This Week in Box Office History
TWBOH takes a look at the last 30 years of top grossing movies. Sifting through the celluloid, we review audience preferences and spot the trends in movie watching history. Holy nothing but super hero movies, Batman! Nine number once out of 30 years of data. They’re evenly spaced, too. Despite the modern trend of Marvel Studios making out like bandits at the box, we have super hero action going all the way back to 1983’s Superman III…and only two of the nine are Marvel comics based. Let’s check out this week’s top movies.
The Week That Was: tripped over my cape.
Unlike the box office trends, I was less than super at forecasting this weeks winners. My number 2 pick, 22 Jump Street exploded at the box office, making 57 million. Not only did 22 Jump Street destroy the competition, it also was head and shoulders above the first movie. You can be sure that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will be back at 23 Jump Street in the near future.
My pick for top flick stumbled out of the gate, and How to Train your Dragon 2 did a respectable by underwhelming 49 million. Compared to the original, it was a dud. Perhaps the long separation between the two films (the first came out in 2010) hindered it, but I’m still surprised that the ONLY kids movie out since Rio 2 failed to draw audiences in a big way. It has very sparse competition going forward and may make back its money over the long haul, but studios have to be wondering about the two big animated flops we’ve already seen this summer. With the next movie due up being Planes: Fire and Rescue (a sequel to a film that flopped) I can see this summer being a three-peat of failed CGI sequels.
A Fault in our Stars sank like a stone this week, shedding a terrifying 70% at the cinemas and falling to 5th place, behind Maleficent and Edge of Tomorrow. While I’m glad Maleficent is standing strong as predicted, I’m curious as to the precipitous decline of Fault‘s fortunes. With all the advance hype, perhaps everyone interested got a ticket for the first week.
The Week That Will Be: Predictions
#3. HTTYD 2. I’m not typing the damn name out again, so Dragon 2 had better take this opportunity to improve itself. Maybe this week it manages to catch kid’s attention, but I don’t see it getting enough steam to leap-frog the competition. Despite their not being a whole lot of competition. Make hay while the sun shines, HTTYD2, make hay.
#2. 22 Jump Street. I don’t see much that could knock this film out of the top three…but it could easily swap places with Dragon 2 this week. It has a big bank going into the second inning, and therefore can weather a 50% or so drop better, but animated movies tend to age better, and Jump Street may lose a bit of its audience to Think Like a Man, Too. All caveats aside, I like this one for #2 simply due to its bigger bank roll.
#1. Think Like a Man, Too. Nothing but gambles this week: The original Think Like a Man did reasonably well at the box, with 39 million, but that was back in 2012, before Tyler Perry sucked all the oxygen out of the room with his relentless movie onslaught. That being said, Kevin Hart has an appearance in this film, and has been dominant at the box office the past couple of outings. I think this flick will sail between the two extremes of a Madea flop and a Kevin Hart hit and make a respectable 35-40 million for itself.
What I’ll Be Seeing: The Rover.
While I doubt the strong word of mouth will be sufficient to boost this “post western” into the big three, I do hope that The Rover will do respectable business. Guy Pierce has made some truly memorable movies in the past, and it has been a long damn time since we had a decent western. The premise seems like Unforgiven meets Mad Max, and there is nothing about that combo that I don’t like. The idea of westerns being as ideally suited to discuss the decline of western civilization’s (read US) power and prestige as they were suited to praising its rise intrigues me, so I am hoping to see more of this genre in the future.
A quick milestone: next week is the one year anniversary of This Week In Box Office History. The format has changed since the early days, and it will most likely change again, as I’ve already discussed the movies and trends of those weeks. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with it and kept up with the posts, its been a real eye-opener to see how movies have trended over the last decades, and to see how those trends have predicted what will be big in any given week.
The major movies this week were all wearing capes and masks (except for Dick Tracy…but that guy was a weirdo anyway.) DC comics has the lion’s share of the hits, which I’m sure Warner Studios is desperately waving around to backers as a reason to support their “us too!” method of rolling out the Justice League. There are Batmen and Supermen galore, and even the Green Lantern took a number 1 slot, which shows that audiences really have more faith than sense. The two Marvel adaptations were the Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four 2.
Sequels are still big business, both within and without the Super Hero genre. Thanks Rambo, for keeping it down on the home-front.
As for original properties, Arnold gets the award again for his nuanced and sentimental look at culture and friendship: I’m of course talking about Predator. Now keep it down Dillon, and don’t give away our position…
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.