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A future of Box Office Bombs?


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#21 Reuel Gomez

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 05:57 AM

There have only been two websites I've gone to for movie reviews: Roger Ebert's website, and Spill.com. And On Spill.com's daily podcast, "The Daily Spill", the host and founder of the website, Korey Coleman, talked about how a lot of films at this time of year are "canabalizing" each other because a lot of them are being released on the same week or day and don't give each other enough room. And he suggested that more films like Pacific Rim that have niche audiences try to aim for releases somewhere else in the year like January.
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#22 Freya Black

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 06:47 AM

Here's the twisted little secret, NO MOVIE that gets distribution ever LOOSES money. The just don't get the return on investment they expected. I know, we did the research

 

Heh heh! I wondered about this. It's something Alex Cox has written about this a lot in the past in the context of Repo Man.

 

The big thing I wonder in that context is whether if enough films bomb, will it become a problem for the companies in question to keep hidden profits hidden.  Probably it wouldn't be an issue for them but I think it's an interesting possibility.

 

The other problem in that context is whether the companies would be able to restructure fast enough to cope with sudden change (such as a load of box office bombs) A bit like when people have high incomes and get used to a certain lifestyle and have a sudden drop in income.

 

Also there are a number of large companies with a lot of debt. Lionsgate springs to mind although they seem to be doing a good job of addressing it. MGM are really in a VERY bad way.

 

Freya


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#23 Freya Black

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 06:57 AM

There have only been two websites I've gone to for movie reviews: Roger Ebert's website, and Spill.com. And On Spill.com's daily podcast, "The Daily Spill", the host and founder of the website, Korey Coleman, talked about how a lot of films at this time of year are "canabalizing" each other because a lot of them are being released on the same week or day and don't give each other enough room. And he suggested that more films like Pacific Rim that have niche audiences try to aim for releases somewhere else in the year like January.

 

YES! I think it's hard for companies to timetable tho as they won't know what other companies are releasing things when till maybe the last minute but I think you are right that if they were prepared to spread things about a bit they would find that there would be less of this, but then they all want to have the mega hit and maximise the earnings.

 

Pacific Rim might be a bit of a more unusual case tho. I see more and more movies like John Carter, The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D. (The latter which seems to be going down like a lead balloon) which are both expensive, and are critically panned, and aren't connecting with the potential audience at any level. I think it wouldn't matter where you stuck those movies, they would probably bomb anyway.

 

2015 is going to be really interesting tho because there are a lot of established franchises all hitting at the same time.

 

Freya


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#24 Reuel Gomez

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:50 AM

 
YES! I think it's hard for companies to timetable tho as they won't know what other companies are releasing things when till maybe the last minute but I think you are right that if they were prepared to spread things about a bit they would find that there would be less of this, but then they all want to have the mega hit and maximise the earnings.
 
Pacific Rim might be a bit of a more unusual case tho. I see more and more movies like John Carter, The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D. (The latter which seems to be going down like a lead balloon) which are both expensive, and are critically panned, and aren't connecting with the potential audience at any level. I think it wouldn't matter where you stuck those movies, they would probably bomb anyway.
 
2015 is going to be really interesting tho because there are a lot of established franchises all hitting at the same time.
 
Freya

But not many people, as in the general audience, read reviews. Most of Michael Bays films are a great example. So if The Lone Ranger or R.I.P.D. were released, say October, they would've probably done better at the box office.
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#25 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:51 PM

Where do you guys draw the line at calling a film a 'bomb'? How much more must it make then its production budget?

 

Pacific Rim was #1 internationally and has already made over $180 million - surely it will make it's money back and then some in the end?

 

If you look at box office mojo's list of recent sci fi flops they all made their budget back and more.

 

Do international returns not count?


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#26 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 02:35 PM

A film also has to make back it's marketing budget. You should remember that this is the box office, many things come out of that before the funds are allocated to the recuperating the production cost of the film. You also may find that the film's star is getting a share of the gross profit.


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#27 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:03 PM

Here's an article on the global box office. http://www.guardian....s-international


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#28 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:23 PM

Also, keep in mind all those box office numbers reported are the gross amounts.  If a movie brings in 100 million at the box office, the studio does not get 100 million.  The theatre chain takes a cut of that revenue based on whatever deal they struck with the studio for that particular film.  The numbers usually start high the first week in favour of the studio, then the percentage shifts in favour of the theatre chain the longer the movie stays in the theatres.

 

No matter how you slice it.....tough tough game to play.

 

R,


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#29 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 01:47 AM

Naw, it's a piece of cake!! B)


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#30 George Ebersole

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 02:04 AM

It's like an executive producer I knew when I was first starting said to me; "See that gross, George?  They're telling you how much money they lost."

 

Eh, well, maybe.  The returns on a project isn't like a stock splitting.  It is a venture, and specifically a business venture, and if you know anything about business, no business makes back any money in the first year of being open, including lemonade stands.

 

I don't know the details about Pacific Rim.  I'll try and catch a performance some time this week.  But overall films, if the property is managed well, will make a return eventually.  But that doesn't mean it'll make it quickly, or that a lot of people will discover a hidden gem in the future, and that it'll pay off later on, but at some point the film goes in the black.  A bomb is when a film is just piss poor, makes money, but people lose interest in it, and its long term return is a trickle as opposed to a steady flow from rentals and video purchases.


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#31 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 02:27 AM

Yeah, exactly. "course waiting 10 years to get your money back is probably not your first choice, but like William Goldman:

 

 

once said: "Nobody knows anything!" GREAT video BTW,!!


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#32 Pat Murray

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:17 AM

Where do you guys draw the line at calling a film a 'bomb'? How much more must it make then its production budget?

 

Pacific Rim was #1 internationally and has already made over $180 million - surely it will make it's money back and then some in the end?

 

If you look at box office mojo's list of recent sci fi flops they all made their budget back and more.

 

Do international returns not count?

 

Matthew beat me to it.  Pacific Rim is not a bomb by any stretch of the imagination.  According to Wikidpedia it was made for 190 million and it's still early days for the film.  If you go to Rotten Tomotoes and other sites there is an over 70% rating from critics and over 80% rating from viewers so it will probably do well over the long run thanks to positive word of mouth.

 

When it comes to movies in the 200 million range I think you have to distinguish between losing money and bomb.  Gigli, made for $75 million brought in 7 million.  That's what I call a bomb.

 

I think the question we should ask isn't 'is the blockbuster movie dead?' or are 'audiences interested in these type of movies'?  It should be, are studios spending too much on tent pole pictures?  Here's an interesting article comparing Disney to Universal.

 

http://gointothestor...wo-studios.html


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#33 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

Alex Cox... Repo Man

 

Repo Chick now available on iPlayer for those of us in the UK!

 

It is terrible, but in a highly amusing way.

 

P


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#34 George Ebersole

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:29 AM

Well, I just saw a minute long trailer on Youtube for a Clooney-Bullock pic called "Gravity".  It looks like another B-movie on the horizon.  Just looking at the orbiter-orbital meteor storm sequence has tent-pole written all over it.  Kubrick's 2001 it ain't.  I would have directed that segment differently. 


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#35 John Holland

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:27 AM

Bit early to judge a film on a short trailer on a computer dont you think ?


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#36 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 12:03 PM

I don't think you'll get 2001 these days, the silence of space sort of deadens all those big bangs.


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#37 George Ebersole

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

Bit early to judge a film on a short trailer on a computer dont you think ?

 

Maybe.  Then again a trailer is supposed to wet your appetite for a film, and this one didn't do the job.


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#38 Freya Black

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 05:06 PM

 

Repo Chick now available on iPlayer for those of us in the UK!

 

It is terrible, but in a highly amusing way.

 

P

 

Must force myself to watch it!

I put it on for a minute a couple of days ago and got the impression it was going to be quite a weird journey to watch it.

Looked kinda strange from the get go but oddly interesting too.

 

Will have to see. It got terrible reviews when it came out!

 

Freya


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#39 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:26 AM

Yeah, but Repo Man was quite a weird journey to watch!!! LOVED IT though! :D


Edited by James Steven Beverly, 25 July 2013 - 12:27 AM.

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#40 George Ebersole

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:34 AM

Where do you guys draw the line at calling a film a 'bomb'? How much more must it make then its production budget?

 

Pacific Rim was #1 internationally and has already made over $180 million - surely it will make it's money back and then some in the end?

 

If you look at box office mojo's list of recent sci fi flops they all made their budget back and more.

 

Do international returns not count?

 

I've been wanting to respond to this, but have been quietly thinking about a reply.

 

Pretty much any film that doesn't keep interest over the long haul.  I have a hard time thinking that any parent now will DL the super-def version of "Transformers" and watch it with his grandchildren.  But hey, I could be wrong there.

 

People like trends, even if they're dumb or unhealthy, but since everyone else is doing it, they'll latch onto it.  that's kind of how movies make their way.  Good movies will tap into shared emotions evoked by common experience.  Really good ones make people want to experience that over and over again to the point where they'll add the film to their collection.

 

A bomb is either a film that fails to do that, or a film that briefly has flourishing moments, but ultimately the story just doesn't work for the audience.  Either way both films see a lack of interest, and they fall off the radar.  And that means little to no return on whatever went into making the project.


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