Steve’s Box Office Report: May 2011
Top 10 Films for the Month of May:
1. The Hangover Part II – $254,464,305
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $241,071,802
3. Thor – $181,030,624
4. Bridesmaids – $169,106,725
5. Kung Fu Panda 2 – $165,249,063
6. Something Borrowed – $39,046,489
7. Jumping the Broom – $37,295,394
8. Priest – $29,137,000
9. The Tree of Life – $13,303,319
10. Everything Must Go – $2,711,643
May Winners: The Hangover Part II, Thor, Bridesmaids, and Jumping the Broom
We now head into the next month of 2011 and we also officially kick off the summer season, and with a wide variety of films coming out this month there was a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy. With that being said, we do have a couple of films that were released this month that make it into this category and the majority of them are pretty big ones from this month. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film the Hangover Part II, the sequel to the first film where the Wolf Pack head to Thailand for Stu’s wedding only to suffer the same fate as Las Vegas. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was too much of the same from the first film, but the general audiences didn’t care as they came out in droves and helped the film make over $254 million and became the highest grossing R-rated comedy at the time. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the next installment of the MCU which is Thor, a film about the God of Thunder who is banished to Earth and he must stop his brother Loki from taking over while redeeming himself. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and despite major competition throughout the month, the film would end up making over $181 million which was a slight step down from the Iron Man films though it was still a good amount for this character. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film Bridesmaids, a film about a woman who is asked to be the maid of honor for her best friend and suffers several mishaps. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and became a surprise hit of the month by making over $169 million which I will delve further into later in the recap. The fourth and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy-romance film Jumping the Broom, a film about two different families whose lives clash when they come together for a wedding. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and despite coming out a week before Bridesmaids, it would quickly be lapped as it would finish with over $37 million. While it does seem like there should’ve been a few more winners given the money that some of them made, the ones that did make it into this category did more than well enough to carry the month.
May Losers: Priest
It is interesting to see that for this month, half of the films released made well over $100 million and the other half didn’t even come close as none of them even cracked $40 million, but for the most part the films did well enough that they avoided being put in this category. However, there was one film that had to fall into this category and that is the action-horror film Priest, a film about a Warrior Priest who must save his niece from a group of vampires. The film would receive negative reviews from critics and finished with just over $29 million, and as a result it would end up being crushed under the weight of the bigger films released this month. It is usually very good to only have one film from the month make it into this category especially if it’s one that wasn’t expected to do well, and that helps the month get propped up along with the number of winners the month had.
The Surprise/Story of May 2011: Fans get hung over again as Hangover Part II takes the top spot of loaded May 2011
Going into the month of May, there were several films released this month that were expected to do very well and there was the added wild card of the continued success of Fast Five which came out 2 days before the month started. Despite this, the major films from this month still made a lot of money with two of them making over $200 million and 3 of them making over $100 million, and despite the other films not even cracking $40 million the successes of the five big films was more than enough to lift the month up. At the end of the day, it was the Hangover Part II that finished at the top of the pile as it overcame the fourth Pirates film, the newest MCU film, a surprise hit in Bridesmaids, and the success of Kung Fu Panda 2. After the success of April due mainly to Fast Five, May helped continue that momentum with the big films and now the box office has a lot of momentum built up as we head into June.
Overachiever of May 2011: Bridesmaids
As the month of May began, there weren’t a ton of eyes on Bridesmaids as it was coming out in the dreaded second weekend of May a week after Thor was released and the week before the fourth Pirates movie came out. Typically, the second weekend of May is usually a death spot for films and not many tend to do well, but once the reviews started coming out it seemed like Bridesmaids could potentially be a surprise hit. Ultimately, the film did in fact turn out to be a surprise hit by becoming perfect counterprogramming to the other films that were out and it finished with over $169 million which was a major success. In addition, it was considered a major game-changer in terms of women-led comedies and we would see that come to pass throughout the coming years, and as a result there is no question that this film more than deserves the title of the overachiever of the month.
Underachiever of May 2011: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Going back to May 2007, we saw the release of the third Pirates of the Caribbean film with At World’s End, and that film would end up being the underachiever of that month due to its lackluster run despite making over $300 million. Flash forward to this month and we have the long awaited fourth film in the franchise with On Stranger Tides, which sees Jack Sparrow team up with Barbossa to find the Fountain of Youth while fighting Blackbeard and his daughter. The film would receive mixed to negative reviews from critics who felt it was a slight step up from the previous film, but many felt that the franchise had run its course and needed to be set out to sea. While the film would go onto have a pretty solid run by making over $241 million, it would end up being the lowest grossing entry in the franchise which was fairly disappointing as it didn’t even come close to reaching the gross of the first film. We will now have to see if we get another film or if this is truly it for the franchise which if it is, it is a pretty flat conclusion for this franchise and this film ends up being the underachiever of the month.
May 2011 Awards Watch: The Hangover Part II, Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the Tree of Life
After the last few months of having very few award contenders come out, we come to this month where we actually have a solid number of films make it into this category. Now the only question to ask is which of the big three will be most represented as we have a unique group of films that end up making it into this category. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the Hangover Part II as it was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel) though it wouldn’t win either of them. The next film that makes it into this category is Bridesmaids which was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay) though it wouldn’t win either, and it was also nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Picture – Comedy or Musical and Best Actress – Comedy or Musical) though it wouldn’t win either as well, but it was a great win for the film to get such recognition. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the animated film Kung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to the first film where Po continues his training while assisting the Furious Five against a peacock who looks to conquer China and also comes to terms with his past. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was a worthy sequel and it would finish with over $165 million, and it would be nominated for one Academy Award (Best Animated Film) which it wouldn’t win though it was still a big success and ensured the franchise would potentially continue. The fourth and last film from this month that makes it into this category is the drama film the Tree of Life, a film about a man whose memories of his family interspersed with the origin and meaning of life. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and had a solid run on the limited circuit making over $13 million, and it would receive three Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography) though it wouldn’t win any of them. Clearly, the majority of the films released this month were critically acclaimed and that is why the Academy Awards had the most representatives from this category.
Overall Thoughts of May 2011:
Overall, the month of May 2011 ended up being a pretty great month with a lot of successes and those that didn’t do well were not enough to drag the month down. This was arguably one of the more loaded months in recent history as you had something for everyone and there were plenty of films that could have great runs, and with half of the films from the month making well over $100 million there is no doubt that these films were ones that were highly expected. As I mentioned, we had five films make well over $100 million with two of them crossing $200 million and while the rest of the films in the month made less than $40 million, the big five films from the month were successful enough to prop the month up. 2011 has been a pretty solid year to this point as the year started a bit shaky, but things have turned around thanks to a pretty good April and now May keeps the momentum going strong as we now look to the summer and see how those films end up doing. As for the month of May 2011, it is a very good month and one of the better months of the year.
Final Grade: A-