Mid-year box office check 2015
We’ve gone through six months of the year, so it’s a good time to look at how the box office is going (based on movies released in the USA through the end of June).
It’s entirely possible that this year will have the largest dogro (domestic gross) to date (not adjusted for inflation), especially since there are some really big movies yet to come.
Breaking it down, what do we see?
Jennifer Lopez is a movie star
That might not be the lead in stories you’ll see in other publications about this year at the movies, but the success of The Boy Next Door is staggering, and largely due to J.Lo.
Oh, I’m sure some of you want to jump in and say that Chris Pratt is a bigger star.
Well, The Boy Next Door has a dogro of $35.4m on a reported production budget of $4.0m. That’s a return of 885%, nearly triple golden in our awards system.
It did that in part because of its star’s (and sorry, John Corbett and Kristen Chenoweth, but I doubt very many people went to see the movie who weren’t significantly interested in seeing J.Lo) smart and relentless promotion, appearing on TV shows, in magazines, and so on.
Universal has it figured out
Universal is one of the most geek-friendly studios ever (along with Hammer in England, and AIP). Of course, they had the famous horror cycle starting with Boris Karloff in Frankenstein and Bela Lugosi in Dracula, and continuing in that cycle until they may have killed it with Abbott and Costello Meets fill-in-the-blank. The list goes on and on from The Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Incredible Shrinking Man, to their relationship with Steven Spielberg, bringing us Jaws and E.T. This year, four of the top 5 of
at time of writing are from Universal:
- Jurassic World ($478m in profit, domestic gross ((dogro)) versus production budget…419%)
- Minions ($201m in profit | 372%)
- Furious Seven ($160m in profit | 184%)
- Pitch Perfect 2 ($154m in profit | 631%)
Those are four very different movies, with different target audiences. Yes, they are all sequels/prequels, but that’s certainly no guarantee of success (for an example from this year, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 didn’t domestically make back its budget…which was $14m). They did have a couple of misfires (Blackhat and Seventh Son), but they’ve more than made up for it.
So does Blumhouse
Universal has been investing money, and getting a return on it. Blumhouse, on the other hand, spends very little money…but has a higher percentage return than Universal…and they’ve been doing that for years. Looking at 2015:
- The Lazarus Effect ($25.8m dogro on a $3.3m production budget | 782%)
- Insidious: Chapter 3 ($52m dogro on a $10m production budget | 520%)
- The Gallows ($21.9m on a $100,000 production budget | 21,580%) (note: this was released July 10th, so it’s past our cut-off…but it’s still a stand-out, so we’ll cheat a little) 😉
Golden movies on our list
To get to our list, a movie has to dogro at least $40m. We also give awards to movies, based on their returns…at least 300% return is “Golden” (double, and this is still dogro versus production budget, is “Money”). These movies are Golden this year:
- Pitch Perfect 2 Double Golden (at least 600% return)
- Jurassic World (highly unusual that a movie with a $150m budget to go Golden)
- Fifty Shades of Grey
- Magic Mike XXL
- Insidious: Chapter 3
The $500 Million Club
We also track
To get on the list, an actor needs to be first billed in a movie that dogros at least $100m, and appear in at least one other movie that dogros $40m.
Eleven actors are on that list, and six of them have had movies on our list that dogroed at least $500m this year:
- Judy Greer: Jurassic World ($628.0m); Tomorrowland ($91.8m); Ant-Man ($120.0m) | Tentative total: $839.8m
- Hayley Atwell: Cinderella ($201.0m); Avengers: Age of Ultron ($456.0m); Ant-Man ($120.0m) | Tentative total: $777.0m
- BD Wong: Jurassic World ($628.0m); Focus ($53.8m) | Tentative total: $681.8m
- Stellan Skarsgård: Cinderella ($201.0m); Avengers: Age of Ultron ($456.0m) | Tentative total: $657.0m
- Samuel L. Jackson: Kingsman: The Secret Service ($128.0m); Avengers: Age of Ultron ($456.0m) | Tentative total: $584.0m
- Dwayne Johnson: Furious 7 ($350.0m); San Andreas ($151.0m) | Tentative total: $501.0m
Of these six, only Samuel L. Jackson is repeating from 2014…although Dwayne Johnson was on the list for 2013.
There you are…halfway through the year, and there is a lot more coming!
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