Steve’s Box Office Report: July 2010
Top 10 Films for the Month of July:
1. Inception – $292,576,195
2. Despicable Me – $251,513,985
3. The Last Airbender – $131,772,187
4. Salt – $118,311,368
5. Dinner for Schmucks – $73,026,337
6. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – $63,150,991
7. Predators – $52,000,688
8. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – $43,585,753
9. Charlie St. Cloud – $31,162,545
10. Ramona and Beezus – $26,167,002
1. The Kids Are All Right – $20,811,365
July Winners: Inception and Despicable Me
We are now halfway through the year of 2010 and the month of June was very successful in terms of the big films delivering, and now we come to July where there were a couple of films that looked prime to do good business. While there weren’t as many winners of the months as I thought there would be, the ones that did end up being included in this category were still very successful and were amongst the best of the year. The first film that makes it into this category is the sci-fi action film Inception, a film about a group of criminals who are tasked with implementing an idea into a person’s subconscious. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who considered it a unique film while praising the visuals, and the film would end up making close to $300 million and was another big success for Christopher Nolan. The only other film that makes it into this category is the animated film Despicable Me, a film about a supervillain who plots to steal the moon while also becoming a father to 3 adopted girls. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and despite coming out relatively close by to Toy Story 3, it would still perform very well by making over $250 million which I will delve into later in the recap. While it isn’t that good that there are only two films in this category especially in the month of July, both films did well enough that they were able to balance out how some of the other films did.
July Losers: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
On the surface, it seems like there would be more films that should be in this category especially after there were only two films in the previous category, and given that a few of these films had some potential you’d figure this category might be loaded. In the end, much like the previous category only two films from this month made it into this category though they did end up failing big time. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the fantasy film the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a film about a sorcerer who takes a physics student under his wing and trains him to be a sorcerer as they try to prevent two other sorcerers from raising the dead. The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics who felt that the film was too cliché and it ultimately bombed by making just over $63 million, and the film would be considered one of the bigger bombs of the year and a rare miss for Disney. The other film from this month that makes it into this category is the spy comedy film Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, a sequel to the 2001 film where cats and dogs team up to stop a rogue cat spy. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was an unnecessary sequel to a film that wasn’t beloved to begin with, and it would end up falling flat in the box office by making just over $43 million. Again, while there were only two films that made it into this category, one of the films was one of the bigger bombs of the year and the other was also a significant failure so they left a pretty bad taste in the mouths of moviegoers.
The Surprise/Story of July 2010: Inception steals its way to the top spot of July 2010
Going into the month of July, there were a couple of films that were looked at as being the ones to carry the month and once again, there was a wide array of films geared towards different audiences. While the month was mainly dominated by films garnered towards children and families, it was ultimately a film for adults that took the top spot of the month and that was Inception. Obviously, Christopher Nolan had a major hit two years ago with the Dark Knight and while I don’t think many thought Inception would reach the same numbers as the Dark Knight, the fact that it made close to $300 million was quite the feat given the plot of the film which I’m sure left many people scratching their heads. The film did have a lot of star power going for it and the visual effects were also a main selling point of the film, and there was enough intrigue that people went out to see it and they were mostly pleased with what they saw. The critics seemed to agree as a few of them named this film as the best film of the year which is saying something given what we’ve seen and what’s to come, and it was easily one of the biggest surprises of the year and ultimately one of the best of the year.
Overachiever of July 2010: Despicable Me
Prior to July 2010, the main animation studios that have been going strong for the last few years were Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks, and a few independent animation studios attempted to stake their claim though most of them typically fell flat. Going into this month, a new animation studio cropped up called Illumination and they were ready to try and get their foot in the door, and the first film they came out with was Despicable Me. There were some questions as to whether the film would succeed especially coming out close to Toy Story 3 which was still raking in a lot of money, but ultimately the film debuted very strong with $56 million and would go onto have a great run. The film was received warmly by critics and the general public with a solid cast and some unique animation, and of course the breakout stars of the film ended up being the minions who became the official mascots of the studio. As a result, Illumination had proven that they could be a viable studio and that Despicable Me had the potential to spawn a franchise, and because of this Despicable Me is more than worthy of being named the overachiever of the month and was a great win for this brand new studio.
Underachievers of July 2010: The Last Airbender and Salt
Since I started these recaps with May 2006, there have only been a few times where I named more than one film as the overachiever or the underachiever and it had been almost 3 years since I had more than one film be named the underachiever. However, I feel that there are two films from this month that deserve to share the honor because both had some solid expectations going in, but neither ended up doing extremely well and that’s why they both deserve a nod. The first film to mention is the fantasy adventure film the Last Airbender, based off the TV series of the same name where a young boy who can manipulate multiple elements trains himself as the other Nations prepare for war against the Fire Nation. The film was panned by critics who felt it was unfaithful to the source material and fans of the series also hated it, and it didn’t help that it was forced to drop the name “Avatar” from the title to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s film. Despite this, it seemed that there was still enough interest for it to do well though it wound up making just over $131 million which killed any potential for a trilogy and was just another failed film for director M. Night Shyamalan. The other film that should be mentioned is the action thriller Salt, a film about a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian spy and she must clear her name. Unlike the Last Airbender, this film received more positive reviews from critics who felt that it was predictable, but they praised the actions scenes and the performance of star Angelina Jolie. Unfortunately, the film was unable to break out like I’m sure many hoped it would as it would finish with just over $118 million which was a disappointment though it was having to go against Inception, and as a result it joins the Last Airbender as being the two underachievers of the month.
July 2010 Awards Watch: Inception, Despicable Me, the Last Airbender, Salt, and the Kids Are All Right
As we hit the halfway point of the year, it is typically around this time when the big award contenders start coming out either on a national scale or on a limited scale before going wide within the next few months. The last few months seemed to have been dominated by Golden Raspberry Award nominations with a few Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nods sprinkled in, so we will see if that trend continues or starts to change here. The first film that makes it into this category is Inception which would win four Academy Awards (Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects) while being nominated for four more (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Art Direction). The film would also be nominated for four Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score) though it wouldn’t win any, but it does show that this was one of the more successful films of the year. The next film that makes it into this category is Despicable Me which was nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Animated Feature) which it wouldn’t win, but considering it went against Toy Story 3 that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The next film that makes it into this category is the Last Airbender which would win five Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Eye-Gouging Use of 3-D) while being nominated for four more (Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Screen Couple/Screen Ensemble, and Worst Prequel, Remake, Ripoff, or Sequel) which solidifies it as one of the worst films of the year. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Salt which was nominated for one Academy Award (Best Sound Mixing) which it wouldn’t win due to going up against Inception, but the fact it was nominated was a good win for it. The fifth and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy drama film the Kids are All Right, a film about a group of teenagers being raised by a same-sex couple as they try to learn who their biological father is. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics who considered it one of the best of the year, and it would be nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Screenplay) though it wouldn’t win any. It would also win two Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy) while being nominated for two more (Best Actress – Musical or Comedy and Best Screenplay). So clearly, this month had a lot more critically acclaimed films be in this category with only one film being in the Golden Raspberry category, and it solidifies this month as being one of the best in terms of favored films.
Overall Thoughts of July 2010:
Overall, the month of July 2010 ended up being a pretty good month though it was a slight step down from the previous month. To be fair, June had Toy Story 3 which did extremely and even though Eclipse did come out on the first weekend of July, it officially released on June 30th so that made it part of the June releases. Despite this, a few of the films from this month did very well with two of them making well over $200 million and two others making over $100 million, and the rest of the films did fairly well though there were some that did underperform. 2010 has been a fairly good as we have had a lot of successes throughout the year though there have been a few disappointments, and as we head into the final month of the summer we will see if it will end on a high note. As for this month, it was a very good month and keeps the summer of 2010 going strong.
Final Grade: A