Expectations are high for June 2013's Man of Steel.
Warner Bros. needs a new mega franchise now that its two cash cows--Harry Potter and Batman--are finished. (At least for the time being. We don't think we've seen the last of either character.) Those two franchises helped Warner Bros. dominate the box office in recent ten years. Now Disney is set to prosper in the same way thanks to its acquisition of Marvel and all the lucrative superhero properties that came with as well as the recent purchase of Lucasfilm that will begin to pay off in 2015 with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII.
As fast as it came (or slowly, for fans of several long-anticipated franchise flicks), 2012 is now a memory. Like any year, up or down, it left an indelible mark on box office history. We're taking one final look back at which films' runs impressed us the most.
By way of a preferential voting system, the Boxoffice team has compiled our top five performers: one set for domestic and one for international.
We decided early on that our criteria had to expand beyond what movies simply made the most money. Instead, our aim is to highlight the films whose success exceeded...
2012 was a breakthrough year for the China/Hollywood relationship, but it's only the beginning. 2013 is bound to be full of major Hollywood success stories at the Chinese box office.
China's box office totaled around $2.7 billion in 2012. Foreign films (read: mostly Hollywood films) made up $1.9 billion of that total. The overall box office should easily pass $3 billion--and that's being modest--in 2013, so even if Hollywood's share of the total remains the same the dollar amount should increase substantially.
Ernst & Young predicts that China's total box office will pass North America's by the year 2020. Some pundits, like China Film Biz's Rob Cane, predict that it could happen sooner. Hollywood is on high alert.
Let's get the obvious fact out of the way: movies based on current wars, more often than not, are box office poison. Sometimes to no fault of their own.
The recent history of the "genre" has been a fairly ugly one. Green Zone, Body of Lies, Charlie Wilson's War, Lions for Lambs and The Kingdom each saw disappointing box office results relative to their production and marketing budgets. On average, those five films actually lost money for their backing studio - the most "profitable" of the bunch being Charlie Wilson's War, which banked a low 16 percent more than its combined budget. By the time exhibitors were given their share, it's unlikely even that film became profitable until long after it hit the home video market.
As will occur from time to time, this week's Most Anticipated Movies via our forums delivered an identical top three to our previous update before Christmas. This time, however, Star Trek Into Darkness padded its lead over Man of Steel with a 37 percent gap in votes. Trek has now topped the chart for three consecutive weeks.
Meanwhile, Iron Man 3 remains in third place for a second straight week - comfortably ahead of fourth place-finisher, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which jumped one spot. Thor: The Dark World increased by two positions this week and rounds out the top five.
How should Hollywood define "bankable" in 2013?
Should it be based more on the relationship between salary and grosses? Or should it be based on the ability to consistently pick quality projects that do well at the box office? At Boxoffice.com we put more stock in the ability to consistently pick quality projects, but the other factors are also very important. With all due respect to Forbes, we have a different, more fluid definition of bankable than the one that led them to put Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart at the top of their new list. Portman and Stewart are talented actresses, but they are not what we would call reliable draws.
May 2013 is poised to kick off the summer movie season in a big way.
Living up to the impressive $1.024 billion haul that May 2012 earned won't be easy. The big challenge will be matching the impact of Marvel's The Avengers. Disney's superhero flick accounted for $532.5 million--or more than half--of May 2012's total. The Avengers cast a shadow over the rest of the month, and films such as Battleship and Dark Shadows opened soft as a result.
Disney/Marvel will kick off the summer season again this year with Iron Man 3 on May 3. The first full trailer for IM3 generated plenty of online enthusiasm, and the influence of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy is clear in the somber, brooding preview.