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Weekend B.O. Aug. 29-31 (One Absolutely Lousy Summer)

Weekend B.O. Aug. 29-31 (One Absolutely Lousy Summer)

The 2014
summer film season is now officially over and, yes, that picture of that repulsive
vermin can mean only one thing – that “Guardians of the Galaxy” was, once again, the number one film this weekend, with $16.3 million.

With $274.6 million so far at the box office, and almost
$550 million worldwide, “Galaxy” has officially become, not only the highest
grossing film this summer domestically, but also of the year, in the

And so far, the highest grossing film and most profitable film of the summer still remains “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which has grossed, to date, $1.065 billion, with
some $821.3 million of that total overseas.

And there
were other huge hits this summer, such as “Neighbors,” “The Fault in Our
Stars,” “Maleficent,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “22 Jump Street.”

But if you
think they’re drinking champagne and patting each other on the back in the
Hollywood studio executive suites, guess again. More likely, instead, they’re
guzzling Pepto Bismol like it was going out of style, because, after the numbers
have been analyzed and re-analyzed again, the results are as clear as day. This
has been one lousy summer for the studios.

Though “Galaxy” is the biggest grossing film of the year domestically, and will hit $300
million in another 2 weeks, it’s not going to be enough to save this summer. A
strange case of too little, too late.

In fact, the
overall box office total for this summer was 15% lower than the summer of 2013, which makes this the lowest grossing summer since 2006.

But it’s
actually even worse than that.

According to
Tom Brueggemann at Thompson On Hollywood: “If one adjusts for higher ticket
prices and estimates the number of actual tickets sold, it appears this might
have been the weakest summer going all the way back to 1992.”

Ouch that’s
gotta hurt!

And what was
the reason for the huge slump at the box office? Everyone has their own excuses:
The World Cup; the lack of major male stars in summer films this year; the fact
that there was no “Fast and Furious” movie; or not enough animated films; and
the list goes on and on..

But what
about the obvious reasons: That a lot of films this summer were simply bad, or
that audiences were simply not all that interested with what was out there.

In Variety,
Eric Wold, who’s a theatrical exhibition analyst for Riley & Co., was quoted
as saying: “You can’t chalk it up to anything other than a weak slate of movies
that didn’t resonate with consumers… We were expecting poor numbers to start
with, and it got a lot worse.”

And the proof
was in the box office numbers every weekend. Time and time again, since early
May, there were films that opened to huge numbers only to drop off big – anywhere
from 57% to 69% – in their second, and following weeks in release. Or films that simply never
even got off the ground, such as “The Expendables 3” or “Sin City: A Dame to Kill
For,” that were expected to do a lot better.

People weren’t
liking what they were seeing, or were unimpressed, or simply that people who really
wanted to see a movie went the first weekend, leaving the rest who weren’t so
enthusiastic in the first place, dragging their heels, going to see it.

And what’s
up for the summer of 2015? So far, looks like more of the same.

What will
happen if the box office for summer 2015 is even lower than this year’s tally?
More serious adult films for summer? Not hardly. More likely, studio execs are saying right
now that, this is just a temporary glitch, a slight cyclical
disturbance, and everything will be back to normal next summer. But I wouldn’t
bet on that right now.

As for the
rest of this weekend’s figures, “Sin City,” which tanked last weekend, took an even bigger dip this weekend by some 66%, earning $2.2 million for 14th place (It
even got beat out by the Spanish language bio-pic “Cantinflas,” about the
legendary Mexican film comic). It’s over for that film. It’s toast. And the
Blu-ray DVD is already on pre-order on Amazon – a tell-tale sign of
a flop.

And who was that commenter (Sin City Jones)  last week, who just
kept saying that the film was going to be a hit, regardless of its dismal opening B.O. numbers? In fact, didn’t he say that it would do even better
this weekend? Yeah right. I wonder what
he’ll say now?

Among the
new releases, the results aren’t great either. Spy thriller “The November Man” came in 6th place, with $9.3 million; and the “found footage” horror film “As Above, So Below” earned $8.3 million, though that film is sure to make a
profit since it was made for a paltry $5 million.

Meanwhile “Let’s Be Cops” still holds up as a late summer surprise hit movie, with
almost $60 million earned to date.

1) Guardians of the Galaxy BV $16,313,000 Total: $274,610,000
2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par. $11,750,000 Total: $162,406,000
3) If I Stay WB $9,260,000 Total: $29,822,000
4) As Above/So Below Uni. $8,342,000
5) Let’s Be Cops Fox $8,200,000 Total: $57,322,000
6) The November Man Rela. $7,660,000 Total: $9,351,000
7) When the Game Stands Tall TriS $5,650,000 Total: $16,320,000
8) The Giver Wein. $5,253,000 Total: $31,526,000
9) The Hundred-Foot Journey BV $4,603,000 Total: $39,398,000
10) The Expendables 3 LGF $3,500,000 Total: $33,139,000
11) Lucy Uni.
$2,677,000 Total: $117,756,000
12) Cantinflas LGF $2,625,000

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Sergio by the way I have been vocal about other films you talked about. I was the only saying Red Hook Summer was a success and a profitable film while you and a lot other people like Carey Carey were saying it was a flop. I said Spike made the film for $600,000, Variance films bought it for 1.2 million. The film made $334,000 at the box office, That was enough to ensure the film profitable after it's theatrical run, same scenario, a director with a fan base. Spike Lee film will make a couple of million easy after it's theatrical run with tv rights, vod, and rentals. I also have challenge readers when you write articles about films that are not stereotypical or unkown film gems, articles about unsung black actors and actresses and no readers show up for it but have comments galore on articles about what white hollywood is not doing for back people or tyler perry bs films.


Sergio and Carey you beleive the bs hollywood selling you. I'm going to say it again a 60 to 75 million lost is nothing to make up for this movie after it hits theaters.

Let me break it dow for you two.

Let's say the movie was made for 70 million and they spent 30 million on marketing. That's a 100 million. It makes 60 million on it's worldwide box office. It's 70 million in the hole right. Not so fast , how is the movie going to make it up. Sergio if this was a drama I would agree with ya'll being this an action comic book film made by a director with a fanbase is going to make money.

Sergio you really don't think this film will make between 50 to 60 million at the box office and tv rights vod in Europe.

Let's add another 50 million in Asia between the box office and tv rights vod in Asia.

Let's add 10 to 20 milliion for box office, tv rights, and vod Australia.

Let's add 20 to 50 million box office, tv rights, vod in Sout america.

We talking about 100 to 200 million before we even step foot in the us.

Sergio you really don't think Sin City won't see at least 50 million in vod, dvd rentals, and tv rights in North America. Sergio remember there are like 1000 of tv stations now. All this films need is 20 to 30 to pay a million or more in rights.

I will let ya'll two Sergio and Carey be ignorant to hollywood game while they laughing counting off they dough like they don't know the box office is just first phase to a movie.
They don't realize we are going to see profits for years to come while they righting stupid articles on how we lost so much money.

Sergio i'm going to say again if this film was made for a 100 million and marketed for a 1oo million or it was a drama, or this type of film by a director that didn't have a fanbase I would agree with you. Being that it's Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller it will have a life after the theaters.
This is not about me being nobody fanboy, it's me not falling for hollywood bs they selling.


Sergio, in my opinion you're an invaluable asset to S&A, and nobody does what you do, better than you. Yes, you incite, rile up and at times piss folks off with your brand of tongue and cheek commentary, but hey, that's why you're the "click" magnet (not chick magnet :-), you inspire and encourage conversation like no other in this neighborhood (and that's a good thang). Also, like no other in S&A's crew, you engage in conversations with the readers, even in posts that you didn't write (and that's a good thang, too). In other words, you make me, and I can safely assume others, feel like you're just "one of the guys". That said, since I love slapping folks on the back of the hand when they (imo) venture too far to the left, like I did Daryl (below), and since you are one of the guys, get in line because this post had me giving you an evil side-eye.

Well, is there a law against screaming "FIRE" in a crowded theater? If there is, you should be arrested for sounding the alarm of "WOE IS WE HOLLYWOOD", when none really exists.

First, this thang called "Hollywood" is not comprised of a bunch of white guys sitting in one room drinking champagne and patting each other on the back as they jump for joy upon seeing their huge profits. Neither is it comprised of a bunch of gangsters plugging each other — Godfather Style — after seeing a 15% decline in profits. Nope, the big players in this game are not engaged in revenue sharing as seen in professional sports. In other words, in spite of a 15% drop in box office receipts from a year ago, some in "Hollywood" are still living very high on the hog. Shiiiiiit, I don't believe any of them are signing up for food stamps. Come on now, 15% less than a zillion is not crying time.

But of the major players (i,e., WB, BV, Univ, Sony, LG, Fox, Par, TWC, Rel ,Focus, FD) I suppose some may have more reasons for concern than others. The devil's in their details. Now, all that to say, given the focus and mission of this blog, I'd like to know how any of this affects the black cinema?

Warren Spencer

The PG13 backlash, the pristine preview copy and idiot fanboys not watching the whole movie were the reason that EX3 tanked a bit at the BO. Frankly I thought it was the best in the series. That's pretty depressing reading about T4 making over a billion. Now I'm hearing they're re-booting Underworld for God's sake?? Hollywood needs to pay attention to these stats rather than complacently expecting better returns next year. Speaking from a UK perspective, yes we had the World Cup and a hot summer so that might explain a few things, but franchise and re-boot fatigue is partly responsible for some of the failures too.

Miles Ellison

There was a quality copy of The Expendables 3 floating around on the web about a month before it was released. Wonder if that had something to do with the dismal performance of that film.


Sergio you want to know what I got to say about Sin City, I didn't say it was going to be a hit, so stop making stuff up I didn't say, it's the same as I always said, the film will make enough money at the box off ice to earn a profit after it theatrical run, Sergio you looking at this film like a black film, this film is being distributed overseas. Being the film was made for 70 million by the marketing the studio didn't put a lot of money behind it, that's why I said the film is going to make a profit, I didn't say a big profit, I'm saying it will not be money loser in the long run you making it to be, If it was made for a 100 million and they spent a 100 million on the marketing I would agree with you Sergio. I'm going to say again Sergio it will make enough money in worldwide box office total to not be a money loser. Sergio a 50 to 75 million box office loser is not hard to make up when you can sale your film in 100 to 200 countries after it theatrical run. It's all about the worldwide box office, why you think they shut black films out of this, because they no that's where the real power and money is, so I will let you continue to judge films on domestic box office performance. Most films overseas do 4 times their domestic box office. Example if Sin city only makes 15 to 20 million at the box office here, it's not unreasonable to see it making 60 to 90 million at it's overseas box office. That will be enough to set the film to make a profit after it's theatrical run. A lot of theses film big box office flops is illusions to people, Sergio you ever heard of hollywood accounting, In case you haven't Sergio that when the studio cooks the books to make stuff look badder than what it really is.


Imagine how the box office is going to look when these new Marvel heroes debut, and there's the new Batman-Superman movie. I think you'll see even weirder numbers.

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