Steve’s Box Office Report: March 2012
Top 10 Films for the Month of March:
1. The Hunger Games – $408,010,692
2. The Lorax – $214,030,500
3. 21 Jump Street – $138,447,667
4. Wrath of the Titans – $83,670,083
5. John Carter – $73,078,100
6. Mirror Mirror – $64,935,167
7. Project X – $54,731,865
8. A Thousand Words – $18,450,127
9. Silent House – $12,754,783
10. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – $9,047,981
1. Jeff, Who Lives at Home – $4,269,426
March Winners: The Hunger Games, the Lorax, 21 Jump Street, and Project X
We continue on through the year of 2012 as we come to the spring, and after a pretty decent start to the year this month was looking to keep the momentum going knowing that all eyes were on May and a major release there. However, this month ended up having some good showings as the first film to make it into this category is the action film the Hunger Games, based on the novel of the same name where a girl named Katniss attempts to survive the Hunger Games. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and completely outperformed by making over $408 million which was a huge success and I will delve into it further later in the review. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the animated film the Lorax, based on the children’s book of the same name as a young boy learns the story of the Lorax from the Once-ler. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics though would finish with over $214 million which was a big success for this film and was one of the more successful adaptations of a Dr. Seuss book. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the action film 21 Jump Street, based on the TV show of the same name of two detectives who go undercover in a high school to try and stop the sale of a new addictive drug. The film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was a surprisingly fun film and it would finish with over $138 million which was another great success and made you think that this could be a potential franchise. The fourth and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the found footage film Project X, a film about a trio of friends who throw a party in an attempt to become popular though their plan spirals out of control. The film would receive negative reviews from critics though it would have a decent run by making over $54 million which was fine for the small budget that it had. While the month was mainly carried by the top three films which are in this category, they were very successful and were some of the big stories of the year to this point though they might get overshadowed later in the year.
March Losers: Wrath of the Titans, John Carter, Mirror Mirror, and A Thousand Words
Even though the month of March had some good successes, there were some pretty noticeable failures from this month as well as we ended up having the same amount of losers for this month as we did winners. While three of the winners did extremely well to offset the losses made by these films, the failures of these films is as mentioned pretty noticeable and dragged the month down. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the action sequel Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to the 2010 film where Perseus is called to help Zeus and the Gods fight off the Titans who have been released. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was far inferior to the first film, and it would end up finishing with over $83 million which was also a step down from the first film. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the fantasy film John Carter, a film about a human who travels to Mars (named Barsoom) and he becomes engulfed in a battle between warring kingdoms. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and finished with just over $73 million, making it one of the biggest bombs of the year which I will delve into later in the review. The next film that makes it into this category is the fantasy film Mirror Mirror, a re-telling of the classic “Snow White” story of an evil queen who intends to kill Snow White to become the fairest in the land. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it was a weaker adaptation of Snow White, and the film would finish with over $64 million which was a poor showing for this film which had some decent expectations. The fourth and final film that makes it into this category is the comedy film A Thousand Words, a film about a literary agent who becomes cursed and can only say a certain number of words without the risk of dying. The film would receive scathing reviews from critics who declared it one of the worst of the year, and it would finish with over $18 million which would make it one of the bigger bombs of the year. With two films from this month being some of the big bombs from the year, it doesn’t do much to help March out despite the successes of the winners.
The Surprise/Story of March 2012: The odds are in “The Hunger Games” favor as the film easily takes top spot of March 2012
Going into the month of March, there were a few films that many had eyes on as to whether they would help the month be a success or be a failure, and it turns out we had a complete mixed bag with some big successes but also some big failures as well. In the end, the Hunger Games ended up taking the top spot despite coming out at the end of the month and making the majority of its money in April and even a bit into May. Throw in some great showings by the Lorax and 21 Jump Street and the month had some good showings here, but there were some disappointments as the rest of the films released this month either underperformed or outright bombed. When you have a month where the top three films did as well as they did, it usually is enough to balance out the rest of the films and we had a pretty good balance here as March does end up being the best month of the year to this point, but looking ahead it is fairly clear that it will be overshadowed by other months though we will get there in time.
Overachiever of March 2012: The Hunger Games
As I had mentioned last July with the final Harry Potter film coming out, there was going to be a void left behind in the young adult genre between that series ending and the Twilight series ending later in the year. We had seen a few films try to fill that void, but ultimately did not have even close to the same success that Harry Potter or Twilight had, and now we have another young adult book series become visually adapted here with the Hunger Games. This film had some good vibes going for it as Jennifer Lawrence was gaining steam as a potential breakout actress, and the film would receive positive reviews from critics who felt it was a faithful adaptation of the novel. In the end, the film would end up outperforming expectations by making over $408 million and claiming the top spot for the month, and it seemed like the void left behind by Harry Potter has been successfully filled as now anticipation was going to be building for the next film in the Hunger Games franchise. There is no question that the Hunger Games is easily the overachiever of the month and that includes great performances by the Lorax and 21 Jump Street, and no doubt these three films are what makes this month so good.
Underachiever of March 2012: John Carter
Going into the month of March, there were a lot of eyes on John Carter as it seemed like a film that could be a total bomb or potentially a surprise breakout hit, and even though the reviews for it were mixed there still seemed like it could shock people as it had the Disney brand behind it. Coming out one week after the Lorax and a few weeks before the Hunger Games, it was in an interesting position and ultimately it would come down to how it did in its opening weekend, and in the end the film would open with just over $30 million which wasn’t even enough for the top spot of the weekend as it fell $8 million behind the Lorax. The film would not fare much better as 21 Jump Street had a strong opening weekend, and then the Hunger Games pretty much dominated the rest of the month and John Carter would end up falling by the wayside as it finished with just over$73 million. While it was just enough to make the top 5 for the month, it was still a major loss for Disney and it wound up being one of, if not the biggest bomb of the year, but don’t fret for Disney as they would easily make up for it later in the year which we will get to. However, there is no question that John Carter is one of the bigger failures of the year and without question, it is more than deserving of the underachiever of the month and could have a shot at being the underachiever of the year.
March 2012 Awards Watch: The Hunger Games, Wrath of the Titans, Mirror Mirror, A Thousand Words, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
So as usual, we kick off the next awards season with this month and after a couple of weak showings by the last two months, we pick things up a bit here as we have a few films from this month that make it into this category. While one particular award is going to be heavily featured in this month, there were a few films that got nods for the two good awards and that was a plus for the month. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the Hunger Games which would be nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Original Song) though it wouldn’t win, but it was still a plus for the film to get an award nod. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Wrath of the Titans which was nominated for one Golden Raspberry Award (Worst Supporting Actor) which it wouldn’t win, and then the next film that makes it into this category is Mirror Mirror which was nominated for one Academy Award (Best Costume Design) which it wouldn’t win. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is A Thousand Words which was nominated for 3 Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Picture, Worst Actor, and Worst Screenplay) though it wouldn’t win any as other films were somehow worse than this one. The fifth and last film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy-drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, based on the novel of the same name of a fisheries expert who is brought in to help bring fly fishing to the Yemen Desert. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and finished with just over $9 million as it was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy) though it wouldn’t win any of them. While none of these films would end up winning any awards, the fact that we had this many get nods was a good success for the month as a whole.
Overall Thoughts of March 2012:
Overall, the month of March 2012 was a pretty solid month with a couple of big successes though it did have some fairly big failures as well which keep it from reaching the next level in terms of overall months. While this March was a lot better than previous Marches that we have seen, there is a feeling that the month could’ve been better if some of the failures had done better and helped the top three films as they pretty much carried the month on their shoulders. As mentioned, the top three were very successful with one cracking $400 million, one getting over $200 million, and one making well over $100 million, but the rest of the films in the month did not do enough to help out with those other films. 2012 has been an interesting year to this point as the box office has been on a solid roll and keep the momentum going here, but we will see how the month of April ends up doing given most of the major business is going to come in May. As for the month of March, it is a pretty solid month and is to this point the highlight of 2012.
Final Grade: B+