Steve’s Box Office Report: May 2012
Top 10 Films for the Month of May:
1. Marvel’s the Avengers – $623,357,910
2. Men in Black 3 – $179,020,854
3. Dark Shadows – $79,727,149
4. Battleship – $65,422,625
5. The Dictator – $59,650,222
6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – $46,412,041
7. Moonrise Kingdom – $45,512,466
8. What to Expect When You’re Expecting – $41,152,203
9. Chernobyl Diaries – $18,119,640
10. The Intouchables – $10,198,820
May Winners: Marvel’s the Avengers, the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Moonrise Kingdom
We continue on through the year of 2012 and now we finally get to the summer which was looking to be quite loaded with some huge films, and we kick that off here as we had a few films from this month that looked to get the summer off to a hot start. Ultimately, there was only one film that not only reached that level, but far exceeded it though there were a few other films that did pretty well to make it into this category. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the culmination of Phase 1 of the MCU and that is of course the Avengers, where Nick Fury attempts to bring the great heroes together as they fight Thor’s brother Loki who looks to conquer Earth. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics and easily dominated the month with over $623 million, and we will dive deeper into the film a few times during this recap. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy-drama film the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a film about a young man who runs a retirement hotel in India occupied by wealthy British pensioners. The film would receive positive reviews from critics and was good counterprogramming to the blockbusters, and it would make over $46 million which was a nice haul for this relatively small film. The third and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy-drama film Moonrise Kingdom, a film about an orphan who unites with his pen pal and they run off to an isolated beach. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics who considered it one of the best of the year, and it would finish with $45 million which was again a solid haul for a relatively small film coming out during this month. While the month was pretty much carried by one film, the other two films that made it into this category were good buffers to serve as solid counterprogramming to the bigger films that had come out during this month.
May Losers: Men in Black 3, Dark Shadows, and Battleship
With all of the focus being on the Avengers this month, the other films from this month had a major uphill battle to climb especially those that were considered major blockbusters in any other year. Sadly, a few of the other big films that were released this month were quickly crushed under the weight of the Avengers and the final numbers are pretty much the only proof that you need. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the third film in the Men in Black franchise, where J goes back in time to help a young K in capturing a criminal who is trying to erase K from history. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who considered in an improvement from the previous film though argued a third film wasn’t necessary, and the film would finish with over $179 million which was a fine haul though definitely disappointing as I will discuss later in the recap. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the fantasy horror film Dark Shadows, based on the TV series of the same name where Barnabas Collins returns to his home to reunite with his descendants while also trying to get revenge on the witch who cursed him to be a vampire. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was a weak adaptation of the old show, and it was crushed under the weight of the Avengers by making just over $79 million which was enough to make the top 3 so it does have that going for it. The third and final film from this month that makes it into this category is the action film Battleship, loosely based on the board game of the same name where a group of Navy warships do battle with aliens who seek to destroy the world. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who felt it was just another basic alien invasion film, and the film would finish with just over $65 million which was good to get into the top 5 though it was really nothing special. While it is easy to excuse the performances of these films by saying the month was all about the Avengers, these films still could’ve done much better to help the Avengers carry the month to a higher level.
The Surprise/Story of May 2012: Heroes assemble as “The Avengers” blasts off and easily dominates May 2012
Going into the year of 2012, there was no question that the one film that was going to have the most eyes on it was the Avengers as it was the culmination of a 4-year journey and there was not much doubt that it wouldn’t succeed. Coming out at the beginning of the month, the film would go onto dominate the entire month and held the top spot for 3 weeks before losing it in its fourth week, but it was still the big talk of the town even as other big films were coming out and some smaller films were doing pretty well as counterprogramming to the film. It just goes to show the success that a film can have when you are able to build to it properly and market it correctly, and a lot of credit has to go to Disney and Marvel for the way they’ve built the anticipation to the film and had it pay off in major spades. Without question, the month is and will always be remembered for the success of the Avengers, and while the rest of the month wasn’t anything to write home about and did underwhelm a bit, the massive success of the Avengers is more than enough to carry the month as one of the best of the year.
Overachiever of May 2012: Marvel’s the Avengers
Back in May of 2008, Iron Man was released and the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to fruition, and at the end of the film when Nick Fury appeared and mentioned the “Avenger Initiative”, you knew that what the ultimate endgame, no pun intended, was. With each passing film, the anticipation continued to grow and when we got the first official trailer during the credits of Captain America, the hype was real and the only question now was going to be how high the film could go. Upon its release, the film certainly didn’t disappoint as it became the first film to make over $200 million in its opening weekend and it didn’t slow down, finishing up with $623 million domestically and easily dominating anything that came out during this month. It was a proper and fitting conclusion to the first phase of the MCU, but it also got you excited for the future as the post-credits scene gave us our first look at Thanos who will become a key player in future films. There was no question that the Avengers was going to be huge, but I don’t think many though it would be this huge and as a result, the film deserves the title of overachiever of the month and this might have been one of the easiest choices I’ve made in the 6 years of doing these recaps.
Underachiever of May 2012: Men in Black 3
As I mentioned, there were a few films released this month that were looked at as big blockbuster releases along with the Avengers though ultimately at the end of the day, the Avengers smashed any hopes that those films had to make some money and do well. The Men in Black franchise was in a bit of flux after the weak showing of the second film and now 10 years later, we get a third film to complete the trilogy and expectations were fairly high for the film. Coming out over Memorial Day weekend, there was a sense the film could do well as the Avengers would have been out for almost a month and might start slowing down, and this film received decent reviews as many considered it to be an improvement from the second film. Ultimately, the film did finish with $179 million which made it the highest grossing film in the franchise and could’ve been the top film of any other May in a different year, but compared to the Avengers it was a bit of a disappointment and it ended up being a slight bomb which causes it to be named the underachiever of the month, and now it would be interesting to see if the franchise continues on or if it is put to rest here.
May 2012 Awards Watch: Marvel’s the Avengers, Battleship, the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and What to Expect When You’re Expecting
As we continue on through the year and head into the summer, we start getting some of the big award contenders coming out and staking their claim into making some money while stating their case for being a contender. After the last few months of only a few films making it into this category, we do get a good amount 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 Avengers which was nominated for one Academy Award (Best Special Effects) which it wouldn’t win, and you had to wonder if the film maybe deserved a few more nods given how well it did. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Battleship which would win one Golden Raspberry Award (Worst Supporting Actress) and was nominated for 6 more (Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Ensemble) as amazing another film was even worse than this one. The next film that makes it into this category is the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards (Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy) though it wouldn’t win either and it was a fine showing for the film. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Moonrise Kingdom which was nominated for one Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) which it wouldn’t win as well as one Golden Globe Award (Best Picture – Musical or Comedy) which it wouldn’t win. The final film from this month that makes it into this category is the romantic comedy film What to Expect When You’re Expecting, based on the book of the same name of five couples who deal with becoming new parents. The film would receive negative reviews from critics and finished with just over $41 million, and it would be nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Supporting Actress twice) though it wouldn’t win. While these films weren’t at the very top of being contenders for these awards, the fact that they got nods shows how big they were that were even considered for these awards.
Overall Thoughts of May 2012:
Overall, the month of May 2012 ended up being a solid year even though it was pretty much carried by one film, but that one film did so well that it was more than enough to bring the month up to a good level. We have seen other months from previous years that were carried by one film, but the difference is that the one film from this month that carries it was so huge that it elevated the month higher than other months that were carried by one film. This month did have one other film make it over $100 million which was an added plus and the rest of the films were pretty much in line with each other with nothing being an outright major bomb. 2012 has been an interesting year as it started decently, had a big jump up in March, and now after a pretty tepid April the year is back on track with this month and things only look to get better as we head into June which is pretty loaded with big films. As for the month of May, it is a pretty solid month that is carried by one film though is still good enough to build some good momentum going into June.
Final Grade: B+