Will The Hunger Games save the box office from John Carter?

Will The Hunger Games save the box office from John Carter?

wrote earlier about how profitable 2012 was looking at the box office ( for movies making at least $40 million in dogro…domestic gross, at any rate). The top five movies I cited had brought in more than twice their reported budgets.

However, I did mention at the time that Disney’s John Carter might rain on that parade. At a reported $250m budget, and not great pre-release buzz, it was possible that might take a chunk out of the collective profits.

It did.

Disney has suggested they may lose $200m on the movie. Of course, I wouldn’t cry for Disney on this. They may make money on it eventually, when you total up all of the box office (including overseas), the merchandising that may still sell, and the ancillary market fees (a Disney movie is still going to be desirable). IMDB still estimates it as having the fourth largest dogro this weekend, at $5.01m, with a collective dogro of 62.3m. It could putter along up to $75m…which would make its dogro loss $175m.

Enter The Hunger Games…which is being reported to dogro $155m this weekend (the opening), on a $100m budget.

For The Hunger Games to offset a $175m loss for John Carter and keep the box office profits humming, it needs to dogro $275m.

No question, that’s a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of Katniss et al…and they don’t have the advantage of Mars’ lighter gravity. 😉

However, three movies did reach $275m dogro last year:

Yes, all three of those were sequels, but The Hunger Games is performing very well, certainly like a successful sequel. It has received an A CinemaScore, and an MRQE score of 74…so far).

I think that The Hunger Games is going to attract new audiences next week, and should see repeat viewings as well. Why new audiences? There are people who haven’t read the books (they have been marketed as being for the Young Adult audience), but will hear that the movie is good.

Repeat viewings may not be like a pure action movie, but I think that the core audience will want to see it again. Some young fans may see it many times.

So, my guess is that $275m dogro is in reach.

There are certainly some risky movies coming up: The Avengers has a reported $220m budget, and it does worry a bit…I expect it to open big, but I’m not sure it’s going to roll into the $220m range; Battleship has a reported $200m budget…meaning Hollywood has bet close to half a billion dollars on Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) starring movies this year, counting Oliver Stone’s Savages); Ridley Scott’s Prometheus has had a lot of talk about budget. These could all do well, of course, but I don’t think I’d pick all three of them to break, say, $250m.

I do think we can count on a 16-year old tribute from District !2 to balance the Warlord of Mars from Virginia, though…

We’ll continue to track the box office at 2012 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

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