erik lundegaard


Sunday 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:

  1. Midway: $17.5
  2. Doctor Sleep: $14.1
  3. Playing with Fire: $12.8
  4. 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:

  1. Superhero
  2. Animation
  3. Animation
  4. Superhero
  5. Superhero
  6. Animation
  7. Superhero/horror
  8. Horror
  9. Horror
  10. Action-adventure

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 civic norms are violated daily.

Posted at 09:54 PM on Sunday November 10, 2019 in category Movies - Box Office