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. This week Thor took all of the cash money at the theater, and granted me a correct pick for the #1 spot. By Odin’s (or Anthony Hopkins’ preferably) raven! Let’s see what was going on this week in history and try to pick some more winners, shall we?
The Trends: November 7th – 10th
Odd week in movie going history, as it comes down to a monolithic line up of animated children’s fare and then a hodge-podge of adult genres. Digital animation seems like the surest bet Hollywood has ever lined up. I don’t think even Disney had it this good in their heyday when any old fairy tale movie would be guaranteed to place highly.
Digital Films Enter God Mode
Despite this year’s holiday CGI flick, Free Birds, being a flightless turkey (the puns write themselves…keep the stupid turkey movies coming, Hollywood!) it still managed a third place finish. It is uncertain if it will make its budget back at this pace, but I’m sure DVD and toy sales will keep the executives who approved it from take a swan dive out of their office windows.
Historically, kid’s movies cleaned house this week. Dating back to 2001’s Monsters, Inc, 8 digitally animated films took the hot spot, including brand names like The Incredibles, Madagascar, and Megamind. Perhaps the headless flopping of Free Birds will caution studios against just pushing any old animated garbage out the door, but with the last decades record of gargantuan successes, I wouldn’t bet on it.
As evidenced by the odd mix of a superhero and Jackass movie in the 1 and 2 spots this week, the rest of the historical trends are hardly trends. Recently, big name action films like Skyfall and Immortals did well, but comedies such as Borat and Charlie’s Angels also managed to score. In a week where cult classic They Live charted in 1988 only to be followed by Look Who’s Talking in 1989, you’re guess is as good as mine as to what the heck people were thinking.
The Week that Was: Results
Another week with a .333 batting average. Great for baseball, not so great for Vegas. I correctly picked Thor – The Dark World to crush out the competition, which it did handily. My other picks were nowhere near correct, and I am willing to throw Moviefone under the bus for telling me Ass Backwards was premiering last week, but not that it was a very limited screening run. Thanks for that. The worst part was that they also muffed a premier date for a movie that’s been out since January last week. Guess I’ll be sticking with Box Office Mojo for my release schedules from now on.
The Week that Will Be: Predictions
#1: Thor – The Dark World. With a really weak field already in play (Thor made eight times it’s nearest competitors, four movies all stuck in the low 10 millions range) and nothing of note on the horizon (unless you count the upcoming bomb Charlie Countryman* starring Shia “I’ve desecrated everyone’s childhood” LaBeouf) you can safely pick the thunder god to keep raining cash on Marvel Studios.
*Please do your part to bury Shia’s career in the shallow grave it deserves. Avoid this flick like the plague.
#2: The Best Man Holiday. A sequel to a comedy that did well…in 1999. This is a long shot, but movies in the same genre have usually totted up between 15 and 35 million on opening weekend. As stated above, most of the current field is struggling at 10 million, with a week to decay further. Not sure if this sequel can justify blowing the dust off of a 15 year old franchise, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
#3: Free Birds: OK, I may be picking this one just to get another week of bad bird puns out of my system. It’s been an under performer, but has lost little of its steam…since there was precious little to lose anyhow. As we approach Thanksgiving, it may just keep flapping it’s poor, broken little wings across the finish line. I really wish a deserving flick like Dear Mr Watterson, an indie documentary about Calvin and Hobbes comic strip creator Bill Watterson and his legacy to both fans and the comic industry, will make a splash, but with such a limited release this week, not likely.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.