Steve’s Box Office Report: August 2010
Top 10 Films for the Month of August:
1. The Other Guys – $119,219,978
2. The Expendables – $103,068,524
3. Eat, Pray, Love – $80,574,010
4. Takers – $57,744,720
5. Step Up 3D – $42,400,223
6. The Last Exorcism – $41,034,350
7. Vampires Suck – $36,661,504
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – $31,524,275
9. Nanny McPhee Returns – $29,011,215
10. The Switch – $27,779,426
1. Piranha 3D – $25,003,155
2. Lottery Ticket – $24,719,879
August Winners: The Expendables, Eat, Pray, Love, Takers, and the Last Exorcism
We now continue on through the year of 2010 with the final month of the summer and after what was a pretty solid summer overall, we come to this month and there were a lot of questions as to how these films would do. August is such a weird month in that we might get a surprise hit once in a while, but typically most moviegoers are burned out from the summer and are ready to get through the rest of the year. Having said that, we did have some good earners here and the first film that makes it into this category is the action film the Expendables, a film about a group of mercenaries who are tasked with overthrowing a dictator that they learn is being controlled by an ex-CIA agent. This film was pretty much riding on star power which was enough to get it past $100 million, but we will go much further into this film later on when it goes into a different category. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the romantic drama Eat, Pray, Love, based on the memoir of the same name of a woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The film would receive mixed to negative reviews from critics and most of the positive feedback was on Julia Roberts’ performance, and the film did just enough to make it into this category though it was just barely. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the thriller film Takers, a film about a group of bank robbers who are pulled into doing one last job while being pursued by a pair of detectives. The film would receive mixed to negative reviews from critics who felt it was another cliché heist film, but it would make a decent amount of money coming out on the last weekend of August. The fourth and last film to make it into this category is the horror film the Last Exorcism, a film about a priest documenting his final exorcism as he receives a letter to help a farm exercise the Devil from his daughter. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was a fine horror film to close out the summer, and I will delve further into this film as it would be included in a category you wouldn’t have thought it would’ve been considered for. To this point, these are probably the weakest group of winners for the year though I would have to go back to the earlier months, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year stacks up against this month.
August Loser: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Even though this month had a bunch of films that were probably not going to do very well in the long run, they did just enough that they managed to stay out of this category though there ultimately was one film that did make it into this category. The film that ends up in this category is the action comedy film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a film about a guy who has to do battle against his girlfriend’s exes while also trying to get a record deal for his band. Unlike some of the other films from this month, this film actually received positive reviews from critics and I think many though that it could be a potential sleeper hit to close out the summer. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out at all as it failed to find an audience and wound up becoming a bomb, and even though it would gain a cult following in the years to come the fact that it couldn’t break out in such a weak field is extremely disappointing. You could argue it should also be named the underachiever of the month, but there was another film that deserved it a lot more though there is no question that this film was one of the bigger losers of the year.
The Surprise/Story of August 2010: The Other Guys edge out the Expendables to win mediocre August 2010
After a few big months with major blockbusters coming out, there was no question that August was going to be a bit of a come down month as nothing on the docket looked like it had breakout potential though you never knew. It seemed like a lot of eyes were on the Expendables just given the cast and it seemed like if any film could’ve surprised, it would’ve been that one yet it didn’t even finish at the top of the month. Instead, the top spot of the month ended up going to the Other Guys which also had some decent star power though not quite as much, but it was apparently more appealing to audiences as they flocked more to that one than they did to the Expendables. While it was still on the lower end of the top films of the year compared to some of the other films released to this point, the fact that it made close to $120 was still a solid win for the film and it earned the top spot of the month in what ended up being a pretty tepid month overall.
Overachiever of August 2010: The Last Exorcism
At first, it seemed like there would be no film from this month that would’ve been worthy of the title of overachiever of the month, but upon closer inspection there actually was a film that did better than what was expected of it and that was the Last Exorcism. Over the last few years, we have seen August have at least one horror film come out towards the end of the month to try and pull in some horror fans especially being a PG-13 horror film meaning they could grab some high school students right before the new school year starts. The fact that it was able to missed debuting at number one by only a few hundred thousand dollars is a great success for the film, and it would go onto have a fairly solid run before bowing out in October right before some other big horror films come out. Honestly, I never expected that any horror film would be named the overachiever of the month, but given how much this film ended up making against the tiny budget that it had, there is no question that this film deserves a nod as the overachiever of the month.
Underachiever of August 2010: The Expendables
As I mentioned previously, it seemed like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World would’ve been the shoo-in to be named the underachiever of the month, but honestly I don’t remember that film getting a ton of hype going in and the fact that it was a bomb was more evident as opposed to underachieving. On the flip side, the Expendables had a good amount of hype going in simply because of the amount of star power it had specifically given that the stars involved were all big action stars and having them all come together was a major draw for the film. Despite the mixed to negative reviews from critics, there was a feeling going in that the film would at least do fairly well and it would debut at number one in its opening weekend, and it would also finish with over $100 million which was considered enough of a success that a potential sequel could be in the works. However, the fact that the film didn’t finish at the top of the month as the Other Guys finished ahead of it by $16 million, and that it only finished with $103 million given the star power in it has made it even more clear that a film can’t succeed based on star power alone. Now we will see how the future Expendables film pan out and if they can actually build on the first one, but as for the first Expendables it is a slight disappointment and ends up being named the underachiever of the month.
August 2010 Awards Watch: The Expendables and Vampires Suck
Going into this month, the amount of films that were going to be nominated for one of the big three were probably going to be pretty slim, and sure enough we only have two films make it into this category and they are both for the same award which isn’t all that good. The first film that makes it into this category is the Expendables which was nominated for one Golden Raspberry Award (Worst Director) though it wouldn’t win, and that just piles onto the disappointment that the film ended up being. The other film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy spoof film Vampires Suck, a film that is a parody of Twilight about a girl who falls in love with a vampire and is stuck in the middle of a war. The film would be panned by critics who considered it a poor parody film that was not funny and would be nominated for four Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel, and Worst Screenplay) though it wouldn’t win any, and ironically it was also going up against Eclipse that same year which is pretty funny to think about. This is usually when the number of films in this category being so low stops and we will see this category more filled in the coming months, and we will see if that still holds up with this year.
Overall Thoughts of August 2010:
Overall, the month of August for 2010 was a fairly decent month that didn’t have any films standout in any way, but it didn’t completely bomb either and was an average way to end the summer of 2010. The summer has been pretty hot with May and June being so strong and July was pretty strong as well, and August is usually hit or miss in being a good month and this year it just happened to be a miss. While we did have two films from this month make over $100 million, it wasn’t enough to be able to carry the month as the rest of the films either made decent enough money or underperformed and brought the month down. 2010 has been an interesting year as we started pretty bad and things spiked when the summer started, and as we head into the fall we will see how things play out as the year comes to a close. As for the month of August 2010, it is a pretty average month and ranks in the middle of the year.
Final Grade: C+