By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by ASK1
The lowest total domestic gross on an opening of $90 million-plus is X-Men: The Last Stand‘s $234 million. The best domestic gross for a film opening over $90m and under $100m is Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘s $353m. So you have a domestic range of about $100 million. No one knows the answer to where it will land. It’s already got $275m in the bank overseas, so the absolute worldwide minimum is (logically) $500 million… which is slightly above breakeven (taking all nontheatrical revenues into account) on a film of this cost. Odds are, it will do another $200 million internationally, which, in the conceit of this conversation, is $90 million of profit on the film.
Remember last summer, when everyone decided to agree that World War Z was profitable after grossing $540m worldwide… even though it cost considerably more than ASM2 (and embarrassingly more than the Box Office Mojo budget estimate). Remember Man of Steel doing $688 million worldwide last summer and, as Zack Snyder’s 3rd profitable film, was hailed as a massive hit. That film cost about what ASM2 cost. So let’s see if coverage of the box office is objective or not. (It’s a rhetorical question. It mostly is not, like most film coverage these days.)
Personally, not a thrilling opening. Not a black spot either. It’s the 7th best Summer Opening Weekend since Spider-Man in 2002… 1 step into the bottom half. I have long said that one of the favorite media misreads about the movie business is that people vote negatively. Of course, this is occasionally true. It’s rare, but Transcendence happens. People vote with their dollars (and awards votes) in a positive way. People rush to see a movie on opening weekend because they are excited. There just wasn’t the highest level of excitement for Amazing Spidey 2. Writers are rationalizing the event in many ways, but no one answer is the right answer. How much of it is about Amazing Spider-Man and how much is it about Captain America scratching that itch a month ago? It’s pretty much impossible to make a rally good comparison to Amazing 1, which opened off a weekend, going into the July 4 holiday, and this launch. But they don’t seem wildly dissimilar.
ASM2 will likely become the 64th all-time $700 million worldwide grosser. Boring. Exclusivity now starts at $900 million (29 current members in that club). So success is all about how it is presented… and how the media “decides” it will play. Captain America 2 will likely gross a bit more than Amazing Spidey 2… a little… but one is likely to be forever remembered as a massive surprise success and the other will be remembered as a disappointment. You will be hard=pressed to find a showbiz story about how Roland Emmerich’s 2012 grossed more than any Marvel movie except Avengers and Iron Man 3… but you will read many about how White House Down defined flop for a year.
Again… I am not telling you that this is a great barn-burning opening. Just noting the lack of perspective in some of the coverage. Won’t be the first time this year… won’t be the last. And when people ask me, “Who cares?,” I respond that the reason I do care is that I hear civilians gacking up B.S. box office memes all the time. They read or hear a misleading notion a couple of times and they assume it’s true. Sad.
Not a lot else out there to write about. Noah is crawling to the $100m line domestically… one… million… to… go. $330m worldwide… which makes it a lot better, though still below expectations. (Again with the expectations!!!)
Over 100,000 people paid to see Transcendence this weekend in North America.
Belle did almost $25k per screen on 4 this weekend. A decent start. Ida did $17k per on 3. A nice serious indie start.