Steve’s Box Office Report: April 2012
Top 10 Films for the Month of April:
1. Think Like a Man – $91,547,205
2. The Lucky One – $60,457,138
3. Titanic 15th Anniversary Re-Release – $57,884,114
4. American Reunion – $57,011,521
5. The Three Stooges – $44,338,224
6. The Cabin in the Woods – $42,073,277
7. The Pirates! Band of Misfits – $31,051,126
8. Chimpanzee – $28,972,764
9. The Five-Year Engagement – $28,835,528
10. Safe – $17,142,080
1. The Raven – $16,008,272
April Winners: Think Like a Man, the Lucky One, and Chimpanzee
We continue on through the year of 2012 and we come to an interesting month because if you look up in the dictionary the words “holdover month”, this month will more than likely be listed in that category. With “The Hunger Games” still dominating the box office and all eyes focused on the first big release of the next month, this month was doomed from the start though we do get a few films that do well enough to make it into this category. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the romantic comedy film Think Like a Man, based on the book of the same name of women who read the book to understand their men better and their men try to get revenge on them. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics though it would end up finishing with over $91 million which would easily earn it the top spot of the month which I will delve into later on. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the romantic drama film the Lucky One, based on the novel of the same name where a Marine keeps a photo of a woman for good luck and later tracks down the woman. The film would receive negative reviews from critics as most films based on Nicholas Sparks novels are, but it would end up making over $60 million which was a small success for the film. The third and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the documentary film Chimpanzee, a film about a chimpanzee who loses his family and is adopted by a fellow chimp. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and would finish with over $28 million which was a big success for Disney as their previous documentary films have not been nearly as successful. While there weren’t going to be that many successes this month, the fact that we were able to actually get three films into this category is already a lot better than I think many probably expected out of this month.
April Losers: Titanic 15th Anniversary Re-Release and the Pirates! Band of Misfits
In preparing for this, I had expected that most of the films in this month would be included in this category given that most of the focus was going to be on May so these films would probably be forgotten about and not make much money. However, to my surprise, we only had two films from this month make it into this category which says something for these films that they were able to still make a decent amount of money. The first film that makes it into this category is the 15th anniversary re-release of Titanic, the classic film about two young people from different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage. Simply here as a cash grab and to release the film in 3D, the film would end up finishing with over $57 million which on the surface isn’t much, but it did push the worldwide total over $2 billion joining Avatar as the only other film to do so. The other film from this month that makes it into this category is the animated film the Pirates! Band of Misfits, based on the novel of the same name of a group of pirates who attempt to win the Pirate of the Year competition. The film would receive positive reviews from critics though was largely ignored by audiences as it would finish with over $31 million and it would quietly disappear from theaters in the coming months. Again, the fact that only two films from this month made it into this category is quite remarkable given that most of these films were likely to be overlooked as all eyes were on the month of May and what would happen then.
The Surprise/Story of April 2012: “Think Like a Man” wins tepid April 2012 as all eyes are on May
As I mentioned earlier, the month of April was in a weird spot because everyone was concentrated on May and more specifically, the first big film coming out that month and coupled with that, “The Hunger Games” was coming in red hot and would end up being the dominating film of the month. Looking at the films that were released this month, nothing stood out as being a potential breakout hit and while nothing looked to be a film that would weigh the month down, it just seemed like these films would just be there to fill out the month as we head into May. In the end, Think Like a Man ended up being the top dog of the month as it just missed hitting that $100 million mark and along with some solid to decent performances by the other films, the month of April ended up being not as bad as you would think. While it still felt like a holdover month, it was not nearly as bad as some of the months from previous years that we have covered so the month does have that going for it at least.
Overachiever of April 2012: Think Like a Man
Since I started doing these, it has been extremely rare that I have not had an overachiever of the month and I would have to look back, but I may never have had that happen though this month I was this close to doing so. Looking at the slate of films released this month, nothing looked like it would be a breakout hit given “The Hunger Games” continuing to dominate out of March and with all the focus being on May. However, there was one film that ended up being a bit of a surprise hit and that was Think Like a Man, and it would end up being the only film from this month that reached #1 in the box office and held the spot for two weeks going into the month of May. On top of that, it also came very close to making $100 million which would’ve been quite the feat for the film and it easily took the top spot of the month, and perhaps an even bigger surprise that the film would end up spawning a sequel which we will get to later down the line. In the end, the film wound up being a pretty solid hit and one of the few if only big wins for the month of April, and as a result it easily takes the spot of overachiever of the month though it still will rank low when compared to the other overachievers of the year.
Underachiever of April 2012: American Reunion
Going into the month of April, there wasn’t much buzz surrounding these films for all of the reasons I have mentioned multiple times, and aside from the re-release of Titanic there wasn’t much to really get excited about from this month. But there was one film that looked like it would be a surprise hit and that was the comedy film American Reunion, the fourth film in the American Pie series where Jim and his old friends from high school come back together for their reunion while dealing with their personal problems. While the franchise had seemingly ended back in 2003 with American Wedding, we would see a few direct-to-video films come out between then and now which kept the brand somewhat alive. As a result, they decided to do one more film to release in theaters and while there was plenty of buzz surrounding it with all the original cast returning for the film, the film would end up falling flat as it would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it was more of the same and didn’t do anything to bring in new fans to the franchise. The film would end up finishing with just over $57 million which wasn’t even enough to crack the top 3 for the month as Titanic edged it out by a few hundred thousand dollars, and if anything this would end up being the final nail for this franchise though there has been talk about doing a fifth film at some point. Ultimately, the franchise failed to revive itself with this film and as a result, the film ends up being the underachiever of the month and there was really no debate about it.
April 2012 Awards Watch: The Three Stooges and the Pirates! Band of Misfits
As usual, these first few months of the award season end up being pretty light in terms of award contenders as we may have one or two, but for the most part the heavy hitters don’t come until later in the year and not right now. However, as I mentioned we occasionally do get a few films that make it into this category though for the most part they aren’t big time contenders and are just run of the mill contenders. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film the Three Stooges, based on the classic shorts of the original trio where they work to save the orphanage that they grew up at while unknowingly getting involved in a murder plot. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and finished with just over $44 million which was enough to make the top 5 for the month, and the film would receive one Golden Raspberry nomination (Worst On-Screen Couple) though it wouldn’t win. The other film from this month that makes it into this category is the Pirates! Band of Misfits which would be nominated for one Academy Award (Best Animated Picture) which it wouldn’t win, but it was a big win for the film to get that nod considering the big animated films that came out this year. Again, April is usually not known for having big award contenders come out, but it is always cool when one or two films from this month make it into this category even if it is only for one award.
Overall Thoughts of April 2012:
Overall, the month of April for 2012 ended up being a pretty dismal month though in this case, it was to be expected as all eyes were pretty much focused on the next month. As I have mentioned constantly throughout this review, the majority of the films from this month were going to be forgotten about given the continued dominance of “The Hunger Games” from last month and again, the main focus was on May and in particular, one film that was going to kick off the month. Having said that, a few films from this month did fairly well and there was nothing that was outright bad, and as I said there were other months prior to this that have done far worse than what we got from this month. 2012 has been an interesting year as we started off pretty well though we have seemed to level off a bit, but as we get into the summer it was pretty much expected that the next few months were going to be what carries the year. As for the month of April 2012, it was a pretty basic month that wasn’t outright bad, but not great either as we now head into May 2012.
Final Grade: D