A Crisis At The Box Office
After five new release movies whiffed in the Box Office last week, Hollywood struck out again this Halloween weekend as four new movies went largely ignored in favor of the World Series and trick-or-treating. Sandra Bullock‘s political satire Our Brand Is Crisis, Bradley Cooper‘s Chef flick Burnt, drama 60 Minutes II, Truth with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, and horror comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse added to a plague of empty theaters.
The month ended on a downbeat note — the Halloween weekend’s total domestic box office amounted to $74 million, making it the worst-grossing weekend of the year.
Perhaps a oversaturation of the 30+ market fragmented the moviegoer audience, causing the studio’s to fight over scraps. Let’s take a look at some of the October releases: (The Highlighted films are specifically targeted for the 30+ crowd)
Big Stone Gap
Bridge Of Spies
Jem and The Holograms
The Last Witch Hunter
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Rock The Kabash
Our Brand Is Crisis
60 Minutes II
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
So much For diversity in Hollywood..
11 out of 18 wide releases this month were aimed at the same age group. Great job Hollywood!
Historically October is a excellent month for the older audiences. Movie aficionados and the more mature folks start searching out the “Award Season” films to either prep for the Oscar parties or to get away from the kids.
What the studio’s missed this year was the fact that most “critically acclaimed” films need a build up period and cannot be thrusted into wide release. Word of mouth is essential to these films.
The Gone Girl’s, Gravity’s, and Captain Phillip’s are outliers, Most Oscar hopefuls need a slow build.
For example: Birdman: A Virtue Of Ignorance had a meagre budget of $16.5 million, and opened in mid-October in just four theaters. Slowly Birdman added theaters as it positioned itself for the Thanksgiving holiday and eventually went on to earn over $103 million worldwide.
So this weeks big losers are: Our Brand Is Crisis, The Clooney/Warner Bros. $28 million joint venture had a $3.4 million debut marking the worst nationwide start of Sandra Bullock’s career. a passion project for the actress and Clooney, stars Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton as political operatives trying to influence a presidential election in Bolivia.
Burnt Didn’t fare much better earning just $5 million this weekend, and giving Bradley Cooper another flop under his belt, we may be saying Aloha to his leading man status if Bradley doesn’t have a hit soon.
I expect to see a bit of a bounce back with Spectre and the Peanuts Movie hitting the box office next week, with Spectre unseating the Martian for the #1 slot.
1. The Martian, $11.4 million
2. Goosebumps, $10.2 million
3. Bridge of Spies, $8.1 million
4. Hotel Transylvania 2, $5.8 million
5. Burnt, $5 million
6. The Last Witch Hunter, $4.8 million
7. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, $3.5 million
8. Our Brand Is Crisis, $3.4 million.
9. Crimson Peak, $3.1 million
10. Steve Jobs, $2.6 million.