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The Winners and Losers of Summer 2017 (Part 1: May)

The Winners and Losers of Summer 2017 (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.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (Disney)
Box Office: 853 million (and still climbing)
Budget: $200 million

Obviously this was going to be a success. The first Guardians of the Galaxy astonished with a worldwide total of 773 million back in 2014. Since then, the demand and anticipation for a sequel has reached a fever pitch. The sequel has so far grossed a huge 853 million worldwide, which is the perfect healthy number for a sequel of this nature. That said, I bet Disney is slightly disappointed that this didn't break out even larger and make a run for the mythical 1 billion club. Despite not hitting astronomical numbers, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is still an unmitigated success. 

Result: Pass


King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword (WB)
Box Office: $140 million
Budget: $175

Now this one is probably the most clear-cut bomb of the year, and I really don't think any other film, not even Valerian, will top it's bomb status. King Arthur only made $140 million worldwide off of a staggering budget of $175 million. There were ways that this film could have been successful, it just need better marketing and a much lower budget. There's no reason why this film should have cost as much as it did. I think you could honestly get away with making a great King Arthur film on a conservative $65 million budget. That said, I actually enjoyed this movie and I'm pretty sad that it bombed as hard as it did. Better luck next time I guess.

Result: Fail


Snatched (Fox)
Box Office: $58 million
Budget: $42 million

Here's another film that, if it had been more reasonably budgeted, might have been a small success story. There's really no reason for a comedy like this to cost much more than $20 million, yet here we are with a pretty fat budget of $42 million. I haven't seen the movie myself, but unless there is some huge action sequence that wasn't in the advertising, I really don't see the money on the screen. The movie only made $58 million worldwide, so unless Snatched really takes off when it hits VOD and DVD, I don't see this one being profitable at all. 

Result: Fail

Alien: Covenant (Fox)
Box Office: $228 million (and still climbing)
Budget: $97 million

This is a tricky one. Alien: Covenant is definitely a disappointment at the box office, but it also wasn't as big of a financial risk as Prometheus was. Covenant actually had a pretty reasonable budget at around $97 million, but after it's semi-disappointing opening weekend, it dropped like a rock. So far the film has counted $228 million worldwide and still has a smidge of juice left, but it likely won't be enough to be profitable. For now, this one's a dud, but maybe it inches its way over the line after it sells a few Blu-rays. 

Result: Fail


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Fox)
Box Office: $31 million
Budget: $22 million

This is the fourth entry in the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' franchise, and after it's disappointing box office results, it's probably the last. The movie only made $31 million worldwide, which is never good, no matter how small your budget is. In Wimpy Kid's case, it was $22 million, which normally a pretty easy hurdle to jump, but I don't think anyone had any interest this time around. 

Result: Fail


Everything, Everything (WB)
Box Office: $42 million
Budget: $10 million

Thanks to a very reasonable budget and a decent amount of interest, Everything, Everything is a modest success. The film only cost $10 million to produce, and it easily quadrupled that number with $42 million in worldwide grosses. 

Result: Pass

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Disney)
Box Office: $682 million (and still climbing)
Budget: $230 million

While the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is seeing some obvious franchise fatigue in the fifth entry, its still making enough to be a profitable endeavor. The film cost a pretty hefty $230 million, but it's also going to pass $700 million in the worldwide box office, which is more than three times its budget. I don't think the film will make enough to justify a sixth entry, but its no slouch either. 

Result: Pass


Baywatch (Paramount)
Box Office: $137 million (and still climbing)
Budget: $69 million

Poor Paramount. They've had so many duds in the past few years that I've completely lost count. Baywatch is another one to throw atop the mounting bon-fire of flops. Baywatch has grossed $137 million worldwide, which wouldn't be bad for most comedies, but this one happened to cost almost $70 million, making $200 million the bar that it really needed to pass to be regarded as a hit. There's still hope in the home video market for this one, but for now, it's no winner. 

Result: Fail


May:

Disney - Wins: 2, Losses: 0
Universal - Wins: 0, Losses: 0
WB - Wins: 1, Losses: 1
Sony - Wins: 0, Losses: 0
Fox - Wins: 0, Losses: 3
Paramount - Wins: 0, Losses: 1
Lionsgate - Wins: 0, Losses: 0
STX - Wins: 0, Losses: 0
A24 - WIns: 0, Losses: 0

May's Total
Wins: 3
Losses: 5

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

Overall Total
Wins: 3
Losses: 5

While this might not seem like a great start to the Summer, there really was only one outright "bomb" and that was King Arthur. The rest of the lot were simply whiffs that we're close to breaking even, or didn't cost much to begin with. Disney is really the only true winner here this month as they had two big ones in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 and Pirates 5. Next month is sure to be a lot different and more studios enter the fold. Stay tuned!

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