Movies - Box Office postsSunday November 10, 2019
Box Office Mojo's Revamped Site: Design > Data
I haven't done much on box office lately. It's in the usual autumn lull, for one, so there's not much to report. For another, Box Office Mojo recently revamped its site and I'm still trying to work my way around it.
Overall, I'm not a fan. Or maybe I'm just not used to the difference yet.
Nah. it's the first. Amazon screwed the pooch.
Example: The default for annual box office is for “Calendar Grosses” rather than “In-Year Releases,” which means that the biggest movie of 1997 is “Men in Black” (rather than “Titanic”), and the biggest movie of 2009 is “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (rather than “Avatar”), and the biggest movie of 2015 is “Jurassic World” (rather than “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens”), and none of these things are really true for anyone who talks about box office.
That's just to start. If they'd ask me a year ago what should be done with the site, I would‘ve said, “Hey, can we figure out what China was watching between, say, 2010 and 2014? Could you do that? You have 2009 so why not 2013?” They still haven’t done that. The redesign seems to have given us more design and less data.
Anyway, the four biggest movies this weekend were all newbies:
- Midway: $17.5
- Doctor Sleep: $14.1
- Playing with Fire: $12.8
- Last Christmas: $11.6
None did great guns. Apparently “Midway” wasn't supposed to win but did. Apparently “Last Christmas” was supposed to do better but didn‘t. “Doctor Sleep” is the sequel to “The Shining” while “Playing with Fire” is a John Cena family comedy. Ish. Not much to report.
We’re reaching the end of the year, and so far the biggest domestic box office hits by genre are:
Just the two genres, cartoons and superheroes, trading it off until “Joker,” a mixed genre film, which includes elements of both superhero and horror, arrives at No. 7. It's like a bridge to horror.
BTW: Anyone who's pushing back on what Martin Scorsese wrote/said about Marvel movies isn't really paying attention. Just look at that list. A culture that keeps voting for cartoons and superheroes is a culture that can vote for Donald Trump for president. It's a culture that can stand to the side, doing nothing, as constitutional, democratic and civil norms are violated daily.
Box Office: ‘Joker’ Breaks October Box Office Record
I‘ll refrain from “laughs all the way ...” jokes.
So, yes, “Joker”’s $93.5 million domestic haul is the biggest opening ever in October, beating out last year's supervillain movie, “Venom,” by about $13 million. But it's also the biggest opening ever for a movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. It beats out “Signs,” which opened to $60 million in 2002, “The Village” ($50 in 2004) and “Gladiator” ($34.8 in 2000).
As you go down that list, the thing you notice is no recent movies. Nothing this decade. We get movies from the 1980s (“Space Camp” and “Parenthood”) before anything from the past 10 years. All of this unadjusted.
Made me wonder: Did “Joker”'s opening beat the openings to all of Joaquin's 2010s movies combined? Yes, and it's not even close. His previous 10 movies opened to a total of $2 million. Not average. Total.
That made me wonder: Did “Joker”'s three days beat the entire domestic box office of Joaquin's other 2010s output? Check it out.
|2018||The Sisters Brothers||$3,143,056||$115,575|
|2018||Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot||$1,441,705||$83,339|
|2018||You Were Never Really Here||$2,528,078||$132,829|
|2010||I'm Still Here||$408,983||$96,658|
Some good movies in there, too. Three (“The Master,” “Her” and “Inherent Vice”) would be in the discussion for best movies of the decade. “The Master,” at least, would be in my discussion.
Haven't seen “Joker” yet but know the controversy. Interestingly, this argument (violence begets...) used to come from the right. Now it's the left.
It did well abroad, too: another $140 million. I guess some people don't want anything logical; some people just want to watch the world burn.
Elsewhere, “Hustlers” made enough $6.3 and is at $91, while “It Chapter Two” crossed the $200 million rubicon with another $5.3. I like that “Good Boys” is still out there. It finished 10th, adding another $900k for $83.
Box Office: J-Lo Makes it Rain, ‘IT 2’ Scares Up More
Girls just wanna have bonds.
Could “Hustlers,” in which sympathetic strippers rip off douchey Wall Street brokers in the lead-up to the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown, be Jennifer Lopez’s first $100 million movie? It came in second this weekend, grossing $33 million, and such films are usually right on the cusp. From recent years:
|2018||Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again||$34,952,180||$120,634,935||3,514|
|2016||The Magnificent Seven (2016)||$34,703,397||$93,432,655||3,696|
|2019||The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part||$34,115,335||$105,806,508||4,303|
|2018||A Wrinkle in Time||$33,123,609||$100,478,608||3,980|
|2017||Blade Runner 2049||$32,753,122||$92,054,159||4,058|
|2019||Men in Black International||$30,035,838||$79,800,736||4,224|
Is anyone surprised a J-Lo movie never broken $100? OK, two movies have—both animated, and neither really J-Lo movies: “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and “Home.” The best live-action grosser of hers if “Maid in Manhattan” from 2002 ($94) and “Monster-in-Law” from 2005 ($82). Her heyday. She’s only done seven live-actioners in the 14 years since 2005:
- 2007: “El Cantante” with Marc Anthony ($7.5)
- 2010: “The Back-Up Plan” with Alex O’Loughlin(?) ($37.4)
- 2012: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” with mostly female cast ($41.1)
- 2013: “Parker,” a Jason Statham actioner ($17.6)
- 2015: “The Boy Next Door,” threatened by a younger lover ($35.4)
- 2015: “Lila & Eve”(?) with Viola Davis ($0.038)
- 2018: “Second Act,” girl from the block succeeds in business world ($39.2)
Feels like a film festival in hell. In three days, “Hustlers,” which is supposed to be good (88%), has made almost as much money as almost any of them. Welcome back. Now don’t blow it.
Speaking of: “It: Chapter Two” won the weekend with another $40.7 mil, bringing its 10-day total to $153.8. Nothing to sneeze at ... unless you compare it to “It,” which grossed $218 domestic by this point. A little odd to me. It’s rare when a sequel to a good movie doesn’t do as well in the opening rounds. Because the first played off “Stranger Things” and now we’re kinda tired of it? Because it’s not kids? Because it’s not new? It’s still doing great, just not “It” great.
The fourth weekend of “Angel Has Fallen” grossed another $4.4 to bring its total to $60. The fifth weekend of “Good Boys” grossed another $4.2 to bring its total to $73. The ninth weekend of “Lion King” grossed at $3.5 to bring its total to $553.9.
The other wide opener, “The Goldfinch,” has buzz for a bit, but like so many September releases the buzz died fast: 25% RT, $2.6. The well-reviewed “Monos,” which I saw at SIFF last May, opened in five theaters to good reviews (91%) and little dough ($43k).
Box Office: Ampersand-Heavy ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Wins Weekend; But...
Not a fan of box office takes like these:
This hed is from Indie Wire, which should know better. And does, really. You read the article and it's all about why studios are reluctant to make new, original movies like “Once Upon a Time...” when even a spinoff from a profitable franchise can turn this kind of buck. But that's Box Office 101 these days. As Joe Henry sang in “Dirty Magazine”:
Just tell me everything I‘ve heard before
Like it was news
Like it was news
To me, the real story is that even though “Hobbs & Shaw” won the weekend, and did so with the 8th-best opening of the year, it’s way down from previous “Fast & Furious” franchise films:
- 2009: Fast & Furious: $70 mil
- 2011: Fast Five: $86
- 2013: Fast & Furious 6: $97
- 2015: Furious 7: $147
- 2017: The Fate of the Furious: $98
- 2019: Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs & Shaw: $60
Not sure what to make of that “Fast & Furious presents...” bit. Will other franchises follow suit? “Star Wars presents...” “Batman presents...” Just what we need: more colons in film titles. Not to mention ampersands.
After “F&FP:H&S,” the third weekend of “Lion King” came in at $38.2 for a domestic total of $430 and a worldwide take of $1.195 billion. It's now No. 2 both domestically and worldwide, beating out “Captain Marvel” on both charts.
Tarantino's take on LA 1969 dropped 51% for another $20 mil; it's at $78 domestic, which, unadjusted, is fourth-best for a QT movie, after “Django” ($162), “Inglourious” ($120), “Pulp” ($107). Adjust and “Pulp” is No. 1 at $228.
In true indie-wire news, “The Farewell” added 270 theaters for 409 total and grossed another $2.4 mil for $6.8. That's the movie you should go see. That and “Once Upon a Time in ... Hollywood.”
Box Office: How Often is the Biggest Movie of the Year (Worldwide) Not a Sequel?
I recently found out Box Office Mojo has a page that breaks down worldwide box office by year. This is helpful. I think of all the times I went to its overall worldwide box office page and searched by year. Now, no need.
If you go to the year-by-year page, what do you immediately notice? In the ‘90s, those titles were sure shorter, weren’t they? Because? Yes, they weren't sequels. No need for colons. Sometimes just a word would do. “Ghost.” “Aladdin.” “Titanic.”
A few years ago I did a post where I broke down, by decade, how often the biggest domestic movie of the year was a sequel. Wait, a few years ago? It's been 10 already. It looked like this:
- 1970s: 0
- 1980s: 2
- 1990s: 2
- 2000s: 7
Except this was before “Avatar” was released and it looked like “Transformers 2” would be No. 1 for 2009, so I included it in the 2000s. So if you correct that, and add this most recent decade (I'm assuming “Avengers: Endgame” has got it this year), it looks like this:
- 1970s: 0
- 1980s: 2
- 1990s: 2
- 2000s: 6
- 2010s: 9
I should clarify: I'm not just counting sequels, but prequels and “continuing universe” movies. So, to me, both “Avengers” and “Black Panther” fit that bill. The one year in the 2010s the No. 1 domestic movie wasn't a sequel, prequel or continuing universe movie? 2014: Clint Eastwood's “American Sniper.” It's also the lowest-grossing of the decade's top-grossing films: $350 million. About a third of what “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” made a year later.
Anyway, that's how we look domestically.
And worldwide? For which we now have a page? It's similar:
- 1990s: 2
- 2000s: 8
- 2010s: 9
The only top worldwide movies this century that weren't sequels, prequels or “continuing universe” movies were:
- 2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (because it was first)
- 2009: Avatar (ditto)
- 2013: Frozen (ditto)
The top movies for the last six years have all been colon movies: Long titles with a colon in the middle, as “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” The days of one-word titles dominating? Gone like “Ghost.”