The Winners and Losers of Summer 2016 (Part 1: May)
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.
Captain America: Civil War (Disney)
Box Office: $1.152 billion
Budget: $250 million
Obviously, this is a win. The budget was nothing to sneeze at, but against a worldwide total of $1.152 billion; $250 million is an easier pill to swallow. So let's say this film cost Disney around $750 million, that would leave it with around $400 million to play with. I would imagine that Disney was expecting a tiny bit more out of this one, considering Iron Man 3 was able to muster $1.4 billion, somehow more than a film with Iron Man and everyone else in the Avengers. That being said, this film will definitely be in either the top two or three of the year, depending on how Rogue One performs.
The Darkness (HTR)
Box Office: $10.9 million
Budget: $4 million
I had to look this film up to remember what it was. I still didn't quite remember it, but it did star Kevin Bacon. The movie made about $10.9 million, which isn't the worst possible outcome for only a $4 million investment, that being said, I doubt any money was made on this and it may end up having to rely on home video sales.
Money Monster (Sony)
Box Office: $93 million
Budget: $27 million
Money Monster was directed by Jodie Foster and stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Just on star-power alone, this should have done a bit better. That being said, it's still probably in the black from a financial stand-point and will only make more on home video. It banked $93 million worldwide on a $27 million budget. Money Monster needed to make around $80 million and it cleared that bar, so it gets a pass.
The Nice Guys (WB)
Box Office: $57 million
Budget $50 million
The Nice Guys is a good throwback to the old-school buddy action flick. It's too bad that not enough people showed up to make it a success. The film cost a not-cheap $50 million. By my math, it should have made around $150 million worldwide to be a success. The movie only mustered $57 million. For now, it's in trouble, but I see this film gaining a second life once more people discover it later on down the road.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (Universal)
Box Office: $107 million
Budget: $35 million
This is a tricky one. Neighbors 2 fell hard from the $270 million of its predecessor, but still made about three times it's budget. The film brought in $107 million worldwide and cost a conservative $35 million. So, if this film really did profit a measly $2 million, I guess we can call it a mild success, though I hesitate to say that. I'll give it a pass based solely on that fact that I see it selling a good deal of copies once it comes out on home release.
Angry Birds (Sony)
Box Office: $346 million
Budget: $73 million
Angry Birds was a much-needed success story for the ailing Sony pictures. The film cost a modest $73 million for an animated feature and raked in $346 million, and it's not quite wrapped up yet. The movie easily surpassed three times its budget and became one of the most successful "based-on-a-videogame" flicks.
X-Men: Apocalypse (Fox)
Box Office: $541 million
Budget: $178 million
This film cut it pretty close. By my math, Apocalypse needed to make $534 million to clear the bar, and it did so with $541 million with some change still left to count. It's a little disappointing that this film didn't come close to the numbers that its predecessor hit, but at least it didn't drop that hard and still ended up above every other X-Men endeavor from a global standpoint.
Alice Through The Looking Glass (Disney)
Box Office: $294 million
Budget: $170 million
This was easily one of the biggest disappointments of the summer. I say disappointment and not bomb because it still managed about $300 million. If not for the prequel grossing over $1 billion, this would have simply been an uneventful waste of money. That being said, it will most definitely not be profitable. To be in the black it should have made at least $510 million. Obviously, the film did not hit that mark.
That sums up May, which turned out being a very up-and-down affair. Here's a list of the wins and losses for the month:
Disney - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
Universal - Wins: 1, Losses: 0
WB - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Sony - Wins: 2, Losses: 0
Fox - Wins: 1, Losses: 0
HTR - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Be sure to check in shortly for my analysis of June's 2016's successes and failures!