THB Sidebar to #242/243
Here is come edited-out detail work from two of this week’s Hot Button pieces that will be of interest to people who want a little more detail on my takes…
THB #242: It's All Over - State of Cinema, Pt 1
On Ticket To Paradise
You can sell the long legs theory about Ticket to Paradise all day long, but The Lost City had excellent legs, dropping 51% after opening and then never dropping as much as 39% for 9 straight weekends. It almost doubled its domestic business from the end of Weekend 2 until it ended its theatrical run 11 weekends later. If Ticket to Paradise does the same - though it would be a surprise if it isn’t on Peacock before Christmas - it will gross $58 million total domestically. It’s already done more than that internationally… which is great. It would probably do, in the end, close to the same $190 million worldwide as The Lost City. The rumor is that Ticket cost $60 milion and Lost City cost $68 million. Rentals from international are a bit lower than domestic, so in the end, these two films come out about even. Which is to say… pretty modest successes.
Does either make a strong case for anything? No.
Can rom-coms make a lot more money in theatrical than this? Yes, they can. And a $300 million hit worldwide at a budget around $60 million would be something to celebrate indeed. If Ticket does $230 million internationally and not just $130 million - $150 million, feel free to tell me I was wrong. (Don’t be an asshole about it, please.)
Dwayne Johnson is a part of 2 massive franchises, Fast & Furious and Jumanji. Aside from Moana, which trades on the Disney Animation franchise, he has never had a $500 million worldwide movie. He’s had 3 movies in the $400 million range. Just 1 in the $300 million range. And 2 in the $200 million range. Beyond all that, he’s under-$200 million worldwide guy.
All that is an amazing career in movies. But as he clearly understands, he needs the next franchise to happen if he wants to keep being what he has been. It is unlikely to happen on original titles. Skyscraper, Rampage, San Andreas are his only originals over $300 million worldwide. An amazing feat… but less so in the new market.
Looking For A $100 Million Grosser in Nov/Dec
Looking for a $100 million grosser. Best Potential - 1. Strange World, 2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, 3. The Fabelmans.
I hope Strange World is as good as Encanto. But the lack of a hard push from Disney feels a lot like how they handled Encanto… which got to $96 million domestic.
Love Spielberg. Expect his new movie to win Best Picture. But… Lincoln did a remarkable $182m domestic in 2012. Since then, only Ready Player One grossed over $100 million domestic ($138m). The Fabelmans suggests neither.
The last Puss in Boots movie was in 2011 and grossed $149 million domestic.
If half the other 12 movies average $50m each and the other half average $30 million, that’s $480 million.
THB #243: The New Normal? - State of Cinema, Pt 2
AMC’S ACTUAL TOP LINE NUMBERS FROM THEIR QUARTERLY
$2.707 billion in revenues
$2.635 billion in expenses
Profit - $72 million
$1.471 billion in revenues
$1.591 billion in expenses
Loss - $120 million
ON SCREEN COUNT
Maybe theaters keep playing the same game with distributors and a majority of screens in America becomes the norm for every “big” opening. Obviously, this leaves less and less room for anything else, whether holdovers or counter-programming.
No one (except one exclusive release by Sony Classic) would take on Avengers Endgame when it opened. But the 2nd weekend, there were 3 counterprogrammed films from Lionsgate, STX, and Screen Gems that delivered more than $30 million between them.
Also worth noting, the #2 to Endgame both on opening and its second weekend was Captain Marvel in weekends 8 and 9, bringing in $12.5 million and taking up screens in over 2200 venues. This year, by Weekend #8, The Batman was under $1.5 million a weekend in just 1804 venues. And that was without addition pressures on screencount. Top titles were The Bad Guys, The Northman, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent all opening and combining for $43 million.