Cinemath: Year-End Report on the 2013 Box Office

     January 2, 2014

 

2013 box office stats

I love diving deeper into box office numbers whenever I get the chance.  Ideally, the market would let me wait until March or so, when the final tallies for the holiday fare are locked in.  But the window for year-end coverage is nearly shut, so today I present a report on the 2013 box office for Cinemath.

We look at the domestic and worldwide grosses of 143 wide releases with a few questions in mind: How dominant are sequels and remakes at the top of the charts?  Which movies had greater appeal overseas?  Which releases had “legs,” and kept audiences coming back week after week?  After the jump, I break down the past year in box office by total gross, international earning, staying power, studio, release date, and MPAA rating.  From About Time ($15.3 million) to World War Z ($202.4 million):

This article focuses on the 143 wide releases that played in at least 600 North American theaters at some point during their run.  The data [via Box Office Mojo and The Numbers] is updated through 12/29, the final weekend of 2013.  This unfortunately cuts off several releases in the middle of their runs.  Throughout the article, a (*) denotes movies that were still in theaters as of 12/29.  A (^) highlights December releases that still have significant earning potential in 2014.  All grosses are in millions of dollars unless otherwise noted.

 

Domestic Grosses

The chart below plots domestic gross of all 143 wide releases.  (Note: Javascript must be enabled to view these Google charts.  Hover over a data point to see the title and domestic gross.)

 

As of 12/29, 31 movies grossed at least $100 million domestic.

Rank Title Domestic Studio
1 Iron Man 3 $409.0 Disney
2 The Hunger Games 2* $391.1 Lionsgate
3 Despicable Me 2* $367.7 Universal
4 Man of Steel $291.0 Warner Bros.
5 Monsters University $268.5 Disney
6 Gravity* $254.6 Warner Bros.
7 Frozen* $248.4 Disney
8 Fast and Furious 6 $238.7 Universal
9 Oz The Great and Powerful $234.9 Disney
10 Star Trek Into Darkness $228.8 Paramount
11 Thor: The Dark World* $202.4 Disney
12 World War Z $202.4 Paramount
13 The Hobbit 2*^ $190.3 Warner Bros.
14 The Croods $187.2 Fox
15 The Heat $159.6 Fox
16 We’re the Millers $150.4 Warner Bros.
17 The Great Gatsby $144.8 Warner Bros.
18 The Conjuring $137.4 Warner Bros.
19 Identity Thief $134.5 Universal
20 Grown Ups 2 $133.7 Sony
21 The Wolverine $132.6 Fox
22 G.I. Joe: Retaliation $122.5 Paramount
23 Now You See Me $117.7 Lionsgate
24 Cloudy w/ Chance of Meatballs 2* $116.6 Sony
25 Lee Daniels’ The Butler* $116.1 Weinstein Co.
26 The Hangover 3 $112.2 Warner Bros.
27 Epic $107.5 Fox
28 Captain Phillips* $104.3 Sony
29 Pacific Rim $101.8 Warner Bros.
30 This Is the End $101.5 Sony
31 Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa* $101.3 Paramount

Anchorman 2 should be able to make the list in January.  American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty all have a shot.  I also expect The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to bump Star Trek Into Darkness out of the Top 10 soon.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could challenge Iron Man 3 for the top spot.  Either way, a sequel has taken number one on the domestic charts in each of the last 4 years, and 10 of the last 11.  By my count, 38 (26%) of the 2013 wide releases are sequels or remakes/reboots of properties previously seen on film.  The average domestic gross of a sequel/remake is $122 million compared to $49 million for original fare.  The difference is even more pronounced abroad: The average worldwide gross of a sequel/remake is $308, more than times greater than the $102 million for originals.  (Given the emphasis on blockbuster sequels in the summer and original awards contenders over the holidays, this effect may balance out somewhat by February. )

The chart below shows the distribution of sequels/remakes vs original properties in each quintile in the top 100 on the domestic charts.  For instance, the first bar group shows how many original movies and how many sequels/remakes are in the top 20.  The next four bar groups do the same for 21-40, 41-60, 61-80, and 81-100, respectively.

 

The majority of wide releases are still original properties.  However, the sequels/remakes dominate the top of the charts, taking 12 of the top 20 spots and 20 of the top 40.

 

Worldwide Grosses

The chart below plots worldwide gross of all 143 wide releases.

 

As of 12/29, 23 movies grossed at least $300 million worldwide.

Rank Title Worldwide Domestic International
1 Iron Man 3 $1215.4 $409.0 $806.4
2 Despicable Me 2* $918.7 $367.7 $551.0
3 The Hunger Games 2* $795.1 $391.1 $404.0
4 Fast and Furious 6 $788.7 $238.7 $550.0
5 Monsters University $743.6 $268.5 $475.1
6 Man of Steel $662.8 $291.0 $371.8
7 Gravity* $653.3 $254.6 $398.7
8 Thor: The Dark World* $629.4 $202.4 $427.0
9 The Hobbit 2*^ $614.1 $190.3 $423.8
10 The Croods $587.2 $187.2 $400.0
11 World War Z $540.0 $202.4 $337.6
12 Oz The Great and Powerful $493.3 $234.9 $258.4
13 Frozen* $491.9 $248.4 $243.5
14 Star Trek Into Darkness $467.4 $228.8 $238.6
15 The Wolverine $414.9 $132.6 $282.3
16 Pacific Rim $407.6 $101.8 $305.8
17 G.I. Joe: Retaliation $375.7 $122.5 $253.2
18 Now You See Me $351.7 $117.7 $234.0
19 The Hangover 3 $351.0 $112.2 $238.8
20 The Great Gatsby $348.8 $144.8 $204.0
21 The Smurfs 2 $347.5 $71.0 $276.5
22 The Conjuring $316.7 $137.4 $179.3
23 A Good Day to Die Hard $304.6 $67.3 $237.3

The wide releases grossed nearly $10 billion domestically and well over $12.5 billion abroad.  That’s about a 45% domestic/55% international split, but 13 movies grossed over 70% of the worldwide total overseas.

Rank Title %Int International Domestic
1 The Grandmaster 89.7% $57.5 $6.6
2 About Time 80.9% $64.9 $15.3
3 Escape Plan* 79.7% $98.2 $25.0
4 The Smurfs 2 79.6% $276.5 $71.0
5 A Good Day to Die Hard 77.9% $237.3 $67.3
6 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 75.3% $170.0 $55.7
7 After Earth 75.2% $183.3 $60.5
8 The Last Stand 75.1% $36.3 $12.1
9 Pacific Rim 75.0% $305.8 $101.8
10 The Counselor* 73.4% $46.8 $16.9
11 Turbo 70.6% $199.5 $83.0
12 Movie 43 70.5% $21.1 $8.8
13 Rush 70.1% $63.3 $26.9

The Hong Kong production The Grandmaster makes sense at the top of the list—the martial arts drama grossed over 70% of its total in China alone.  The UK production About Time also fits the bill.

There are quite a few action movies that arguably disappointed in the States, but likely saved the bottom line overseas.  Escape Plan, A Good Day to Die Hard, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, After Earth, Pacific Rim.

Click to Page 2 for the breakdown by performance after opening weekend, studio, month of release and MPAA rating.

Page 2

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Performance After Opening Weekend

This is my favorite category, distinguishing between movies with legs and one-weekend wonders. But it can be tricky.  Most wide releases open on a Friday in several thousand theaters, so a movie that opens in limited release or earlier in the week is a different beast.  To keep the comparison homogenous, we measure the multiple (total domestic gross divided by opening weekend gross) for the 94 releases that opened wide on a Friday.  Here are the top 10 and bottom 10.

Rank Title Multiple Opening Domestic
1 Lee Daniels’ The Butler* 4.7 $24.6 $116.1
2 Gravity* 4.6 $55.8 $254.6
3 The Croods 4.3 $43.6 $187.2
4 The Heat 4.1 $39.1 $159.6
5 Planes 4.1 $22.2 $90.3
6 Captain Phillips* 4.1 $25.7 $104.3
7 Now You See Me 4.0 $29.4 $117.7
8 Identity Thief 3.9 $34.6 $134.5
9 Last Vegas* 3.8 $16.3 $62.7
10 Delivery Man* 3.7 $7.9 $29.6

85 Phantom 2.0 $0.5 $1.0
86 Peeples 2.0 $4.6 $9.2
87 The Last Exorcism Part II 2.0 $7.7 $15.2
88 The Fifth Estate 1.9 $1.7 $3.3
89 Battle of the Year 1.9 $4.6 $8.9
90 The Last Stand 1.9 $6.3 $12.1
91 The Purge 1.9 $34.1 $64.5
92 Movie 43 1.8 $4.8 $8.8
93 One Direction: This Is Us 1.8 $15.8 $28.9
94 Texas Chainsaw 3D 1.6 $21.7 $34.3

The top 10 is a mix of Oscar hopefuls (The Butler, Gravity, Captain Phillips), cartoons (The Croods, Planes), comedies (The Heat, Identity Thief, Last Vegas, Delivery Man), and Now You See Me (Now You See Me).  Melissa McCarthy gets the Golden Gams award for landing two movies in the top 10.

The bottom 10 is mostly bombs this year, but per usual there are a couple horror flicks (The Purge and Texas Chainsaw 3D) that are probably happy with what they earned on opening weekend before falling over the edge.

 

Sorted by Studio, Month, and Rating

We’ll close with a few quick shots, sorting the average domestic gross by studio, month of release, and MPAA rating.

Studio

Studio Movies Domestic Avg
Disney 10 $161.4
FilmDistrict 4 $52.8
Focus Features 5 $17.4
Fox 15 $65.2
Fox Searchlight 4 $24.6
Lionsgate 15 $65.4
Open Road 7 $21.0
Other 10 $18.2
Paramount 8 $109.8
Relativity 8 $30.0
Sony 15 $68.3
Sony Classics 3 $15.4
Universal 14 $91.4
Warner Bros. 17 $101.5
Weinstein Co. 8 $34.8

Despite all the hype about how The Lone Ranger bombed, Disney had a very good year with its new Marvel properties (Iron Man 3, Thor 2), a pair of $200+ million cartoons (Monsters University, Frozen), and the successful revival Oz the Great and Powerful.

Fox and Sony both struggled as the only major studios without a movie that grossed at least $200 million domestically.

Month

Month Movies Domestic Avg
January 10 $32.4
February 11 $47.4
March 16 $60.5
April 8 $46.1
May 10 $143.7
June 9 $134.6
July 14 $93.3
August 18 $45.8
September 10 $43.9
October 10 $60.6
November 15 $81.2
December 12 $45.5

May and June are heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition.  It’s possible when all is said and done that November or December could challenge July for the third spot.

MPAA Rating

Rating Movies Domestic Avg
G 1 $268.5
PG 17 $104.3
PG-13 64 $81.0
R 61 $41.7

Given that One Direction and Justin Bieber released concert films this year, I’m surprised there is only one G-rated movie (Monsters University).  (If you’re curious, This Is Us has “mild language” and Believe is PG for “brief language and mild thematic material.”)

Most of the non 1D/Bieber PG movies are animated, but Disney’s Oz the Great and Poweful was a rousing success with the milder rating, and Ben Stiller is hoping for the best with the rare PG Oscar hopeful.

I am encouraged by the number of R-rated wide releases are willing to make despite the inherently limited audience.

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