Sunday, November 29, 2009

By the Numbers... Returns!

There's something about Box Office figures that attracts me. Perhaps it's the mathematical side, the predicting side, or just the amazing ways in which the numbers seem to change from film to film. This past weekend saw the biggest Thanksgiving weekend gross for films in the history of the US, with of course New Moon and The Blind Side leading the way with $40million + take. Their being successful doesn't surprise me nor does it really bother me all that much. What it does do though is inspire me to be annoyed by how films so predictably for their audience work time and time again.

I get that there is a flair, and certain enjoyment, to be attained from knowing what you're going to get. As well I wouldn't waste my time arguing the merits of either film. Yet I have to say, people need to get out and see something different for a change! You never really know what you enjoy until you try it all out, and as such people need to stop avoiding "oscar" films just because they don't star your favorite actor/actress. Even then though they're not solo box office appeals, it's something about the stories that are run so heavily through the hollywood machine people just prefer them that way.

Yet after this weekend New Moon will have taken in roughly $473,674,000 worldwide at the box office in it's two week run. While Twihards (or whatever you want to call them) will scream for joy, I want to put this into perspective for film fans.

In order to make event $473,674,000 you would have to combine the worldwide grosses of the following films:
(500) Days of Summer - $46,602,613
Moon - $7,191,615
Precious - $32,461,000
An Education - $5,901,871
The Hurt Locker - $16,107,592
Bright Star - $4,470,363
A Serious Man - $8,183,000
Where the Wild Things Are - $74,842,777
The Informant! - $35,424,896
Sunshine Cleaning - $16,174,377
District 9 - $199,448,079

*all figures as of 11/29/2009

Though guess what? Even with all those films you'd still be roughly $27million short of making the amount Twilight: New Moon has grossed in two weeks... Now I'm not saying all these movies are better than New Moon, or anything of the sort (we all know movie taste is relative). I'm just saying there are SO many movies people don't go watch because they're not the MTV super hype machines. They're a bit edgier, darker, at times more intellectually challenging, than the "safe" confines of something as generic and bland as New Moon. I don't get depressed easily these days, but these numbers sure do take the cake.

2 better thoughts:

Marcy said...

Most of the New Moon tickets were bought by teenage girls who just want to watch a movie, hang out with their friends, and have a good time. It's understandable. I've been there.

Every movie is technically aimed at a certain audience. Some audiences are larger than others. Some of the films you listed are aimed towards a more grown-up audience who would rather rent their movies rather than watch them in theaters. But they should watch them in theaters because that's the only way those more substantial movies can make some serious money. (And well, Oscar buzz always helps.)

I don't think all blockbusters are bad, though. How about the most recent Harry Potter movie? That was a surprisingly well-made, engaging, and substantial blockbuster. And that made a lot of money too.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

WOW! A whole four millions dollars for Bright Star.That's so much. rolls eyes

I suppose we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that the box office is not a judge of the best in show or anything. Whatever, the box office is for movies, and award shows are for films.

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