Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

Six Lessons of Summer Box Office

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 17, 2009 at 3:04AM

First the media touted the uptick in 2009 theatrical business, now they're pointing to a downturn compared to last summer's b.o., a few big flops and the absence of blockbusters. "Through Sunday, summer B.O. revs stood at $1.46 billion, compared to $1.47 billion last year," reports Variety.
0

First the media touted the uptick in 2009 theatrical business, now they're pointing to a downturn compared to last summer's b.o., a few big flops and the absence of blockbusters. "Through Sunday, summer B.O. revs stood at $1.46 billion, compared to $1.47 billion last year," reports Variety.

Hold on folks, it's early days yet. Everyone knows what the blockbusters will be (besides Up): Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Disney's pairing of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal should yield strong returns with the femme demo. But word is that neither Universal's Bruno nor Public Enemies will break out huge. And Sony's Year One and Paramount's G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (which had a disastrous preview) look soft indeed.

Here are some summer lessons:

1. Originals sell. The very thing that the majors are most afraid of is what makes Pixar King of the Mountain, every single time: originality. While everyone else looks for easy-sell labels, Pixar relies on a very old-fashioned idea: make it good and they will come. Up scored not via marketing prowess, but through great word-of-mouth. Gross to date: $191 million and going strong. Heck yeah!

2. Origin myths sell. Star Trek skipped behind the other ten movies and went back to the beginning. Director J.J. Abrams found the right balance for Trekkies and newbies alike. Gross to date: $233 million so far.

3. Smart R-rated dumb male comedies sell. Always have, always will. The Hangover is the summer's sleeper hit, grossing more than $110 million in its first two weeks. The best news for Warner Bros: no talent profit participants. The bad news: they have to share with partner Legendary Pictures.

4. R-rated dumb male comedians don't sell in family movies. Universal miscalculated by starring Will Ferrell in $100-million remake Land of the Lost. The studio pulled the second weekend print ads on the picture, an unusual move. Gross to date: $36 million.

5. Eddie Murphy without makeup doesn't sell. I rest my case with Imagine That. Put Murphy under pounds of makeup playing a character, and they show up. Give him a role playing someone close to himself and audiences stay away in droves.

6. Lackluster sequels sell--but don't break out big. The key with these tentpole franchises is keeping up the quality.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which cost $150 million, opened huge and dropped off drastically. That means Fox's massive marketing budget pulled the core comics fanbase, but the movie failed to broaden. Gross to date: $176 million domestic, $353 million worldwide.

The sequel to The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, also scored big overseas ($415 million) but did middling business stateside ($124 million). To my mind Ron Howard delivered a better E-ride this time. But the book and the movie lacked the compelling Christian scandale that the first one had. This movie was (expensive) standard-issue.

Despite McG's $200-million budget, Terminator Salvation failed to improve on its predecessors and seemed oddly retro. The highlights were not Christian Bale, who seemed to be channeling Batman, growl and all, but supporting performers Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin. Gross to date: $115 million, plus $100 million overseas.

originally posted on Variety.com

This article is related to: Franchises, Genres, Box Office, Transformers, Harry Potter, Comics, comedy, Animation


E-Mail Updates