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. Well, It’s time to review my first week of predictions. Results: I sucked eggs. But like Cool Hand Luke, I’m going to turn a belly full of chicken babies into a legendary resurgence. Or something like that. Let’s review some Box Office History, shall we?
The Trends: October 24th – 27th.
This week has three distinct trends: Oscar Bait, Horror franchises, and Raunchy Comedy. In the lead up to Oscar season, movie studios are starting to push out their top tier talent. As we saw this week, sometimes packing the bench with talent does not equal great success. Especially when Johnny Knoxville is on the scene. This guy is starting to generate numbers like an action hero, and I’m not referencing stinkers like The Last Stand with an aging Arnold in tow.
Gravity just barely slipped out of the stratosphere this week, and star packed Cormac McCarthy vehicle The Counselor failed to launch. In previous years, golden statue hopefuls like Argo (2012), K-PAX (2001), Pleasantville (1998), and Jagged Edge (1985) all managed to pull down the top spots, if not the little gold plated man.
This year is an oddity in that no real horror franchise has emerged. Carrie is a remake that is not earning very well, and other horror movies are virtually non-existent. In previous years, 2 different Paranormal Activity movies took the honors, 3 Saw iterations placed #1, a Halloween did well, an I Know What You Did Last Summer made the list, and even Scary Movie 3 (2003) was Box Office gold. What, has Hollywood forgotten how to axe murder teenagers this year?
Currently, Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa is killing at the theaters. I know. The skit about a dude walking around with his nuts out is now a major motion picture. I hate the world, too.
In previous soul crushing years, Scary Movie 3 (2003) and Jackass (2002) did well, The Beverly Hill Billies (1993) and House Party 2 (1991) also released well. Not making the cut but sopping up dough, each Jackass movie has come out in late September/October, meaning we may be well on our way to seeing more of this staged gross out comedy staple, every few years around this time. I can’t wait for Enemas and You starring Steve O.
The Week That Was: Results
Well, time to recap last weeks predictions. If you want to be generous, I managed to get one of the top three movies correct, with Gravity holding steady. If you want to be a purist, I managed to go 0 for 3, swinging so badly the St. Louis Cardinals have picked up my waiver. Zing, World Series joke! (God, I hope they lose, or I predict another one wrong…)
Gravity slipped a spot below predicted, but stayed on the table. Carrie did nothing money-wise and was not top three, and The Counselor did not repeat Argo‘s feat, and instead had one of the worst openings for a major release this year. So, solid effort on my part.
The Week That Will Be
Time to dial it in and predict winners. With Science!
#1 Free Birds: Here’s my thinking here. Seven of next weeks winners are kids movies. Free Birds has the highest number of theater releases next week. Jackass has suffered a 30% or greater fall off each movie, making their take next week 20k at best. I have to believe that one new release this week will break 20k, and this is my bet. This movie goes number 1.
#2 Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa: Jackass movies own October. The drop of for these silly and dangerous gag-fests is a modest 30%, meaning they earn quite well second week. Apparently the 20-30 male audience they court likes to see nut shots more than once. Hell, they’ve made four movies so far, they DEFINITELY like to see nut shots more than once. Bank on this movie for another go around.
#3 Ender’s Game: This movie is supposed to be the Gravity killer, soaking up the IMAX dollars and taking all the nerd oxygen out of the theaters. I don’t see it. Gravity got people into IMAX who don’t usually go, and was tailored to a general audience with friendly stars like Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. It was the perfect marriage of thriller and spectacle, getting both science enthusiasts, nature IMAX documentarians, and heart-throb fans to plunk down money. Sci-Fi spectacle has been good, but not great this year (Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, Elysium, Star Trek Into Darkness, Riddick) and the well may be dry. Still, the buzz is there, and I think this movie will pull 15k. Also, Orson Scott Card is a jerk-wad who tried to soft pedal his anti-equality statements just to get this movie done, so I think personal animosity will hinder this flick. I won’t be seeing it, and I fricking love Sci-Fi. Suck it, Card. Or not, as your personal liberties allow.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.