Weekly Box Office and Film Discussion Thread

jvcarroll

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Someone suggested we create a thread to track the weekly motion picture box office figures. Well, here goes. This weekend "The Avengers" held strong while "Battleship" washed up in second. Both films opened to foreign markets before hitting their native North America audience. This seems to have given "Battleship" a much-needed push to help make back some of its sizable budget before getting panned by American critics.

Even the Muppets claimed nearly 50% of its box office success from overseas ticket sales. In recognition of this, it is said that Disney & Marvel's "Iron Man 3" will be budgeted in part by Chinese corporations. The world of film is a pale shadow of what it once was. Studios hope to breathe new life into the movies via the allure of IMAX screens, 3D technology and global interest.

"The Avengers" is now the 4th largest grossing film of all-time and will likely find a solid spot in third place behind "Avatar" and "Titanic. I have doubts "The Dark Knight Rises" will be able to crack this newfound territory. It's a less family-friendly movie than Marvel's offering and that translates into fewer repeat family viewings. I could be wrong, but the new Batman trailers just don't give me the same goosebumps the last one did.

I also think "The Amazing Spider-Man" is going to be quite the hit even though it may seem unlikely because of Sam Raimi's popular trilogy. The only reason Sony is making another one so soon after the disappointing "Spider-Man 3" is because the film rights will revert to Marvel and Disney without an active Spidey project every few years and that deadline was coming due. They're rebooting because they figure why meet the previous actors insanely high salary demands when they can just sign fresh, new stars to multi-picture deals for pennies on the dollar. I think we'll be seeing more of these old studio franchise contracts. It worked for "Twilight." Anyway, the new Spidey looks good to me. It's a fresh take without retreading too many old waters.

Here are this week's domestic box office estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com:


TW LW Title Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 1 Marvel's The Avengers BV $55,057,000 -46.6% 4,249 -100 $12,958 $457,078,000 $220 3
2 N Battleship Uni. $25,300,000 - 3,690 - $6,856 $25,300,000 $209 1
3 N The Dictator Par. $17,415,000 - 3,008 - $5,790 $24,456,000 $65 1
4 2 Dark Shadows WB $12,770,000 -57.0% 3,755 - $3,401 $50,908,000 $150 2
5 N What to Expect When You're Expecting LGF $10,500,000 - 3,021 - $3,476 $10,500,000 - 1
6 8 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel FoxS $3,250,000 +21.6% 178 - $18,258 $8,257,000 - 3
7 4 The Hunger Games LGF $3,000,000 -33.4% 2,064 -467 $1,453 $391,631,000 $78 9
8 3 Think Like a Man SGem $2,700,000 -53.6% 1,722 -330 $1,568 $85,888,000 $12 5
9 5 The Lucky One WB $1,765,000 -57.0% 2,005 -834 $880 $56,921,000 - 5
10 7 The Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony $1,450,000 -53.9% 1,840 -1,239 $788 $25,362,000 $55 4
 

Drtooth

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I also think "The Amazing Spider-Man" is going to be quite the hit even though it may seem unlikely because of Sam Raimi's popular trilogy. The only reason Sony is making another one so soon after the disappointing "Spider-Man 3" is because the film rights will revert to Marvel and Disney without an active Spidey project every few years and that deadline was coming due. They're rebooting because they figure why meet the previous actors insanely high salary demands when they can just sign fresh, new stars to multi-picture deals for pennies on the dollar. I think we'll be seeing more of these old studio franchise contracts. It worked for "Twilight." Anyway, the new Spidey looks good to me. It's a fresh take without retreading too many old waters.
Not entirely true. They've rebooted the franchise because the third movie was an unholy mess of screwed up concepts and the toy companies wanting to shove as many villains as possible into the film. In the end, we had a weak Venom story that made the film outright cartoonish. And bad cartoonish at that. Originally, the film was supposed to have a very significant story featuring the Vulture... but what kid wants to play with an action figure of a Mr. Burns looking old man dressed as a bird?

If they were smart, they would have introduced the alien symbiote in Spider-Man 3, had the story with Vulture, and built up to Venom in a final fourth movie. But they went all Superman 3 and made something 5 year olds didn't even like.

So basically the trend has been rebooting franchises in a matter of years, not a decade (like it basically took with the new Batman movies). It's like how we had 2 Hulk films... both just kinda fizzled. I hear they want to make yet another reboot, quite possibly more in tune to the Avengers version of the character... they need Joss Wedon to write it. The reason why the character worked so well in The Avengers is that everyone involved didn't over think the Hulk, trying to make it this overly emotional deep thought provoking mess. Joss took the prime cut of the character, he gets mad and goes into a rage and smashes stuff, and didn't fuss over the whole deal.

As for the Dark Knight... I'm very excited about it and all, but it's hard to be worked up over Bane. The first film was great, but the second one blew it away on every level. But let's face it. What was exciting about the second film was their interpretation of Batman's most famous villain. DK only seems to have Bane and the rise of Catwoman. Especially since the internet was buzzing about it being a Riddler or Penguin movie, who's excited for a character like Bane?
 

jvcarroll

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Not entirely true. They've rebooted the franchise because the third movie was an unholy mess of screwed up concepts and the toy companies wanting to shove as many villains as possible into the film.
Sony didn't care about the content of the last film because it still sold a lot of tickets and toys. They were pleased to have the script, director and cast intact for S4 and S5, S6 along with a Venom movie were in the works. The main reason Sony didn't pull the trigger due was because of the needlessly bloated budget due to star salaries. Tobey Maguire was getting $50 million! Kirsten Dunst was headed for the $20 million mark and Sam Raimi's paycheck and creative demands proved too much for Sony.

They saw the success of films like "Twilight" that took popular properties, signed young attractive stars to multi-picture deals and slashed the budget to bits. This leaves an enormous profit margin for the studio. They're saving $49.5 million dollars on "The Amazing Spider-Man" by hiring an energetic Andrew Garfield over the complacent Toby Maguire. The new Spidey is reportedly getting only half-a-mil. "Spider-Man 4" would have approached the $300 million mark in a down-economy. That, along with retaining cinematic rights, are the primary reasons behind this reboot. Sony's fine with spending money to make money, but they want to see it on the screen. I don't blame them.
 

Drtooth

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I must've heard something different. Of course, I heard it several years ago.

But then again, the third movie got so much flack from the very same people that liked the first two, it probably didn't seem worth the gamble in the long run. Even if Sony was willing to pay their ego based salaries, I'm sure most of the demographic wouldn't want to see any further films if they were 3's quality. I mean, I know people who loved the first two when they came out... then number 3 came along and they actually HATE the whole franchise as a result. I'm sure a fourth movie would have made a lot of money, but just the fact the third one was completely screwed up, I don't think many people would care to see it. Unless it got word of mouth that it got better.

And frankly, it's for the best. Those high salaries could have very well saved the public from Spidey burn out for one. Plus... let's face it. The two Super hero movie franchises that reached the fourth movie didn't exactly make it to a fifth. Superman 4 was awful (not that the third one wasn't a piece of garbage either... we can thank the hacks that Warners hired to screw up the second film for that), and I needn't mention Batman and Robin. It's best if characters go away for a while and then come back anyway. We'll see if that works for Spidey this time.
 

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I don't even think super hero movies have a chance after "The Avengers".
It was just too good. I think everyone will be expecting too much.
 

jvcarroll

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I must've heard something different. Of course, I heard it several years ago.

But then again, the third movie got so much flack from the very same people that liked the first two, it probably didn't seem worth the gamble in the long run. Even if Sony was willing to pay their ego based salaries, I'm sure most of the demographic wouldn't want to see any further films if they were 3's quality. I mean, I know people who loved the first two when they came out... then number 3 came along and they actually HATE the whole franchise as a result. I'm sure a fourth movie would have made a lot of money, but just the fact the third one was completely screwed up, I don't think many people would care to see it. Unless it got word of mouth that it got better.

And frankly, it's for the best. Those high salaries could have very well saved the public from Spidey burn out for one. Plus... let's face it. The two Super hero movie franchises that reached the fourth movie didn't exactly make it to a fifth. Superman 4 was awful (not that the third one wasn't a piece of garbage either... we can thank the hacks that Warners hired to screw up the second film for that), and I needn't mention Batman and Robin. It's best if characters go away for a while and then come back anyway. We'll see if that works for Spidey this time.
There was definitely a tug-of-war last time, but it's the close to $100 million pricetag just to cast the thing along with another $200+ to make it and another $100 to market it that put the nail in the coffin. I mention "Twilight" not for it's quality, but for its success, longevity and business model. The risk vs reward is unbeatable. They feel that if a film is going to cost upwards of $200 million, that it should be seen on screen rather than hiding in the cast members' bloated bank accounts. As a moviegoer, I agree with that. Each sequel's budget will bloat exponentially, of course. Rebooting under this new model makes the best sense. Plus, Andrew Garfield makes a much better Spider-Man in the classic sense. It's like comparing Keaton's Batman to Bale. Both have their merits, yet one is far more accurate. Anyway, here's the breakdown that explains why every movie company wants to sign young people to multi-picture franchises under the Twilight model.


Twilight: $37 M Cost = $392,616,625 Worldwide (Result = 11.5x the Budget)
Spider-Man: $139 M Cost = $821,708,551 Worldwide (Result = 6x the Budget)

New Moon: $50 M Cost = $709,827,462 Worldwide (Result = 14x the Budget)
Spider-Man 2: $200 M Cost = $783,766,341 Worldwide (Result = 4x the Budget)

Eclipse: $68 M Cost = $698,491,347 Worldwide (Result = 10x the Budget)
Spider-Man2: $258 M Cost = $890,871,626 Worldwide (Result = 3.5x the Budget)

Breaking Dawn 1: $110 M Cost = $705,058,657 Worldwide (Result = 6.5x the Budget)
Amazing Spider-Man: $200+M Cost...

I don't even think super hero movies have a chance after "The Avengers".
It was just too good. I think everyone will be expecting too much.
I have some hope for Spidey. It's the others that may fizzle. The Dark Knight Rises trailers aren't jazzing theater audiences the way it should. Next year's Man of Steel is going to be a very interesting experiment to see if the father of all superheroes can win back the fans.
 

Drtooth

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Rebooting the franchise instead of just making a 4 with other talent (something that they could have done hypothetically) is the best thing they can do with the franchise. It gets the bad taste out of Spider-Man 3 out of the public's collective mouths.

Twilight inspired or not, the films have to differentiate from those films for fear they'll look like a retread anyway. Unfortunately, that means we're going to get another origin based movie. And the more I see them, the less I want to see origins in Super Hero movies. You wind up spending the first movie doing two things... retelling a story we all already know, and worse... you spend a good chunk of the movie with the hero acting like a goofball discovering his powers and running around playing with them. That's why Green Lantern was so screwed up. I want to see more Super Hero movies take place in the middle, when the character's an established hero. That's why the 1990's Batman and even Batman Begins worked well... they told the origin in flashback form, instead of using a whole movie.

I have some hope for Spidey. It's the others that may fizzle. The Dark Knight Rises trailers aren't jazzing theater audiences the way it should. Next year's Man of Steel is going to be a very interesting experiment to see if the father of all superheroes can win back the fans.
You know... I honestly think they should have tried with a follow up to Superman Returns where Superman fought a much larger villain. I don't think there's any desire to see Superman fight Lex Luthor yet again. A Superman movie where he has to fight Darkseid or Brainiac? That would get people into their seats. It's a shame that Superman Returns was an establishment film that they could spring board off of. That would be like if the Muppet movie failed and there was no second movie coming.
 

Drtooth

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I hate to double post, but I want to see if anyone wants to carry on a conversation about this.

Anyone else kinda disappointed that Battleship made back its money, especially overseas? It really seems like they're rewarding very bad decisions made exclusively by producers and giving them the reason to make more. I'm sure we'll see a Battleship 2 followed by Connect Four, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Operation.

I have no problem with the concept of a toy based movie, even though the Transformers franchise is in hands incapable of making a decent movie. I like how G.I. Joe 2 is in a month people will actually see movies now. But doesn't Hasbro have any other big toy lines to make films out of... something that has a story behind it and preferably a cartoon series that proves its worthy enough for a film release? I'm sure if they made a bigger budget My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie enough little girls and Bronies would see the thing. Heck... even Jem deserves a movie more than Battleship does.

Now, I like Hasbro, but why do they feel the need to make a movie franchise out of board games? It's not enough that they have the Transformers films that somehow people keep seeing, or the action figure license to every Marvel Blockbuster?

And for that matter, what about Mattel? Why haven't they done that He-Man film they were talking about yet? It couldn't possibly be any worse than the other live action He-Man film.
 

jvcarroll

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I hate to double post, but I want to see if anyone wants to carry on a conversation about this.

Anyone else kinda disappointed that Battleship made back its money, especially overseas? It really seems like they're rewarding very bad decisions made exclusively by producers and giving them the reason to make more. I'm sure we'll see a Battleship 2 followed by Connect Four, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Operation.

I have no problem with the concept of a toy based movie, even though the Transformers franchise is in hands incapable of making a decent movie. I like how G.I. Joe 2 is in a month people will actually see movies now. But doesn't Hasbro have any other big toy lines to make films out of... something that has a story behind it and preferably a cartoon series that proves its worthy enough for a film release? I'm sure if they made a bigger budget My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie enough little girls and Bronies would see the thing. Heck... even Jem deserves a movie more than Battleship does.

Now, I like Hasbro, but why do they feel the need to make a movie franchise out of board games? It's not enough that they have the Transformers films that somehow people keep seeing, or the action figure license to every Marvel Blockbuster?

And for that matter, what about Mattel? Why haven't they done that He-Man film they were talking about yet? It couldn't possibly be any worse than the other live action He-Man film.

Battleship will still be a loss considering the marketing budget and percentage of box office receipts the studios receive from ticket sales. It's not in John Carter territory, but Universal is still facing a substantial loss even after the home video market. I feel bad for the lead actor Taylor Kitsch for his bad luck of starring in both box office turkeys. They were smart to release Battleship overseas before the Avengers and the US market.

I hope companies are learning their lesson that expensive, empty, effects-driven movies just aren't worth the risk anymore. A concept isn't enough. These films need compelling stories from solid writers.

I just came back from Tim Burton's $150 million budgeted "Dark Shadows" and was gravely disappointed. It too will likely squeak by at $150 worldwide, but that doesn't consider marketing or how much studios will net either. Warner Bros is definitely facing a loss and this will not be another great franchise for them. I am convinced that Tim Burton is completely out of ideas! All he does is juxtapose Johnny Depp to some beautiful and quirky art direction. The cast, the idea and the set pieces were in place and then...nothing happened. But we get to see Alice Cooper so that's something.
 

Drtooth

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Battleship will still be a loss considering the marketing budget and percentage of box office receipts the studios receive from ticket sales. It's not in John Carter territory, but Universal is still facing a substantial loss even after the home video market. I feel bad for the lead actor Taylor Kitsch for his bad luck of starring in both box office turkeys. They were smart to release Battleship overseas before the Avengers and the US market.

I hope companies are learning their lesson that expensive, empty, effects-driven movies just aren't worth the risk anymore. A concept isn't enough. These films need compelling stories from solid writers.
I really hope that's the case. Like I said, I see the call for toy based movies to move a franchise along (even though Transformers should have had better people involved) as much as I see the need for cartoons based on toy lines. But ONLY if the story is strong enough on its own. G.I. Joe and Transformers have the advantage of countless cartoon and comic book adaptions. Battleship has a flimsy premise to begin with. A hard core patriotic pro-war movie in a post-Iraq world that has to use aliens to remain impartial. There's no characters in the original version, details recalling the actual product will come off ridiculous (the aliens allegedly shoot missiles shaped exactly like the pegs), and over all the fact that it's based off a board game can't settle well in the public's eye.

Still, I agree completely that special effects driven movies are ruining themselves. And what's worse, they make the GOOD films that use special effects look bad. Avengers is a fun movie that found the balance between serious comic book story and fun comic book movie. That's a delicate line that most fall under. Like Green Lantern did.

I just came back from Tim Burton's $150 million budgeted "Dark Shadows" and was gravely disappointed. It too will likely squeak by at $150 worldwide, but that doesn't consider marketing or how much studios will net either. Warner Bros is definitely facing a loss and this will not be another great franchise for them. I am convinced that Tim Burton is completely out of ideas! All he does is juxtapose Johnny Depp to some beautiful and quirky art direction. The cast, the idea and the set pieces were in place and then...nothing happened. But we get to see Alice Cooper so that's something.
At this point, Tim Burton movies are for Tim Burton fans only. He's stuck in a rut of being himself and making all his films the same way. Still, I question the merits of making a movie based on a concept based soap that the target audience is far too young to even have heard of. if a Dark Shadows movie happened even 10 years ago, I'm sure there would be some heft behind the box office, but the kids seeing this are in their 20's and 30's. Maybe even Teens. And it's not like you can go to Target and pick up a Dark Shadows best of DVD set.

But Tim needs to get out of his comfort zones of Johnny Depp (who by far has MORE fun in the POTC movies and Rango than anything Tim has done in the past decade) being paired with his wife (all great directors have some weird deep seated issue, but enough's enough there) in a goth friendly setting. Frankenwienie looks like it has limitless potential to be his better film... but it's going to be one of those films he takes all the credit for.
 
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