Steve’s Box Office Report: October 2010
Top 10 Films for the Month of October:
1. Jackass 3D – $117,229,692
2. The Social Network – $96,962,694
3. RED – $90,380,162
4. Paranormal Activity 2 – $84,752,907
5. Secretariat – $59,713,955
6. Life as We Know It – $53,374,681
7. Saw: The Final Chapter – $45,710,178
8. Hereafter – $32,746,941
9. My Soul to Take – $14,744,435
10. Case 39 – $13,261,851
1. Let Me In – $12,134,935
October Winners: Jackass 3D, the Social Network, RED, Paranormal Activity 2, Secretariat, and Saw: The Final Chapter
We continue on through the year of 2010 with the month of October and after September ended up being a pretty dismal month, October was more than likely being looked at to try and regain some momentum going into the holidays. There was a wide variety of films being released this month and they all had the chance to make some good money, and amazingly enough we had quite a number of films from this month that make it into this category. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film Jackass 3D, the third in the trilogy where the cast of “Jackass” pull out even more outrageous and dangerous stunts. Coming out 4 years after the second movie, this film received positive reviews from critics who felt it was simply more of the same yet there was obviously still an audience for it given that it made close to $120 million. The next film from this month that makes it here is the biographical drama the Social Network, a film that follows the launch of the website Facebook and the subsequent fallout for creator Mark Zuckerberg. The film would receive critical acclaim with many calling one of the best of the year, and the film would just miss hitting the $100 million by finishing with $96 million though it was still a great success for this film. The next film that makes it here is the action comedy film RED, based on the comic series of the same name of a retired agent who is brought back into the field after an assassination attempt. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with just over $90 million meaning that the possibility of a sequel was more likely now which we will see down the line. The next film that makes it here is the horror film Paranormal Activity 2, the prequel to Paranormal Activity that follows paranormal events surrounding Katie’s sister Kristi and her family. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it was better than the original without straying from the norm, and it would make close to $85 million as we will talk about it more later in the recap. The next film that makes it here is the sports drama film Secretariat, a film that follows the life of the horse Secretariat and its journey to the 1973 Triple Crown championship. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with close to $60 million which was a solid win for this film. The sixth and final film from this month that makes it here is the horror film Saw: The Final Chapter, the seemingly final film in the franchise that sees Jigsaw’s legacy come fill circle as more people are forced to survive a series of traps. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was more of the same and it finished with just under $46 million as we will go into this more later. It is always good to see multiple films be able to make some good money despite the theaters sometimes being crowded, and this month has proved to be a major step up from the previous month.
October Losers: None
Looking at the slate of films that were coming out this month, there was a wide variety that appealed to all audiences and given that it was October, there was no shortage of horror films coming out this month. Anytime that you had a lot of films in either this category or the previous one, there was a good chance that the other category was either going to have very few films in it or possibly none at all. Sure enough, we have no film from this month that makes it into this category as the films that didn’t do well in terms of grosses had small enough budgets that it wasn’t considered a major loss. It seems like we are having at least one month of each year that doesn’t have a film in either this category or the previous one, and we will see going forward if that trend continues.
The Surprise/Story of October 2010: Comedy overcomes horror as Jackass 3D crashes its way to the top spot of October 2010
We have a seen a trend happening over the last few years where even though October is typically associated with horror obviously with it being the month of Halloween, other genres have managed to succeed as well as a horror film has not taken the top spot for the month since 2007. Despite the fact that there were five horror films released this month, only one managed to make it into the top 5 and the top spot of the month went to a comedy film being Jackass 3D. Coming out four years after the second film, there was some question if the appeal of Jackass had finally faded away though it was clear that there was still an audience for it and coupled with the success of the Social Network and RED, the horror films ended up being held down with Paranormal Activity 2 being the only one to really break out and succeed. It will be interesting going forward if the horror genre can battle back and reclaim the top spot for the month, or if other genres will continue to dominate the month and horror films will have to find another month to take control of.
Overachiever of October 2010: Paranormal Activity 2
At this time last year, Paranormal Activity came out and became an unexpected success which was primarily due to its low budget, but it also felt very fresh when compared to the Saw franchise which was starting to feel played out by 2009. The success of Paranormal Activity pretty much guaranteed that a sequel was going to happen, and now one year later we have the release of Paranormal Activity 2 which acts primarily as a prequel and continues to build on the story of the first one. Unlike the first one which started as a limited release before going wide, this one was a wide release right off the bat and despite having a more mixed reception than the first one, the anticipation for this film was pretty high and it certainly paid off even though it didn’t quite match the gross of the first film. Despite that, the film was still a major winner thanks to its tiny budget and you knew that a third film was going to be in the works, but you did have to wonder if this franchise would end up going the same route as Saw and become a bloated franchise down the line. We will continue to track that over the years, but as for this specific film it was a big winner and also ends up earning the title of overachiever of the month.
Underachiever of October 2010: Saw: The Final Chapter
In 2004, the first Saw came out and it was seen as a breath of fresh air in the horror genre while going onto have a very successful run, and while the first one felt more like a psychological thriller its subsequent sequels over the years started becoming more about the blood and gore while seemingly coming up with new ways to cause gruesome deaths. The next two films were also pretty successful and one would think that they would’ve stopped there, but they kept going and by the fifth film it was clear they were coming out to diminishing returns with Saw VI from last year being the lowest grossing film of the franchise. As a result, it was decided that Saw: The Last Chapter would be the last one with an 8th film being scrapped and even though this film was an improvement on the last one and made a decent amount of money against its budget, it was clear the franchise had reached its last legs as it was completely dominated by Paranormal Activity 2. As a result, Saw: The Final Chapter ends up becoming the underachiever of the month and seemingly ends this franchise on a downer.
October 2010 Awards Watch: The Social Network, RED, and Hereafter
As we come to the end of the year, we now see some of the big award contenders start to come out though this October is a bit lighter than previous Octobers in that there are only three films from this month that make it into this category. Now most of the films out this month are horror films which are probably not going to ever make it into this category, so it was up to the other genres to get a film in this category. The first film from this month that makes this category is the Social Network which would win three Academy Awards (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing) while being nominated for five more (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Cinematography). It would also win four Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score) while being nominated for two more (Best Actor – Drama and Best Supporting Actor) which solidifies its spot as one of the top films of the year. The next film to make this category is RED which was nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Picture – Comedy or Musical) which it wouldn’t win, but the fact it got a nomination was a pretty big win for the film. The third and final film to make it into this category is the disaster drama film Hereafter, a film about three people who are affected by death and they become intertwined with each other. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and only made just over $32 million, and it would receive one Academy Award nomination (Best Visual Effects) which it wouldn’t win though it was a success for the film to get an award nod. It is interesting to have multiple films in this category yet only one of them really dominates while the others only get one or two nods, and it will be interesting to see how the last two months of the year do in this category.
Overall Thoughts of October 2010:
Overall, the month of October for 2010 ended up being a pretty solid month and was easily one of the better ones of the year while also marking a major improvement from last month and even from August as well. Typically, October can either turns things around for the year going into the holidays or keep the status quo which isn’t always the best when September ends up being poor, but thankfully this October was pretty successful and turned things around. 2010 as a whole has been a fairly solid year as the better months have been really good, and no month has been nearly as bad as January which started the year on a really bad note and things seem to be optimistic as we go into the holiday season. As for the month of October 2010, it is a good month that is about in the higher end of the middle of the year.
Final Grade: B-