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Friday, April 26, 2013

How Much Money Can 'Iron Man' Lift?

     Iron Man 3, the new movie from...does this really need an introduction? Okay, I'll give it one. Starring the Robert Downey Jr, Gweneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pierce, Rebecca Hall, and John Favreau, it is the latest installment in the Iron Man franchise, this time directed by action director Shane Black, produced by Marvel, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Iron Man 3 takes places after The Avengers and it's the first film in Marvel's 'Phase 2'.
     America will finally get the film in 7 days, May 3rd, but most other countries already have their hands - or eyes - on it. Iron Man 3 opened April 24, 25, and today the 26th in most countries, including big boy territories - the UK, Australia, France, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines. China, Hollywood's new favorite vacation spot, gets the movie May 3rd. It's hard to believe, but America gets the movie 2nd to last - May 3rd. China's ahead in time zones, they beat us.
     So whats the big deal? "Yay, Iron Man is out in places I'll never go. Why are you telling me?" I'm telling you because Iron Man 3 is doing something big and somewhat unexpected. Iron Man 3 in many countries has opened bigger than the big Avengers in its first few days. Do you remember how massive Avengers was? So massive, it would put a dent in Mount Everest if you sat Avengers on top of it. So massive, NASA gives it a planetary certification. It was that massive - the biggest movie since '09. Yeah, only three years, but that was the biggest movie since '97, so its a big deal. Wow, I've said "big" a lot.
     Does this mean Iron Man 3 will outgross Avengers' $1.5 billion worldwide? #3 all time? Likely not, but it does mean Iron Man is about to light up the box office. Front yard Christmas lights style.
     In the Philippines and Taiwan, Iron Man 3 scored the biggest opening day of all time - picture that in a Kayne West VMA voice - "okay other blockbusters, I'ma let y'all finish, but Iron Man 3 had the biggest opening of all time...all time" *drops mic and walks away*. It's total already stands at $36.5 million - in 2 days. In the UK, it opened behind Avengers, but ahead in Hong Kong and Indonesia. It opened 3rd all time in South Korea and 2nd all time in Argentina.
     Iron Man 3's impressive WW debut bodes well for America. IM3 has little chance of outdoing Avengers record $207M, but a debut between $150-$180M looks in store, which could place it even 2nd all time if it makes over $169.2M. The marketing for IM3 has been stellar and RDJ made a world tour, promoting the movie around the world. There was worry that now that Iron Man is flying solo (pun not intended), that some people would lose interest (spoiler alert - no Hulk smash in Iron Man 3). There was also worry that the lazy movie that talked us to death, aka Iron Man 2, would impact this one, as not-as-well received sequels tend to do to their threequels, but it looks like Iron Man 3 is having no problem.
     Thanks the the marketing, stellar reviews -  92% on RT as of this post, the "Avengers effect", the star power of RDJ, heavy action, great performances (Ben Kinglesy Oscar 2014? Hmm...), and Iron Man being catapulted to at least the worlds 2nd favorite hero (behind Batman), if not the first, Iron Man 3 is poised to smash the BO. Hulk smash. Minus the Hulk. In America, Catching Fire will give it a run for its money, but IM3 is still my favorite to win the year. Come back next week when I reveal just how big IM3 did do and give a spoiler free review. Catch Iron Man and his 30-something suits now or next week, depending on your locale!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chugging Along, Fast As We Can

2013 got off to a slow start. January was a dud, February was horrendous, but March picked up slack, but it wasn't good enough. March was the 3rd highest grossing and 8-10th highest attended March ever; so somewhat a plus. February doesn't crack the top 10 adjusted though. Things do look promising in the coming months.
     So "why" you ask? Why the slow start? 2012, especially the first three months, set the BO on fire and 2012 broke oh so many records; so why does replacing the "2" with a "3" drag everything back down? Well there were a couple factors. Lack of family affair, violence, and poor reviews.
     Violence. Violence, violence, violence. There was so much violence. After the extremely tragic events at Newtown in December, America was tired of seeing it; I know I was. 10 movies were released wide in January and of those 10, 9, yes 9 were rated R. Then there was a PG-13 horror tossed in there (which was the highest grossing of the month by far). Of those 8 R rated movies, 5 would qualify for "shoot-em-up, blow-em-up, chop-em-up" style. TV is also rattled with violence now and Americans were likely asking themselves "why go pay $10 at the theater to watch more violence?" It wasn't only the violence though; only 2 movies (one technically coming out in 2012) were given "fresh" reviews; Mama and Zero Dark Thirty.
     February was even worse. Way worse. 11 movies (5 rated R, 0 G) were released wide in February and the biggest by far and currently #2 for the year was Identity Theft. Starring the red hot comics Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, IT was the first true comedy of the year, and the R rating didn't stop it. In wake of all the violence, all we needed was a little comedy. Though IT received poor reviews, audiences didn't care. The simple premise and comedic draws were enough to drive the crowds. Nick Sparks' PG-13 Safe Haven was second with $70M. Even though Die Hard 5 was #3 for February, it shouldn't have been. Die Hard 5 was the frontrunner to win the month and it crashed and burned (like many things in the movie). Negative reviews were probably the biggest killer for this as it opened somewhat solid over Valentines Weekend. Warm Bodies was the biggest surprise of the month, ranking #3 for zombie movies. Bullet to the Head (yes, that's the title), was the latest of R-rated shoot-em-up fare to fall victim to 2013 audiences not having it and it became a bomb for WB. Funny thing is they took out "killer" in the bomb Jack the Giant Slayer to make it more friendly. Maybe "Blow to the Head" or "Kiss to the Cheek" would have been better? Beautiful Creatures also had an ugly gross.
     March was the best of the bunch, but it wasn't "march madness" from last year. Jack the Giant Slayer bombed hard and will lose WB over $150M. The college crowd wasn't ready to be 21 and Over as that made half of Project X's gross. There was Last Exorcism 2 that got zero demons out of anybody. Phantom bombed. Dead Man Down (another violent R) was DOA. Spring Breakers was solid and made back its budget, but the party was short. Burt Wonderstone was the latest tragedy for WB and is one of Carrel's and Carey's lowest grossers ever. And I hope no one was a host for the party for The Host, because no one came. WAIT! March did have a bright side. Olympus Has Fallen broke the streak of violent R failing and earned over $30M on OW. It is poised to finish between $80-$100M and is Film District's biggest hit yet. The Croods luckily was no Guardians. Croods, the first big animated family movie of the year, has been doing very well and should finish between $170M-$200M. Speaking of $200M, Oz was the biggest movie of the month and year so far, grossing $212M and $454M worldwide. That's a hefty number, but Oz likely won't break the black in theaters due to the insane budget and marketing costs. Good thing the 99 cent "Oz Temple Run" is lighting up the App Store. GI Joe 2 is also a solid hit and gave March a boost and Temptation and The Call had a strong openings. 15 movies went wide in March.
     April doesn't look electrifying (does it ever?), but it won't be another "February". Summer 2013 though, looks gigantic and looks to be one of the biggest summer's ever. 2013 with the slow start could still pick up slack and get back on 2012 levels, but Summer will need to be a beast and the Holidays will need to live up to the hype. April could also provide some help to, which it's doing this weekend, with Evil Dead at #1, was bigger than the same weekend last year. There you go! We're getting somewhere.