Steve’s Box Office Report: September 2010
Top 10 Films for the Month of September:
1. The Town – $92,186,262
2. Resident Evil: Afterlife – $60,128,566
3. Easy A – $58,401,464
4. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole – $55,675,313
5. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – $52,448,250
6. The American – $35,606,376
7. Devil – $33,601,190
8. Machete – $26,593,646
9. You Again – $25,702,053
10. Alpha and Omega – $25,107,267
1. Going the Distance – $17,804,299
2. Waiting for “Superman” – $6,417,135
September Winners: The Town, Easy A, and Devil
We officially come out of the summer of 2010 and move on now to the fall doldrums which is really the best way to describe this season, and you could tell that the films released this month were for the most part not the best-looking group though we do have some films that ended up doing well. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the crime thriller The Town, a film about a group of robbers in Boston who look to make one last heist as they plan to steal from Fenway Park. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who considered it one of the best films of the year and it would come close to the $100 million mark though it just fell short at $92 million, but it was still a big success and one of the few hits of the month. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the teen comedy film Easy A, a film about a girl who lies about her sexual reputation and becomes enveloped in her own web of lies. The film would also receive positive reviews from critics and would finish with just over $58 million, and with the tiny budget that it had it was a major success for the film and another one of the few wins from this month. The third and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the supernatural horror film Devil, a film about a group of people trapped in an elevator and they become victims of the Devil. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who considered it a basic low budget horror film, and it would finish with just under $34 million which was a good success for the film given its low budget. While these three films were pretty good in terms of the money they made, it sadly wasn’t enough to carry the rest of the month and as a result the month ended up being a bit of a failure.
September Loser: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Even though the majority of the films this month didn’t do that well or did fairly average in their final grosses, amazingly enough almost all of them did just well enough that they were able to stay out of this category. However, there was at least one film that ends up being put in this category and it is the animated fantasy film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, based on the book series about an owl who attempts to find the mysterious guardians to save enslaved owls from an evil owl army. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt that while the animation was stunning, the plot of the film was slightly disappointing and they felt the film never met the full potential that it had. The film would go on and make just under $56 million which was pretty disappointing as I’m sure many though this film could be a surprise hit during a time when there was a lack of animated films, but unfortunately it would not do so and ends up being the sole loser for the month of September.
The Surprise/Story of September 2010: The Town easily takes the top spot of weak September 2010
We have seen the last few years that the month of September is usually carried by a film geared towards families which seems pretty unusual given that schools are back in and the majority of the films released in September are geared towards adults. The previous year saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs dominate and this year, there were two animated films that were released yet neither one did anything with one being a loser and the other being in another category we will get to shortly. As a result, the Town ends up taking the top spot as it performed pretty well and nearly reached the $100 million mark, and coupled with some decent performances by Easy A and Resident Evil: Afterlife, the month does fairly decent though the rest of the films didn’t do well and that results in the month being fairly poor compared to some of the other months from this year.
Overachiever of September 2010: Easy A
Going into this month, there were two contenders to be named the overachiever as I nearly gave the award to Devil due to how well it did with its small budget, but in the end I went with Easy A. Coming out the same weekend as the Town, it was to serve as counterprogramming to that film and it ended up doing fairly well to the point that it nearly overtook Resident Evil for the runner-up spot of the month, and it also served to launch Emma Stone as a leading actress after she had been building up her cred over the last few years. On the surface, having this be a modern retelling of the classic novel “The Scarlet Letter” seemed like an unusual premises, but for some reason it managed to work well and because of this it deserves its naming of being the overachiever of the month.
Underachiever of September 2010: Alpha and Omega
As I mentioned earlier in the podcast, September has typically been dominated by either an animated film or a film predominately aimed towards families, but that changes here as one of the animated films in Legend of the Guardians didn’t do too well. We then have the other animated film that was released this month and that was Alpha and Omega, a film about an omega wolf who falls in love with an alpha wolf and they work together to prevent a war between their tribes. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was dull and predictable as opposed to Legend of the Guardians which was praised for its visuals, but despite the negative reviews and the mediocre box gross the film would go on and become the start of a franchise consisting mainly of direct-to-video releases. Even though the film was not expected to overperform due to the lack of marketing and low expectations, it ultimately performed even worse than I think many thought it would and it winds up being the film to be named the underachiever of the month.
September 2010 Awards Watch: The Town, Easy A, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
As we begin the fall, it is now when the heavy award contenders start to come out and while the majority of them typically come out in October and November, September does at times have a number of contenders come out as we have three here. The first film to be included here is the Town as it was nominated for one Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor) which it wouldn’t win, and it also received one Golden Globe nomination (Best Supporting Actor) which it wouldn’t win though it was a good win for the film to have merit some nominations. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Easy A which earned one Golden Globe nomination (Best Actress – Musical or Comedy) which it wouldn’t win, but again it was a good showing for the film to get at least one nomination for one of the big awards. The third and final film that makes it into this category is the drama film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the classic 1987 film which sees Gordon Gekko attempt to reconcile with his daughter during the 2008 financial crisis. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt that it wasn’t up to par with the original and should’ve been more, and it would receive one Golden Globe nomination (Best Supporting Actor) which it wouldn’t win though getting a nomination was good for the film. It is not often that we get a month where we get no nominations for the Golden Raspberry which is a testament that the films were liked enough not to be included even though some of them had mediocre to negative reviews.
Overall Thoughts of September 2010:
Overall, the month of September of 2010 ended up being a fairly tepid month and while it was not the worst month of the year to this point, it is pretty dull and mediocre to talk about. I feel like I just wound up breezing through this month and didn’t give the justice I thought it would be due, but to be honest this was about as basic of a month as you can get and there really wasn’t too much to talk about. Compared to last year when Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs had a tremendous run and carried the month of September for 2009, there was no such film that was able to do the same this year despite a solid run by the Town. 2010 has been an interesting year in that it started shaky, picked up during the summer, but now as the fall begins we are starting to slide back down and we will see if October can turn things around going into the holiday season. As for this month, it is a pretty dismal month and one of the worst of the year though it is not the worst.
Final Grade: D+