Summer Box Office Hits and Misses Part II: 'Inception,' 'Eclipse' and 'Expendables'
It wasn't a monster summer, but overall, every studio had their share of hits and misses. Hollywood knew since June, however, it would be unlikely any picture would overtake Disney's blockbuster "Toy Story 3" to win the individual summer box office crown. And to be frank, no other contenders came close to the animated adventure's $408 million domestic cume by the time the Labor Day weekend numbers were revealed. Instead, three films passed the $240 million mark ("Eclipse," "Inception" and "Despicable Me"), while there were a number of surprise $100 million grossers.
But, if there are winners, there have to be some losers. More distressing, however, were the larger number of pictures that just plain disappointed for Hollywood's studios. It's not that the films won't eventually make it into the black, but they weren't the profit centers their parent companies were expecting.
It's also worth noting, that after a horrible first half of the season with "Killers," Lionsgate had a great comeback with two moneymaking hits: "The Expendables" and "The Last Exorcism."
With that in mind, here's a rundown of who hit and missed the mark over the past two months at your local multiplex.
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" $298.6 million
"Inception" $277 million
"Despicable Me" $240 million
Lowdown: The surprise was "Despicable" which is a massive success in a mostly disappointing summer for Universal. "Eclipse" barely passed its predecessor, "New Moon" and will eventually hit the $300 million mark, but considering IMAX ticket prices, the vampire tale was expected to make significantly more. "Inception"? Let's just say the naysayers who insisted Warner Bros.' could never make their money back on this one are probably having nightmares over doubting the combo of Chris Nolan and Leonardo Dicaprio.
"The Last Airbender" $131 million
"Takers" $37.3 million
"The Last Exorcism" $32.1 million
Lowdown: "Airbender" and "Takers" found some of the worst reviews of the summer, but still blew away their studios internal projections. And it's amazing that "Takers" was basically a late summer dump by Screen Gems and now is a potential new franchise. Lionsgate may be the happiest of the bunch as "Exorcism's" immediate returns (the studio paid about only $1 million to acquire it) has finally shut up potential takeover artist Carl Icahn.
"Grown Ups" $159.3 million
"The Expendables" $92.2 million
"Salt" $115.2 million
"The Other Guys," $106.7 million
Lowdown: A caveat with a few of these. "Grown Ups," "The Other Guys" and "Expendables" were all known as solid hits back in the spring. "Salt," on the other hand, was pretty much seen as a mess until a month or so before its debut. Through publicity a deluge of media and a lucky date, the re-shot thriller become one of Jolie's biggest hits.
"Knight and Day" $76 million
"Dinner for Schmucks" $70.9 million
"Eat Pray Love" $68.9 million
"Predators" $51.6 million
"Step Up 3-D" $41 million
"Piranha 3D" $22.4 million
"The Switch" $21 million
Lowdown: Pick your poison as all of these films were expected to better than they actually did. The low domestic gross of "Knight and Day" may have caused the biggest aftershock as its reportedly knocked down Cruise's upfront fee for "Mission Impossible 4." "Schmucks" was a better title away from $100 million and Fox mis-marketed a "Predators" reboot that should have at least grossed $75 million.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" $61.6 million
"Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" $41.5 million
"Charlie St. Cloud" $30.8 million
"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" $28.8 million
"Going the Distance" $6.9 million
Lowdown: "Apprentice" was a costly misfire, but Disney distribution and marketing deserve just as much blame for it's poor opening as Nic Cage does. Of course, the saddest of the lot is "Pilgrim." It became a cult classic before its opening day was even over.
"The Kids Are All Right" $19.7 million
"The Girl Who Played with Fire" $6.3 million
"Get Low" $5.4 million
Lowdown: Music Box kept it's amazing year going with the sequel to "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." Classics has had great word of mouth on "Get Low" and Focus played "Kids" to a more than respectable gross.
Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below.
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1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
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