Tag Archives: Hobbit

Box Office History: Christmas and New Year’s

10 Dec
christmas tree

christmas tree (Photo credit: peminumkopi)

So far the three weekends that followed Thanksgiving have released a grand total of three movies, an average of one per week. Then the weekend after The Hobbit opens there’s a grand total of eight movies being released the weekend before and during Christmas.

Movies as diverse as the Judd Apatow comedy This is 40, the Quentin Tarantino slavery film Django Unchained,  and the Oscar hopeful Les Miserables will be opening. The fact is that the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day is about ten days and is one of the biggest ten days of the year to see movies.

The reason moviegoing at this time is so huge is that everyone at least gets Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, and that is the minimum amount of days off people usually get. In fact most people get New Year’s Eve and Day off.

In this span of ten days a movie’s box office gets inflated as if it was getting ten free Fridays.  Christmas, which is the biggest box office day of the year,  is bigger than Independence Day and Memorial Day.

Movie studios began to see the amazing box office potential of Christmas and New Year’s when Titanic opened over Christmas and went on to be the biggest box office hit of all time.  Ever since then we have had movies such as Cast Away, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Night at the Museum, and Avatar open at Christmas.

In fact the Christmas weekend when Avatar broke the second weekend record is the highest grossing weekend of all time. It’s then followed by the New Year’s weekend where a movie’s box office often increases from the Christmas weekend before it.

In the past two years after seeing how well films can do, movie studios decided the more the merrier, and more films started opening over Christmas to get that ten day bump in box office revenue.

These ten days of box office lead to an embarrassment of riches as there really isn’t a single type of film you can’t see over this period. Whatever type of movie you want to see, Christmas and New Year’s have it.

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The Hobbit Reviews have arrived and uh oh!

8 Dec
Director Peter Jackson at the World premiere o...

Director Peter Jackson at the World premiere of the third part of Lord of the Rings in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Certified Fresh logo.

A Certified Fresh logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hobbit reviews have finally been posted and so far not so good. On the web site Rotten Tomatoes which which monitors the percentage of positive reviews by critics has The Hobbit at only 70% positive thus far.

The bigger issue is that of all the positive reviews mostly have come from internet critics, such as bloggers. For example this review is positive. I’d say it’s  a little early to hit the panic button, but I’m concerned. So far top critics, which is what Rotten Tomatoes calls critics like Roger Ebert and the New York Times critic A.O Scott, have been mixed in their praise. Only 1 out of 5 reviews counted thus far has been positive. Even that one was not high praise.

So far Roger Ebert hasn’t reviewed The Hobbit;he’ll probably do it next week.

The common theme of the negative reactions has been the movie is too stretched out and too long. This makes me concerned that Peter Jackson’s appendix excuse might just be a way of disguising it as a cash grab. Normally I can live with a movie being just a cash grab–if the movie is Taken 2 or Ice Age, not The Hobbit. Another thing that worries me is that Peter Jackson has become so obsessed with making technology on this film great that he forgot to care about the story.

I’m probably freaking out a little more than I need to right now because I’ve seen the 6 new clips from The Hobbit and they’re great. I probably should not freak out until more critics see the film, and I see it myself.  I’m planning on personally seeing it twice, once in Imax 3D and  the other time in the controversial 48 frames per second. Even having read the movie’s negative reviews of the format, I have to see it at least once in this format because honestly it’s worth at least giving it a try and I don’t get sick on roller coasters.

Even though I should wait, the reviews so far do give me some reason to worry. My fear is that the film is so poorly received that the box office for parts two and three suffer and the legacy of these movies held so high by Lord of the Rings is forever tarnished.

Roger Ebert, american film critic.

Roger Ebert, american film critic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hobbit is Coming and the Box Office could be huge

3 Dec
The Hobbit (2012 film)

The Hobbit (2012 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Movie studios are running a week in advance:   

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is just two weeks away from release. This weekend coming up there is only one film being released which is a little romantic comedy, Playing for Keeps with Gerard Butler. The reason no other film is even being released is that every movie studio fears The Hobbit. 

Say you work at a movie studio and you see this weekend only has a minor Gerard Butler film being released three weekends before Christmas; they normally jump at the chance to release a big movie. The reason no one has is that they might get a solid opening weekend performance, but in its second weekend the film would likely lose at least half of its audience. The movie studio releasing the Gerard Butler film is hoping for a miracle that the film will be well received and serve as something called counter programming.

Counter programming is when there’s a big box office blockbuster devouring all the money. If people are getting sold out from the showing of the big box office blockbuster or are not a fan of those type of movies, then the Gerard Butler movie is a nice alternative for them. The problem is there’s also the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln and others that probably serve as better options for counter programming.

Early Box Office Forecast have The Hobbit opening to at least  $100 million:

It’s a little early to predict box office, but they’re already some very early rough box office estimates. Box office magazine predicts an opening weekend of $137 million.  So far no box office prediction with the movie still weeks away has it opening to under $100 million. Deadline predicts 106( you have scroll down a little and it’s on the right hand side). So far nobody thinks this won’t break the all time December opening weekend record set by I Am Legend.   

The premiere in New Zeland of The Hobbit was a success with over 100,000 people attending in the city of Wellington. So far no reviews of the film have been released, but it appears there will be some this week. Once reviews start to appear, we can get a better sense of what is to come with the film’s box office.

So what do you think right now The Hobbit’s  box office will be?

Predicting a Weekend at the Box Office

1 Dec
English: Brad Pitt at the Burn After Reading p...

English: Brad Pitt at the Burn After Reading premiere (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This upcoming weekend at the box office will not excite as much as previous weekends. Since The Hobbit is a mere two weeks away, it’s still easy to be excited about the box office, though.

1. Killing them Softly

There is really only one film I want to talk about going into this weekend, the Brad Pitt film Killing them Softly. This is the only new wide release this weekend, and critics have generally liked the film. The movie is in the gangster genre and features returns to this genre from James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta.

With that in mind, I could see the opening box office for this film reaching the double digit millions, but it will be close.

My prediction: $11 million/$35 million total

My Prediction vs the experts: 

Box Office Mojo: $9.5 million

Entertainment Weekly: $8 million

The Hollywood Reporter: $8 million-$10 million

So what do you think of the box office prospects of this movie and The Hobbit coming in 2 weeks?