Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Top Four

Since it's the weekend and we're on the subject of movie grosses ...

... The top four films at the global box office are Captain America: Civil War ($1.15 billion), Zootopia ($1.02 billion), The Jungle Book ($955.6 million), and Finding Dory ($916.4 million). The Jungle Book and Finding Dory continue to add several million dollars per week to their totals, with The Jungle Book holding strong in Japan where it just opened two weekends ago and Finding Dory having most of Europe left in which to open later this month and through September (which means it will probably make a run at $1 billion). ...

Which remaining films this year have the best shot at breaking into the top four or five? Only three movies seem to have any chance, and two of them are Disney films. ... Allow me to offer this hypothesis for the possible final top-seven list at year’s end…

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($1.1+ billion)

2. Captain America: Civil War ($1.1+ billion)

3. Zootopia ($1+ billion)

4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($900 million to $1 billion)

5. Finding Dory ($950+ million to $1 billion)

6. The Jungle Book ($960-970 million)

7. Moana ($875-900+ million)

Disney has a strong grip, so it seems, regarding what kinds of features work, and what kinds don't. Britain's Guardian today published what some film experts say:

... "The flopping of Ben-Hur confirms what we think we know about Hollywood at the moment,” said Peter Kramer, a film expert teaching at the University of East Anglia, “which is that it is only doing well at franchises and sequels.”

Though far from a dead cert, a sequel is simply a safer bet. “As the old William Goldman Hollywood saying has it, ‘Nobody knows anything’, but there is a good chance the sequel of a profitable film will make money,” said Kramer. “It might even be more successful. It is the one exception to that rule. And when a big film needs an investment of about $200m, and then around $100m in marketing, it is not surprising studios opt for them." ...

Professor Kramer overlooks the box office of animation in today's marketplace, something that Forbes magazine doesn't overlook in the piece above the fold.

You would have to be seriously myopic not to see that almost every movie projected to be at the top of 2016's Blockbuster Movie List is either an animated feature or a live-action flick with lodaded down with generous amounts of animated visual effects.

If that isn't a trend, then there are no trends.


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