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Sunday
Aug052012

Box Office Numbers. What's Yours?

I have important questions to ask Hollywood and you...

Chart via Box Office Mojo

To Hollywood:

  • Who greenlit $125 million for a remake of Total Recall without a star as bankable as Ahnuld? 
  • Why don't you make more smart but mainstream adult productions as cheap as Magic Mike and then actually promote them well so they become big hits instead of just releasing them in 5 theaters and hoping for the best? The profit margins are pretty big with this one. Consider that it's already earned 15 times its budget and that doesn't even include home video where it will be an even bigger hit or any foreign box office yet since it hasn't gone international.  

To You:

  • How many of this week's top 12 have you seen?
  • How much life does The Dark Knight Rises (reviewed) still have in it? It's $43 million behind The Dark Knight and $103 million behind The Avengers at this same 17th day point in their runs.
  • What do you think the semi-success of Moonrise Kingdom means for Wes Anderson? It didn't reach Tenenbaums popularity but it sure held on with word of mouth and will be much bigger in ten years time the way so many "acquired taste" movies are.

Speaking of numbers... Last night I was in one of those crap movie moods. Do you ever get those? It was too hot to be outside and I just wanted to see something stupid while laying on the couch. So I watched What's Your Number?

Well, I did ask for stupid. It's my own damn fault.

I did not, however, ask for relentlessly sexist and offensive. Women who have slept with more than 10 men in their lifetime -- even if they're gorgeous urban singles in their early 30s who've been to college-- are apparently "sluts"? It's one of those movies where if you switch the genders in your head it makes absolutely zero sense. Nobody would ever understand a movie wherein the plot involves a guy who feels guilty about having had more than 10 girlfriends and his friends all think he's an embarassment because of it so he vows to give up sex because THAT'S FAR TOO MANY! 

The plot and politics were so terrible (and predictable) that it even made it hard to enjoy the otherwise good cast though I did laugh at Anthony Mackie's crude gesture as a closeted gay and Blythe Danner's exasperation of the high strung mother of the bride. I felt so bad for Anna Faris and Chris Evans while watching it but, then again, they did sign on so they can't not have known what they were getting into. So shame on them, too. 

P.S. Remember that bizarrely misguided moment in Chris Evans career wherein his management team announced that he was no longer going to take his shirt off? Ha! That didn't last long.

Maybe their numbers from commissions on his movie offers immediately dried up? 

You think?

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    Box Office Numbers. What's Yours? - Blog - The Film Experience

Reader Comments (19)

I've got 4 of the 12.

I think this gets Anderson another screenplay nomination. Given the affection for the film, he could conceivably even win.

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

I'm 5 for 12. Number one, and then places nine through twelve.

I read a really interesting article pointing out how many successful modestly budgeted ("modestly budgeted" being a relative term here) films there have been this year. Looking at the year so far, you've got Journey 2, Magic Mike, The Vow, Safe House, 21 Jump Street, Ted, The Lorax, and The Hunger Games all breaking the $100 million mark domestically. The budgets for all of these movies are all way under $100 million, with Safe House being the most expensive at $85 million. And I think there could be several relatively cheap sleepers coming out of the fall season: Looper, Trouble with the Curve, and Flight.

Add to that a higher-than-usual number of big-budget bombs (Total Recall, Battleship, John Carter, Dark Shadows, and Wrath of the Titans so far), and you'd think that the math would become obvious. I know that, at this point, Hollywood isn't going to give up their tentpoles. But newsflash: not every movie has to cost over $100 million. There is absolutely no reason why any of these flops had to cost as much as they did.

What are the odds that Hollywood learns its lesson? I'm going to put my money on "pretty damn slim."

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz N.

I'm constantly amused by men calling "What's Your Number?" sexist. What's sexist is calling raunchy female comedies "sexist". Not your cuppa? Fine. But please, I'm a fairly far left female, and as dumb as this movie is, it's hardly sexist.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBee

I've seen the bottom three of those twelve movies because I'm clearly an asshole. And looking for a date to see TDKR or whatever else is good in that top nine.

Also, I wonder who Moonrise Kingdom's biggest paycheque goes to, seeing that all-star cast.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

We Need To Talk About Kevin spurred me into a Tilda Swinton frenzy which led me to Burn After Reading—the movie's a mess and she's plays an unfeeling bitch, but the upside, I have a new found appreciation for Frances McDormand. She ruled that mess of a movie, filled with bumbling characters and absurd humor. I also suspect she's the only other actress in the world who could literally play Kathy Bates' parts, which is why the Coens haven't bothered to cast her in anything when they have Frances.

Colin Farrell is a sexy man, and a down to earth human being but, I'm grateful as hell that Total Ripoff couldn't get over that hump, and now adds to the legacy of failed Hollywood remakes, and movies that should never be touched from the 80s and early 90s, and those films starring Colin Farrell.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

I've seen exactly 0 out of the top 12. In fact the only 2012 movie I have watched is 2 Days in New York. Ever since I found out I had TCM I've become obsessed with old movies and recent releases haven't interested me at all. I'll attend TIFF but until then you probably won't find me in a theater.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOwen

I've seen only two of the box office top twelve ("Magic Mike" and "The Amazing Spider-Man"), and I can't really say I'm in a rush to screen any of the others. What I sincerely want to know is why some of these films cost that much money to produce and market/promote ($185 million for "Brave"? For true?).

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I've seen 4 but hope to catch Beasts of the Southern Wild soon. Moonrise Kingdom is one more reason Wes Anderson will be admired 50 years from now by the grandkids who don't watch his movies now, but what I really hope the film's success means is a quick turn-around time for the next project. Of course, I've been a nut for whatever the next project is since I heard he was in talks with Angela Lansbury to co-star.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

I've got 4 out of 12, though I've got three (Ted, Moonrise, Beasts) that will eventually make the view list.

And if the guys on your "list" include guys that look like Anthony Mackie and Chris Evans, you can be forgiven if the list gets long.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

The Dark Knight Rises will probably end up with just under $450 million, which is a huge number for 99.999% of movies, but for this one, it will probably be regarded as a slight disappointment. I think earlier in the year, most people were expecting the box office numbers of The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers to be reversed from what they actually turned out to be.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

That was a shame about "What's Your Number?." Poor Anna Faris. A film like that would never in so many words call or imply that its main male protogonist is a whore just b/c he's slept with 20 women. No one would bat an eyelash. But a woman? Heaven forbid. Film was pretty awful too. Pick better films in the future, Ms. Faris.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam I Am

I've seen 7 of the 12. I'm still kind of tempted to see What's Your Number? because I really like Anna Faris and Chris Evans without a shirt, but alas, I might just have to skip it.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

The Great Gatsby must be a real mess... they have scheduled it now for Summer 2013...

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I saw Farewell, My Queen this weekend and came away wishing that it was more of a full-length Marie-Antoinette biopic because Diane Kruger really killed it. She becomes so much more appealing when she's acting in French or German.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Chris Evans should ALWAYS take off his shirt. I saw "Step Up: Revolution" which is basically a 21sr century update of those hey-kids-let's-put-on-a-show-musicals. The movie needed a young Gene Kelly- but instead we got Ryan Guzman who I don't think will be the next Channing Tatum...

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I've seen 4/12: The Dark Knight Rises, Ted, Moonrise Kingdom, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I'm interested in Brave and Magic Mike. I just haven't gotten to them yet.

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Bee -- i'm totally curious about your comment. Why would you not consider this movie NOT sexist. I'm totally fascinated that this is a possible reading because what I saw was yet another movie suggesting that there was something shameful about women being sexually active.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Too late for Anna now that Emma Stone has ascended.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSanty.C

I've seen exactly half of that top 12, and based on how much I like them, I really wish that the order of that list was reversed.

I love looking at Chris Evans and I love Anna Faris in general (I have a huge fondness for The House Bunny and I don't know why), but good God that movie looks awful. When it's showing on TBS for five nights in a row I'll probably watch it while I'm folding laundry, but until then it's just not going to happen.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny
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