End of Summer 2011 Box Office

3 Oct

By Lurker

Since it’s past the ‘official’ end of Summer2011, we wanted to take a look over the box office results and see how our comic book hero’s stacked up this year. With 547 movies in release so far for 2011, the subject matter is all over the spectrum, therefore, we’ll be very selective in the movies we analyze.  To get us started let’s just take a quick peek at the overall box office trends.

Our favorite go-to site The Numbers  [1] has some interesting stats for 2011. No surprises here as the downward trend holds up.

Calendar Year

Ticket Sales Box office Dollars
2009 1,419 mil $10.4 billion
2010 1,326 mil $10.3 billion
2011 (thru Q3)   944 mil $ 7.45 billion

With the health of the U.S. and world economies taking a beating and the ever-growing entertainment choices available to the consumer these totals should be expected. Hollywood needs a spectacular showing over the holidays to come close to 2010. Can they make $3 billion in one quarter?  We’ll have to see in January. Now, let’s look over some of the top grossing movies and super-hero movies to see how the U.S. and International box office numbers stack up.

Comic Book/Superhero’s

  • In our previous article Battle for the Box office, we compared the box office trends for comic book and super hero movies and made some general assumptions about box office appeal.  Of our summer comic book characters, Thor was our top guy. Coming in with a rank of #7 overall with box office totals of $448 million, 60% of that delivered from overseas. Captain America was the second place hero, ranking #8 overall with box office totals of $359 million and a fairly even split 49% from the U.S. market and 51% from overseas. X-Men were 13th overall, taking in 59% of its $353 million from the international box office. The Green Hornet (26th) was last with $227 million box office but again follows our trend taking 57% from overseas. . Bucking our trend of the international box office leading, The Green Lantern (18th) took 51% from the U.S market of its $221 million. Overall, it was not such a great year for our super-hero’s at the box office. As production costs rise for the CGI intensive movies we wonder if there was a break even on any of the films.

  Fantasy

  • For the other top ranking movies in 2011, Transformers 3 ($1,117 bill) earned the 2nd spot, Pirates 4 ($1,039 bill) 4th, Fast Five ($609 mill) 5th. That’s a huge gap in the 4th and 5th totals – $400 million!  The commonality in all these movies is that their international box office numbers by far exceed the U.S totals. T3 – 69%, Pirates 4 – 77% and Fast 5 -66%.  So can we safely say our previous assumption about fantasy movies being gobbled up by the international audience is still true? Maybe, but I’ll hold on until the end of the year to see what Hollywood delivers!

Please join us for a discussion Tuesday 10/04/2011@7pE/12UTC


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106 Responses to “End of Summer 2011 Box Office”

  1. comic relief October 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM #

    Lurker,

    Maybe I’m a little jaded but I’m surprised but most people I listen to said “Transformers” was unwatchable. Can we assume that Asia really came out for their home town property?

    I can’t believe Fast and furious pulled this upset. I thought their prior sequel sealed their fate. That franchise just won’t die.

    What’s odd is even with a third place win by our evaluation, I don’t they made back their production budget. For the still assumed sequel I think producer Laura Shuler Donner is trying to get Hugh Jackman’s character Wolverine, a stronger role in the sequel.

    • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 2:43 PM #

      I don’t “THINK” they made….

  2. littlebells October 4, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

    Dang phone! I commented in the wrong post…starting over!

    Great article Lurker! I’m looking forward to our discussion. I’ve always been fascinated by what is a hit and miss outside the US box office. Thanks!

    • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      LB-

      What films International BO are u shocked by and why?

  3. Lurker October 4, 2011 at 6:19 PM #

    Hi Everyone, Just a quick note, I may be late I have a work conf call that starts at 630 and knowing this crowd it might run over.

    I read your comments.

    CR, I was shocked at how horrible XMEN did at the BO. However, I didn’t see T3 or XMen this year. My only exposure was that T3 got some buzz from the teenagers but nothing on XMen. Maybe that’s an indication?

    I also wonder if the Thor win and the Fast Five numbers were because they both opened overseas first and generated a LOT of buzz before it opened here? Curious what OB thinks about that as well.

    • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:13 PM #

      Hmm! Interesting theory Lurker about Fast 5 and Thor it’s very plausible. I would also add the two films were the first ones out of the gate for big blockbuster CGI films. Thor was released at the beginning of the Summer film season April 29th and Fast 5 was around this time as well. I think audiences were hungry for action and spectacle especially coming off a boring Spring film season. The #1 film the weekend before Thor I think was “Hop.” Go figure!

      • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

        Very good point. Start of the summer…
        Including Pirates 4 which opened in time for the Memorial Day weekend and still didn’t do as much opening weekend compared with earlier films in the franchise.

  4. Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:01 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Welcome to our discussion tonight. New and returning visitors jump in and let us know what u think!

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

      HI I’m here but multi-tasking!

      • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

        Hi! No problem. Your article is fantastic. I’m really shocked by T3’s #’s.

        • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

          Hi everyone.

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

          What shocked you the most?

          I thought XMEN would have done better.

          • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:20 PM #

            I agree. But they were always taking arisk producing a film without Hugh Jackman. He was in all of the prior movies.

            Many still think MacAvoy is an unknown. And many of the others were question marks as well.

            • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:26 PM #

              ITA CR! I also think they really did not make the less significant characters memorable. I think there were to many Xmen it became too convuluted in the end.

              • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

                Agree, I always hear about the Wolverine around here. Maybe that’s the real draw.

          • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

            I’m going to wait for CR to answer why he thinks Xmen did poorly before I give my theory.

            • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

              Go for it, OB.

  5. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

    Lurker,

    those are excellent points or observations regarding the overseas openings. I should stop over at Box Office Mojo to see if some other clues might have contributed as well.

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

      I sort of took the overseas openings as they were going for the “hometown” box office. Hemsworth being the Aussie and FF being filmed in Brazil..

      • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

        Somehow I believe the respective business departments may have considered the same.

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

          IT seems it paid off at the box office. Maybe that ‘trial overseas’ and all the subsequent advertising done in the US prior to the US opened helped the US box office #’s?

  6. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

    Lurker,

    But before I say anything else I wanted to congratulate your thoughtfulness regarding Captain America months ago. Back then you drew attention to the way Europeans might not have responded well to Patriotic Americana. This story and concern was repeated at other Internet far beyond here. Honestly I I’m sure you started a trend and concern that was repeated at places like Entertainment weekly and a few others. I think many big wigs were really scared.

    In the end, Captain American was more popular overseas than here. But how could anyone have known or predicted that. Good call just the same.

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

      Thanks for that. I still think Cpt America didn’t get received that well overseas.
      The numbers weren’t that different, US $174mil vs $184mil.

      That’s a hair thin margin.

      • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

        Yes that is a thin margin. However, given the title and content of the film it’s pretty amazing it surpassed the U.S at all.

      • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

        Lurker,

        Well, if you’re going to split hairs.

        Some how I think I might have been more reserved about going to see Captatin Brazil or another country.

        Maybe I’m just a prude. I’m sure Hollywood, thanks God the rest of the world is more open minded.

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

          Hahaha. Very funny!

  7. ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

    Hi all! I’m here but I’m not sure how useful I’ll be. I’m not good at percentages and things like that!

    • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      Hi Ozzie,

      Knock it off. We’re lucky to have you.

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!!!

    • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

      Hi Ozzie-

      U are so modest. I’ve seen u in action remember?

      What are your thoughts about why T3 and Captain America BO did well Internationally?

      • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

        Hello CR, Lurker and OB!

        • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

          I’ll be honest, I saw T3 adverts, I never saw any Captain America adverts. Then again I don’t read alot of magazines or watch alot of TV to find that out.

          I’ve just looked up the figures, T3 brought in $45 million and Captain America took in $ 14 million.

          • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

            WOW!! Are u serious? Lurker what do u think?

            • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

              See that falls in line with my assumptions/trends in my previous article.

              I think although the totals for CA look deceiving it’s hard to argue with the spread in the UK.

  8. Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

    Any thoughts on the overall box office downward trend?
    I wonder how much Netflix is stealing from the box office?

    • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

      Good Q.

      Do u know if Netflix memebership has gone up or consumers movie downloading frequency has gone up?

      • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

        Well there was a lot of buzz recently as Netflix membership had grown early this year as they reported during earnings. Then recently they announced a pricing change and had a lot of customer defections and canceling their accounts.

        However, streaming via other paid sources is also going up as are companies like HBO offering their suscribers access via online HBO GO to stream any show/movie. Including hand held devices.

        So I think the idea of committing to a watching movies in a theatre is going to suffer over the long haul.

        • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

          Interesting. Perhaps this is why HW is going after adult audiences. Since they are more prone to still venture out and see a film in theaters as oppose to watching them on there computers.

          Do u know the age demographic of Netflix customers?

          • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

            Let me see if they report anything on their subscribers. brb

            • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

              WOW i’m in shock at this number!

              As reported in Business Week in 2006 which was their startup time:

              “.. with the average customer an over-35 woman with family income of $75,000 or less…”

              • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

                Wow! That is shocking. So to clarify u are saying women ages 35 and over are the biggest Netflix consumers?

                • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

                  Well in 2006 that was what they reported.

                  Which means women are the early adopters of the streaming media content?

                  Interesting indeed.

      • littlebells October 4, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

        i know membership has gone up and there are lots of complaints.

  9. Open Book October 4, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

    Lurker & Ozzie

    Lurker-U stated in one of your articles how period films are more appealing Internationally? Do u think this is why CA did well?

    Ozzie- Thor greek mythology and Fast 5 action did it do well in the UK?

    • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

      Lurker,

      I’m going to tag along OB and complicate your question a little.

      Lurker,

      I really love your numbers logic. Like Ozzie this kind of thinking is very foreign to me. Your chart was explicit about how badly Hollywood is doing after last year’s performance. Other than the current sales difference is their another reason you think Hollywood is suffering?

      • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

        Speaking of the films that haven’t opened yet, last week Ozzie was explicit about all of the adult films that should pull grown-ups into the theaters. And of course summit expects Break Dawn to bring in the younger folks especially the teens.

        By the way here’s the franchise that still has a lot of girls hot and bothered…

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

          Yeah but it won’t crack $3 bil.

          So HW is in the tank this year!

          😉

          • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

            ITA!

        • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

          Make me hurl! Bleeeeeeech!

          • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

            LOL!

            • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

              I’m still going with a friend who hates everything about it as much as I do, so that should actually be fun! HAHAHA! 🙂

      • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

        Well the trends from last years article we saw over 10 movies that grossed $1 bil. (i think) the number was definitely more than 4.

        Besides that I think the movies that are doing well are ones that appear to have a more global appeal. We’ve all discussed here a couple of times about sequels and franchises having built in audiences. Still seems that way by the numbers.

        So I’ll be bold and predict 2 things.
        Two very big global best seller books are coming up.
        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and
        The Hunger Games

        IF they are done well (HP, TW) expect big numbers.

        • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

          Sorry. I can’t close my mouth.

          • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

            I did that to see if you paid attention! (LOL)

            Play on words??

            • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

              O.k. I just did a double take. Yes! TGDT is getting good buzz.

              However, adults came back to theaters last year. It seems HW is going to realease alot of adult films this Fall in time for Award season. What do u think? Will adults save HW this year?

              • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

                See Ozzie, you contributed and you weren’t even trying.

                • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

                  🙂 Thank you!

                • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

                  I know CR and Ozzie’s just getting warmed up. LOL!!

              • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

                You know we’ve all talked about how many times people repeat to see movies and the ‘repeat’ ticket sales really driving some of these crazy numbers.

                There are likely adults that do that in addition to the teen demographic. So I’ll go with – I don’ t know enough of the motivation for adults to go see a movie multiple times at the theater. Maybe the adults will enjoy some of the upcoming movies but I doubt they will have the dollars generated like HP. I don’t see it happening.

                • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

                  Here’s the thing in my article Blockbusters vs. Indie films HW states that Indie films cost just as much to market and distribute as blockbusters. So I’m wondering marketing and distribution aimed at baby boomers might cost less than say a film aimed a teens. King’s Speech prod cost 15 mil and earned 414 mill. What are your thoughts?

                • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

                  I know you have studied this thoroughly and thanks for the honesty, but maybe we should cross our fingers.

                  Hollywood has a standard to maintain; dammit!

                  LB, please discourage your children from reading the site this week.

                  • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:58 PM #

                    Feel free to shoot me after I say this but when i saw the early trailers for The Kings Speech I said, I want to see that. I don’t always get that feeling when I watch trailers.

                    I picked up the TGDT on Netflix because I wanted to read the book because every time I landed at a book store it was on the best sellers list instead I decided I would watch the movie first. So now I’m really interested in seeing the new US movie.

    • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

      Not sure but I will check. I think both did well but I think Fast 5 will have beaten Thor.

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:48 PM #

      Good question about period films. Possibly. It’s a popular topic = WW2.
      I didn’t look at any period films in this analysis to see.

      • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

        I was right! That’s a change! Fast 5 roughly took $30 milion and Thor roughly took in $22 milion.

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

          Wow really? FF beat out Thor in the UK?
          WOW

          • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

            WOW! So Lurker what do u think about that? UK likes some action.

            • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM #

              You know most people don’t really think of the UK being a big “car culture” society – however, I do know better 😉 They definitely are into racing cars! So I’ll go with it.

              • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

                hmm! Go figure!

                Thank U!

              • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

                That’s true about the cars, lol! I think unless your a fan of comic books or one of the actors in Thor, you’ll probably get a blank look off the majority of people. Our country has been invaded by other European countries many times in it’s history. So other countries religion were brought over and established with many other things. One of those invading countries was the Norse (Scandanavian area). Thor was one of their Gods. As it’s part of our history were taught about it. So to us it’s Thor the Norse God of thunder. Taking him out of that historic context is confusing for us, I think. It is to me anyway! I’m still trying to get my head around it, lol!

                • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

                  Ozzie,
                  That is such an interesting perspective about Thor!

                  • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

                    You’re welcome! 🙂

                • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM #

                  Thanks OZ!

                  This is really good to know. CR what do u think about Thor loosing the UK’s interest? This info is not good for Thors’s sequel.

                • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM #

                  Wow! You are full of interesting facts, missy!

                  • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

                    I float back and forth between speechless and really gabby. Second string or not, the sequels are in the works.

                  • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

                    Yep she is!

                    See we all have valuable experiences to add to discussions.

  10. littlebells October 4, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

    hi all! on my phone. 🙂 OB I was shocked by T3 and FF. To me, the trailers alone looked disappointing, but again, I like substance.

    I’ll be with Ozzie in the LIH corner. 🙂

    • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

      LB-

      U are amazing on your phone. I could not do it. Patience, skill and percision.

      LOL!! U and Ozzie are not fooling me. U two are not light weights AT ALL I’ve seen your work remember? Besides we all are learning from each other. There are no stupid Q’s so jump in and ask away.

    • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

      LB,

      Bout time. Hi.

      Thanks for showing up, I didn’t want to talk about you behind your back.

      • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

        Thanks guys! Now I’m on my Mac. Had to go pay rent!

  11. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

    One of the reasons I asked the previous question is I’m wondering how current trends will or may affect the future?

    What seems to us to be smaller current trend could be how Littlebells and friends are organizing at “Page to Silver Screen” to guarantee women get more of the kind of women’s film content they desire.

  12. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

    A really big trend might be reflected in the publishing world. And the ways that might impact the future films also.

    Though Green Lantern looks like the big loser in feature films, the company (DC Comics)went bananas by giving itself a huge face lift. Tell me whether you think this might effect future feature film content.

  13. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

    sorry…

  14. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

    for some reason the link would not post. I’ll put it first this time to see if anything changes.

  15. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

      Oh wow, DC is migrating to digital editions !, Good for them!
      Impressive, so Superman and Batman are back next year again in
      the movie theater.

      I personally think fans become attached to characters and then want
      to see them at the movies. Being true to the character is what keeps
      the fans involved. When they deviate too much it seems (by the numbers) to not win out so well.

      Maybe they will come up with new story lines they can weave into new
      movies?

      • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

        AWESOME!! Well DC needs to do something to get back into the game because Marvel is handing them there hat on the way out of the theaters.

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

          Any thoughts on the Avengers next year?
          Any buzz yet? That might be a big BO win for Marvel.

          • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

            The only buzz I’ve heard is from friends, family and neighbors who talk about it. They all seem very excited about it’s release! Me included!

            • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 9:13 PM #

              The cast seems excited too.

        • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

          Yes they are! I am very interested in Superman. I just watched Dark Knight again last week, and it really is so amazing. Plus I love Tom Hardy, so I think we won’t be disappointed with this next addition.

          As far as adult films coming out,…I think it’s great that directors are working to get more of us to the theaters, but I’m not necessarily excited about the content. I will post my thoughts on that at the Film Festival article Ozzie wrote.

          I just saw a film last night that I thought was very well made although it is only in select theaters and caters to a select crowd. No language, no nudity, no drugs or violence. Very uplifting, but that is not what sells tickets. 😦

          • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

            Sorry I’m a really slow and inaccurate typist

            Yeah, right now Marvel is the number 2 company in publishing. Go figure.

            Thinking about trying to predict the future, this year of super heroes features all the second string characters. All the first stringers Spiderman, Batman, and Superman will be back next year.



  16. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

    ….about time.

  17. comic relief October 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM #

    Sorry about the superman link. Let me try that one more time.

  18. Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 8:45 PM #

    Lurker, what genre seems to make the most money at the BO?

    • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 8:48 PM #

      Well over the numbers we’ve analyzed a couple of articles, I would have to say that Fantasy Films have a broad appeal and seem to do extremely well in the international box office.

      I would definitely stand behind that analysis because of the numbers I’ve seen over the last 2 -3 years.

      And I mean Fantasy in the realm of topics that might be something you would see in a video game. No country affiliations or anything like that.

      • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 9:01 PM #

        Lurker,

        Wow, your bag of gems never empties out does it?

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 9:06 PM #

          It definitely does not, and you haven’t even touched on a topic that I know a lot about!

          LOL

          I just want to see them do a movie based on the worldwide blockbuster video game HALO. And watch that movie set new world records!

          I’ll take bets. 😉

      • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 9:01 PM #

        Thank you!

      • Open Book October 4, 2011 at 9:06 PM #

        Excellent info and article Lurker. U did a great job I have completely got all kinds of things swirling in my head now after this discussion. This is usually an indication I need to say Goodnight. LOL!

        So I will speak to everyone later and have a good evening all.

        • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 9:08 PM #

          Thanks OB!

          I have to get back to work now, I have a deadline tonight.
          I’m not thrilled. This was so much better than work!

          Have a great night!

          • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 9:10 PM #

            Night all.

            …good times…

            • comic relief October 4, 2011 at 9:16 PM #

              again great article Lurker.

              • Lurker October 4, 2011 at 9:19 PM #

                Thanks CR! Have a great night.

                You might hear me scream from here as I go back to tackle MS Word and the uncooperative footer – and 120 pages later.

                • Littlebells October 4, 2011 at 9:22 PM #

                  Good night and Lurker, wow! You challenged my brain in a great way. Thank you! 🙂

                  As for HALO, that would be incredible!

                  • ozzie20 October 4, 2011 at 9:34 PM #

                    Night all!

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