erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Sunday June 08, 2014

More Box Office: MacFarlane’s Loss is Breitbart’s Loss

I try not to engage in schadenfreude too much unless it involves, you know, the usual suspects: the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter, the GOP, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Fox News, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly ...

OK, so I have a lot of usual suspects.

The point is I get no joy out of how poorly Seth McFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West” has performed at the box office: $30 million thus far after a week and a half. True, I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Ted,” and I don’t watch “The Family Guy,” but I did defend his Oscar hosting. And I did include one of the lines from “Ted” among my top 10 lines of the year for 2012. Plus when I first saw the trailer to “West,” I thought it looked good. So no joy there.

The joy I get is seeing the right-wing Breitbart site wrong again.

In March, they wrote this among their predictions for 2014 box office:

Breitbart box office prediction 2014

“Remember, you heard it here first.”

Can these guys get anything right?

Posted at 01:26 PM on Jun 08, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Girl, Girl, Boy: ‘Fault in Our Stars,’ ‘Maleficent,’ Top Tom Cruise at Weekend Box Office

The Fault in Our Stars box office

A well-reviewed Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller (89% on RT) got swamped by a well-reviewed young-adult romance about two teenage kids with cancer (91% on RT), and it wasn’t even close. “The Fault in Our Stars,” based on the novel by John Green, and starring Shailene Woodley, grossed $48 million in 3,173 theaters, while “Edge of Tomorrow” grossed $29.1 million in 3,490 theaters. So about half. “Edge” couldn’t even top Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent.” In its second weekend, the upended fairy tale dropped 51% but still grossed $33.5 million in 3,948 theaters.

Will Hollywood studios take notice? Will they assume a greater audience for smaller, more dramatic stories? Possibly starring women?

Eh. It takes a long time to turn that battleship. And in terms of worldwide box office, it’s a moot point: “Edge” has already grossed another $111 million abroad while “Fault” has grossed exactly nothing. Its studio probably figures it won’t play well internationally.

But “Fault”’s domestic performance is interesting nonetheless. It’s a bit of a shocker. In terms of teen romance, 1980 to the present, this is the biggest opener for any movie that doesn’t have “Twilight” in the title. After the five “Twilights,” which opened from $142 million to $64 million, you have “Fault” and its $48 million. Then? “Save the Last Dance” at $23 and “Step Up” at $20. After that, it’s in the teens, and then quickly into the single digits. This order doesn’t change even if you adjust for inflation.

It’s also the biggest opener for a Y-A adapation that doesn’t involve superpowers of some sort: I.e., not “Twilight,” “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter.” Oh, and plus “Divergent,” Woodley’s “Hunger Games”-ish counterpart that opened slightly higher ($54 million in March) but monumentally more disappointing (“HG” numbers were hoped for).

In other news, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” in its 10th weekend, finally surpassed “The LEGO Movie” to become the year’s biggest movie thus far. Emphasis on “thus far.” It’s at $255 million.

The weekend numbers.

Posted at 10:00 AM on Jun 08, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday June 01, 2014

Weekend Box Office: 'Maleficent' Magnificent; 'A Million Ways to Die' Finds a Million and First

Angelina Jolie in Maleficient

Angelina Jolie in “Maleficient”: Her eyes say no no no, but her lips? Well, they say no, too.

If this doesn’t spur them to make “Wicked,” nothing will.

In its opening weekend, “Maleficent,” a rewrite of “Sleeping Beauty” from the wicked witch’s perspective, grossed $70 million domestically and another $100 million worldwide. Domestically, it’s the best opening of the year for a non-superhero, non-giant lizard movie. It’s also the best opening of Angelina Jolie’s career.

The other big opener, Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” added a million and first way to die: It grossed only $17 million in 3,000+ theaters. This has to be a disappointment. MacFarlane’s “Ted,” after all, opened at $54 million in June 2012.

The initial trailers for “Million Ways” looked good, but its Rotten Tomatoes score is only 33% (39% for top critics), while its audience score is a low 52%. “Maleficent” is hardly “Frozen” in its critical acclaim: 51% / 50% / 77%. But maybe that was enough. It was enough to know it wasn’t awful.

Besides, if a mediocre, upside-down fairy tale can do this kind of business, what might “Wicked” do?

The new “X-Men” movie, despite critical and audience acclaim (92% / 95% / 95%), fell off by 64.1% for second place. Are people tiring of superhero movies? Or blockbusters? “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which opened at $91 million, grossed $3.7 million in its fifth weekend (seventh place) and looks lucky to break the $200 million barrier. “Godzilla,” which opened at $93 million, is falling even faster.

Comedies fall less fast, and both Adam Sandler’s “Blended,” in its second weekend, and Seth Rogen’s “Neighbors,” in its third, fell off in the 40s: 41% and 45%, respectively. It’s interesting to look at “Blended”’s RT numbers. Critics hated it, of course (14% / 11%) but its audience likes it: 72%. At the same time, it’s only at 5.8 on IMDb. No matter: it’s a bomb by Sandler standards. I’d applaud but some doofus will surely replace him. Way of the world.

This, by the way, was Box Office Mojo’s early prediction for the weekend:

Not bad, but it overestimated the boys and underestimated the girl. A Hollywood habit.

Posted at 10:32 AM on Jun 01, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday May 25, 2014

Weekend Box Office: Welcome Back, Bryan Singer; Go Away, Adam Sandler

Bryan Singer: X-Men, Days of Future Past

Singer eyes the No. 1 spot. 

I’m curious how often this happens.

The Rotten Tomatoes score of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was 91% and it wound up grossing almost that number, $90 million, to win the weekend.

The Rotten Tomatoes score of the new Adam Sandler comedy, “Blended,” was 15% and it wound up grossing almost that, $14 million, to finish a distant third for the weekend.

Would be nice if this kind of correlation happened more often. Hollywood would strive to make better movies. But I know it’s a fluke.

Welcome back, Bryan Singer. That opening for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is the second-best opening ever for an X-Men movie—surpassed only Brett Ratner’s abyssmal “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006, which grossed $102 million riding the good vibes of Bryan Singer’s previous X-Men movies. Ratner killed those vibes.  

Go away, Adam Sandler. “Blended”’s opening is among Sandler’s worst. You sort out his high-brow work (“Spanglish,” “Reign Over Me,” “Punch-Drunk Love”), and ignore his first comedies back in the mid-90s when tickets cost so much less, and it’s actually his second-lowest opener after “That’s My Boy” in 2012. “Boy” went on to gross $36 million, which is about what “Blended” will do. If it’s lucky.

Meanwhile, “Godzilla,” which roared mightily opening weekend, fell mightily this one. It grossed $31.4 million for second place, a fall-off of 66.3%. That’s the second-worst second-weekend fall-off of the year—after “About Last Night,” which fell off 70% after its Valentine’s Day debut.

And in its fourth weekend, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” fell off by another 53% to gross $7 million. It will surely be the lowest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever:

That's unadjusted, too. It’s called franchise fatigue, Sony. Give it up. Let Spidey join the Merry Marvel Marching Society already.

Oh, right. Worldwide box office for “TAS2” is currently at $673 million. Thanks for nothing, China and Brazil.

The box office numbers

Posted at 10:58 AM on May 25, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday May 18, 2014

Weekend Box Office: Oh No, You Say You’ve Got to Go, Go See ‘Godzilla’

Cranston in Godzilla: Say its name

Say its name. 

How big is Godzilla? A little bigger than Spider-Man but not quite as big as Captain America.

The new “Godzilla” movie had the biggest opening-day gross of the year—$38.5 million, or about $1.5 million more than “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”—but its opening weekend fell short of Cap even as it bested “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”:

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: $95 million
  2. Godzilla: $93.2 million
  3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2: $91.6 million

The tentpoles can’t seem to break the $100 million mark this year, can they? It’s 2001 all over again. Should studios be worried? Should cinephiles be gladdened? Are moviegoers in general just tired of all the noise, noise, noise? Or has a new stupid take on an old stupid story just not arrived yet?

I assume this last. I assume most moviegoers still just want to watch the cinematic world burn. Even as the real world is melting glaciers.

The other opener, “Million Dollar Arm” starring Jon Hamm, grossed only 10 times its title in 3,000+ theaters. No surprise. Even I, a fan of both baseball and “Mad Men,” wasn’t taken by its trailers.

“Neighbors,” the Seth Rogen-Zac Efront comedy, fell off 47% for second place and $25 million. It’s currently at $91 million. In its third weekend, Spidey fell of 52% for $16 million and third place. It’s now at $172 million, and seems unlikely to best the $272 million its predecessor grossed two years ago, which is the lowest gross of any Spider-Man movie. Domestic, that is. Worldwide, “TAS2” is already at $633 million. But that’s also the lowest worldwide gross of any Spider-Man movie.

I didn’t make it to “Godzilla” since I’ve been distracted by another monster, the Seattle International Film Festival. Thursday night was opening night, John Ridley's “Jimi: All Is By My Side,“ about Jimi Hendrix in '66 and '67; Friday I saw “Chinese Puzzle.” Last night, P and I took in the documentary “Dior and I” and today it's the Swedish thriller “In Order of Disappearance,” starring Stellan Skarsgård.

Updates and reviews to come. 

Posted at 09:33 AM on May 18, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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