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.
As of 12/29, 31 movies grossed at least $100 million domestic.
|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.|
|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.|
|16||We’re the Millers||$150.4||Warner Bros.|
|17||The Great Gatsby||$144.8||Warner Bros.|
|18||The Conjuring||$137.4||Warner Bros.|
|20||Grown Ups 2||$133.7||Sony|
|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.|
|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.
The chart below plots worldwide gross of all 143 wide releases.
As of 12/29, 23 movies grossed at least $300 million worldwide.
|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|
|6||Man of Steel||$662.8||$291.0||$371.8|
|8||Thor: The Dark World*||$629.4||$202.4||$427.0|
|9||The Hobbit 2*^||$614.1||$190.3||$423.8|
|11||World War Z||$540.0||$202.4||$337.6|
|12||Oz The Great and Powerful||$493.3||$234.9||$258.4|
|14||Star Trek Into Darkness||$467.4||$228.8||$238.6|
|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|
|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.
|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|
|8||The Last Stand||75.1%||$36.3||$12.1|
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.
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.
|1||Lee Daniels’ The Butler*||4.7||$24.6||$116.1|
|7||Now You See Me||4.0||$29.4||$117.7|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.