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

The Winners and Losers of Summer 2019 - Part 1: May

The Winners and Losers of Summer 2019 - 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.


The Intruder (Sony)
Budget: $8 million
Box Office: $36.3 million

I totally forgot this movie even came out. Either way, this Sony/Screen Gems thriller only cost $8 million to produce so the bar was set pretty low and the film managed to clear it, though I wouldn’t imagine enough to justify its existence. The film grossed a decent $36 million at the box office, which should push it into the black.

Result: Pass


long shot - 1.jpg

Long Shot (Lionsgate)
Budget: $40 million
Box Office: $52 million

This well-reviewed political/romantic comedy starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron should have done way better than this. It’s unfortunate that straight-up comedies these days seem to be stuck in the doldrums. Long Shot bombed hard at the box office and that’s surprising considering the movie didn’t even cost that much to make. Off a budget of $40 million, Long Shot only mustered $52 million. The film probably would have needed upwards of $100 million worldwide to be considered a success.

Result: Fail


Uglydolls (STX)
Budget: $45 million
Box Office: $27.5 million

If you thought Long Shot was a bomb, and it is, at least it wasn’t the catastrophe that is Uglydolls. This poorly reviewed animated film cost $45 million to produce, which is cheap for an animated flick, but only grossed $27.5 million. That’s bad. The film should not have been released in such a crowded frame and STX clearly hasn’t figured out how to properly market their films.

Result: Fail


pokemon detective pikachu - 1.jpg

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (WB)
Budget: $150 million
Box Office: $431

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
is the first heavy-hitting following Avengers: Endgame. Warner Bros. were smart to give Avengers a wide berth and it worked in their favor. Audiences were hungry to see something different and while Detective Pikachu wasn’t a runaway success like some thought it might be, it still made enough to be successful. At a budget of $150 million (and all of that budget is on the screen), Pokemon: Detective Pikachu grossed $431 million worldwide and is still crawling ever-so-slightly higher as I type this.

Result: Pass


The Hustle (UAR)
Budget: $21 million
Box Office: $95 million

Here’s another one I totally forgot existed. This comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson flew under the radar for me but apparently still mad ea decent chunk of change at the box office. Off of a $21 million budget, The Hustle made $95 million, more than tripling the production cost.

Result: Pass


Poms (STX)
Budget: $10 million
Box Office: $16

Never heard of this one, completely went under the radar for me, but it grossed $16 million against a $10 million budget, and is obviously not a success at the box office and another miss for STX, which is a studio that doesn’t seem like it’s going to last in the grand scheme of things.

Result: Fail


Tolkien (Fox)
Budget: $20 million
Box Office: $7.8 million

I’m sort of shocked that this one did as poorly as it did. I mean, it probably should have come out in the winter/fall season but the studio probably didn’t think it had much of a shot during awards season. Dumping it at the beginning of summer season was probably unwise and it’s $7.8 million total against a budget of $20 million reflects that.

Result: Fail


john wick 3 - 1.jpg

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (Lionsgate)
Budget: $75 million
Box Office: $319 million

The box office received another shot in the arm from John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, a franchise that just keeps improving upon itself, drastically, from release to release. John Wick 3 has grossed a staggering $319 million worldwide, and it’s still puttering along at the box office as of this writing. This was an easy win and it’ll be interesting to see if the recently announced John Wick 4 can top this one’s performance.

Result: Pass


A Dog’s Journey (Universal)
Budget: probably around $25 million
Box Office: $67.4 million

There’s no reported budget on this one, but if the last film is anything to go by, it probably cost Universal around $25 million to produce. A Dog’s Journey did…okay at the box office, not nearly enough to justify another sequel, but I would say it’s about at break-even with $67 million in box office receipts.

Result: Pass (barely)


The Sun is Also A Star (WB)
Budget: $9 million
Box Office: $6.6 million

This romance/drama grossed $6.6 million against a $9 million budget. Fail. ‘Nuff said.

Result: Fail


aladdin - 1.jpg

Aladdin (DIsney)
Budget: $183 million
Box Office: 1.011 Billion

Wow. I knew this movie would make money, but it didn’t look nearly appealing enough to be a billion+ grosser, and it’s still f****** going! As evidenced by the year so far, Disney is dominating 2019. Aladdin has grossed a staggering $1.011 billion against a budget of $183 million. It is the clear winner of May and has shown excellent legs throughout the summer season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney found a way to make some sort of sequel for this one, which would by default be more interesting than the straight remake that we got.

Result: Pass


Brightburn (Sony)
Budget: $6 million
Box Office: $32.4 million

Brightburn’s $32.4 million worldwide total doesn’t seem particularly great on paper, but when you juxtapose that with it’s $6 million budget, it’s not that bad. Brightburn quintupled its economic budget of $6 million, making for a modest success at the box office, though I’m still skeptical that this will result in a sequel.

Result: Pass


Booksmart (UAR)
Budget: $6 million
Box Office: $23.4 million

This one should have done much better, but $23 million actually doesn’t look quite as bad against it’s $6 million. It’s just depressing that this movie wasn’t marketed more successfully because in another year it could have been a break-out hit comedy.

Result: Pass (barely)


godzilla king of the monsters - 1.jpg

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (WB)
Budget: $170 million
Box Office: $385 million

This one should have done much better than it did. I thought the trailers looked exceptional and I’m a big fan of Michael Dougherty’s work on Trick ‘R Treat and Krampus. The movie came out and got mixed reviews and a a mediocre $385 million box office total to reflect that lukewarm reaction. The film, which was pricey at $170 million would have needed around $450 million to be called a success, it didn’t hit that.

Result: Fail


Ma (Universal)
Budget: $5 million
Box Office: $60 million

Ma turned into an effective counter-programmer, though it didn’t blow the doors off of the box office. The film only cost $5 million and grossed $60 million, which should mint it a pretty decent profit. Still, I don’t think it’s quite enough for a Ma 2.

Result: Pass


Rocketman (Paramount)
Budget: $40 million
Box Office: $185 million

Hoping to catch the runaway biopic train that Bohemian Rhapsody started, Rocketman, while not nearly as massive as the former, is still a success. The film only cost $40 million and has grossed $185 million at the box office so far, and will make a tidy profit off of that.

Result: Pass


May Scorecard

Disney: Win - 1, Loss - 0
Universal: Win - 2, Loss - 0
WB: Win - 1, Loss - 2
Sony: Win - 2, Loss - 0
Paramount: Win - 1, Loss - 0
Fox: Win - 0, Loss - 1
Lionsgate: Win - 1, Loss - 0
UAR: Win - 2, Loss - 0
STX: Win - 0, Loss - 2

May’s Total:
Wins: 10
Loss: 5

Box Office Results - 'Hobbs & Shaw'

Box Office Results - 'Hobbs & Shaw'

Review - 'The Lion King'

Review - 'The Lion King'