4 million, while “As Above/So Below” finished sixth with $3.7 million.

The weekend’s sole new release, “The Identical,” a faith-based take on Elvis-like twins that got trashed by the critics (4% on RT), was returned to sender (or was lonesome tonight, or got stuck in the ghetto, or ...), finishing in 11th place with $1.9 million in 1,956 theaters.

How bad is that? It’s the lowest gross of the year for a movie opening in more than 1,500 theaters. By far:

Rank Movie Studio Total Gross Opening Gross Thtrs
1 The Identical Free $1,911,000 $1,911,000 1,956
2 Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return CE $8,462,027 $3,747,780 2,658
3 The Quiet Ones LGF $8,509,867 $3,880,053 2,027
4 Vampire Academy Wein. $7,791,979 $3,921,742 2,676
5 Moms' Night Out TriS $10,429,707 $4,311,083 1,044
6 And So It Goes CE $14,932,905 $4,642,329 1,762
7 Bears BV $17,780,194 $4,776,267 1,720
8 Labor Day Par. $13,371,528 $5,175,282 2,584
9 Sabotage (2014) ORF $10,508,518 $5,272,444 2,486
10 Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For W/Dim. $12,906,000 $6,317,683 2,894

You have to go back to “The Fifth Estate” last year to find a movie that opened in more than 1,500 theaters and grossed less opening weekend: $1.6 million. And even it opened in fewer theaters than “The Identical” (1,769).

So what’s the rationale for Freestyle Releasing (the group behind “God’s Not Dead”) choosing 1,956 theaters for “The Identical”? Because of 1956? The year Elvis broke? Cute, but probably not a good strategy. I don’t want to be cruel, but lawdy, Miss Clawdy.

The Identical bombs at box office

For some reason, Cabbage-Patch Elvis didn't click with moviegoers. 

Posted at 09:45 AM on Sep 07, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Tuesday September 02, 2014

Box Office: How 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Became the No. 1 Movie of the Year

Guardians of the Galaxy — number one movie of the year

Come and get your love.

Here are portraits of three summer blockbusters:

Movie A

Week Rank Wknd Box Office % Drop
1 1 $91,608,337  
2 2 $35,501,212 -61.2%
3 3 $16,803,227 -52.7%
4 5 $7,823,388 -53.4%
5 7 $3,778,605 -51.7%

 Movie B

Week Rank Wknd Box Office % Drop
1 1 $100,038,390 -
2 1 $37,050,185 -63.0%
3 2 $16,302,415 -56.0%
4 5 $9,845,720 -39.6%
5 7 $4,702,553 -52.2%

Movie C

Week Rank Wknd Box Office % Drop
1 1 $94,320,883 -
2 2 $42,124,922 -55.3%
3 2 $25,115,564 -40.4%
4 1 $17,202,212 -31.5%
5 1 $17,077,000 -0.70%

They all start out about the same place but different things happen. Movie A drops off fast, and keeps dropping at the same heavy pace until it’s irrelevant. Movie B starts out a little higher, drops off a little faster, bounces around a bit; but by the fifth weekend, it, too, is yesterday’s news.

Movie C? It drops off marginally, but then shores itself up. Each weekend it drops off less and less until by the fourth and fifth weekends it reclaims the No. 1 spot.

Movie A is “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which, domestically, grossed barely half of its opening weekend total ($202 million, currently 8th for the year). Movie B is “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which ... ditto ($244 million, 4th).

And Movie C? “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which has now grossed $280 million and is currently the No. 1 movie of the year. It also looks to save Hollywood from the ignominy of the first summer without a $300 million movie since 2001. It’s also the first August release to be the No. 1 movie of the summer since ... I don’t know when. Probably B.J. (Before “Jaws”).

How did it happen? Here are the Rotten Tomatoes scores (critics/audience) for all three:

Movie Critics Audience
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 53% 69%
Transformers: Age of Extinction 18% 54%
Guardians of the Galaxy 92% 95%

It’s called word of mouth, kids.

It helped that the new wide releases were nothing to take your family to over Labor Day weekend. “As Above/So Below,” a thriller with a 39% RT rating, debuted in fourth with $8.6 million, while “The November Man,” starring Pierce Brosnan (37% RT), debuted in sixth with $7.8 million.

“Frank Miller’s Sin City 2,” meanwhile, continued to fall like a rock. It debuted horribly and still fell off 65% in its second weekend. After 11 days, it's grossed a total of $11 million, which the first “Sin City,” back in 2005, grossed in one day.

It’s called word of mouth, kids.

Posted at 06:20 AM on Sep 02, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Monday August 25, 2014

Hollywood B.O.: 'Guardians' Returns to No. 1; 'Sin City' Suffers for Its Many Sins

Guardians of the Galaxy

The good guys.

This is the kind of weekend box office that restores your faith in weekend box office. It’s a weekend straight out of a Hollywood movie: i.e., the good guys win, the bad guys get theirs, and some order is restored to the universe.

The good guys are “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which, in its fourth weekend of release, after two weekends at No. 2, returned to the No. 1 spot with another $17.6 million. In doing so, it surpassed “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (one of the bad guys) as the summer’s big hit with a domestic total of $251.8 million. And it will soon be the highest-grossing movie of the year, surpassing another good guy, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which grossed $259.7 million in spring and early summer. Might “Guardians” reach $300 million now? It seems likely.

(What it won’t do is surpass “Transformers” as the highest-grossing 2014 film worldwide. Michael Bay’s robots have earned $1.065 billion around the world, way ahead of No. 2, “Maleficent” ($747.6 million) and more than twice as much as “Guardians” ($489.5 million), which has earned most of its money in the U.S. Effin’ foreigners.)

Meanwhile, “Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” one of the worst movies of the year, got deservedly killed at the box office. It opened in 2,894 theaters but grossed only $6.4 million for 8th place. In April 2005, the first “Sin City” grossed $29 million (adjusted: $37 million) on its way to a $74 million domestic gross (adjusted: $94 million), so this is quite a comedown. Why? Most pundits are assuming:

  • Nine years is too long between sequels.
  • The comic book/pulpish style of its art direction, once innovative, is ho-hum now.

I might add :

  • Frank Miller, in the interim, has revealed himself to be a reactionary asshole.
  • The movie sucked.

Elsewhere, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” fell off 41% for $16.8 million and second place, “If I Stay,” Chloë Grace Moretz’s weepy teen flick, earned back its budget plus some with $16.3 million and third place, the second weekend of “Let’s Be Cops” made another $11 million for fourth, and the debut weekend of the Christian-football flick “When the Game Stands Tall” grossed $9 million for fifth place. I reviewed this last one for The Seattle Times. Here.

Finally, in limited release, Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” the best American movie of the year, lost 37 theaters but fell off only 6% for a $1.7 million haul. It’s now grossed $16.5 million. Have you seen it yet?

Posted at 05:25 AM on Aug 25, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Monday August 18, 2014

Movie Audiences Return ‘Giver,’ Find ‘Expendables' Expendable

Expendables 3

Expendable? Absolutely. 

Someone needs to make a movie about all the dystopian Y.A. novels forced to battle each other in an arena for our pleasure and amusement. I guess we could set it in Hollywood, Cal., circa the futuristic world of, I don’t know, 2014. Call it ... “Sloppy Seconds”? “A.K.: After Katniss”? Title ideas welcome.

“The Giver,” based on a 1993 Y.A. novel by Lois Lowry, directed by Philip Noyce (“The Quiet American,” “Salt”), and with a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgård and new Aussie Tiger Beat sensation Brenton Thawaites, opened in more than 3,000 theaters this weekend but grossed only $12.7 million. This follows the somewhat disappointing box office of “Divergent,” which opened in March and has grossed only $150 million domestic. Cf. the first “Hunger Games,” which grossed $408 million in 2012.

“The Expendables 3” grossed $16 million in 3,221 theaters, but that continues a downward trend. The first “Expendables” opened to $34.8 million in 2010, “The Expendables 2” to $28 million in 2012. Now this. Sylvester Stallone’s sexugenarian franchise keeps getting more and more muscle-bound and keeping dropping like a rock. Correlation?

“Let’s Be Cops,” the other big opener, grossed $17.7 million in 3,094 theaters, but that was still only good enough for third place.

First place was taken by the second weekend of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” ($28.4 million), while the third weekend of “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a close second  with $24.4. “Guardians” has now grossed $222 million total. In a few weeks, it will probably be the highest-grossing movie of the year (currently: “Captain America,” $259 million), so kudos to its makers, for making it, and to us, for seeing it. It’s a fun ride.

Among indies, “Boyhood” grossed another $2 million and is now at $13.8 total. It’s Richard Linklater’s third-highest-grossing movie ever, after mainstream fare “School of Rock” ($81 million in 2003) and “Bad News Bears” ($32 million in 2005). 

Posted at 07:31 AM on Aug 18, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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