2015 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3

2015 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3

It’s always fun to watch the movie box office. Of course, some movies cost more to make than others…much, much more.  There’s also a complicating factor, since people pay a few dollars more for 3-D movies.  It would be nice to have actual admissions shown, but we don’t get that.

Also, naturally, movies do make more the longer they’ve been in release (especially if there is a re-release, but that’s a different story).

I used to figure that it took twenty million dollars to get on the radar, but I’ve updated that.  I now figure the break point is forty million dollars.  I hit the points after that as eighty million, one hundred million, two hundred million, and three hundred million (almost nothing gets past four…three movies did in 2012, and three in 2013, but as of January 1, 2015, none had for 2014. We are confident movies will break four hundred million in 2015 (there are some big releases!), but let’s leave the page title the way it is.

As a new feature started in 2013, we decided to label movies, to make their profitability clearer.

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

Dogro 2X production budget = “Money”
Dogro 3X production budget = “Golden”
Dogro 30x production budget = “Platinum” (God’s Not Dead prompted this new designation)

Dogro less than 50% of production budget = “Underperformer”

Here are the results as of June 4, 2016 (we will continue at least until no 2015 release is in the top ten for the week…although if that happens before the Oscars, we will look later for an Oscar bump). It’s worth noting that we are into April 2016, and there are still a handful of 2015 movies making measurable money in the theatres (even being released to home video doesn’t mean an end to box office receipts for some movies):

40 million

80 million

100 million

200 million

300 million

Dogros marked with an * were in the top ten when we updated this list.
Dogros marked with an = have not changed from the previous week. That doesn’t mean that they won’t earn any more money, but it suggests that the initial arc is over, or that the studio has not reported for the week before we update the list.

Projected (we are confident that these movies will appear on the list):

We’re into 2016…what’s still in play?

There are few reasons a movie might still make significant money in the theatres:

  • It was released late in the year and is popular. Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Daddy’s Home fit into this category. Update: both are doing well
  • It’s going to open in more theatres. The Force Awakens is going to be released in China on January 9th…that’s one of the largest movie markets in the world. While that doesn’t directly affect the dogro we track, it can keep the momentum going worldwide. A movie may also have been released in a few movies (in part to qualify for the Oscars for 2015), and then open wide. The Revenant falls into that category, with the wide release coming January 8th. Update: both of these are bumped up, as expected
  • A movie could win (or even just get nominated for) major awards. For example, there can be the “Oscar bump”. Some people try to see all of the nominated movies before the award show, and the studio may expand the run to additional theatres. Joy will probably get some nominations, but will likely make it regardless (update…it did make it, with two Golden Globe noms, but before the winners were announced)…that’s the same case with The Big Short (update: made it). Spotlight (Best Picture nominee), Concussion (didn’t get Oscar noms), Brooklyn (Best Picture nominee, Lead Actress nominee), Trumbo (Lead Actor nominee), The Danish Girl (Lead Actor nominee), Carol (Lead Actress nominee), Room (Best Picture nominee,  Lead Actress nominee), and Chi-Raq (didn’t get Oscar noms) could all use the boost
A version of this list ranking them in order of most profitable (domestic gross versus reported production budget) is available here:


These movies did not make it to the list above because they did not dogro $40.0m. We will note two kinds: ones that have dogroed triple their production budget (Golden) or had a production budget of at $40.0m and have not dogroed half of their budget (Underachievers). Golden Sub-40s may appear here before their run is done and they may earn more dogro (particularly if they are nominated for or win Oscars). Underachiever Sub-40s are not added here until that status seems very likely (we will typically wait at least two months from the release date).
Golden Sub-40s:
  • The Boy Next Door $35.4m= (reported budget: $4m) Double Golden (J. Lo shows her business savvy and box office power with this one…the return is great, and a lot of the advertising consisted of her making personal appearances on talk shows and such, a relatively inexpensive way to go. Yep, so far, J.Lo is winning the box office in 2015, at least among stars)
  • The DUFF $34.0m (reported budget: $8.5m) Golden
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $32.8m (reported budget: $10m) Golden
  • The Lazarus Effect $25.7m (reported budget: $3.3m) Double Golden
  • Unfriended (AKA Cybernatural) $32.5m (reported budget: $1.0m) Platinum 
  • Dope $17.2m (reported budget: $0.7m) Double Golden
  • Grandma $3.8m (reported budget: $.6m) Double Golden

Underachiever Sub-40s (budget at least $40.0m):

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

2 Responses to “2015 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3”

  1. ILMK 2015 e-book bestsellers | I Love My Kindle Says:

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  2. The Year Ahead in Movies: 2016 | The Measured Circle Says:

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