‘Guardians’’ Box Office Is Out Of This World!

Marvel Studios’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 has–so far–earned over $425 million worldwide!  The likelihood is high that the it will surpass half a billion by this week, and will more than likely finish its theatrical run over a billion dollars.

It’s worth mentioning that the first movie at the end of its run earned a bit over $773 million, though the sequel is outperforming it handily both domestically and abroad.

Though with Alien: Covenant coming out in 10 days the xenomorphs are looking to to take a bite out Guardians’ box office aspirations, which truth be told is unlikely because Alien: Covenant is R-rated, while Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 is PG-13, which means that not only are each geared to a different audience age-wise, but also viewer-wise.

Alien: Covenant will likely skew male, while Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 will not only draw males, but a greater percentage of women, and children (the latter of which should not be watching the Alien movie at all).

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – Teaser Trailer 2

Off the top of my head, I think that I may have seen two Harry Potter movies, though the only one I remember is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (mainly because it was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who did the remarkable Children of Men–one of those rare movies significantly better than the books that inspired them–more so than actually caring anything about the characters).

So, when I learned that Warner Bros was revisiting the well, in my head I didn’t hear ‘New Harry Potter movie!’ more than ‘Studio Desperate for Hit Revisits Profitable Franchise!’

Though to be fair, having seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice I’m shocked that they didn’t announce a new Matrix movie as well.

And speaking of Batman v Superman, Fantastic Beasts is  is apparently coming out the same month, November, as Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange–also starring a preeminent British actor with a storyline that revolves around magic and things that definitely go bump in the night–though I get the feeling that the audience for the two movies is different enough that both should prosper (with a YUGE caveat:  I am not sure who Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is aimed at.  Former children weaned on Harry Potter books and movies?  It’s possible but the bulk of them probably aren’t that old.  Nostalgia?  I have no idea).

When Is A Movie In The Black?

If you ask ten people at what point a movie becomes profitable, you’ll probably get ten answers, each slightly different than the one that proceeded it.

Based on what I have read what I tend to do is double the production costs, as far as breaking even goes.  I’m aware that a movie also has expenses attached to marketing, and that theaters get their cut, though I’ve heard so many varying ideas about what those numbers are that i tend not to put too much stock in them.

Besides, while a studio may release the budget of a particular motion picture, they don’t often release marketing costs, and those can vary greatly based upon the type of film being promoted (typically, I throw in $50 million or so for a tentpole, but that number can also vary–I have also heard of instances where marketing costs add up to half, or even more, of the cost of the producing the movie itself).

In terms of profitability, I tend to use the 3X rule, namely if your movie has earned at least three times its production costs, then that movie is a success (by which I mean you’re in the black).

For instance, Marvel’s Ant-Man has earned over $401 millon, on a $130 million budget.  As far as I can tell that’s pretty successful, particularly for a character that to some is a “flavor of the week.

Analysts Are So Damned Irritating

Everything Is Better With Legos, Including Ant-Man!

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man premiered Friday of last week, and earned domestically just over $58 million by the end of the weekend.    Now keep in mind that the movie was budgeted at $130 million, and when you figure in overseas box office (just over $56 million) it has so far pulled in just over $114 million.

That’s not too shabby–especially when you consider that Ant-Man makes the Guardians Of The Galaxy like the Guardians Of The Galaxy pre-movie–yet some are using words like ‘soft‘ to describe its domestic gross.

Now what matters at this point is if the movie has legs, because it can go either way this early in the game.

Though, speaking of ‘soft,’ that’s a word that’s fine for describing pillows; not so much when applied to either box office gross, erections, or movies based on characters as obscure as the Guardians Of The Galaxy (which was a massive hit).

And besides, I get the feeling that such an interpretation can adversely effect how well a movie does because I know that if I get the feeling that a movie is going to tank I am less likely to see it, especially when all you have to do is wait a few months when it will turn up either on Neflix, Hulu, Direct TV or cable (the later two I don’t have, btw).

Sense8 – Trailer

Sense8 

“When the going gets the tough, the tough make television.”

As far as I am aware, that’s not a real quote, though it accurately describes what’s going on with the Warchowskis, Lena and Larry.  Coming off the box-office failure of Jupiter Ascending (the first time I heard of it I associated it with Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators-Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews, which is never a good thing), the siblings moved on to working with Netflix on a miniseries, Sense8.

Judging from the trailer, it’s about eight people who’ve never met, from all over the world.  They all seem linked in such a way that the capabilities and perspectives of any of them can be called on and manifested in any of the others.

Which is kind of cool if you have kickboxers among your retinue–as they apparently do–but I wonder how things would look if they were composed of a bunch of less-capable individuals.

Then again, Sense8 was written by Michael Straczynski, not anyone connected with Happy Madison.

Taken 3 – Trailer

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) may have “a particular set of skills,” that have been parodied on various shows, such as Family Guy, but it seems to me that some very important questions aren’t being asked, such as:  If Mills and his particular set of skills were so effective, why is it that there will be three movies about a guy that can’t either keep himself of his family safe?

Something to think about.

Though when you take into account that the first Taken earned over $226 million (on a $25 million budget) and Taken 2, while almost doubling the budget of the first movie ($45 million) earned over $376 million you realize that there’s no way that the producers weren’t going to that well again.

‘Ouija’ Or (The Terror Of Diminished Expectations)

I caught Ouija last weekend, and it was okay; by which I mean that it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen (which barely qualifies as praise).  It had moments of interest, though thematically as well as visually it played out eerily similar to movies like The Conjuring, Annabelle and Insidious (which were also produced by Blumhouse Pictures, which I hope is just a coincidence).

What happened to the days when horror movies weren’t afraid to take a risk or two?

When a movie might actually do something that might offend someone’s sensibilities, but as a result end up at the very least an interesting exercise, if nothing else.  And the thing is, it’s not about money because movies like Ouija, The Conjuring and Insidious–which I use purely as examples–aren’t particularly expensive, which in the past often meant that filmmakers could do something a bit out of the ordinary because no one was going bankrupt if the movie tanked.

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