Steve’s Box Office Report: January 2013
Top 10 Films for the Month of January:
1. Zero Dark Thirty – $95,720,716
2. Mama – $71,628,180
3. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – $55,703,745
4. Gangster Squad – $46,000,903
5. A Haunted House – $40,041,683
6. Texas Chainsaw 3D – $34,341,945
7. Broken City – $19,701,164
8. The Impossible – $19,019,882
9. Parker – $17,616,641
10. The Last Stand – $12,050,299
1. Movie 43 – $8,840,453
2. Promised Land – $7,597,898
January Winners: Zero Dark Thirty, Mama, and A Haunted House
We now kick off a brand new year with 2013 and after the year that 2012 was, needless to say there were a lot of expectations going into this year as there were some big films set to come out next year. More often than not, the month of January is typically a weak month though at times it can be a surprise, and we will have to see how this month fares given the slate of films that come out. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the thriller film Zero Dark Thirty, a film that dramatizes the decades-long search for Osama Bin Laden leading up to the raid that killed him in May 2011. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics who considered it one of the best of the year and it would finish with over $95 million which I will delve into later in the recap. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the horror film Mama, a film about two girls who are discovered in an abandoned cabin with a supernatural entity they refer to as “Mama” and it follows them when they get saved by their uncle. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with over $71 million which put it ahead of the other horror films that came out this month. The third and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the horror parody film A Haunted House, a film about a young couple who move into a house and encounter numerous paranormal events. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was very weak as a parody, but it would end up finishing with over $40 million which was enough to get it in this category and ensure that there could potentially be a sequel. Given that there were only 3 films from this month that make it into this category, it is still solid for January though it could be a bad sign of things to come.
January Losers: The Impossible and the Last Stand
Usually, January has a decent number of films that make it into this category and looking at the numbers, it seems like there should be more though we do only end up getting two that land in this category. The fact that there were more winners than losers is also a plus for this month as usually, January tends to have more losers than winners. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the disaster drama film the Impossible, based on the true story of Maria Belon and her family surviving the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The film would receive positive reviews from critics though it would end up finishing with just over $19 million, which was extremely low compared to some of the other award contenders that came out during these months. The other film from this month that makes it into this category is the action film the Last Stand, a film about a small town sheriff who looks to keep a dangerous drug lord from escaping to Mexico. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was as basic of an action that you can get, and it would finish with just over $12 million which barely got it into the top 10 despite the star power of Arnold Schwarzenegger. While there were only two losers this month, the majority of the films that did come out this month were all fairly mediocre and even though they didn’t make it into this category, it was still rough enough that it would affect the month.
The Surprise/Story of January 2013: Horror dominates the month of January 2013 as Zero Dark Thirty takes the top spot
Since I started doing these recaps, the month of January has been fairly consistent in that a variety of films would come out even if they are some weaker entries for the year, but this year begins what might become a trend in that January becomes a dumping ground for horror films. It seems like it would be quite unusual that January would have a lot of horror films, but this month saw the release of Mama, Texas Chainsaw 3D, A Haunted House, and even Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and while there were other genres that came out this month it seemed like horror was the standout. Having said that, the top film of the month does end up being an award contender with Zero Dark Thirty easily taking the top spot though it did just miss the $100 million, and as I mentioned most of the films that came out this month were fairly tepid and doesn’t help the year get off to a good start though we will see if this month going forward becomes a haven for horror films outside of October.
Overachiever of January 2013: Mama
Going into the month of January, nothing seemed like it was going to break out of the pack as the biggest film of the month was a film that was released in December and went wide this month which was Zero Dark Thirty. But with the number of horror films that came out this month, it was going to be interesting to see if any of them could be a surprise hit and do well which does happen and it ends up being Mama. Of the horror films that came out, this film got the best reviews from critics and with most of the holdovers from the end of 2012 slowing down, this was the best chance for the film to get as much as it could which it did by debuting at #1 in its opening weekend and finishing with over $71 million. While it wasn’t enough to the take the top spot for the month, it easily took the number two spot for the month and arguably was the best of the month which leaves no doubt that it deserves the title of overachiever of the month.
Underachiever of January 2013: Movie 43
As I mentioned a few times, the majority of the films that came out this month ended up being mediocre at best though weren’t so bad that they deserved the title of underachiever of the month, but there was one film that stood out the most and that was the anthology film Movie 43 which sees 14 different storylines play out during the film. With its unique premise and the star power on both the acting and directing side, there was plenty of intrigue regarding this film and whether it could be a surprise hit. However, the film would end up being panned by critics who considered it not only one of the worst films of the year, but possibly one of the worst films of all time which is quite the claim to make given the terrible films that have come out in history. It would end up performing poorly as well as it would finish with just over $8 million which wasn’t a total loss given the small budget, but it is still a black eye on the month and the year as it is easily the underachiever of the month and it might have a shot at being underachiever of the year.
January 2013 Awards Watch: Zero Dark Thirty, the Impossible, and Movie 43
As we start the year, this is where the last of the award contenders for the previous year come out and while there are not nearly as many as the last two months, there is always a chance that a decent amount of films that come out in January can make it in this category. Sure enough, we do get a few films that make it into this category though it ends up only being 3 so it is slightly lower than a few Januarys. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is Zero Dark Thirty which would win one Academy Award (Best Sound Editing) while being nominated for 4 more (Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing). The film would also win one Golden Globe Award (Best Actress – Drama) while being nominated for 3 more (Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay), and this secures its spot as one of the best films that came out this year. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the Impossible which was nominated for one Academy Award (Best Actress) which it didn’t win, and it was also nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Actress – Drama) which it didn’t win though if anything it showed what a great performance Naomi Watts had in the film. The last film from this month that makes it into this category is Movie 43 which would win 3 Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay) while being nominated for 3 more (Worst Actress twice and Worst Screen Combo) and it solidified its spot as one of the worst of the year. While there weren’t that many films that made it into this category, the ones that did make it got plenty of nominations which they deserved.
Overall Thoughts of January 2013:
Overall, the month of January 2013 ended up being a pretty dull month and while it was not the worst we’ve ever seen to this point, it is still pretty bad and not the best way to start off the year. As I said, 2012 was such a great year and ended on a really strong note so there was some hope that January would continue that and keep the momentum going, but sadly that does not happen as the films from this month ended up being tepid and mediocre. No film from this month reached the $100 million mark though one did come close and the rest didn’t fare much better, and a lot of the month was dominated by the holdovers from the end of 2012 even as they were starting to slow down. Like I mentioned, 2012 was a great year and you hoped that 2013 could start on a strong note, but that didn’t happen and we will see if February can start to turn things around. As for the month of January 2013, it is a pretty dismal month though it is not as bad as some previous Januarys that I have talked about.
Final Grade: D-