Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Box Office Results

According to this article, SUPERMAN RETURNS has only grossed about $170 million domestically and this is supposed to be a disappointment. Unfortunately, the budget includes the salaries of previous writers/directors/collaborators on the project before it ever got off the ground. Some people were paid millions and are not even listed in the credits because they were dropped. I wonder if this isn't enough for a movie of this magnitude. I wonder about worldwide figures, even though Superman appeals more to a US audience. I wonder about DVD sales/rentals that has to add to that figure. I wonder about movie rights on TV and cable. I wonder about something that I think the studio execs forget about--licensing. They can put a Superman symbol on everything and it will sell. I guess I'm mad that they have started to shrug off more Superman movies less than a month after the debut of SUPERMAN RETURNS. Why do they think that movies only make it in the first weekend?

So I looked it up at Boxofficemojo and saw some figures. As of today, SUPERMAN RETURNS has grossed $288 million worldwide. To showcase how sequels are actually doing better than their predecessors right now, the first PIRATES movie in 2003 has grossed $653 million worldwide and the 2006 PIRATES has grossed $536 million worldwide already. I remember reading somewhere that the formula for doing a sequel was to divide its predecessor's box office results in half and that's what they expected. So if a movie made $100 million, they would expect the sequel to make $50 million. I believe that you can reverse that now. Hits actually make more on sequels nowadays.

So I just wonder why they are deciding to scratch a sequel so fast. There are an unlimited number of things they can do with Superman, as 70 years of comic books has proven. I still believe that a lot of people, me included, wait for DVD and video nowadays. I see less than five movies a year at the theater, if that. I think word of mouth does wonders.

Take the movie I just saw on cable this week: THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN withe Steve Carell. How the truck did I miss this one? Absolutely hilarious. I have almost never laughed so hard at a movie. Amy and I had a grand time watching it together and laughing. I just never would have seen it at the box office and I feel that its figures are now understated as many people probably did the same. But its worldwide gross of $177 million, well over its $26 million production budget, is good, and it doesn't even have an action figure line. (Although, if they made an action figure for 40-Year-Old Virgin, it would be perfectly appropriate since he sells his toys in the movie.)

Take into account SUPERMAN RETURNS selling coffe mugs, pajamas, party favors, plastic balls, towels, etc., and this movie makes a hell of a lot more than the figures will ever tell you.

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