2013 The Year in Movie Box Office

2013 The Year in Movie Box Office

While I would be surprised if this year stands out in the history of movies the way that last year did, it was certainly interesting!

In this post, we’re going to do some analysis of the box office.

We have to first point out that the list isn’t final, and that there are some newcomers which will move up considerably (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is still burning up the box office, and for a movie with a snowman main character, Frozen surprisingly has legs).ūüėČ We think that American Hustle could eventually top $100 million dogro (domestic gross), and Walter Mitty and Anchorman 2 are just getting started.

We’ll continue to update our 2013 box office page

2013 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3

at least until no 2013 release appears on the IMDb top ten box office list for a week. If that happens before the Oscars (which are scheduled for March 2), we’ll probably keep going until then…the Oscar bump can have an impact.

That said, let’s look at where we are as of now. We are only doing this on dogro, although we’ll have something to say about international later. We also cut it off at the bottom at $40 million:

1 Iron Man 3 $409,013,994.00
2 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $384,324,000.00
3 Despicable Me 2 $367,607,660.00
4 Man of Steel $291,045,518.00
5 Monsters University $268,492,764.00
6 Gravity $254,067,000.00
7 Fast & Furious 6 $238,679,850.00
8 Oz The Great and Powerful $234,911,825.00
9 Frozen (2013) $229,775,000.00
10 Star Trek Into Darkness $228,778,661.00
11 World War Z $202,359,711.00
12 Thor: The Dark World $201,727,537.00
13 The Croods $187,168,425.00
14 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $170,564,000.00
15 The Heat $159,582,188.00
16 We’re the Millers $150,394,119.00
17 The Great Gatsby (2013) $144,840,419.00
18 The Conjuring $137,400,141.00
19 Identity Thief $134,506,920.00
20 Grown Ups 2 $133,668,525.00
21 The Wolverine $132,556,852.00
22 G.I. Joe: Retaliation $122,523,060.00
23 Now You See Me $117,723,989.00
24 Lee Daniels’ The Butler $116,146,955.00
25 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 $115,740,196.00
26 The Hangover Part III $112,200,072.00
27 Epic $107,518,682.00
28 Captain Phillips $104,287,640.00
29 Pacific Rim $101,802,906.00
30 This is the End $101,470,202.00
31 Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa $100,837,000.00
32 Olympus Has Fallen $98,925,640.00
33 $42.00 $95,020,213.00
34 Elysium $93,050,117.00
35 Planes $90,288,712.00
36 The Lone Ranger $89,302,115.00
37 Oblivion $89,107,235.00
38 Insidious Chapter 2 $83,586,447.00
39 Turbo $83,028,128.00
40 2 Guns $75,612,460.00
41 White House Down $73,103,784.00
42 Mama $71,628,180.00
43 Safe Haven $71,349,120.00
44 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues $71,198,000.00
45 The Smurfs 2 $71,017,784.00
46 The Best Man Holiday $70,033,270.00
47 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $68,443,727.00
48 A Good Day to Die Hard $67,349,198.00
49 Warm Bodies $66,380,662.00
50 Jack the Giant Slayer $65,187,603.00
51 The Purge $64,473,115.00
52 Last Vegas $62,439,761.00
53 Prisoners $61,002,302.00
54 Ender’s Game $60,900,026.00
55 After Earth $60,522,097.00
56 Escape From Planet Earth $57,012,977.00
57 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters $55,703,475.00
58 Evil Dead (2013) $54,239,856.00
59 Free Birds $54,089,000.00
60 Red 2 $53,262,560.00
61 Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor $51,975,354.00
62 The Call $51,872,378.00
63 Pain and Gain $49,875,291.00
64 American Hustle $46,885,000.00
65 Gangster Squad $46,000,903.00
66 Jurassic Park 3D $45,385,935.00
67 The Internship $44,672,764.00
68 Instructions Not Included $44,467,206.00
69 Snitch $42,930,462.00
70 Riddick $42,025,135.00
71 A Haunted House $40,041,683.00

Some movies which may still make $40 million dogro:

  • Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas
  • 12 Years a Slave (especially with an Oscar bump, but even without)
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • 47 Ronin
  • There are some that could do it with an Oscar bump, for example, Philomena and Fruitvale Station

Counting Gravity as a geek-friendly movie (even though Gravity is not science fiction), the top 14 all qualify.

That’s just based on gross, though. Geek movies often cost more to produce, which reduces the profit. When we look at

The Measured Circle’s Most Profitable Movies of 2013

the top ten looks considerably different.

  1. Despicable Me 2: profit of $292m to date
  2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: $209m
  3. Iron Man 3: $209m
  4. Gravity: $154m
  5. Monsters University: $153m
  6. The Conjuring: $124m
  7. The Heat: $117m
  8. We’re the Millers: $113m
  9. Identity Thief: $99m
  10. Lee Daniels’ The Butler: $86m

As you can see, three comedies and a mainstream drama make the cut with those numbers (dogro versus reported production budget).

Like last year, the biggest losers were all geek friendly:

  1. Jack the Giant Slayer: -$129.8m to date
  2. The Lone Ranger: -$125.7m
  3. Pacific Rim: -$88.0m

We don’t know yet where 47 Ronin might end up, with an estimated budget of $175m…it is possible it will lose as much as Pacific Rim, but it is too soon to tell.

This year, we started a new feature. We label movies based on their dogro versus their reported production budgets:

A traditional measure of success if the dogro being twice the production budget. Using that as a starting point…

Dogro 2X production budget = ‚ÄúMoney‚ÄĚ
Dogro 3X production budget = ‚ÄúGolden‚ÄĚ

Dogro less than 50% of production budget = ‚ÄúUnderperformer‚ÄĚ

Here are those groupings:

Golden (16 titles out of 69 tracked by us so far)

  1. Septuple Golden: The Purge: 2147%
  2. Quintuple Golden: Insidious: Chapter 2: 1,672%
  3. Quintuple Golden: A Haunted House: 1,600%
  4. Triple Golden: The Conjuring: 1053%
  5. Double Golden: Instructions Not Include: 890%
  6. Double Golden: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa: 673%
  7. Despicable Me 2: 484%
  8. Mama: 477%
  9. The Best Man Holiday: 411%
  10. We’re the Millers: 405%
  11. The Call: 392%
  12. Lee Daniels’ The Butler: 387%
  13. Evil Dead: 387%
  14. Identity Thief: 383%
  15. The Heat: 372%
  16. This Is the End: 316%

Money (7 titles out of 69)

  1. Snitch: 286%
  2. Safe Haven: 255%
  3. Gravity: 254%
  4. 42: 238%
  5. Monsters University: 233%
  6. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: 226%
  7. Iron Man 3: 205%

Underperfomer (4 titles out of 69)

  1. White House Down: 49%
  2. After Earth: 47%
  3. The Lone Ranger: 42%
  4. Jack the Giant Slayer: 34%

No question, horror (especially when we include the horror spoof A Haunted House) had the best return for the studios’ investment dollars. The Purge knocks it out of the park, and every movie that was more than Double Golden was a horror movie (again, counting A Haunted House).

Mainstream comedies also do very well, though, including Jackass, We’re the Millers, Identity Thief, and The Heat…proving that while it isn’t necessary to have Melissa McCarthy top-billed, it’s a good idea.ūüėČ

Non-horror, non-animated geek movies don’t even make the Golden cut. ¬†On the other hand, three out of four of the underperformers were geek-friendly (and we could debate the fourth).

Does that high risk mean studios should stop making megabudgeted geek tentpoles?

Nope.ūüôā

There are a few reasons for that:

  • Even though Iron Man 3 wasn’t golden, it still dogroed hundreds of millions more for the studio than the production cost. That’s a lot of money! Profit matters, but having cash on hand counts, too
  • Lots of money on geek-friendly movies is made outside of the tickets for the initial theatre run. There are the merchandising bucks…how many licensed Halloween costumes from comedies are sold? Not that many, certainly compared to superhero movies
  • We have just been looking at domestic numbers so far…here’s where that international part comes into play. Comedies just don’t do as well internationally…humor is much harder to translate than explosions and special effects.ūüėČ Iron Man 3 made 66.3% of its box office outside the USA; The Heat made 30.6%. You’ll find similar numbers on other successful geek-friendly movies and mainstream comedies. As international box office becomes increasingly important, geek-friendly movies become more valuable

One other quick list: some geek-friendly movies which did not make the $40m dogro cut (and aren’t likely to do so):

  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: dogro $31m, reported budget $60m. Even though we wouldn’t quite label it an underperformer, this is one of the ones that may scare studios away from young adult literature as source material. Not completely, of course, but it does make them a bit more cautious
  • Kick-*ss 2:¬†dogro $29m, reported budget $28m. It did barely make a profit…did we witness the power of Jim Carrey’s not supporting the movie? If so, is that better or worse for Carrey: would you be more reluctant to cast Carrey knowing that, if the actor later decides the movie has a moral issue, you could lose promotional support?
  • The World’s End: dogro $26m, reported budget $40m. Don’t worry too much about this one: it will be profitable when everything is taken into account, and even if it wasn’t, we still love Pegg and Frost
  • Carrie: dogro $35m, reported¬†budget $30m. It made a profit, but I think most people would have predicted more out of it
  • Machete Kills: dogro $7m, reported¬†budget $12m. It’s not about the money with this one…
  • Beautiful Creatures: dogro $19m, reported¬†budget $60m. A major underperformer…see Mortal Instruments above
  • About Time: dogro $15m, reported¬†budget unknown. Our guess is this one was still a success, but we don’t know for sure
  • R.I.P.D.: dogro $34m, reported budget $130m if this one could have clawed its way to $40m, it would have been one of our underperformers. This was not a good year for Ryan Reynolds, although¬†The Croods¬†did well. This movie and¬†Turbo, though? Not so much…we still love you, Ryan! Although, you know, maybe not like we love Pegg and FrostūüėČ
  • Jobs:¬†dogro $16m, reported budget $12m. This one did okay
  • The Host: dogro $27m, reported budget $40m. We thought this one would do better: see Beautiful Creatures above
  • Scary Movie 5: dogro $32m, reported budget $20m. That’s good enough: expect a 6 at some point
  • Dark Skies: dogro $17m, reported budget $3.5m. Again, good enough

We’ll keep tracking 2013…and then on to 2014!

See you in the movies!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

One Response to “2013 The Year in Movie Box Office”

  1. Read the book first #3 | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] gross $40 million at the US box office (for more box office information for last year, see my post, 2013 The Year in Movie Box¬†Office¬†in The Measured Circle). However, this adaptation, including Shaileene Woodley and Kate Winslet, […]

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