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. We’re back to sequel season, because the surest way to create a blockbuster is to clone a blockbuster. Expect to see a lot of roman numerals in your movie titles from now till the end of summer.
The Week That Was: X-Men get a bright future?
Bryan Singer was given a golden opportunity to rewrite history with X-Men: Days of Future Past. Borrowing the best bits from previous movies, he managed to string together enough likable characters and tense battles to revive the ailing series, despite still thinking that Wolverine and Magneto are the only two interesting mutants in the whole universe. Sigh. At least we’ve been promised that a new villain will take center stage in the next movie…though expect Magneto to suddenly stab everyone in the back and become the REAL villain with 20 minutes left in the film. At 110 million in box office sales, X-Men DoFP was the big winner, and managed to pass most of the opening weekends of past X-Men movies.
Second place went to Godzilla, who crashed and burned as anticipated. It has a lot of steam to lose…and nearly managed to lose all of it anyway. The deceptive marketing strategy, declining 3-D returns, and general ho-hum reviews managed to hurt the big green guy more than two rampaging mantis bugs who like to eat missiles. A 38 million dollar take was a huge blow to the film, and estimates of its lifetime earnings took a big step down as well.
Despite my cavalier dismissal of Adam Sandler‘s fan-base, it turns out that you can indeed teach old dogs new tricks. The trick this time out was to avoid his shitty comedies like the plague. Blended managed a 3rd place finish, but just barely. The 17 million opening is one of Sandler’s worst. Even Jack and Jill opened higher (and did anyone watch the trailer for that PoS before buying a ticket? It looked like garbage…and the trailer is supposed to be the best moments of the film!)
The Week That Will Be: Predictions.
#3: X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Singer gave us a solid X-Men title this time around, but unfortunately the franchise as a whole has not been known to hold its audience over time. A 60% drop is in the cards, which still leaves this film in a comfortable position in the 45-50 million range.
#2: A Million Ways to Die in the West. This film (I refuse to type its name out every damn time) could really go either way. It has the bonus of Seth MacFarlane‘s empire of fans. Likewise, Ted, MacFarlane’s last live action outing, really charmed audiences with its nostalgia, immaturity, and intelligent potty humor. The knock on this film is that Seth is starring in it, not just producing it. It also happens to look like every rotten stereotype imaginable will be on display for crass humor. MacFarlane has managed to just skirt complete misogyny in his previous outings (mostly because the men are so dumb, the female leads are paragons of human virtue in comparison) but this time out the female characters run the gamut from whore, to whore the leading man is in love with. Who knew the only women in the old west were whores? Must have made church on Sunday interesting. I see it making a big splash at 50-60 million, but quickly fading away afterwards.
#1: Maleficent. I believe that prognosticators are getting Maleficent all wrong by comparing it to previous live action fairy-tale flicks like Snow White and the Huntsman and Oz the Great and Powerful. The difference is in the star attached to the project. This isn’t a fairy tale movie with Angelina Jolie in it, it’s an Angelina Jolie movie that happens to have fairy tale bits. As such, I think it will massively over perform that genre, as it gives ladies a powerful and relate-able focus. Given that the summer is going to be mostly meat-heads blowing stuff up, I think Maleficent is prime to make 75-80 million.Notable Movies
Its sequel city here. We have 3 Indiana Jones titles, 4 Star Wars, 2 Mission Impossible, 2 Shreks…you get the point. Even more franchises landed a single entry into this busy airport: Rambo II, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Hangover II, and Night at the Museum II. That is just the ones with a “II” in them. Were there any original properties out this week over the last 30 years?
Yes. The only one that counts:
That is good.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.