Steve’s Box Office Report: January 2012
Top 10 Films for the Month of January:
1. Contraband – $66,528,000
2. Underworld: Awakening – $62,321,039
3. The Devil Inside – $53,261,944
4. The Grey – $51,580,236
5. Red Tails – $49,876,377
6. Beauty and the Beast 3D Re-Release – $47,617,067
7. The Artist – $44,671,682
8. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – $31,847,881
9. Joyful Noise – $30,932,113
10. The Iron Lady – $30,017,992
1. One for the Money – $26,414,527
2. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy – $24,149,393
3. Haywire – $18,942,396
4. Man on a Ledge – $18,620,000
January Winners: Contraband, the Devil Inside, the Grey, Beauty and the Beast 3D Re-Release, and the Artist
We kick off yet another year of the 2010s with 2012 and after 2011 ended on a pretty high note, the slate of films coming out this month looked like a mixed bag and it looked like the month was going to be dominated by holdovers from the previous year. We did have a few films from this month that managed to do moderately well with the first film being the action film Contraband, a film about a former smuggler who returns to smuggling after his brother-in-law loses a shipment and his boss threatens his family. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it was about as standard an action film as you could get, and it would end up finishing with just over $66 million which was enough to take the top spot for the month which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the month. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the horror film the Devil Inside, a film about a woman who delves into exorcisms to learn what happened to her mother after she committed three murders. The film would receive harsh reviews from critics who considered it one of the worst horror films of all time, but it would do well by finishing with over $53 million which I will delve into later in the review. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the survival film the Grey, a film about a group of oil-men who are stranded in Alaska after a plane crash and must survive being hunted by a pack of wolves. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was another solid carry job by Liam Neeson, and the film would end up finishing with just over $51 million which was enough to put it in the top 5 for the month. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the 3D re-release of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, the legendary 1991 film about a girl who falls in love with a prince who is cursed to be a beast. Coming off the heels of the re-release of the Lion King back in September, the film would end up finishing with just over $47 million which I will get into further later in the review. The fifth and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the silent film the Artist, a film about a silent film star who struggles transitioning into sound films while mentoring a young rising actress. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics who thought it was a great tribute to the silent films of the past, and the film would end up finishing with just over $44 million which was a good success for a major award contender. While these five films did pretty well and made their way into this category, they would’ve been crushed in other months where other films did even better.
January Losers: Man on a Ledge
On the surface, it seems like there would be a lot of films that would end up being in this category given that the top film of the month only made $66 million, but amazingly enough the majority of the films this month either did fairly decent or just well enough to avoid being in this category. In the end, there was one film that made it into this category and that is the action thriller film Man on a Ledge, a film about a man who prepares to kill himself by jumping off a ledge though he is merely a diversion to a robbery that will help clear his name of a crime. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was a weak film despite a promising premises, and the film would finish with just over $18 million as it was buried under the other films from this month. While the month as a whole was pretty weak in terms of money made, the fact that there was only one film that made it into this category is a slight plus for the month.
The Surprise/Story of January 2012: Contraband overcomes horror films and award contenders to lead weak January 2012
Typically, January is not a strong month for major releases as it is mainly consisting of the holdovers from the end of the previous year while also having some minor films come out as the month wasn’t considered a month to release a major blockbuster. Usually, January has award contenders while also being a dumping ground for some horror films as we have the Devil Inside and the latest in the Underworld franchise with Awakening, but in the end Contraband ended up finishing at the top of the heap with over $66 million. After looking back at the previous Januarys where there was at least one film that came close to hitting that $100 million mark, this month is a major step backwards and coming off the high note that 2011 ended on, the year of 2012 is already off to a pretty rocky start.
Overachiever of January 2012: The Devil Inside
As I mentioned a little bit ago, January has started to become the month where horror films would come out and if one got lucky, maybe one of them would end up doing surprisingly well against some of the other films that come out this month. This year saw two horror films with the Devil Inside and Underworld: Awakening and even though Awakening made more money, the Devil Inside was a bigger surprise hit especially considering that the reviews for it were so bad and many called it one of the worst horror films released in recent memory. Despite these, the film would end up opening at number one in its debut weekend though it would drop off very quickly afterwards which will become the norm for horror films, and the film would finish with just over $53 million which was enough to put it in the top 3 for the month. Again, it may just be an indication of how weak the month ended up being, but the success of the film can’t be denied and that is why that the film ends up being the overachiever of the month though it is a weaker overachiever than we are used to.
Underachiever of January 2012: Beauty and the Beast 3D Re-Release
Back in September of last year, the Lion King was re-released in theaters in 3D to coincide with its release on Blu-Ray and after the initial plan was to have it in theaters for two weeks, it ended up being a major success and was kept in theaters far longer than expected. As a result, Disney decided to continue with this trend and this month sees the re-release of another beloved Disney Renaissance film with Beauty and the Beast. Given that the rest of the films from this month were fairly tepid, there was a belief that Beauty would have the same success that the Lion King had and while the film did well by making over $47 million, it wasn’t as much as I’m sure Disney would’ve liked. While this wouldn’t hinder them in terms of re-releasing other films in 3D to earn some extra cash for them, they did have to take a deeper look into whether the Lion King was just a fluke or if it was too close for these two films to come out. As a result, this film ends up being the underachiever of the month though that is not indicative of the film as it is still a classic and one of the best of all time.
January 2012 Awards Watch: The Artist, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the Iron Lady, and Tinker Tailor Solider Spy
As we enter the new year, we see the big award contenders start to come out during this month and while most of them didn’t make a ton of money, they still got enough exposure to help make the final push towards the award ceremonies. We have four films from this month make it into this category and the first one is the Artist which would win five Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score) while being nominated for five more (Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing). The film would also win three Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Musical or Comedy, and Best Original Score) while being nominated for three more (Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay) which reaffirms its status as one of the best films of the year. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the drama film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on the novel of the same name of a boy who finds a key and goes on a search to discover what it unlocks. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and finished with just over $31 million, and it would be nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor) though it wouldn’t win either and it was slightly controversial that the film even got a nod. The next film from this month that makes it into this film is the biographical film the Iron Lady, a film about the life and career of Margaret Thatcher. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and finished with just over $30 million to put it in the top 10, and it would win two Academy Awards (Best Actress and Best Makeup) and it would also win one Golden Globe Award (Best Actress – Drama) as it was a great showing for actress Meryl Streep. The fourth and last film from this month that makes it into this category is the spy film Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, based on the novel of the same name of the search of a Soviet double agent. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with just over $24 million, and it would be nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score) though it wouldn’t win any. These four films have to be some of the more successful award contenders we’ve had as they all made a solid amount of money given the other films that were released.
Overall Thoughts of January 2012:
Overall, the month of January 2012 ends up being a pretty weak month and is one of the worst that we’ve had to this point. As I mentioned earlier, the last few years as seen January been a decent month with some solid successes including a few films that nearly broke the $100 million mark, but this January reverts back to previous Januarys where the highest grossing film of the month is in the $60 million range. Most of the films from this month did fairly decent though nothing broke out of the pack to overdeliver, but there was nothing that totally bombed either and everything was just about as average as you could get. Coming off a strong end of 2011, 2012 is right now off to a pretty weak start though something tells me that the year will greatly improve once we get to bigger films coming out later in the year. As for the month of January 2012, it is a pretty weak month and one of the worst that has been covered to this point.
Final Grade: F