This Summer’s Box Office Hits and Misses
While we like to debate a movie’s artistic merit, you should know that I like to judge a movie as “good” based on dollars. If it doesn’t make money, then clearly it just ain’t any good, even if that means something like Reign of Fire, which I love, is “not good” due to its disastrous box office. This means I actually have to stomach the fact that Transformers 2 has to be considered good, but at least I know The Dark Knight is one of the best movies of all-time.
In any case, this is all why I love the site Box Office Mojo, because they have awesome info and do clever things like showdowns (District 9 vs. Cloverfield – who knew?). They’ve sent along some summer findings, and it’s fascinating stuff… and best of all, it’s free to reprint. So without further adieu, here’s the summer’s box office hits and misses:
The summer movie season doesnâ€™t officially close until Labor Day, but itâ€™s already the highest-grossing summer on record.
– Summer 2009â€™s total gross stands at over $4.2 billion through Sept. 3, the highest ever. It was the third summer in a row to exceed $4 billion.
– Due to when Labor Day landed this year, Summer 2009 did have an extra week over 2008, but it still grossed more in the same amount of time.
– In terms of estimated attendance, however, Summer 2009 was no record breaker. Summer 2002 is still tops on this front, followed by 1999, 2003, 2004, 2007, 1998 and 2001.
– While no movie was as monumental as â€˜The Dark Knightâ€™ from last year, â€˜Transformers: Revenge of the Fallenâ€™ is on the verge of hitting $400 million and ranks as the ninth highest-grossing picture of all time.
– The â€˜Transformersâ€™ sequel and many other movies were in line with reasonable expectations, but the breakout success of Summer 2009 was â€˜The Hangover.â€™ With $270.7 million and counting, the ribald comedy became the highest-grossing picture of its sub-genre and has nearly matched the final tally of â€˜Thereâ€™s Something About Maryâ€™ adjusted for ticket price inflation. The â€˜Star Trekâ€™ re-launch also excelled by becoming the top picture of its franchise, adjusted for ticket price inflation.
– The comedy genre ran the gamut from the successes of â€˜The Hangoverâ€™ and â€˜The Proposalâ€™ to the seasonâ€™s bigger failures: â€˜Land of the Lost,â€™ â€˜Year One,â€™ â€˜Brunoâ€™ and â€˜Funny People.â€™ The industry had high hopes based on these moviesâ€™ high profile release dates, but many may have been blinded by the big name talent involved: each picture was fundamentally flawed in terms of audience appeal, mining material that has disappointed time and again in the past.
The Top-Grossing Movies of Summer 2009 (as of Sept. 3)
Rank. Movie Title (Distributor) / Total Gross in Millions
1. ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ (Paramount) / $399.6
2. ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ (Warner Bros.) / $295.1
3. ‘Up’ (Disney) / $289.9
4. ‘The Hangover’ (Warner Bros.) / $270.7
5. ‘Star Trek’ (Paramount) / $256.8
Source: Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com)