erik lundegaard

The $67 Million Advantage

By the way, and related to yesterday’s post: If you take all 243 films that were released superwide (into 3,000 or more theaters) from 2004 to 2008, and divide them by Rotten Tomatoes' ranking (“fresh” meaning 60 percent or better from top critics, “rotten” 59 percent or worse), and total and then average the box office for each category, this is what you get:

All Superwide Releases, 2004-2008

No. of films
Total B.O.
B.O. Per Film
"Fresh" films
"Rotten" films

That's a $67 million advantage.

Are there extenuating circumstances? No doubt. "Fresh" superwide releases are more likely to open during the prime real-estate months of May, June, July, November and December—by a 66% to 47% ratio. Their marketing budgets may be bigger, too, but of course I have no data on that. (Does anyone?)

Most importantly, "fresh" films open, on average, in 231 more theaters than “rotten” films.

But even if you take away this advantage—by dividing the average box-office take by the average opening theater count—the “fresh” films are still much, much more lucrative:

All Superwide Releases, 2004-2008, by Theater Count

No. of films
Avg. B.O. 
Avg. Thtrs.
"Fresh" films
 3,581  $44,331
"Rotten films
 3,350 $27,385
It’s even more stark on the extremes—the superwide releases that garnered 90 percent or better from top critics vs. the superwide releases that garnered 9 percent or worse:
Best and Worst Superwide Releases, 2004-2008
RT Critic Rating
No. of films
Total B.O.
B.O. Per Film
 13 $2,996,670,616
 0-9% 25 $1,493,738,755

If you build it well, we will come.

Posted at 09:09 AM on Tue. Jun 23, 2009 in category Movies - Box Office  
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Hollywood Elsewhere
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