April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: Box office bomb

Animation record: The Lorax opens to $70 million

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: The full weekend chart HERE. See this is what happens when you have just two major cartoon during the Winter/Spring season instead of six. Last year, February, March, and April saw an onslaught on high-profile animated features, five of which opened just in March and April. Gnomeo and Juliet ($25 million opening/$99 million domestic total), Rango ($38 million/$123 million) Hop ($37 million/$103 million), and Rio ($39 million/$143 million) all did well, but were burdened by directly competing with each other. Mars Needs Moms ($6.9 million/$21 million) was one of the biggest box office bombs in modern history while the never-had-a-chance Hoodwinked: Hood vs. Evil ($4 million/$10 million) was DOA. This time around, it’s The Lorax or nothing (that second cartoon I mentioned doesn’t open until April 27th), which coupled with the absolute lack of truly new kid-friendly product and the relative disinterest in domestic audiences in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (which was still leggy enough to gross $130 million domestic) and The Adventures of Tintin (which is no flop with $372 million worldwide), left a very large gap in the marketplace. No you can see how its $70 million opening is not *that* surprising.
At $70.7 million, the Illumination production is within striking distance of a few records if the estimate holds. First of all, the film will end up surpassing Ice Age 2: The Meltdown ($68 million) for both the second-biggest animated opening not from Dreamworks or Pixar (it easily tops any Dreamworks opening that isn’t a Shrek sequel) and the second-biggest for a non-sequel (both records belong to the $74 million debut of The Simpsons Movie). It’s also the sixth-biggest animated debut of all-time, and the biggest non-summer animated debut ever. If it makes it to $70.9 million, it surpasses 300 ($70.8 million) to become the second-biggest March opening ever, behind Alice In Wonderland ($116 million). Even if the estimate is a big high, as Despicable Me estimated $60 million but ended up with a $56 million debut 2.5 years ago, this is a huge debut and a massive win for all involved. That film plus this mighty debut for The Lorax proves that Universal is truly a force to be reckoned with (that they opened Hop to $38 million last year isn’t to be ignored either). The film debuted on a rather strategic weekend, [...]

“Footloose” will apparently gross $20 million for the weekend

HollywoodNews.com: At 3:28pm yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter sent out links to an article regarding early box office estimates based purely on afternoon matinees on the East Coast. In it, they claimed that Paramount’s Footloose remake was on track to gross $20 million for the weekend, which was considered a solid win as tracking had put the film at between $15 million and $18 million going into Friday.
Yet by midnight, the numbers had been revised, both by The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood. Now the number is at around $5.57 million for Friday, which means that the 80s remake looks to gross around $16-17 million (of course, official Friday estimates will be out in a couple hours…). So, as expected, Nikki Finke is screaming about how the number is ‘disappointing’, with yet another seemingly-invented quote from a studio executive about how the industry is ‘DOOMED!’. Yes, some of this is just Finke being Finke where every weekend is a failure and every movie is terrible. But we have a situation where a film was ‘doing better than expected’ in the late afternoon, yet was a disappointment despite opening right in line with tracking because the earliest-of-early estimates were a bit over-inflated.
Yes yes, I know I spent the summer guessing the weekend box office grosses for major summer films based on midnight grosses, so perhaps I may be a hypocrite. BUT, I didn’t run around screaming ‘bomb!’ because a film’s opening weekend didn’t open right in line with my purely-for-fun midnight math. As it is, I’d argue it’s good news that an 80s remake that no one wanted and a prequel to an 80s horror film (which is in itself a remake of a 50s horror film) that no one didn’t explode at the box office (The Thing looks to do around $10 million, give or take). Maybe the world wants more than remakes and revamps of the movies they grew up with…
Photo by Paramount Pictures
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Green Hornet opens with $11.1m Friday

By Scott Mendelson
hollywoodnews.com: So let me get this straight. A couple of months ago, The Green Hornet was that surefire flop that had switched release dates, been converted to 3D, and had survived an avalanche of bad press and rampantly negative speculation. A month ago, the tide started turning, due to some secret screenings for the hardcore nerd film bloggers and the realization that there wasn’t anything of note coming out in the month of January. Two weeks ago, tracking started swinging upwards and the studio was optimistically discussing an opening weekend of around $35-40 million for the four day holiday weekend. So come Saturday morning, the picture has opened with $11.1 million on its first day, which puts it track to score around $30-35 million over three days and $35-40 million in four days. So, expectations met, mission accomplished, right? Ha!
Yes, said debut is actually ‘soft’ and ‘short on green’ according to The Wrap, and Nikki Finke claims the film is ‘surprisingly underperforming’ because, I kid you not, that’s what rival studios are telling her. I can’t imagine that rival studios would have an interest in spreading negative word on Sony’s first big picture of the year, can you? I mean, what could Warner Bros. possibly gain by creating the impression that Green Lantern… err, I mean Green Hornet was a box office flop? In most venues, when you meet positive expectations, that counts as a win.
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When a film ‘flops’, always blame the actress

By Scott Mendelson
hollywoodnews.com: When a film ‘flops’, always blame the actress. If a film doesn’t flop, call it a flop and blame the actress. If a film is a hit, blame the actor.
The Huffington Post linked to the AP box office analysis piece yesterday with their own headline, titled simply ‘Gwyneth flops’. It wasn’t a surprise, as Huff Post (which I of course contribute to) and other entertainment websites and publications never miss a chance to trash any given actress for anything whatsoever. Never mind that Country Strong was a $15 million picture that opened with $7.3 million in the first three days, guaranteeing long-term profitability. Never mind that the opening weekend of Country Strong was nearly double the single-largest weekend ($4.2 million) for last year’s Crazy Heart. It’s no fun to merely report that Paltrow’s small picture had a modest opening that was relatively successful in regards to its budget and Paltrow’s long untested drawing power. It’s so much easier (and more fun) to just proclaim the film a flop and take the bitch down a peg or two. Because it’s always the girl’s fault, even when there is no fault to be had.
When The Tourist opened slightly below expectations, the headline everywhere was ‘Angelina Jolie BOMBS’. If you didn’t know better, you’d have no idea that Johnny Depp was the co-star of said movie and thus shared at least partial responsibility for the film’s relative under-performance over its first weekend. And the following week saw the very disappointing opening weekend for the James L. Brooks romantic comedy How Do You Know? The film starred Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson. Do you think the headlines all screamed about the box office failure of the all-star cast? Of course not, the blame fell entirely on the shoulders of Reese Witherspoon (who received $15 million for the film), as if Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson had no star power that justified their (respectively) $10 million, $3 million, and $12 million paydays for the $120 million comedy.
And let’s not forget Nicole Kidman, who got tagged as ‘box office poison’ after a series of uber-expensive (and sometimes troubled) genre pictures only opened to ‘just’ $15-30 million. Did Will Ferrell’s career take any real damage after Bewitched opened to a ‘mere’ $20 million? Of course not. Did Daniel Craig take any of the blame for the disappointing opening [...]