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The Winners and Losers of Summer 2016 (Part 3: July)

The Winners and Losers of Summer 2016 (Part 3: July)

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.


The Legend of Tarzan (WB)
Box Office: $356 million
Budget: $185 million

I have a lot to say about this film. The Legend of Tarzan didn't make enough to be profitable in theaters, so it's going to get a "fail" here, let's just get that out of the way. That being said, this film did a LOT better than many were expecting. This is a film that I think could have easily cost less to produce, but for some reason WB decided to blow $185 million on it. Never a wise decision. Most films would be overjoyed to get to $356 million worldwide, yet all it does for The Legend of Tarzan is classify it as not a "bomb" and more of a "whew, that was a close!". It's likely this film will be profitable in the end once all of the physical sales are factored in, but for now it doesn't quite cut it.

Result: Fail


The Purge: Anarchy (Universal)
Box Office: $113 million
Budget: $10 million

The Purge: Anarchy continued the trend of low-budget horror films performing exceptionally at the box office. The film had a modest budget of $10 million; it earned over 11 times that at the box office ($113 million), so it's easy money for Universal and it's very likely we'll be seeing a lot more of this franchise in the near future.

Result: Pass


The BFG (Disney)
Box Office: $171 million
Budget: $140 million

This makes me sad. The BFG was one of the few movies this year that just felt pleasant to watch. Stephen Spielberg crafted an endearing story coupled it with inventive and colorful special effects. It's upsetting to list this film as one of the bombs along with the likes of Alice Through The Looking Glass and TMNT: Out of the Shadows. The BFG only brought in $171 million (though it's not quite done yet) against a hefty budget of $140 million, that's not good guys. This film will likely never reach profitability and Disney will take a pretty sizable hit, though I wouldn't cry for them, they're doing just fine. 

Result: Fail


The Secret Life of Pets (Universal)
Box Office: $807 million (and counting)
Budget: $75 million

This also makes me sad, but for different reasons. I guess I'm just tired of Illumination's shtick. I guess I just wish they were a little more high-minded in regards to the type of entertainment that they produce for children and families, like, what is this film teaching kids? To be caught up on pop culture and to laugh at slapstick jokes? Sorry, I know I sound bitter. That being said, Universal needed a big hit this year as they've had a string of financial disappointments this year. The Secret Life of Pets answered the call and has grossed an incredible $807 million so far and it's still not done. In addition to this, the film only cost $75 million, so it's really no surprise at all that they announced a sequel so swiftly. 

Result: Pass


Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (Fox)
Box Office: $76 million
Budget: $33 million

I'm not sure why this film took $33 million to make, but for that reason it didn't make the cut. If this film had cost $25 million or lower, it might have been seen as more of a success. The comedy brought in $76 million worldwide and will have to rely on VOD and physical sales to make any sort of profit. That being said, this is far from a bomb and nothing more than a ding in Fox's record this year. 

Result: Fail


Ghostbusters (Sony)
Box Office: $227 million
Budget: $144 million

This is just not a great month for would-be blockbusters. Ghostbusters was yet another victim of Summer 2016. The film didn't do THAT bad domestically with around $127 million, but it was absolutely crippled overseas and wasn't even allowed entry in China, which has grown into a crucial market for studios. Don't expect a sequel to Paul Feig's Ghostbusters to be announced any time soon.

Result: Fail


The Infiltrator (Broad Green Pictures)
Box Office: $17 million
Budget: $28 million

There's really no reason this film should have come out in the middle of the summer movie season; this clearly would have performed better in the fall. The Bryan Cranston-starring film brought in a disappointing $17 million against a $28 million budget. 

Result: Fail


Star Trek Beyond (Paramount)
Box Office: $333 million (and counting)
Budget: $185 million

Not a great year for Paramount, guys. I don't know why not as many people showed up for this film; it was a crowd-pleaser that seemed to hit all of the right notes. Maybe people were just burned out by this point, who knows. The film's not a total bomb, but you know Paramount was looking for more out of this. Hopefully Beyond still makes enough to warrant making the fourth film; which J.J. Abrams claims has the best script yet. Star Trek Beyond has brought in $333 million worldwide thus far against a hefty $185 million budget, it still has a long way to go to profitability.

Result: Fail


Lights Out (WB)
Box Office: $145 million
Budget: $4.9 million

Lights Out has made $145 million worldwide so far; which is an absolutely incredible result for a horror film that only cost $4.9 million to produce. This goes to show you that if you make a quality chiller; people will show up in droves and even return to see it again. WB is likely patting themselves on the back for this one, and it's also no surprise that we'll be getting a Lights Out 2 very soon.

Result: Pass


Ice Age: Collision Course (Fox)
Box Office: $402 million
Budget: $105 million

I'm happy to finally see this franchise fade out; it's been a long time coming. Collision Course will still make a decent profit here, but I think Fox will shy away from a sequel after seeing just how steeply this one fell from the previous entry ($402 million vs. $877 million). 

Result: Pass


Jason Bourne (Universal)
Box Office: $396 million (and counting)
Budget: $120 million

This was another much-needed success for Universal. Oddly, this one was a bigger hit internationally ($235 million) than it was domestically ($161 million); which is a rarity for the Bourne franchise. The film cost a reasonable $120 million, so it helped that it didn't have an incredibly high bar to clear. After the lukewarm reception to this entry though, I don't know how likely it is that we'll see another sequel anytime soon. 

Result: Pass


Nerve (Lionsgate)
Box Office: $69 million
Budget: $20 million

Nerve is another needed hit, albeit a modest one, for Lionsgate which is having a bit of a rough year as well. The thriller has brought in a decent $69 million so far against a modest budget of $20 million. VOD and physical sales will be a nice icing on the cake and this should be a decent win for the studio overall. 

Result: Pass


Bad Moms (STX Entertainment)
Box Office: $158 million (and counting)
Budget: $20 million

Bad Moms was one of the leggiest hits of the summer, making most of its money domestically ($111 million). The film is STX Entertainment's first to cross the $100 million mark and has likely made them a good chunk of change. They haven't announced a sequel yet, but don't be surprised when they do. 

Result: Pass


July:

Disney - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Universal - Wins: 3, Losses: 0
WB - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
Sony - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Fox - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
Paramount - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Lionsgate - Wins: 1, Losses: 0
STX - Wins: 1, Losses: 0
BGE - Wins: 0, Losses: 1

June's Total
Wins: 7
Losses: 6

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

Overall Total
Wins: 18
Losses: 14


That was a rough July, apart from Secret Life Of Pets and Jason Bourne; all of the other potential blockbusters bit the dust. This may have been a case of too many choices for audiences or just blockbuster fatigue...maybe both. Next up is the final month of Summer. Check back in shortly to see if August is our savior for the Summer.

For anyone that missed the previous two months of grades; here's May and June.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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