Archive | October, 2012

What the #1 box office movie of a year says more about us

31 Oct

The current #1 movie of the year 

 The #1 movie of each box office year has a lot of things in common with each other. It’s not just the type of movie they are: it also has a lot to do with us, the consumer. For example, how quickly we see a movie and the atmosphere in which we like to see movies says a lot about our culture now.

Opening Weekend

The opening weekend has become more essential to box office numbers than ever before. Spiderman in 2002 became the first movie to make $100 million, making $114 million. After Spiderman the opening weekend record has now been broken 5 times, and there are now 22 movies that have made $100 million in their opening weekend. This year’s #1 movie became the first movie to ever make $200 million in an opening weekend. All 5 movies that have broken the opening weekend record were the #1 movie of their year.

So what does that say about us, the consumer?

Instant Gratification 

We now live in a time where we can get any information we want almost right away. Movies still, despite a decline in attendance, highlight this trend. We need to see things as quickly as possible, and looking at the past #1 movies of a box office year it’s clear our demands need satisfaction right away.

This also applies to us. The internet provides you with quick information, such as this year’s #1 movie or box office predictions for The Hobbit. You can just hop onto the internet, and you can find a site like mine that will tell you this information. Here’s a question, though: why do we still see movies in theaters at all?

With our desire for instant gratification, how come most people don’t run to the internet to find a pirated copy? Why do we still mostly choose to see movies in the theater?

Theater Experience  

I mean we have to pay to see these things, so what do theater screens have that our computer screens don’t? Another interesting question is, if we hate when people talk at the movies, why don’t we stay at home where there’s a guarantee of silence?

The point I’m making with these questions is that the movie theater experience has a strong appeal. Pirated movies aren’t ending theater going altogether for some reason. For one the screens are bigger at a movie theater; the picture, and sound qualities are better as well. So seeing a movie in Imax which features an even larger screen, even bigger picture quality, and even better sound would definitely enhance the experience.

It’s an interesting feeling when you have a great theater going experience; sometimes it is almost an out of body experience. One thing about a good experience at the movies is the crowd is silent but active at the same time. This means that the audience is reacting to what’s on the screen pulling us in more instead of pulling us away. When this happens together, we join  as one. We immerse ourselves into the screen and for 2 hours nothing else has our attention but whatever world we have chosen to go to.

Budget Explosion

What else do such #1 movies of the year as Avatar, The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean have in common? A budget of over $200 million. This compares well with our need for a theater experience because we as consumers value quality theaters and quality production values.  The film’s production quality amplifies the theater quality, and those two can often morph into an overall quality experience.

Art Form

Film I would say is the greatest art form of the last century, and we value the power of a good movie. When we see a great movie, it can–as I said before–create an out of body experience. We as consumers value quality over anything else because what good are good special effects without a good story?

So these factor into what the #1 movie of a box office year says about us as consumers: we value an instant quality theater experience.

24 Oct

As someone who likes to follow the Box Office this information is very helpful. I’m going to use it to forecast The hobbit which is likely to join this club.

Movie Reviews

$1 billion dollars… that like sweet music to my ears… Am made with that kind of money… kai! Anyways am going to be listing the movies that have crossed that milestone.

1. Avatar (2009) – $2,782.3 billion (made $760.5 billion in the US & $2,021.8 billion overseas)

2. Titanic (1997) – $2,185.4 billion (made $658.7 billion in the US & $1,526.7 billion overseas)

3. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) – $1,502.8 billion ( made $620.5b in the US & $882.3b overseas)

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) – $1,328.1 billion ( made $381b in the US & $947.1b overseas)

5. Transformers: Dark Side Of the Moon (2011) –  $1,123.7 billion ( made $352.4b in the US & $771.4b overseas)

6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – $1,119.9 billion ($377.8b in the US & $742.1b overseas)

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Deads…

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Wednesday Workshop

23 Oct

I’ll be forecasting the holiday season (November -December) Including the biggest film of the season The Hobbit.

Weekend Box Office Forecast

19 Oct


This weekend gives us another paranormal activity movie. “Paranormal Activity” is now holding the mantle once held by the “Saw” movies releasing a movie every Halloween.  Coming off yet another 100 million dollar film last year it’s obvious there will be a lot more of these. They’re three key questions to ask while forecasting this weekend.

1. What is the consistent appeal of these movies?

The first film came out of nowhere, costing 30,000 dollars to make and then grossing over 100 million dollars. The second opened to 40 million dollars and the third opened to 52 million dollars and made over 100 million dollars. The common rule of sequels is the second movie has higher opening weekend and total gross and every subsequent sequel faces diminishing returns.”The Paranormal Activity” films have the same found footage premise and yet audiences haven’t gotten sick of it.

The found footage phenomenon tries to give the audiences the impression that what is occurring really happened. “Paranormal Activity” was not the first movie to play this concept to huge box office.

“The Blair Witch Project” in 1999 was the first to use this gimmick to make over 100 million dollars. It was a brilliant marketing ploy at the time audiences really weren’t sure if the movie was real or not. The movie itself wasn’t that great except for the ending. Nevertheless the low-budget nature of both films helps sell the perception that it’s real because they look homemade.

When released “Paranormal Activity” took the found footage gimmick and applied it to a home movie of people sleeping while creepy events occurred. I’ve seen two of the three films in theaters and audiences I believe at this point don’t believe this is real. So it seems there is something more to these films than just being scary because it’s real.

When I went to see the films in theaters the real appeal wasn’t the films themselves but the crowd. Yelling and screaming is important when you go to these movies. If you yell and scream at the screen when you go to see “Looper” or “Argo” people would be pissed. The reason to see these movies is to get the community atmosphere because the films themselves are not that good without the crowd.

2. Does this Franchise finally feel the effect of diminishing returns?

The appeal of these movies has to eventually diminish. While the community atmosphere is still appealing  the films big shock moments that cause the screams are becoming increasingly predictable. Eventually audiences will start to predict the shock moments and the screams and yells will be quieter.

Diminishing returns are inevitable likely starting with this movie but, it doesn’t mean the next few movies won’t make a lot of money.

This leads to question 3

3. How Much Will Paranormal Activity 4 make this weekend?

Since I believe the franchise still has momentum due to audiences liking the community atmosphere it will still have a huge opening weekend. As I pointed out earlier the shock moments are growing more predictable so audiences will start to wonder why they’re paying 10 bucks to see the same movie over and over again.

My Prediction: $44 million the movie begins to experience diminishing returns but still opens huge.

My Prediction vs Experts: My prediction is 44 million dollars

 Box Office Mojo predicts: 42 millions

Box predicts: 46 million

The Hollywood Reporter predicts: less than 40 million.

As you can see only one of us is making a bold prediction because this movie’s performance is very predictable. Throughout this blog I hope to make more bold predictions and compare my results with experts predictions. I also have the benefit of not worrying about any consequences for making too bold a prediction.

Now that I’ve given my opinion give me your opinion of the films or their Box Office prospects

Predicting a Weekend at the Box Office

17 Oct

How much will Paranormal activity 4 make this weekend? This Friday I’m going to give my first forecast and you can provide your own forecasts based on the information available. I’ll go into depth on my opinion of the franchise and when diminishing returns of audience excitement will begin to take place.

Why it’s fun To be a Box Office Nerd

12 Oct

As someone who loves movies I had started to develop a curiosity about how much a movie I like made. I’m sure some have that same curiosity at one point, but how do take that curiosity and turn it into nerd level of knowledge? It’s easy you’ll come to realize movie Box Office is a fun fixation.

The key is to start small all you have to do is have a favorite movie one you have an undying love for.  Then have some curiosity about how much money it made. Say you’re a girl and your favorite movie is “Twilight “, or you’re me and your favorite movie is “Saving Private Ryan“. As you can see the level of box office information available to you is large. Looking at the level of detail of the information it is likely at this point you’re most basic curiosity over how much your favorite movie made has been satisfied.

Or after seeing this information you want to learn more about how much movies made. then it would be good to start here.  You can navigate through the site for a while and satisfy all your curiosity or you could still be more curious.

A popular phrase in Movie ads is the #1 movie in America. That phrase means the movie that made the most money over the weekend.  Well how much did the current #1 movie in America make and what did some previous #1 movies in America make?

After navigating the large level of information available you might start to realize what makes box office fun. Movie box office is sort of a cross between a statistical study and a guessing game. It’s a statistical study because the behaviors of audiences are studied in depth on a weekend by weekend basis.  For example this weekend’s box office was statistically analyzed in depth by Box Office Prophets.

Movie box office is also a fun guessing game as well. If curiosity has begun to take on nerd qualities and you realize guessing box office is fun then you’ll be able to take past box office data and apply it to future movies.

The fun can start as early as a month in advance because in this age of internet movie tickets can be bought well in advance. Twilight has already started selling a record amount of tickets over a month in advance. Another big movie The Hobbit will start selling tickets well in advance also starting November 7th over a month before its release.

So as you can see in this age of internet and instant gratification it is very easy to become a nerd in an unexpected subject.  To think you were only just a little curious to start with.  

Box Office Inflation

4 Oct

What movie has sold the most tickets ever? Looking at the all time box office grosses shows Avatar is currently the highest grossing  film of all time grossing 760 million dollars. In terms of actual physical money made, Avatar is the highest grossing film. If you were to look at tickets sold, Avatar is unlikely to be in the top 20 of all time ticket sales.

The record for most ticket sales belongs to an earlier movie, Gone with the Wind. Avatar‘s 760 million dollars was in theaters in 2009 and 2010. Gone with the Wind was released in 1939. If released when Avatar was, it would’ve made around 1.5 billion dollars: double what Avatar made.

In 1939 the cost of a movie ticket was on average 23 cents, and the average ticket price when Avatar was released in 2009 and 2010 was $7.50. In 1939 Avatar would’ve made 22 million dollars, while Gone with the Wind made 190 million dollars. Some other movies that easily sold more tickets than Avatar are The Sound of Music, Star Wars and Titanic.

The key issue with ticket price inflation is it has led to huge box office numbers but far lower movie attendance. Since 2005 movie attendance has decreased each subsequent year except one, while box office profits have hit record highs.

When Gone With the Wind came out for 23 cents, you got both the movie and they would play some sort of short subject movie and a newsreel. Gone with the Wind was too long for this, but most other movies playing in a theater at that time would show the main movie people came to see, along with a completely different movie called a B movie. The issue here is simply people used to get a lot more for a lot less when they went to the movie.