Steve’s Box Office Report: July 2011
Top 10 Films for the Month of July:
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $381,011,219
2. Captain America: The First Avenger – $176,654,505
3. The Smurfs – $142,614,158
4. Horrible Bosses – $117,538,559
5. Cowboys and Aliens – $100,240,551
6. Crazy, Stupid, Love – $84,351,197
7. Zookeeper – $80,360,843
8. Friends with Benefits – $55,802,754
9. Larry Crowne – $35,608,245
10. Winnie the Pooh – $26,692,846
1. Monte Carlo – $23,186,769
July Winners: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Smurfs, Horrible Bosses, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and Friends with Benefits
We are now past the halfway point to the year of 2011 and this was the month that everyone was waiting for, specifically for one film that was coming out in this month and to see how that film ended up doing. However, there were plenty of other films that came out this month that looked to succeed as well and amazingly enough, we have a bunch of films that did very well and prevented this month from being a one-film carry job. The first winner for the month is the obvious one and that is the final film in the Harry Potter series with Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the grand conclusion of the series where Harry and his friends stand together in the final battle against Voldemort and his army. With all the hype surrounding it, the film paid off in spades as it received positive reviews from critics and made over $381 million which we will get into more detail later in the review. The next film that makes it into this category is the newest entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Captain America: The First Avenger, a film which sees Steve Rogers become Captain America and lead the U.S. against the Nazis and the mysterious Red Skull. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with over $176 million which was a great success for this film, and now with Harry Potter finished all eyes would be focused on May 2012 and the culmination of Phase 1 of the MCU. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the family film the Smurfs, a film where the lovable Smurfs are sent to real world New York and must return home while also stopping the evil wizard Gargamel. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it wasted its potential, but the film would become an unexpected success by making over $142 million and bringing about the potential of a franchise coming out of this. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film Horrible Bosses, a film about three friends who look to seek revenge on their bosses by killing them. The film would receive mixed to positive reviews from critics and finished with over $117 million as I will delve further into the film later in the review. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, a film about a man who befriends a womanizer to get over his divorce until he learns the womanizer falls in love with his daughter. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with over $84 million which was a big win for the film at a time where romantic comedies were light. The final film from this month that makes it into this category is the romantic comedy Friends With Benefits, a film about two friends who take their relationship to a sexual level while slowly falling in love with each other. The film would receive positive reviews from critics despite its similarities to No Strings Attached from earlier in the year, and the film would end up making over $55 million though it would fall behind Crazy, Stupid, Love. Unlike 5 years ago when Dead Man’s Chest dominated the month while the rest sank under its weight, this month saw several films do very well and helped Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in carrying the month to its lofty heights.
July Losers: Cowboys and Aliens
In a month that saw a lot of successes, it usually also helps when there are very few, if any failures and those failures have an impact on how bad it drags the month down with how poorly it did. Fortunately for this month, there is only one film that makes it into this category and that is the sci-fi Western film Cowboys and Aliens, based on the graphic novel of the same name where an outlaw and cattleman work with a town to save their inhabitants from being abducted by aliens. The film would receive mixed to negative reviews from critics who felt that despite the performances by the leads, they felt that the genres didn’t compliment themselves and ended up falling flat. As a result, the film would finish with just over $100 million which did put it in the top five for the month, but unfortunately it was still one of the bigger bombs of the year though thanks to the successes of the month, it wasn’t enough to drag the month down too far.
The Surprise/Story of July 2011: Harry Potter franchise ends on a high note as “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” easily takes the top spot of July 2011
Back in November of 2001, the first Harry Potter film came out with “The Sorcerer’s Stone” and for the next decade, Harry Potter was a constant in the theaters as a new film was released almost every year with only a few gaps in between. By the time we were coming close to the release of the final film in Deathly Hallows, a decision was made to split the film into two parts with the second part coming out this month. While many frowned on this decision by claiming it was merely a simple cash grab and was unnecessary, it ended up being for the best because it made the anticipation for this film even higher. In the end, the move paid off as the film would make over $169 million in its opening weekend which broke the record set 3 years ago by the Dark Knight, and as I mentioned it would finish with over $381 million which put it at the top of the remaining films by a significant margin. It was a tremendous win for the franchise and put a bow on it nicely as now the question was going to be what would take its place as the Twilight franchise was nearing its end as well, and it will be interesting going forward to see what franchise steps into the void left behind and also if this is truly the end of the Harry Potter franchise or if it might be taken in a different direction. Nonetheless, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 would easily take the top spot for the month and is currently on pace to be the top film of the year though we will see how the rest of the year plays out.
Overachiever of July 2011: Horrible Bosses
On the surface, it seems like the overachiever should be Deathly Hallows: Part 2 but that was always expected to do well and even Captain America: The First Avenger was also expected to do well which it did. So ultimately, the film that seemed to fly under the radar the most was Horrible Bosses which is weird given the lack of comedy films that seemed to be out during this time. However, the unique premises behind it in addition to the star power that it had was enough to draw people in and as mentioned, it did finish with over $117 which put it in the top five for the month which was a big win. In addition, it would perhaps be one of the more unlikely films to end up producing a sequel though we will get to that one way down the line and see if it ends up having the same success as the first one. As a result, this film ends up being the overachiever of the month though realistically, it is probably one of the weaker overachievers of the year and we will see how it stacks up to the other overachievers from the year.
Underachiever of July 2011: Winnie the Pooh
Since I started doing these recaps back in May 2006, there has been one constant and that is that anytime a Disney Animated Feature has come out, it has always been the underachiever of the month without fail. That’s not to say some of them haven’t been failures as sometimes it’s just a matter of wrong place, wrong time and that is clearly the case here as we have the newest Disney film in Winnie the Pooh, the sequel to the 1977 classic which sees Pooh and his friends go a series of new journeys. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt that it was a worthy successor to the 1977 film, but unfortunately it was a victim of scheduling as it came out the same weekend as Deathly Hallows: Part 2. As a result, the film would end up finishing with just over $26 million which was a major step backwards from the last few Disney films though again part of that was just bad timing. However, bad timing or no, there is no doubt that this film ends up being the underachiever of the month though something tells me that the next Disney film released will finally break the streak.
July 2011 Awards Watch: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and Zookeeper
As we hit the halfway point of the year, we haven’t seen a lot of award contenders come out and it looks like that trend will continue as we only have three films from this month make it into this category which is strange as I always thought it was more. In any case, the first film from this month that makes it into this category is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 which was nominated for three Academy Awards (Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects) though it wouldn’t win any which was sad as it deserved at least one win. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Crazy, Stupid, Love which was nominated for one Golden Globe award (Best Supporting Actor) though it wouldn’t win, and it was still a good showing for the film to get a nod for something. The third and last film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film Zookeeper, a film about a zookeeper who is looking for love and the talking animals of the zoo try to help him. The film would receive negative reviews from critics though it would end up finishing with just over $80 million, and it would receive one Golden Raspberry nomination (Worst Supporting Actor) though it wouldn’t win. It is interesting that each award has just one film and there is no crossover between them, and we will see if that ever happens again going forward or if this was just a weird anomaly.
Overall Thoughts of July 2011:
Overall, there is no question that the month of July 2011 was a very successful month and to this point is easily the high point of 2011. Considering all of the hype that was going into the month especially around Deathly Hallows, it would’ve been a major disappointment if that film failed or if that was the only film that succeeded and everything else was crushed under the weight of it. Fortunately, neither of those outcomes happened as not only did Deathly Hallows do extremely well, but also several other films from this month did very well as 4 of them finished with over $100 million. 2011 has been an interesting year to this point as all eyes were on this month for the bulk of it and now that we are past it, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year ends up playing out. As for the month of July 2011, it is a tremendous month and the peak of the year to this point as we continue throughout the summer.
Final Grade: A+