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Weekend B.O. June 6-8 (The Power Of Teenage Girl Audiences, And A Question)

Box Office
by Sergio
June 8, 2014 2:00 PM
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The Fault In Our Stars

It goes without saying that I’m not a teenage girl, so I had no idea what the hell "The Fault In Our Stars" was all about, let alone even heard of it before. It’s a huge bestselling novel about teenage love and angst, involving two cancer-stricken teenagers, that evidently struck a chord with millions of teen girls.

Yet even after reading the premise of the book and film, I can’t believe that so many women would fall for something that is so obviously overly cloying, embarrassingly sentimental balderdash. But then again, I’m not a teenage girl, so what do I know? A friend of mine knew that it was going to be a big hit, when he walked out of a movie theater Friday afternoon, and saw a line of teen girls outside the theater, down the street, and around the block. It was such a big hit that it performed even better than what people expected.

"Stars" this weekend was No. 1, with a stunning $48.2 million million, which is almost $15 million more than what was the general consensus on what the film would make this weekend. And with a very modest $12 million budget, "Stars" is not only already profitable, but will become one of the most profitable films released this year, along with "Neighbors."

Which brings up a question I have just to ask, this being S & A and all. Is there a similar untapped market out there for films geared toward young black teenage girls? By that, I mean, sappy, sentimental, romantic dramedies for young black teenage girls; Essentially, if "Stars" was made with an all black cast, would it do well enough to be a big hit? I don’t see young black women going for this kind of sappy stuff, but then again, I’m not a young black teenage girl. You tell me.

Last week’s number one film, "Maleficent," dropped some 51%, to come in second, with a still very impressive $33.5 million, also proving the box office power of young female moviegoers.

The Tom Cruise/Doug Liman sci-fi "Edge of Tomorrow," which is, without a doubt, one of the best films and best reviewed films of the summer, came in third with $29 million. With a whopping reported $175 million budget, that’s a huge disappointment, and calls into question again, whether Tom Cruise is still a major move star, or if his appeal has faded over the years?

It’s a shame too since "Tomorrow" is easily one of his best films in years, and the best film that Liman has done. If the film had opened later in the year, instead of going up against other huge summer blockbusters, maybe it would have had a better chance. The only hope is that the foreign box-office, where Cruise is still considered a major movie star, can somewhat offset the lackluster performance of the film in the States. And it looks like that may be the film’s salvation, in terms of box office. The film had spectacular openings in Russia, Australia, Korea and China, with the biggest opening for any Cruise film in China and Russia. It opened up last week in 36 foreign territories, with a total, so far, of over $111 million.

As for "Belle," it’s in 11th place, with just over $7.5 million in 476 screens:

1) The Fault in our Stars Fox $48,200,000
2) Maleficent BV $33,523,000  Total: $127,370,000 
3) Edge of Tomorrow WB $29,105,000 
4) X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox $14,700,000 Total $189,101,000 
5) A Million Ways to Die in the West Uni. $7,189,000 Total $30,088,000 
6) Godzilla WB $5,950,000 Total  $185,043,000 
7) Neighbors Uni. $5,201,000 Total: $137,801,000 
8) Blended WB $4,050,000 Total $36,509,000 
9) Chef ORF $2,600,000 Total $10,362,000 
10) Million Dollar Arm BV $1,822,000 Total $31,347,000 
11) Belle FoxS $765,000 Total $7,579,000 

12) Rio 2 Fox $735,000 Total $125,645,000 

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  • Segolene | June 9, 2014 2:22 PMReply

    Some girls don't like drippy, fake love stories and went to the see the Tom Cruise movie, which was GREAT! And there were more Black people in that one, and a powerful woman at the center of it, not some chick dying.

  • Monique A Williams | June 9, 2014 12:50 PMReply

    My 13 year old daughter and her bestie RAN to the theaters Saturday to see this. They have been waiting for months. Black girls who read the book watched the film. Not unreasonable.

  • Guest | June 9, 2014 3:03 AMReply

    Wow, this post is dripping with misogyny.

  • sergio | June 9, 2014 8:50 AM

    Miles explanation number 2 makes a lot of sense. I think I get it now. And as for Guest, hey most of my posts drip with misogyny. Hey, I'm a guy Now why don't you calm down and get me a beer

  • Miles Morales | June 9, 2014 8:12 AM

    Can we please STOP with the labeling of EVERYTHING as MISOGYNY?

    It's a fact that some movies have a very strong appeal to particular demographics (and this is used by studios in deciding which movies to make and how to market them).

    Sergio just said that the movie doesn't appeal to him and he was wondering if someone could explain why teen girls in particular might like it. Shouting "misogyny" shuts down a discussion which could be very informative.

    As a guy, this movie (and romantic comedies in general, unless they're the Adam Sandler or Judd Apatow type) doesn't appeal to me either, but here are my theories on why young girls might go for it:

    (1) The obvious: It's a romance with teen characters, 2 things that generally draw younger girls but wouldn't draw adult guys.

    (2) In addition, it's a spectacularly "doomed romance", it seems romance lovers really love it when the lovers can't actually be together, Titanic and "The Notebook" also had this element and were some of the biggest romance hits in years. I think this is popular because it heightens the drama and "the feels" and raises the stakes of the romance. Young girls probably imagine themselves being part of such a larger than life, over the top romance and just love it. As a rule guys don't seem to be attracted by this aspect.

    That's all I got as far as this movie, but I am interested to hear what others think might be especially appealing about it.

  • Ciara | June 9, 2014 12:26 AMReply

    I know of many Black teenage girls who went to see TFIOS and LOVED it. Sappy stuff works lol. Did for me when I was 16.

    But I do wish we had more stories like this on screen with young POC protagonists. A teenage love story. For my gen, It was Love & Basketball. I know for a lot of girls a wee bit younger than me, it was ATL (with T.I. and Lauren London).

  • Dave's Deluxe | June 8, 2014 8:31 PMReply

    Howdy Sergio. To answer your questions (in my opinion):

    1. You are forgetting to consider (at least in your piece above) that "Stars" has a HUGE social media following; the trades were tracking this juggernaut all week. Black or white, teenagers are all on the social media, so my answer would be "yes", there is a movie that can tap into young black teen angst if social media is used properly.

    2. I think it's 50/50: folks are a bit burned out on Tom Cruise, but also they are burned out on huge action tentpoles as well. Figure in the cost of a movie ticket, and Tom's movie simply had a been-there-done-that feel to it.

    (Will Smith's got the same "exposure fatigue"...particularly after exploiting his charisma-free showbiz-kids down the throats of audiences. Can't say I blame him though, I'd have probably done the same thing given the same entitled opportunity; black man's gotta make a dollar in this country whenever he can, no joke.)

  • Miles Ellison | June 8, 2014 7:37 PMReply

    It was a film based on a bestselling book that a LOT of teenage girls read. This shouldn't be a surprise. The film wasn't made for adults. Sentimental shopping mall food court romance porn sells.

  • troublemaker | June 8, 2014 4:26 PMReply

    @ Sergio
    You haven't seen the real power of teenage girls! These girls will keep going back to watch this movie and keep this movie at the #1 spot for weeks. Good luck to Think Like a Man Too because they are in for a challenged.

    Tom Cruise can't be feeling too pleased at coming in at #3 behind a movie that was out a week ago! It wasn't even close either... 4M and then some! Maybe he should have chosen a black co-star and those numbers would have been higher.

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