Last week I wrote about the current situation at the box office in terms of the monthly totals. This time around I’ll be talking about another box office issue of this year, especially this summer. Big budget movies going up in smoke.
The box office has had big movies for years with special effects, dazzling action scenes, directed by reputed directors and starring A-list stars and they’ve paid off well more often than not. The summer is normally the best time to have such big movies loaded out in release. This year it seems like the big budget movies are having their weakest year in a long time and it look like the hype of the summer movie season hasn’t done much to help boost it. How bad have they been doing? Here’s a list of the most notable big budget movies to fare poorly:
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation – Stars: The Rock, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis – Production Budget: $130 million – Box Office Total: $122.5 million
- Oblivion – Stars: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman – Director: Joseph Kosinski – Budget: $120 million – Box Office Total: $89.1 million
- After Earth – Stars: Will Smith, Jaden Smith – Director: M. Night Shyamalan – Budget: $130 million – Box Office Total: $59.7 million
- White House Down – Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx – Director: Roland Emmerich – Budget: $150 million – Current Box Office Total: $68.4 million
- The Lone Ranger – Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Helena Bonham Carter – Director: Gore Verbinski – Budget: $215 million – Current Box Office Total: $81.3 million
- Pacific Rim – Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi – Director: Guillermo Del Toro – Budget: $190 million – Box Office Total: $68.3 million
Now that’s just for the big budget movies that are now out of the Top 10. This weekend was unique because of two big budget movies with dismal opening weekends:
- R.I.P.D. – Stars: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon -Director: Robert Schwentke – Budget: $130 million – Opening Weekend Total: $12.7 million
- Red 2 – Stars: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich – Director: Dean Parisot – Budget: $84 million – Opening Weekend Total: $18.1 million
To think last year they were cracking all those John Carter jokes. Looks like John Carter‘s got some company this year. This also puts into question a lot of other big budget movies still to be released this summer. Yet to be released is The Wolverine, 2 Guns, Elysium, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, Paranoia and Getaway. The production budgets for those movies has not yet been released by Box Office Mojo but you can bet they will all face the pressure of making it all back, if not #1, at the box office.
It’s not to say all big budget movies have done poorly. Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man Of Steel, The Fast and The Furious 6 and Man Of Steel have fared very well. Even animated movies with big budgets like The Croods, Epic, Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 have been successes if not box office-toppers. Even Turbo opening this weekend at $31 million shows strong signs it will make its $135 million back before its run is over.
I guess it’s not exactly about shelling out bloated overhyped movies during the summer but just a job about doing the right moves. I know that every year faces the pressure of outgrossing the year before and 2013 faces that same expectation the record-breaking big shoes of 2012 to fill. I guess it’s just another study Hollywood has to undertake in preparation for both the summers of 2014 and 2015. Also Hollywood should be reminded that you don’t always need a big movie to top the box office In fact this weekend’s #1 movie was The Conjuring with $41.8 million: more than double its budget. Pay attention, Hollywood.
BoxOfficeMojo.com. 2013. Box Office Mojo. Owned by IMDB.com. <http://www.boxofficemojo.com>