Box Office Update: What It Says About The State Of The Movie Industry

The Ratings Junkie Thursday, July 06, 2017
ShowBuzzDaily recently published a list of movies released by seven major movie studios so far in 2017 and how much money they made in the worldwide box office. The list can be found here. In this article, I'll discuss the highest and lowest-grossing movies from each studio. The numbers are up to date through July 2nd and are subject to change by the end of the year.

Highest-Grossing: The Fate of the Furious
Lowest-Grossing: A Dog's Purpose

This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. The Fate of the Furious is in a league of its own, more than tripling the worldwide gross of their #2 film, Fifty Shades Darker. What should be noted is that Despicable Me 3 is already #3, and could give The Fate of the Furious a run for its money by the end of the year.

On the low side was A Dog's Purpose, which was set to be a somewhat high-profile project until controversy struck just weeks before the release of the film. That controversy most certainly hurt this book adaptation.

So, what does this say about Universal's 2017 movie slate? People love their franchises.

Highest-Grossing: Beauty and the Beast
Lowest-Grossing: Born in China

The live-action Beauty and the Beast movie is currently the highest-grossing movie of the year thanks to its name recognition and high-profile cast. While there was always a chance of it disappointing, that chance seemed very slim from the start. Meanwhile, documentary Born in China didn't fare as well. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise given that it was a documentary, but was seemingly popular in China.

With Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and a new Pirates of the Caribbean installment also doing well: Again, people like their franchises.

Warner Brothers
Highest-Grossing: Wonder Woman
Lowest-Grossing: Unforgettable

Wonder Women didn't exactly have a lot of competition for top Warner Brothers film, but it is nonetheless an accomplishment. It's reported that it was the #1 film in the franchise amongst women, meaning it drew in some viewers who otherwise wouldn't watch a movie in that genre.

Meanwhile, the Katherine Heigl curse is not limited to television, as Unforgettable seemingly failed to make money. Looks like the Fifty Shades audience wasn't interested in this film of the same genre.

What does this say? Well, once again a franchise comes out on top while a franchise movie is stuck at the bottom. Kong: Skull Island the the LEGO Batman Movie coming in #2 and 3, respectively, also showed that franchises are alive and well.

20th Century Fox
Highest-Grossing: Logan
Lowest-Grossing: A Cure for Wellness

20th Century Fox's highest-grossing film was Logan, which followed Marvel's Wolverine character. A Cure for Wellness was a non-franchise film that failed to gross as much money as its budget. So does this mean that once again, franchises are doing better than non-franchise movies?

Well, somewhat. Behind Logan at #2 and 3 were, respectively, The Boss Baby and Hidden Figures. Meanwhile, the Captain Underpants movie, based on the popular children's novel series, came in #5 of 8, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul was second-to-last, and is considered by many to be a box office bomb. This gives some hope that, at least at 20th Century Fox, franchise movies can still break through. Time will tell if we'll ever see Boss Baby 2 or Hidden Figures 2, but at least they look like feasible options and didn't flop out of the gate.

Highest-Grossing: Transformers: The Last Knight
Lowest-Grossing: Monster Trucks

The Transformers film being the highest-grossing one for Paramount is far from a surprise, and should continue to distance itself as more time goes by in theaters (it was only released in mid-late June). It should be noted that, like Fox's new Diary of a Wimpy Kid installment, the film has been critically panned, meaning franchise films are far from invincible with critics.

Monster Trucks looked to be Paramount's new stab at a children's animated franchise, as the brand itself is very popular. They were betting big on it, with an estimated budget of $125 million. However, it look in barely over half of that, meaning it was a huge box office bomb. So much for a new franchise.

Highest-Grossing: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Lowest-Grossing: Rough Night

The final installment of the Resident Evil franchise lended Sony its #1 film of 2017 so far, with a Smurfs sequel behind in a somewhat distance 2nd. The Scarlett Johansson-led Rough Night, however, flopped out of the gate despite not-terrible reviews.

The bottom line at Sony is franchises work, but not so much for non-franchises. Are you noticing a trend yet?

Highest-Grossing: John Wick Chapter 2
Lowest-Grossing: Rock Dog

Lionsgate's top two films out of six so far this year are John Wick Chapter 2 and a new Power Rangers installment. Outside of that, they didn't have the best of luck. Their #3 film, The Shack, seemingly made a good deal of money but was critically panned, making a possible The Shack 2 less of a possibility. Patriots Day came in fourth to mostly positive reviews but less-than-stellar box office numbers, and the Tupac-based All Eyez on Me came in #5 to also somewhat disappointing numbers. But what was by far the most disappointing was Rock Dog. While new to most Americans, it was based on a popular Chinese graphic novel and was surrounded by a solid deal of promotion. The film's box office gross was far from matching its budget. At least it had somewhat solid reviews, but that doesn't pay the bills.

It should be clear by now that franchise films in general do better than non-franchise films. Oftentimes the reviews of those films should be a solid indicator if movie-goers will return to see a hypothetical future installment, and the reviews were good for the most part for franchise films.

So does this mean original films are dead? Not quite. The movie industry is a business and sets out to give people what they want to see. While many of the non-franchise films don't work out so well, some do. Think of it like freshmen vs veteran shows in television. While a lot of freshmen shows don't connect with a large enough audience, some do and go on to have long lives. Also, there's nothing wrong with giving viewers a 29th season of The Simpsons when it's making the network money, just like there's nothing wrong with giving viewers a new Transformers movie.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »