Welcome to Screenpunk! We document all things media. ENJOY!

The Winners and Losers of Summer 2016 (Part 4: August)

The Winners and Losers of Summer 2016 (Part 4: August)

This article is a box office analysis on most of the films that were released this summer. The quality of said films will not be a factor. A movie might have been critically lauded yet still receive a failing score here because nobody showed up in the theaters to see it. There are many factors that come into play that determine whether a film is successful or not. There's the budget, marketing costs,  differences in distributions of money in all of the various countries, product placement and all sorts of other expenses that I don't have the time to get into. For the sake of this article I'm going to simplify the system and say that if a film earns around three times its budget; it's successful. I know this isn't an exact science, but if you do the math, you'd find yourself in the same ball-park, barring a few rare exceptions. 

I will also be tallying up a score for how many wins and losses each studio has had each month, so look for that along with an overall score for the month at the bottom.


Suicide Squad (WB)
Box Office: $740 million
Budget: $175 million

Suicide Squad broke out in a big way in the beginning and through to the end of August. There was a fear that after being incredibly front-loaded on its opening weekend and having a steep drop on its second weekend, that it might not make it to $300 million domestically. Somehow this film sprouted legs and just kept selling throughout the month, it's actually still going which is pretty remarkable for such a poorly received (not by me) film. Suicide Squad is one of the biggest success stories of the summer, costing $175 million and making around upwards of $740 million worldwide. 

Result: Pass


Nine Lives (EuropaCorp)
Box Office: $44 million
Budget: $30 million

Why does this film exist? An even bigger question: who actually spent money to watch this film? You might be surprised that this film actually made $44 million worldwide. Of course, that wasn't enough to save it from being a box office disappointment as the film cost $30 million to make, but still, people actually went to a movie that thought it was a good idea to have Kevin Spacey provide vocal work to a cat.

Result: Fail


Sausage Party (Sony)
Box Office: $124 million
Budget: $19 million

The R-rated animated flick had a much bigger run than most people expected. The Seth Rogen-voiced toon raked in $97 million domestically and $28 million internationally for a total of $124 million. There's some controversy over how animators weren't paid well and not credited that factored into the films low production cost, so for better or worse, this film made a huge profit.

Result: Pass


Pete's Dragon (Disney)
Box Office: $128 million
Budget: $65 million

This one's not quite wrapped up yet, but it's still not looking too good. Fortunately for Pete's Dragon, it was made on a much smaller budget than most of their other films that adapt original animated classics. I'm actually very surprised this film only cost $65 million as there a good amount of beautiful effects work on display. The film did okay domestically, bringing in $75 million so far, but it's really lagging behind overseas. For now, the movie isn't going to make the cut, but Disney may end up making a bit of change on this one yet.

Result: Fail


Florence Foster Jenkins (Paramount)
Box Office: $44 million
Budget: $19 million

I'm going to go against my rule a bit and give this one a pass. It's right on the cusp of making three times its budget in box office revenue and it likely didn't spend much at all on marketing, so I think it's safe to say that this well-reviewed film made some money. The film brought in $44 million worldwide against a budget of $19 million. If we were going by the math of this series it would have had to make $57 million, but think back to the last time you saw any promotional material for this film. Yeah, I don't remember much more than a small standee at my local theater. Plus, I just feel like giving Paramount at least one pass this Summer.

Result: Pass


Kubo and the Two Strings (Focus)
Box Office: $61 million
Budget: $60

This is heart-breaking. Kubo and the Two Strings is easily my favorite film so far this year, and barring a huge surprise, it'll probably stay there. Kubo has only brought in $47 million domestically, and $61 million worldwide, and to that I say shame on you America. You throw money at The Secret Life of Pets which is completely vapid, sugary entertainment and completely leave out the most beautiful and captivating animated film in years? Sorry, this just gets my blood boiling. Now despite all my doom-and-gloom, all hope is not lost yet. Laika tends to spend less promoting their films and if this film brings in a good amount overseas, it could still catch up, but right now it's just not looking too good.

Result: Fail


War Dogs (WB)
Box Office: $80 million
Budget: $40 million

War Dogs was a decent take on true events with a comedic spin. This was a movie that earned exactly what its quality demanded. $80 million isn't terrible, but making $120 million would have been a lot more ideal. The film will make it into the realm of profitability once it sells a few digital copies and blu-rays, but for now, I don't think WB is making anything off of it. 

Result: Fail


Ben-Hur (Paramount)
Box Office: $90 million
Budget: $100 million

Ben-Hur was handily the winner of the bomb-of-the-year award. This movie exploded on take-off and never recovered. The film only made $26 million domestically, which is absolutely horrible. The reason? Nobody asked for a Ben-Hur remake. This is a seriously damaging blow to Paramount and pretty much solidifies them as the big losers this year, seriously, they've pretty much had nothing to boast about, that'll change next year though, as they have a new Transformers film to pull them from the burning wreckage.

Result: Fail


Don't Breathe (Sony)
Box Office: $130 million
Budget: $10 million

This was another one of the huge horror surprises of the year. Not only did this film have stellar reviews and a great opening, it had legs! Don't Breathe burst out of the gate with $26 million and has (so far) pushed it's way up to $86 million domestically. It's also brought in $44 million overseas for a grand total of $130 million. Sony's is raking it in on this one, which they needed to mitigate the losses on Ghostbusters. I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing a glut of low-budget type horror films in the coming years with actual talent behind the cameras. 

Result: Pass


Mechanic: Resurrection (Lionsgate)
Box Office; $56 million
Budget: $40 million

Mechanic: Resurrection didn't perform badly compared to Jason Statham's other endeavors, but it cost a hefty $40 million to produce. From a box office take standpoint, this is a failure, but Lionsgate doesn't seem to be sweating it as most of the audience for Statham films buy the home release and make most of his films profitable in the long run. Still, $56 million in worldwide box office takes does not a profitable film make when said film costs $40 million to produce.

Result: Fail


August:
Disney - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
WB - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
Sony - Wins: 2, Losses: 0
Universal - Wins: 0, Losses: 0
Fox - Wins: 0, Losses: 0
Paramount - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
Lionsgate - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
EuropaCorp - WIns: 0, Losses: 1
Focus - Wins: 0, Losses: 1

Overall:
Disney - Wins: 2, Losses: 3
WB - Wins: 5, Losses: 3
Sony - Wins: 5, Losses: 1
Universal - Wins: 4, Losses: 2
Fox - Wins: 2, Losses: 2
Lionsgate - Wins: 2, Losses: 0
Paramount - Wins: 1, Losses: 3
STX - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
HTR - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
BGE - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Focus - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
EuropaCorp - Wins: 0, Losses: 1

Overall Total: 
Wins: 22
Losses: 20


Well there you have it, the entire Summer of winners and losers is complete. What's interesting is that there were a total of 22 films that I would label as successful this Summer, with 20 left that had to bite the bullet. That's almost a 50/50 ratio as to whether your film ends up being a success or not, and  an even further indication that the film industry is a very risky business. 

So who won the Summer? There are many ways this could be sliced, but even if it's not accurate, I'm going to keep it simple and give the win to the studio with the most "wins" versus "losses", which surprisingly, is Sony! Sure, they didn't have any huge films like Disney and WB did, but they had a very consistent success rate this Summer despite dropping the ball with Ghostbusters

If you want to check out the previous months results, here you are: May, June, July.

I look forward to doing this again next Summer; I might even consider doing one for the Winter season, specifically November, December and January, we'll see how it all plays out. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Source: Box Office Mojo

Trailer - 'John Wick: Chapter 2'

Trailer - 'John Wick: Chapter 2'

New Images Reveal a Much Darker Tone for 'Logan'

New Images Reveal a Much Darker Tone for 'Logan'