Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Box Office June 20 - June 22, 2008

Top 10 box office results for this weekend, June 20th - June 22nd.

Once again, nothing terribly exciting to report. Get Smart was number 1 as expected, pulling in half its budget. Kung Fu Panda continues to do quite well, with a cumulative box office total of over $155 Million - keep in mind that it cost $150 Million to make, and that number doesn't include marketing. So, while $155 Million might seem extraordinary, the film has yet to actually make a profit. It's incredible! These films just keep getting more and more expensive - likely surpassing the rate of inflation. I remember 1990/91, when Terminator 2 was in production, at a budget of $100 Million, which at the time was unheard of, making it the most expensive film ever made up until that point! There was so much hoopla surrounding it's production and eventual release. Will it make a profit? Will it even make its budget back? Etc, etc, etc. Luckily it satisfied both concerns. 17 or so years later, a $100 Million budget for a film is more common than ever. This weekend alone, 4 of the top 10 box office flicks have budgets of OVER $100 Million. Only 1 film on the list has a budget of less than $60 Million - again, these numbers don't include marketing costs, so you can easily add another 25% of each number to itself to get the real numbers. If we took marketing into consideration, 6 out of 10 would be at least $100 Million.

Will the bubble burst eventually, or can we soon expect to start seeing $250 to $300 Million budgets? Damn!

Not-so surprisingly, The Incredible Hulk and The Happening (the top 2 films last week) both dropped more than 60% of their box office totals from last week, with The Happening dropping almost 70% (67.2% exactly). Both are large drops from week 1 to week 2, which tells us that word of mouth on each film from last week to this week was mostly negative. I saw both films and was underwhelmed each time... even downright disappointed, and a little annoyed by both. Each will likely turn a profit in the long run, thanks to international box office returns, although I think Hulk is a much easier sell to foreign markets than The Happening. Regardless, given the overwhelmingly negative critical response to Happening, it'll be interesting to see where Shyamalan's career goes from here. I think he'll find much more resistance from studios.

Sex and the City continues to do well, making over $132 Million thus far, on a $65 Million budget. Even with marketing costs added in, the film has already made a profit, and will likely do very well when it gets to the home video market. I think DVD sales will be strong, even though many of the reviews I've heard/read about the film have been average of less than.

Opening this week, WALL-E (Wide), Wanted (Wide), Finding Amanda (Limited), Gunnin' For That #1 Spot (Limited) and Trumbo (Limited). I might actually see WALL-E (I'm a long-time Pixar fan) and Wanted.

Here are this weekend's results:

1 Get Smart $39,155,000 ($39,155,000) $80
2 Kung Fu Panda $21,700,000 ($155,596,000) $130
3 The Incredible Hulk $21,557,000 $96,476,000 $150
2 N The Love Guru $14,000,000 ($14,000,000) $62
5 The Happening $10,000,000 ($50,267,000) $60
6 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $8,414,000 ($290,835,000) $185
7 You Don't Mess with the Zohan $7,200,000 ($84,055,000) $90
8 Sex and the City $6,465,000 ($132,385,000) $65
9 Iron Man $4,002,000 ($304,788,000) $140
10 The Strangers $1,949,000 ($49,586,000) $9


  1. echo said...

    I think budgets will keep going up and up. In another 17 years we'll be talking about $300 mil deals. It all just seems really wasteful to me. And ticket prices will go up as well to compensate. I'll be staying in a lot more often playing GTA 10 :^)

  2. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Yeah, I reckon the budgets will keep going up, too - sadly, the stories won't necessarily get any better though - if Get Smart and Kung Fu Panda are anything to go by. Granted, I've only seen trailers and am not likely to see either of these movies, but do they really warrant the huge budgets? Really!?

    But then, there'lly always be the occasional surprise big hit with a more modest budget which will confound the critics and turn a profit really quickly. And, of course, some of them will be 'surprise' hits that really shouldn't have been such a surprise - like, wow, who knew women might watch a movie starring women!?


  3. The Obenson Report said...

    @ echo - I just posted an entry on Avatar, the James Cameron sci-fi flick whicha has a budget listed of $200 Million. After marketing costs are included, and you know this will be marketed heavily, I'd expect a final number of around $250 Million. So, we're not that far from $300.

    @ wendy - What I'm learning is that for films like Get Smart, a significant part of the budget goes towards salary for the cast and crew. So it gets pricey when you've got several "name" stars in one film. M. Night Shyamalan, for example, got paid a mid-8-figure sum for writing and directing The Happening. The film's budget was $60 Million, so his salary was likely about 25 to 30% of the budget. Then once you add in paychecks for its stars - Mark Wahlberg and company, that number could go up to 50% of the budget! And on, and on...

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