Category Archives: Box-Office Buzz
The Fault in Our Stars was a surprise hit this weekend taking in the top spot with $48 million. Considering the recent pattern and franchise debuts that came in May, this is a huge surprise. But if one takes into effect that popularity of the book (which has over 10 million copies in print), one could be assured just how big this would catch on. Also, its successfully managed to reach its target audience that being of young women. According to Fox Studios, about 82% of viewers were female and about 79%were under the age of 25. Even the opening weekend gross compared to The Vow ($41.2 million) and Dear John ($30.5 million), this marked a new high in romantic films.
But not all new openers can be big hits. Tom Cruise and his latest sci-fi epic shows critical praise with but something went wrong. It ended up taking third place with $28.8 million which is even lower than John Carter ($30.2 million) and even Elysium ($29.8 million). Perhaps one can pinpoint this on the marketing for making it look like another grimy-war like future epic that we have seen before. That or perhaps the star power of Tom Cruise is unfortunately dwindling. Or maybe it bared too many similar traits to Oblivion from last year. Either way, this will be a hard one to see cross the $100 million mark that is if word of mouth will boost it.
In other news, Maleficent took the second spot with $34.3 million and has earned $128.2 million in the domestic ranks. X-Men: Days of Future Past dropped to fourth place with $15.2 million with $189.6 million domestically. And lastly, A Million Ways to Die In the West is literally dying hard with a really dismal drop to 5th place, a weekend gross of $7.3 million and has so far earned only $30.3 million domestically. Seth better be ready to bounce back because there is short chance this one will reach the $50 million mark.
Overall, this is not a bad start to June as we are only warming up.
Maleficent took the top spot domestically with $69.4 million and is so far #1 for this box-office weekend. Apparently this was quite the surprise as droves of families went to see the new Disney reimaging of Sleeping Beauty and its appeal to the female audience certainly shows. According to Box Office Mojo, the audience was 60 percent female and certainly was a summer highlight for being the first so far to be targeted at women. Though this can also be counted for fans of Disney version who know the iconic villain well enough for a spot in Disney history and its marketing really pushed the “think you know the tale” motif to stir some curiosity.
However, not all were pleased as it left critics mixed but surprisingly the audience was more in favor of it. As of this post, according to Rotten Tomatoes only 51% of the critics gave Maleficent a positive review while 77% percent enjoyed it. This is almost adjacent to another fairy tale reimaging back in 1991 with Steven Spielberg’s Hook which left critics mixed to negative but its viewership holds up really well. Its safe to say this family flick left a spell on its audience and one that last long depending on its reception in the home video market.
But not all movies have a fairy tale ending as Seth McFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die In The West” did have a happy weekend. Debuting in
third place with $16.8 million, this is considered a huge disappointment compared to Ted’s opening gross of $54 million. Seth’s dark western comedy bomb for a variety of reasons that I wish to theorize. One could be the fact that the marketing this month tried to push it so much that it felt forced to its viewers (accounting for having the “Ted” connection and spoiling a major cameo). It was almost like they didn’t even try to sell this picture as it only focused on its outrageous humor and none of the attributes from plot to its celebrities. Another could be the Oscar hosting back in 2013 that got a unanimous amount of negativity in regards to Seth’s comedic style and presentation that didn’t gel with every viewer.
On top of that, westerns seem to be a dying genre that gets an attempt to be boosted from the tombstone but is not getting anywhere. A good explain is last year’s The Lone Ranger that alienated viewers over wondering how a movie with such a major price tag can get made and yet disappoint. I don’t think there is a hint this genre is completely dead but considering past summer western flops like Cowboys and Aliens, Johan Hex and Wild Wild West, I think its time Hollywood started searching for another “Unforgiven” or “Tombstone” before declaring it completely dead. Or at the very least, release westerns in the off-season. Just a thought.
But the biggest nail in the coffin is the loyal viewers. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the critical reception was much worse than Maleficent obtaining only 33% positive reviews while its audience was only 51 %. To top it off, Seth’s popularity has been dwindling recently with the recent revamping to Family Guy as they killed a major character off for a short time that left a huge backlash. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Million Ways” passes the $50 million mark but I would actually settle for a night renting Blazing Saddles than this any day. At least pray Ted 2 improves something.
For the four day weekend, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was the victor for Memorial Day weekend as it took top spot with an estimated $111 million. But just looking at the three-day weekend structure for most movies, “Days of Future Past” grossed $$91.4 million. While this is an impressive feat, how does it hold with the franchise? While it was a massive improvement over X-Men First Class’s opening weekend gross of $55 million but it doesn’t match the $102 million The Last Stand snatched in its opening weekend. While a bit low behind other big openers this season like Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million), one should still regard its solid opening and its certainly a step-up from the previous X-Men flicks judging from its opening gross and “A” CineScore with positive word of mouth. Perhaps this will be a turn around for the franchise after all.
In second place is Godzilla with $31.1 million on its second weekend run ($39.4 millon if you go by Memorial Day standards). While this drop is not a hard one, its still a steep decline. The theory is that everyone went out to see the monster flick due to strong marketing and very much it became the movie viewers wanted or the one that left others half-pleased. My basic throught is that a good majority of folks itching to see its hype were the support for its $93.2 million. Thanks to its mixed word of mouth and though competition this week, its obvious to see why it stumbled a bit. But with $156.8 million already gained, one can be certain that its $160 million production budget will be obtained back in no time.
And not so surprising, the latest Adam Sandler comedy Blended grossed a dismal $14.2 million for third place (again, $18.2 million if you want to go by Memorial Day weekend gross). While a bit higher than That’s My Boy ($13.5 million), its still a very weak gross when compared to the $25 million opening Jack and Jill brought in (and even that was considered a disappointed gross). The buzz promised a return to the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedies in hopes of generating enough buzz, but it looks like it wasn’t enough. Interesting as popularity in Adam Sandler comedies have been shrinking over the past years. Oddly enough, even Adam admitted in a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel that this movie was made so he could take a vacation. Unfortunately, it feels that way already with some of his other entries.
This was an interesting fight as Godzilla took on the web-head himself and came out with an astounding top weekend spot at #1 with $93.2 million. The $160 million dollar epic has truly payed off in the long run for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures who finally succeeded in making a monster movie that is enjoyable but yet moving. However, not too many agree as other movie-goers felt it was a good flick but gave mixed reactions. The general consensus is that its well made but the satisfaction is only half there judging form its “B+” rating on CinemaScore and its Rotten Tomatoes score of the audience shows that 76% liked it. Either way, its a huge improvement over last year’s domestic bomb Pacfic Rim (which did better business overseas to save its hide) and far better than Roland Emmerich’s take (which I still have a heart for but for the wrong reasons.)
Else where, hyped as hell flicks Neighbors
and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 dipped this weekend as the Seth Rogan comedy took in $25.1 million in second place and Marc Webb’s highly anticipated sequel that is getting a mixed backlash dropped to third place $16.8 million. Still, both movies had a chance to shine in their brief opening runs and so far have gained back its production budget. However, their reception doesn’t match the high praise Legendary Picture’s giant monster is receiving as Marvel’s web-head got a lot of mixed reviews from the critics and Spider-Man fanbase while Neighbors was likened but its bawdy humor is obviously not for everyone.
With the major success of Godzilla, talks have a sequel are already in the works as director Garth Edwards (Monsters) hinted that it would be influenced by Destroy All Monsters with the “Monster Island” concept. Only time can tell when viewers will know which monsters will be retooled (Mothra anyone?….Ghiedorah?) or if any case, which creatures will be newly utilized.
But Godzilla has a new enemy surfacing this coming weekend. The much talked about X-Men: Days of Future Past and the less hyped Adam Sandler comedy Blended that reunites the struggling comic with Drew Barrymore. It seems things are repeat itself a bit with another Marvel property and a low-brow comedy but this time on the same weekend. Will the big lizard be able to hold them off for the top spot? Can Marvel strike again? And when do you think Adam Sandler will finally call in quits? The answers to all depend on what viewers are really champing at the bit for.
After much thought, I decided to resurrect my old blog with new reviews and such. I missed writing about movie reviews and that is something I want to keep on doing. So starting with the new Godzilla and the old, the Blockbuster Chronicles is back in business!!!
Its intersting how one Suess movie can go a long way. Last weekend, audiences were introduced to another big-screen adaptation from the work of Theodore Gissel, The Lorax. The story of a small orange creature (voiced by Danny DeVito) that tries to save the forrest it protects from being cut down is so far highly noted for being the first blockbuster gross of the year so far. In just one weekend alone, the creature that “speaks for the trees” was heard as it grossed $70 million, as well as gaining back its production budget. While critics were mixed about the environmental message and questiong of how its marketing with Mazda was contridicting the moral message the flick carried, it was no doubt a hit with viewers and a good sign that 2012 will be quite promising this year. Lightening stuck again this week as The Lorax took first place with a gross of $39 million and taking the #1 spot again.
However, while there is a hit, there is a flop. In the case of John Carter, the sci-fi story of a Civil War soilder that becomes a rebel on Mars, was predicted to be a disapointment at the box office. And no surprise, it was. The heavily panned Disney flick grossed in a mere $30 million, which is a not a very good figure for a $250 million budgeted flick. Even the midnight showings presented a sign as it took in a dismal $500,000.
Many factors are to blame for this bombing as most critics are pointing the finger at the marketing department. Either way, its not only a blow to the “House of Mouse” but a personal one to director Andrew Stanton. Better known for his work at PIXAR with Finding Nemo and Wall-E, this was his first live-action venture and its unknown if this could be his last.
Well three big titles went up to the home plate this weekend and while they seemed promising to do well, ended up underperforming to semi-disapointing grosses. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows managed to take spot #1 with $40 million, but that is short from the first installment’s debut of $62.3 million. In comparison, it was much lower than Tron Legacy’s weekend debut of $44 million. On that note, Alvin and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked grabbed to the #2 spot with $23.5 million, which is nearly half of The Squeakel’s weekend debut of $48.9 million. Despite the decent debuts, they still feel like they underperformed but for different reasons. Box Office Mojo theorizes that Game of Shadows “probably doesn’t have the sort of rabid fan base that will eagerly turn out for more of same, which seemed to bear out this weekend.” As for reasons of the third Alvin film’s not so great gross, “parents are probably being far more judicious in deciding what movies they will take their children to.”
On the bright side, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol did well for its limited release of 425 theaters and gaining $13 million. It has topped Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason ($8.7 million) as the highest grossing limited debut ever. By having Ghost Protocol be seen five days prior to the actually release date, at least Paramount Pictures made the latest installment feel like an event film that is worth seeing on the big screen. But will its success continue when it debuts Wednesday along side Tintin? That is battle worth waiting to see.
After a stunning three-week run, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is no longer in the top lead. However, the latest debut films turned to have quite a disappointing gross for the weekend. Garry Marshall’s follow-up to Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve which did gain the number spot as Box Office Mojo predicted, but boy was the gross off. Compared to Valentine’s Day’s $56.3 million debut in the first weekend, many felt New Year’s Eve would have a similar strong debut, but instead grossed $13.7 million while adding on to the negative reviews that followed. The estimate was for New Year’s Eve to break even and gain at least close to $30 million. With estimates like that, maybe one should also include elements like the target audience and the reception to predict just how far a holiday themed movie will go. Let alone one named after a holiday little appreciate.
Another loser at the helm is Jonah Hill’s The Sitter, a raunchy R-rated comedy about a babysitter that goes from watching a bunch of rambunctious kids to going out in the ghetto with a handful of trouble. It opened this week to the second spot with $10 million and is quite lower than any other film Jonah has been as the lead (Superbad and Get Him to the Greek.) To date, this is considered the lowest-gross debut for an R-rated comedy since The Change-Up in August. Then again, Jonah Hill hasn’t had much success since Fox cancelled the poorly received Allen Gregory.
And in this corner, with a total domestic gross of $259.5 million, become the third highest grossing movie of the year, and at the third place with $7.9 million is Breaking Dawn Part 1. ‘Nuff said.
And as far as the previous family trio that came out Thanksgiving, their status ranges from decent to really get an audience fast. The Muppets is now in fourth place with $7.1 million. As said last week, compared to The Muppet Movie’s gross of $65.2 million, The Muppets is already the highest-grossing in the franchise with $65.8 million. Arthur Christmas stayed on well for fifth place with $6.6 million, having already grossed $33.5 million domestically.
But the more curious case is Hugo. Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” expanded to 2,608 theaters, but dipped to sixth place with $6.1 million. Paramount Pictures did some exit polling and found that 52 percent of the audience was male and that only 31 percent were under the age of 25. After three-weeks of critical acclaim and a domestic gross of $33.5 million, the competition will really heat up when the other holiday flicks kick in.
Guess its no surprise to say that Breaking Dawn is still clutching on to its top spot despite a 60 percent drop to $16.5 million. Nationwide, it has grossed $247.3 million and at this point it should drop its box-office crown once the holiday flicks roll around. And speaking of which, The Muppets manage a second weekend to keep its second spot with a gross of $11.1 million totaling its complete gross so far to $56.4 million. However compared to The Muppet Movie (the once highest grossing film in the franchise with $65.2 million), it will easily surpass it once its run is over.
And after expanding to 1,840 theaters, Hugo was successful enough to claim third place with $7.56 million, having already gained a little over $25 million. However, bad and good news to Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet Two as the holiday movie about Santa’s spawn managed to at least gain $7.4 million to its $25.3 million gross. With the holiday coming around, there is a chance for it to gain some viewers and perform well, compared to the sad tale that is Happy Feet Two.
Currently labeled one of 2011’s biggest disappointments, Happy Feet Two dropped to 5th place with $5.94 million adding to its $51.7 million take in. Keep in mind that it has only gained back 47 percent of its $135 million budget. According to an article from Vancouver Sun, about 600 out of 700 of the animation staff that worked on the film have been laid off as a result of the low results. Guess penguins can be crossed off the list what animal is hot on the market let alone expecting another Happy Feet.
And in the world of arthouse films, Shame made a decent debut with $349, 519 at 10 locations. Despite the content and NC-17 rating it was given, it will probably have a healthy run for now.
For two weeks, Breaking Dawn Part 1 has remained in the top number one spot despite a massive negative reception and the affects it had on two viewers who had epilepsy from the final act. Could this be the time where its crown will be passed on to another victor? Well, the week after Thanksgiving is normally a steady one, but this week’s offering of independant films may add to it.
Last week was a mighty fight as three family films tried to take on the vampire flick, but failed to do so aside from some sucessful debuts. According to Box-Office Mojo, it predicts that Breaking Dawn and The Muppets will most likey cling on to their respected spots (Muppets debuted at #2). However, two situations exist as the number theaters playing Hugo and The Descendants are expanding signficantly. Hugo has grown to about 1,840 theaters while Descendants is close to a nearly wide release. Despite this, they probably won’t have a chance againts a film for the tweens and Muppet fans.
Also making its way to the big screen is Steve McQueen’s sex addiction drama Shame which has been well-recieved by critics, but was tagged with an NC-17 due to its sexually explict nature. An element that will limited the amount of theaters playing and the amount of advertising that be presented. However, the true battle will begin with the seas of December rolls in next week with some interesting titles.