Steve’s Box Office Report: February 2010
Top 10 Films for the Month of February:
1. Shutter Island – $128,012,934
2. Valentine’s Day – $110,485,654
3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief – $88,731,293
4. Dear John – $80,014,842
5. The Wolfman – $61,979,680
6. Cop Out – $44,875,481
7. Crazy Heart – $39,464,306
8. The Crazies – $39,123,589
9. From Paris With Love – $24,077,427
10. An Education – $12,574,914
February Winners: Shutter Island, Valentine’s Day, Dear John, and Crazy Heart
We now head into the second month of 2010 and already things are not off to a good start as January completely tanked and aside from the continued dominance of Avatar, nothing was able to break out and the box office suffered because of it. Needless to say, the films that were being released this month had a major uphill battle to climb though fortunately some of them did and we have some films make it into this category unlike last month. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the psychological thriller Shutter Island, a film about a U.S. Marshall who investigates a disappearance at a mental hospital while facing the demons of his past. The film would receive mixed to positive reviews from critics with some claiming it was one of the best films of the year, and it would go onto have a great run by finishing with just under $130 million. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the romance film Valentine’s Day, an ensemble film which follows numerous people as they each have their own issues with romance. Despite receiving negative reviews from critics, the film would have a solid run as it debuted at number one in its opening weekend which coincided with Valentine’s Day and it would finish with just over $110 million ensuring that this type of film would continue. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the romance film Dear John, a film about a solider who falls in love with a girl and they exchange letters while he is deployed. The film would receive mixed to negative reviews from critics though it would become the first film to finally knock Avatar off the top spot after 7 weeks, and it would have a solid run throughout February and finished with just over $80 million while making the top 5. The fourth and final film from this month to make it into this category is the drama film Crazy Heart, a film about a down-and-out country singer who forms a friendship with a journalist who does a story on him. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and would have a decent run on the limited circuit, and then it would be released wide here and ultimately finished just shy of $40 million. Considering that no film from January managed to do well enough to be a winner of the month, the fact that we had four films from this month make it into this category is a huge win for the month of February.
February Losers: The Wolfman and From Paris With Love
So last month we had no winners and a few losers of the month which meant it would’ve been funny if this month had only winners and no losers, but alas it was not meant to be as we do have two films from this month that end up being losers. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the horror film the Wolfman, a remake of the classic 1941 film of a man who is bitten by a werewolf and is cursed to be a werewolf himself as he terrorizes his town. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was not faithful enough to the original and while it did finish with just over $61 million and landed in the top 10, it still ended up being one of the bigger bombs of the year. The other film from this month that makes it into this category is the action film From Paris With Love, a film about a CIA operative who is paired with a veteran secret agent as they try to uncover a terrorist plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Paris. The film would also receive negative reviews from critics and fared even worse than the Wolfman did, and it would finish with barely over $24 million and was also one of the bigger bombs of the year. It’s pretty interesting because sometimes you have one or two losers that just missed the mark and were forced into this category, but for both these films to be bombs of the year it is fitting that they belong here as losers.
The Surprise/Story of February 2010: Shutter Island overcomes romance films to take February 2010 as Avatar makes history
Over the last few years, February has seen a fair share of different films released throughout the month but it seemed like one of the things they really haven’t capitalized on was releasing romance films during the month. It makes all the sense in the world given the Valentine’s Day tie-in and this year, we had two major romance films come out with Valentine’s Day and Dear John along with a semi-romantic film in Crazy Heart. However at the end of the day, romance ended up taking a backseat anyway as Shutter Island finished at the top of the pile with $128 million though Valentine’s Day also crossed the $100 million mark as well. It was a plus that two films from this month managed to cross that $100 million mark and this already puts them at a major advantage over January which completely tanked. On a quick side note, it should also be mentioned that Avatar would make history as it became the first film to cross the $2 billion mark worldwide which is just absolutely staggering of a number to think about. In the end, this ended up being a pretty big February and after the year got off to a very slow start in January, things have picked up here and we have some momentum going into March.
Overachiever of February 2010: Valentine’s Day
Going into February 2010, there was a lot of question as to whether Valentine’s Day would do well even though it was coming out on the same weekend of the holiday, but it would also have to contend with Dear John coming out the week before while also contending with two new films. There was a lot of buzz surrounding it given the number of stars that were featured in the film and they were all going to share as much time as they could, but when the film came out the reception was not good as many felt it was too cliché and wasted the star power that they had. However, this was a case where everything fell into place for the film between the release date and the fact that they used the star power to draw people in, and also that the other two releases on that weekend were fairly tepid and Dear John fell off pretty quickly despite a strong opening weekend. As a result, the film would play very well throughout the month and wound up finishing with over $100 million which was more than I think anyone ever expected it to do especially for something niche like a romance film. In the end, it was quite the success for this film and therefore it deserves the title of overachiever for the month of February 2010.
Underachiever of February 2010: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Going into the month of February, there had only been one film released in 2010 that had been aimed at families which was Tooth Fairy, and that film ended up being a disappointment and wound up being the underachiever of January 2010. As we head into this month, we were once again limited to the number of films aimed at families as we only had one film from this month that fit that bill while the rest were geared towards adults. The film that was looking to finally bring the kids back to the theater was the fantasy film Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, based on the novel of the same name where Percy learns he is Poseidon’s son and tries to retrieve the bolt of Zeus. Unfortunately, the film would receive mixed reviews from critics who like the performances of the actors, but felt the film was not faithful enough to the novel and it would finish in third its opening weekend. While the film would finish with just over $88 million which was a fine number for the genre, there was a feeling that it should’ve done better especially given the lack of family films in the market at the time. As a result, this becomes the second straight film that is aimed at families to be named the underachiever of the year and the families are still looking for a film to attach to by this point.
February 2010 Awards Watch: Valentine’s Day, the Wolfman, Crazy Heart, and An Education
As we head into February, we reach the end of the current awards season and depending on where the shows land, we immediately begin the next season as the February films can split between the current season and the next season. We actually do have a few films from this month that make it into this category and it looks like we split down the middle with two films making it into this season and two having to wait until the next season. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is Valentine’s Day as it would win two Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Actor and Worst Supporting Actress) while being nominated for two more (Worst Actor and Worst Supporting Actor). The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the Wolfman which would surprisingly win one Academy Award (Best Makeup), and that had to be a great accomplishment for a film that was not too well received. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Crazy Heart which would win two Academy Awards (Best Actor and Best Original Song) while also being nominated for one more (Best Supporting Actress), and it would also win two Golden Globe Awards (Best Actor – Drama and Best Original Song) which solidified it as one of the better success stories of the year. The fourth and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the drama An Education, based on the memoir of the same name of a student who is seduced by a con man. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and would be nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay) though it wouldn’t win any of them, and the film would also be nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Actress – Drama) which it wouldn’t win. It is always funny seeing the highest grossing film of the month be nominated for the Golden Raspberry while the other films get Academy Award nods,
Overall Thoughts of February 2010:
Overall, the month of February 2010 ended up being a pretty decent month as it was far better than anything January 2010 had, but compared to previous Februarys it was still on the low end of the totem pole. Anytime you come off a month that was as bad as January was, there was no other way to go but up though how high it ends up going depends on the product being released. In regards to the product that was released this month, it was a mixed bag of success as we did have two films make over $100 million and a couple of other films did fairly well though there were also a fair share of disappointments as well. Needless to say, 2010 has not been a good year thus far as it started with a dismal January and while February was slightly better, it is still not too good and now March is going to need to really deliver to get the year back on track. As for February 2010, it is a decent month with some good successes though it is still a pretty below average month.
Final Grade: C-