Steve’s Box Office Report: June 2011
Top 10 Films for the Month of June:
1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $352,390,543
2. Cars 2 – $191,452,396
3. X-Men: First Class – $146,408,305
4. Super 8 – $127,004,179
5. Green Lantern – $116,601,172
6. Bad Teacher – $100,292,856
7. Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $68,224,452
8. Midnight in Paris – $56,817,045
9. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer – $15,013,650
10. Beginners – $5,790,894
June Winners: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Super 8, Bad Teacher, and Midnight in Paris
We now hit the summer of 2011 and after what ended up being a pretty great May, the month of June was looking to continue that momentum as they had a slate of films that looked to do well before the juggernaut that was expected to come next month. As a result, we did have a few films from this month that ended up doing pretty well and carried the month to some pretty high ground. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the third film in the Transformers series with Dark of the Moon, a film that sees the war between the Autobots and Decepticons come to a close as the former leader of the Autobots looks to rebuild Cybertron. The film would receive mixed to negative reviews from critics who felt it was more of the same from the franchise, but it would still do extremely well by making over $352 million which put it between the previous two films and it was possible that the franchise could potentially continue. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the thriller film Super 8, a film about a group of teenagers who are filming a movie when an unknown entity is released onto their town. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was a breath of fresh air to the genre and the film would be a surprise hit by making over $127 million which we will delve into later in the review. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film Bad Teacher, a film about a teacher who hates her job and looks to raise money to get breast implants and impress a fellow teacher. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt that it never reached its full potential, but it would do pretty well with a lack of true comedies and made just over $100 million. The fourth and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the fantasy comedy film Midnight in Paris, a film about a screenwriter who deals with his failing relationship while traveling back in time every night at midnight. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics who considered it one of Woody Allen’s best films and it would make over $56 million which was a solid win for the film. These four films did very well in their respective departments and helped carry the month to a pretty high platform.
June Losers: Green Lantern
Looking at the list of films that were released this month, there were a couple of films that had a lot of eyes on them and it was going to be interesting to see if they ended up succeeding or failing. At the end, the majority of them ended up doing well with some doing very well though ultimately, there was one film that ended up falling short and that was the superhero film Green Lantern, an origin story about a test pilot named Hal Jordan who becomes the first human to join the Green Lantern Corp. and must protect Earth from Parallax. There was a lot of hype going into this film that it could potentially be a breakout film and become a turning point for DC as they were starting to fall behind against Marvel. Unfortunately, the film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt the film squandered the source material and despite opening at number one in its opening weekend, it quickly fell off as it would finish with just over $116 million which resulted in it being a flop. As a result, it ended up being a major setback for DC as plans for a sequel were dropped and they had to go back to the drawing board, but fortunately the failure of this film wasn’t a huge detriment for the month since it was the only loser of the month.
The Surprise/Story of June 2011: Battling robots dominate as “Dark of the Moon” breaks Pixar’s streak and wins June 2011
So since I started doing these recaps 5 years ago, the one constant for these is that when it came to the month of June, Pixar was always on top as Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Toy Story 3 all finished at the top of the month. Even the one film that wasn’t released in June which was 2009’s Up finished at the top of May, so typically when a Pixar film comes out in the summer it usually finishes at the top spot for the month. However, that streak is finally broken here as Dark of the Moon easily overpowers Cars 2 and takes the top spot of the month marking the third time that Transformers took the top spot and solidified its standing as one of the top franchises of the last 7 years. Coupled with some solid performances by other films released this month and June ended up being a pretty great month as the momentum continued heading into the next month.
Overachiever of June 2011: Super 8
Going into the month, you knew that there were going to be eyes on a few films including Dark of the Moon, Green Lantern, and even X-Men: First Class, but it seemed like Super 8 was slipping between the cracks because many didn’t know what to make of it. It looked like a film that could either be a surprise hit or just a moderate success given that it was being released between X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern, but it ended up being a surprise hit as it debuted at number one in its opening weekend. It would then go onto have a pretty solid run even against the bigger films released during the month and finished with just over $127 million which put it in the top five for the month and it even finished ahead of Green Lantern while not being too far behind X-Men: First Class. As a result, there is no question that Super 8 is more than deserving of the title of overachiever of the month and it will be interesting to see how it ranks amongst the other overachievers of the year.
Underachiever of June 2011: X-Men: First Class
As I mentioned in the last category, several of the films released this month had plenty of eyes on them and one of them was X-Men: First Class, set as a prequel to the original trilogy that sees the birth of the X-Men while exploring the relationship between Professor X and Magneto. After the underwhelming performance of X-Men Origins: Wolverine which was named the underachiever of May 2009, the decision to have the franchise rebooted by having this film be an origin story had to be seen as a risky venture. In the end, the film would receive positive reviews from critics who considered it a breath of fresh air for the franchise and the film would make over $146 million which would put it in the top 3 for the month. However, that would end up having the film being the lowest grossing film in the franchise to that point had to be seen as a disappointment that it couldn’t even pass Wolverine in terms of money grossed. As a result, this film does end up being named underachiever of the month though it is not as big an underachiever as Wolverine was, and there was at least some promise that the franchise still has some legs behind it.
June 2011 Awards Watch: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Cars 2, and Midnight in Paris
As we continue through the award season of 2011, the last few months have not had a ton of contenders for any of the big 3 awards and even last month only had four which is low for the month of May. That trend ends up continuing here as we only have three films from this month that manage to make it into this category, and it will be interesting to see if the later months end up having an abundance of contenders. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is Transformers: Dark of the Moon which would receive 3 Academy Award nominations (Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects) though it wouldn’t win any and it was a big win to get that many nominations. However, it would also receive 8 Golden Raspberry nominations (Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor twice, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Ensemble) though it wouldn’t win any as one film was even worse than this film. The next film that makes it into this category is Pixar’s latest entry Cars 2, the sequel to the original that sees Lightning take part in a World Prix while Mater becomes involved in an international espionage. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it was inferior to the original though it would end up making over $191 million, and it would receive one Golden Globe nomination (Best Animated Picture) though it wouldn’t win and it ends up being one of the weaker Pixar entries of the last few years. The third and last film from this month that makes it into this category is Midnight in Paris which would win one Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) and was nominated for three more (Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Art Direction). It would also win one Golden Globe award (Best Screenplay) and was nominated for three more (Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Director, and Best Actor – Musical or Comedy) which solidifies this as one of the best film from the year. As I mentioned earlier, it would be interesting to see how the remaining months stack up in terms of award contenders and if some months will be more stacked than others.
Overall Thoughts of June 2011:
Overall, the month of June 2011 ended up being a pretty great month with most of the films doing very well and there were not really any major disappointments that dragged the month down though it wasn’t quite enough to receive a perfect grade. After the month of May got the summer season off to a great start, the momentum continues here as this month roared with successes and the summer of 2011 has been one of the best in quite a while. As I mentioned, a lot of eyes were on one film in July and even though it would be easy for these films to be forgotten about, they instead came out of the gate strong and did very well though now we will see how July ends up especially with how well that one particular film ends up doing. As for the month of June 2011, it is a great month and to date one of the best months of the year as we cross the halfway point of 2011.
Final Grade: A