Showing 41-60 of 98 results tagged “Box Office”

gonewind.jpgBecause nobody has pushed The Dark Knight off its perch (either in the weekly box-office-receipts charts or in our Box Office Power Rankings) ... .

When Batman ($445 million through August 11) knocks Star Wars ($461 million) off as the second-highest-grossing movie in domestic-box-office history — which should happen this weekend — please keep the accomplishment in perspective.

Adjusted for ticket-price inflation, The Dark Knight at that point will still need nearly $130 million in additional gross before it even cracks the top 20. And it will need roughly $800 million more to catch Star Wars in inflation-adjusted revenues ($1.26 billion).

But let’s keep that in perspective. The Dark Knight exists in a culture with frenzied competition for your attention and your leisure dollars. When Star Wars opened, the moving-picture options available in my house were limited to three networks and the three other movies playing at our local cinema.

So while I don’t think it’s fair to say with a straight face that The Dark Knight will have beaten Star Wars at the box office after this weekend, it’s just as unfair to say it’s almost a billion dollars short of Gone with the Wind ($1.43 billion in inflation-adjusted receipts). The truth lies somewhere in between.

Continue reading for the methodology and the week’s full rankings — in a chart that you might actually be able to follow!

xfiles.jpgIron Man started the summer on May 2, and The Dark Knight signified the end with its release on July 18. Based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks — and the uninspiring upcoming release calendar in terms of potential blockbusters — that’s how Hollywood is marking the season these days.

The major new releases the past two weekends have ranged from the expired (The X-Files: I Want to Believe) to the tired (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor), with the requisite Will Ferrell comedy in Step Brothers and the movie with what might be the most annoying cast ever assembled in Swing Vote. (I can’t imagine a more unholy film-acting trio than Kevin Costner, Kelsey Grammer, and Nathan Lane, and the movie still had room for Judge Reinhold?)

The Mummy and Step Brothers did just fine in their opening weekends, but they can’t fool the Box Office Power Rankings. The Dark Knight is an unstoppable force with its combination of stellar reviews and record-breaking receipts, but the newcomers are even being bested by other older releases. This past weekend’s major entries — The Mummy and Swing Vote — finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the rankings, one hamstrung by abysmal reviews and the other sunk because nobody saw it. Step Brothers is performing strongly by our measures, while The X-Files looks to be the biggest miscalculation of the summer. Aside from Chris Carter needing the work, what was the point?

Continue reading for the methodology and the week’s full rankings — in a new format that you might actually be able to follow!

titanic.jpgAfter two weekends, the only question remaining about The Dark Knight’s box-office prowess is whether it will become the all-time domestic champion, toppling Titanic. It’s unlikely, but Christopher Nolan’s second Batman movie is a very good bet to unseat Star Wars from second place, as long as we don’t consider pesky factors such as inflation.

Titanic earned nearly $601 million in the U.S., while Star Wars has grossed $461 million. After 10 days, The Dark Knight stands at nearly $314 million.

That’s a big gap, but if Batman follows the lead of Iron Man, he’ll be north of $550 million — well ahead of George Lucas and within spittin’ distance of James Cameron. Iron Man has earned roughly 44 percent of its gross since its second weekend, after which it stood at $178 million.

And if The Dark Knight has anywhere close to the staying power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet — who topped the box office for 15 consecutive weeks — Titanic might be sunk.

But Cameron shouldn’t sweat too much — yet. The Dark Knight lost a greater percentage of its business in weekend two (52 percent) than Iron Man at the same point in its release (48 percent).

(And while I can’t prove it, this was written before Variety came to the same conclusion.)

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

Just how powerful a force is The Dark Knight?

Aside from winning this week’s Box Office Power Rankings, it’s breaking a ton of box-office records. But these sorts of milestones are often meaningless because of ticket-price inflation and a record-obsessed movie economy that floods the market with prints.

But looking at Box Office Mojo’s comparison of “all-time openers” is instructive. Yes, Christopher Nolan’s movie is in more theaters than the other four movies in the comparison. Yes, the earliest movie in the “showdown” (Spider-Man) came out in 2002, when movie tickets were cheaper. But the Batman is so thoroughly kicking their asses that it’s obvious these records are significant.

After one day in release, The Dark Knight had made $7 million more than its closest competitor (Spider-Man 3). After three days: still $7 million. Four days: $21 million. Five days: $31 million (now Revenge of the Sith). It would appear that the dude has some serious legs.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

pixar.jpgWith surprisingly strong reviews, Hellboy II: The Golden Army topped the most recent Box Office Power Rankings, unseating WALL•E after a two-week reign.

Guillermo Del Toro’s sequel fared better with critics than its forebear, and it will be interesting to see how The Dark Knight fits into the Box Office Power Rankings picture with three (and possibly four) top-10 competitors at 72 or above on Rotten Tomatoes and 64 or higher on Metacritic. As good as the early notices have been on Christopher Nolan’s follow-up, it could easily finish fourth or fifth among critics in our measures.

But before WALL•E falls out of the cultural consciousness — it hasn’t yet, has it? — we should explore a question: If you’re Pixar and Disney, do you begin to fret about bloated budgets? The worldwide gross of Pixar features compared to production budget has been on the decline. The ratio was more than 12-to-1 for Toy Story and dipped to what was then a low of 4.60 for Monsters, Inc. before recovering with Finding Nemo (9.22), The Incredibles (6.91), and Cars (6.6).

But with production budgets topping $150 million for Ratatouille and WALL•E, those last three numbers might be impossible to replicate. The former’s gross-to-budget ratio was a Pixar-low (but still spectacular) 4.14, and for the latter to have a ratio of 5, it would need to earn $900 million worldwide — which only Finding Nemo has come within $260 million of. These movies are still immensely profitable, but I’m not seeing an additional $60 million to $90 million on the screen.

Continue reading for the weeks’ full rankings and the methodology.

wall_e.jpgIt will come as no surprise that WALL•E is the champion in this week’s Box Office Power Rankings.

But there was one shock: Pixar’s latest didn’t earn a perfect score, because Wanted actually earned more money per theater. (The latter made $12 million less, but it showed in 800 fewer theaters.)

That’s significant because they had offsetting disadvantages: WALL•E was handicapped by children’s ticket prices, while Wanted was hamstrung by its R rating. So the per-theater take of Wanted has to be considered a major victory.

The rankings should get interestingly competitive in the coming weeks, as WALL•E and Kung Fu Panda will make it difficult for other movies to score 9s and 10s on the critical criteria; they have respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 96 and 88, and Metacritic scores of 93 and 73.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

effed-up.jpgFuck off from Bizarro Box Office Power Rankings. You won’t notice any changes here.

Our rankings for these two weeks were won by two brand-new movies: What Happens in Vegas and The Strangers. Critics love them, and audiences are willing to have sex with animals to get into the packed auditoriums. My nemesis said he’d rather get a hot poker up his ass (probably a euphemism) than watch Cameron Diaz and Asthon Kutcher together, and I’m happy to oblige. To the most recent champion, The Strangers, me say: Watch out for The Happening and The Love Guru; they’re really picking up steam.

And to you assholes who say that Hulk and The Incredible Hulk are exactly the same, you are absolutely wrong. Me prove it to you.

Hulk. Opening weekend: $62,128,420. Second weekend: $18,847,620. Total after second weekend: $100,593,300.

The Incredible Hulk. Opening weekend: $55,414,050. Second weekend: $22,136,060. Total after second weekend: $97,055,430.

See? Very different.

Hello, and if you come back next week, I’ll kill you. Hate, Bons Erutluc

Stop reading for the weeks’ full rankings and the methodology.

kungfupanda.jpgA rule to live by: Don’t bet against computer-animated movies for kids. For example: Kung Fu Panda topped this week’s Box Office Power Rankings by a wide margin, finally knocking Iron Man off its perch.

A prediction: Kung Fu Panda smash green ass of Incredible Hulk (at least in Box Office Power Rankings) while Happening cower with Zohan in corner like little girl.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

indianajones.jpgThe few weeks that I neglected the Box Office Power Rankings featured two hotly anticipated movies — Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Sex and the City — as well as the second chapter in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Iron Man kicked all their asses, with a little help.

I’m guessing its five-week reign atop our chart will end this week, but it has been an impressive run. Beating Speed Racer is one thing, but besting Indy?

Dr. Jones simply didn’t have the critical juice, even though his movie tied for the crown in its second week of release. Opening weekend, it was hamstrung not by a giant metal man but by The Visitor, whose pesky presence in the box-office top 10 relegated Indiana Jones to fourth place in both of our critical criteria.

Sex and the City was doomed in the Power Rankings by its mediocre reviews. And can you recall a movie that this many critics have dismissed with such aggression and preemptive defensiveness? Roger Ebert: “I am not the person to review this movie.” Jim Emerson: “Nobody has enough money to pay me to go see Sex and the City.”

By the way, the minimum price for me to see it is $1,182.16, plus expenses, with no guarantee that I’ll stay awake.

Continue reading for the weeks’ full rankings and the methodology.

speedracer.jpgI’m guessing that reading about Speed Racer is a hell of a lot more fun than seeing it, but I’ll never have the movie experience.

You might start your literary adventure at Nathaniel R’s review at the Film Experience blog and follow the first link, where all sorts of fun awaits. Nathaniel also hits on one of my refrains:

“The Brothers Wachowski don’t seem to have any self editing skills ... .”

Oh, if only they were alone with that flaw ... . I call it the George Lucas Problem, in which filmmakers have enough power to insulate themselves from constructive feedback — in particular people who wield the script- and movie-editing equivalents of red pens. The result is bloated movies in the tradition of Titanic, announcing their grandiosity with their running times. Hence: a 135-minute movie for kids called Speed Racer.

Anyway, in this week’s Box Office Power Rankings, Iron Man retained its crown and became the first movie to post a perfect score in consecutive weeks. Speed Racer finished fourth.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

ironman.jpgSo the 2008 summer-movie season begins the way the last ended: with a perfect score.

Iron Man became the first movie since The Bourne Ultimatum in August to top all four of the Box Office Power Rankings criteria. That Jon Favreau’s movie will win our title next week is all but assured, and there’s a good chance that it will retain all of its 40 points — which would be a first.

The only way that won’t happen is if people actually go to see Speed Racer, and I can’t fathom living in a world in which they do.

Then again, our world is often unfathomable to me ... .

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

sarahmarshall.jpgWelcome to summer movie season, now officially begun on the first weekend of May thanks to our friends at Iron Man. That blockbuster wannabe will be followed in short order by Speed Racer, Narnia’s second installment, and Indiana Jones before Memorial Day.

Closing out the ever-modest spring movie season, Forgetting Sarah Marshall notched one outright victory and one shared victory in our Box Office Power Rankings, scoring a mild upset by tying Baby Mama in last weekend’s rankings.

Looking ahead, May looks pretty safe in terms of box office; you should be able to predict the champion in our rankings with little risk of being wrong.

June, on the other hand, looks to be full of potential critical and commercial flops: The Happening, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, The Love Guru — and that’s just in two weekends. Even Pixar’s Wall-E looks a little risky, but then again, I thought nobody would go see a movie called Ratatouille.

Continue reading for the weeks’ full rankings and the methodology.

Everything new feels old.

Al Pacino, at age 67, is the lead in a thriller that was filmed in 2005. It’s called 88 Minutes but runs 108 minutes. That’s old times three, methinks.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the fifth Judd Apatow-produced movie released in the past 11 months.

And Keanu Reeves is on top of this week’s Box Office Power Rankings.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

funnygamesposter.jpgOur Box Office Power Rankings have been grim in recent weeks. George Clooney’s Leatherheads tops this week’s rankings — breaking Horton’s three-week reign — and was the second-best-reviewed movie in the top 10 with mediocre Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores of 53 and 56, respectively. It’s a bad crop out there, people.

So it seems appropriate to get grimmer with Michael Haneke’s English-language remake of his own Funny Games. Editor Jim Emerson spent much of last month spilling its blood, but I think he expended far too much effort. It’s easy to prove: No matter how good Haneke’s movie is, it’s an abject failure — and it was destined to be.

In one interview cited by Emerson, Haneke said:

“Of course I’m a critic of the studio system. But that doesn’t mean that one can’t work within that system. Funny Games was always made with American audiences in mind, since its subject is Hollywood’s attitude toward violence.”

In another interview, Haneke said:

“I hope that the slap in the face that I’m trying to give works here as well.”

But for all the hullabaloo that Haneke’s shot-for-shot remake has inspired, the writer/director never got to deliver that slap. He might have gotten an American studio to finance the project, but it never gave the movie an opportunity to assault its audience. In four weeks of release, Funny Games has earned $1.3 million in the United States, and it topped out at 288 theaters in its second week.

All of Haneke’s big talk died with a whimper. He wanted to confront American audiences with their own ugliness, but Warner Independent ensured that nobody showed up. Perhaps next time his people should spend more time negotiating distribution.

Continue reading for the weeks’ full rankings and the methodology.

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who dominated the Box Office Power Rankings the past two weekends, but it was Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns that taught us an important lesson: It’s good to not suck as much as everybody else.

Perry’s latest scored 29 on Rotten Tomatoes and 47 on Metacritic, and it’s still an upper-division finisher in both criteria in this week’s rankings — helping it to second place overall. The Rotten Tomatoes scores for some of its competition: 8 (Shutter), 9 (10,000 B.C.), 14 (College Road Trip), 24 (Drillbit Taylor), and 25 (Never Back Down). That’s fully half of this week’s box-office top 10 that received a favorable review from a quarter or less of surveyed critics.

Continue reading for the weeks’ full rankings and the methodology.

foolsgold.jpgThe Bank Job won this week’s Box Office Power Rankings title, but I’d prefer to talk about Fool’s Gold, which has the distinction of being the first three-time 10th-place finisher in the history of our calculations.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to really suck — Fool’s Gold has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 10, and a Metacritic score of 29 — but you can’t suck so badly that nobody wants to see you. You must hang around in the box-office top 10.

So congratulations, Matthew and Kate! You’re actually quite accomplished at not being particularly accomplished.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

semi-pro.jpgThe lesson from this week’s Box Office Power Rankings is that sometimes the winner tells you more about its competitors than itself.

The Spiderwick Chronicles, in its third week in release, topped the rankings this week after finishing third last week. That could mean that its relative box-office fortunes have improved — that audiences have finally found it — or it could mean that it had shitty competition. It had shitty competition. (Spiderwick’s per-theater average has dropped each week.)

Semi-Pro or The Other Boleyn Girl could have easily won this week’s contest with anything better than middling reviews. Alas, “middling” is somewhat generous.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

vantagepoint.jpgVantage Point took first place this week with the lowest winning score in Box Office Power Rankings history. Granted, that’s less than a year, but still ... .

Even though it earned 10 points (the highest possible score) in both overall and per-theatre box office, the political thriller only managed a total of 28 — one lower than There Will Be Blood’s top mark four weeks ago, when it finished in ninth place in overall box office.

The lesson? Despite claims to the contrary, the movie-going public has at least decent taste. The average winning score in our system over 33 weeks has been 33.7, which means that even if every week’s winner were the top box-office draw both overall and per-theatre, it still scored an average combined critics’ rating of 13.7 in our two measures — or nearly 7 in each on a 10-point scale.

The “average” winner in the Box Office Power Rankings has had an overall-box-office score of 8.4, a per-theatre-box-office score of 8.7, a Rotten Tomatoes score of 8.4, and a Metacritic score of 8.2. In other words, these are movies that have performed well with both audiences and critics. Except Vantage Point.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

Between the initial calculations and now, my Box Office Power Rankings-derived formula has not changed its Oscar conclusion: No Country for Old Men is still your Best Picture winner on Sunday.

The only movement involved the improved fortunes of There Will Be Blood and Atonement at the expense of Michael Clayton. The final standings: No Country for Old Men (15.0 points); Juno (14.3 points); There Will Be Blood (13.3 points); Atonement (10.7 points); and Michael Clayton (6.7 points).

The order feels intuitively correct, and the only thing that would surprise me (and rebuke my methodology) would be a Best Picture win by Atonement or Michael Clayton.

That said, I will defy my own carefully considered formula and predict a Juno win. No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are too similar in tone, and both are too open.

You can make your own prediction at this Culture Snob poll.

In this week’s edition of the Box Office Power Rankings, I was planning to address critical disconnect — not between arbiters and their audiences but between critics and themselves.

Specifically, I was curious about movies with which there is a large gap between Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores. In this week’s rankings, the extremes were Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour (Rotten Tomatoes: 85; Metacritic: 59) and Step Up 2 the Streets (Rotten Tomatoes: 25; Metacritic: 51).

But the gap between the two scores in general can be explained by noting that Metacritic tends toward the center. The four movies in this week’s top 10 with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 70 or above each had lower Metacritic scores, and the five movies with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 37 or lower all had higher Metacritic scores. (The Bucket List boasted regularity — 42 in both measures.)

This makes perfect sense, as a three-star review is counted as fully positive by Rotten Tomatoes but only as a 75 (out of 100) by Metacritic.

As for the size of the gaps, I theorize that they’ll be particularly large with mediocre or trend-chasing movies on which there’s a basic critical consensus. Hence, critics have in final judgment liked Hannah Montana and disliked Step Up 2 the Streets, even though they’re both in the 50s in Metacritic.

Incidentally, Box Office Power Rankings winners have averaged 82.3 on Rotten Tomatoes and 74.2 on Metacritic. This week’s winner, The Spiderwick Chronicles, earned 79 and 62, respectively.

Over the 32 weeks we’ve been calculating the rankings, the top 10 movies have averaged 50.7 on Rotten Tomatoes and 55.7 on Metacritic.

Continue reading for the week’s full rankings and the methodology.

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