Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer Review

The Summer movie season is over. The results are interesting.

Revenge of the threes. Six movies were the third installment of a series. Half of these ( Spider-Man, Shrek,and Pirates) broke $300 million. Of these, none were the best example of the series and none made as much money as the second installment but they still brought in just under a billion dollars in the US alone. Strangely, only Pirates has been singled out as a disappointment even though all three made the current top 10 box office with their second release and the box office of the three is within 10% of each other. Also, Pirates was the only one of the three that had a better third movie than the second.

Of the other 3rds, Bourne might break $200 million. Ocean's 13 only brought in $118 million - not bad but not what they were hoping for. The same is true for Rush Hour 3 at $118 million which is still pretty good for a 50-something action hero.

Along the same lines, Harry Potter 5 failed to break $300 million despite massive publicity from the book release and a solid movie but, at $280 million, the franchise hasn't run out of gas.

Source material. All of the top movies were adapted from some other medium but this year is surprising for the sources. We have Spider-Man (comic book), Shrek (children's book), Pirates (amusement park ride), Transformers (toy/comic book/tv show), and Harry Potter (children's book) before we get to the first original production - Ratatoille. The next two after that are Bourne (spy novel) and the Simpsons (cartoon) before adult films Knocked Up and Live Free or Die Hard . Clearly the days when studios had to release a violent R-rated movie in order to score big at the box office are over. Only one of these was rated R although most of the rest were PG13.

Disappointments. Ocean's 13 made money but didn't live up to expectations. Audiences didn't want to see remakes of the first movie. Evan Almighty did even worse, not quite breaking $100 million. No surprise here since the original had a different cast and premise and was a chick-flick/date movie. Evan had a completely different cast (the star was a bit-player in the original) and premise. It was aimed at families and Christians. Sicko was probably the biggest disappointment. It only brought in $23 million and failed to make national health care the topic of the year.

Overlooked. Ratatoille might break $200 million but it made less than Cars which made less than The Incredibles which made less than Finding Nemo. Ratatoille deserves better. Stardust has only brought in around $27 million. It is much better than that - one of the best movies of the year.

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