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. It’s full steam ahead for movies targeting teens and children this week. Last week we had 11 movies aimed at the 17 and under crowd – this week we have 18! The only thing adults were able to take a Quantum of Solace in this season is that apparently 007 has the Golden Eye in November. That’s a lot of James Bond puns. I promise to Never Say Never to 007 puns again…
The Trends: November 21st – 24th
In a continuation of last weeks trends, we have three big winners: Teen Lit inspired movie franchises, holiday films for kids, and James Bond. OK, so that last one is new. Don’t get shaken or stirred up about it.
He’s So Dreamy…
This week all three big franchises based on young adult novels absolutely kill it. The Twilight series charts four separate films, Harry Potter has three, and Hunger Games just nuked the box office to the tune of 160 million dollars. I can guarantee you that publishing houses are signing every teen fantasy novel they can find in hopes of striking the next big franchise, despite two potential contenders – Percy Jackson and Ender’s Game, having done a solid face-plant into the pavement. I think we’ll be weathering this teen storm for a while to come now.
The younger crowd gets its share this weekend too, as animated and live action movies aimed at younger crowds mop up. Going all the way back to The Land Before Time in 1988, children movies made out like bandits. Toy Story started Pixar’s run in 1995, and series aimed at kids such as both Home Alone movies, both Adam’s Family films, and both Jim Carrey dressed as Dr. Seuss character flicks charted in the top position. Hell, even The Rugrats Movie took down a number 1 in 1998. Not a very choosy lot, those kids.
How is it that nobody ever catches Bond when he is perfectly willing to use his full name when infiltrating evil organizations? Does he absolutely murder every last living soul, so nobody gets to report that a guy named Jim Bond just stomped a new mud-hole in their secret manatees that can throw ninja stars extortion racket? I know he changes his appearance regularly, but the name is the same. Maybe everyone is looking for some old fart, since he’s been around for 40 years and counting now. Who knows? But Hollywood does know that it can count on Bond for big money with four top spot winners in November. Even knock-offs like Megamind and National Treasure were good for some gold this time around.
The Week That Was: Results
I notch another two correct picks, with THG: Catching Fire coming in at number one and Thor:TDW coming in second place. A distant second. Holy smoke, did Thor loose all of his mojo. He’s fading faster than Lance Armstrong without his performance enhancing *rest of sentence redacted to avoid litigation* Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, the only place I went wrong was in hoping Vince Vaughn could muster up a measly 10 million on an opening weekend. Without major help, his career is pretty much toast, toting up 3 bombs in one year is only good if you are in the bomb squad.
The Week That Will Be: Predictions
#1: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire. This movie already done caught fire, but even if it falls off the same cliff Thor ran into, it will make 75 million this week. Plenty enough to keep it at the head of the pack, since it’s been an iffy year for animated flicks, and Disney’s new flick Frozen is the only real competition on the horizon. And we’ve seen how this movie treats competition: expect this series to put a well placed arrow in its rival’s heart for at least one more week. Based on trend lines, probably for many weeks to come.
#2: Frozen. Despite my above statements, the historical trend lines have animated children movies, Disney films, and holiday themed movies doing extremely well. So Disney makes an animated holiday themed movie. They must read the same reports I do. Might explain the 70 years of box office dominance. Hell, next week they even cleaned up a top spot by re-releasing a movie. Must be nice to just blow dust off an old VHS and phone in another number one take. I’ll have what they’re having.
#3: Homefront. The 3rd spot is once again a mine-field. I don’t think the Sly Stone project, Homefront, is going to be anything to write home about. Hehe. Sly already dropped a dud on us this year with Escape Plan, and there are only a handful of action movies on next weeks list, though one of them is Sly’s Rocky IV. I just don’t see many movies that can make more than 10 million next week. Both comedies, Best Man and Delivery Man are falling out of this range, Thor is tanking so hard it can’t be expected to clear this modest hurdle, and while I hope that Spike Lee’s stab at Oldboy manages to gain traction, it has a limited release schedule this weekend. So, go get it Jason Statham. I remember the one or two good movies you made…
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.