erik lundegaard

Hollywood B.O.: “Now batting for the movie industry, hitting .083 ...”

This is the weekend, the last weekend in March, when not one movie but two movies finally huffed over the $100 million mark. Congratulations, “Rango,” now at $105 million. You, too, “Just Go With It,” now at $100 million. Nice try, “Green Hornet,” stuck at $97 million. On the plus side, you have the largest worldwide gross of any 2011 movie: $227 million.

These three movies, by the way, are also the three movies that opened in the most theaters this year.

Let's look at that, shall we? Thus far in 2011, we have 12 movies that have opened in more than 3,000 theaters. Here they are: sorted by domestic gross, and including top critics/Rotten Tomatoes score. Think of them as the movies Hollywood thinks we want to watch :

Box office grosses for 2011 movies that opened in more than 3,000 theaters

Basically one decent movie out of 12. In baseball, that's an .083 batting average, which is the kind of average that gets you canned. But in baseball, you're still judged more on the quality of play than the number of asses in the seats.

It's nice to see that the one “hit” is also the one hit. The best-reviewed, “Rango,” is the most-watched. Meanwhile, crap movies for boys can do well (“Green Hornet,” “Just Go With It”) but crap movies for girls tend to die quickly (“Red Riding Hood”). Why Hollywood focuses on the boys.

The sad totals.

No tagsPosted at 03:23 PM on Sun. Mar 27, 2011 in category Movies - Box Office  


Uncle Vinny wrote:

Is making $100 million their criteria for “decent”? How much did it cost them to make those movies and put them into the 3000 theaters? I would guess they still made money on most of those, so maybe they're feeling OK about their batting average?

Comment posted on Sun. Mar 27, 2011 at 04:18 PM

Erik wrote:

Oh, no doubt. “Asses in the seats” over “quality” every day in Hollywood.

My argument is always that “quality” will get you more “asses in the seats”; but it also requires work, and possibility creativity, as well as some risk, and that's why H-wood tends to avoid it.

As for production budgets: ask and you shall receive:

1. “Mars Needs Moms”: $150 million
2. “Rango”: $135m
3. “Green Hornet”: $120m
4. “Sucker Punch”: $82m
5. “Just Go With It”: $80m
6. “Battle: Los Angeles”: $70m
7. “I Am Number Four”: $60m
8. “Red Riding Hood”: $42m
9. “Unknown”: $30m
10. “No Strings Attached”: $25m
11. “Wimpy Kid”: $21m
12. “Justin Bieber”: $13m

Ad budgets not included. If anyone knows where they are, feel free.

Factor this in, “Mars Needs Moms” really bombed and “Justin Bieber” really rocked.

Comment posted on Sun. Mar 27, 2011 at 04:38 PM
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