A Breakdown of the 2010 Box Office

by     Posted 3 years, 209 days ago

box-office-2010-chart-slice

I have to use words to write for Collider, but my heart will always belong to the numbers. And few things cinematic provide the sheer numeric power of the box office.

I wanted to take a look at how the 2010 releases performed at the box the box office. We report on the totals each weekend, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Which movies had greater appeal overseas? Which genres were the most profitable? Which releases had “legs,” and kept audiences coming back week after week?

And so, after the jump, I sort and break down the past year in box office into charts and graphs every which way I can think of: by total gross, opening weekend, genre, release date, studio, MPAA rating, and staying power. From Alice in Wonderland ($334 million) to Youth in Revolt ($15 million):

[Update: I retroactively made the Cinemath article.  Also, the formatting on the tables went wonky at some point.  I hope you'll understand on both counts.]

For the most part we’ll look at wide releases — films that at one point played in 1000+ theaters. (Sorry, The Kids Are All Right, but I don’t know what to do with your 994-theater release.) There were 126 wide releases that opened between January 2010 to December 2010. The data — provided by Box Office Mojo and The Numbers — should be updated through December 30th, the final Thursday in 2010. Here’s a scatterplot at the total domestic gross of every wide release this year.

wide-release-box-office-scatterplot-2010

Some of the more recent offerings — Tron: Legacy, True Grit, Little Fockers — aren’t even remotely done making their money, and I try to account for that when it’s relevant.

Before going too much further, I should define a few of the persistent headings:

  • “Date”: Date of release
  • “Domestic”: Total gross in the United States and Canada
  • “Open”: Domestic opening weekend
  • “Multiple”: How much a film earned relative to its opening weekend (“Domestic”/”Open”)

Domestic Totals 

 

The total domestic box office in 2010 was $10.32 billion, down 2.6% from 2009. There was dominant force like Avatar last year or The Dark Knight in 2008, but Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland formed a nice one-two punch for Disney at the top of the standings.

It was a good year for animated films with Toy Story, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, and How to Train Your Dragon in the top 10, plus Tangled poised to break in early in the new year.

23 films grossed more than $100 million before the year’s end. Little Fockers crossed the line already; True Grit, Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, and Yogi Bear ought to by the end of January.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

Multiple

6/18

Toy Story 3

$415.0

$110.3

3.76

3/5

Alice in Wonderland

$334.2

$116.1

2.88

5/7

Iron Man 2

$312.1

$128.1

2.44

6/30

Twilight: Eclipse

$300.5

$64.8

4.64

7/16

Inception

$292.5

$62.8

4.66

11/19

Harry Potter 7-1

$278.8

$125.0

2.23

7/9

Despicable Me

$250.8

$56.4

4.45

5/21

Shrek Forever After

$238.4

$70.8

3.37

3/26

How to Train Your Dragon

$217.6

$43.7

4.98

6/11

The Karate Kid

$176.6

$55.7

3.17

4/2

Clash of the Titans

$163.2

$61.2

2.67

6/25

Grown Ups

$162.0

$40.5

4.00

11/24

Tangled

$158.0

$48.8

3.24

11/5

Megamind

$143.1

$46.0

3.11

7/1

The Last Airbender

$131.6

$40.3

3.26

2/19

Shutter Island

$128.0

$41.1

3.12

8/6

The Other Guys

$119.2

$35.5

3.35

7/23

Salt

$118.3

$36.0

3.29

10/15

Jackass 3-D

$117.0

$50.4

2.32

12/17

Tron Legacy

$112.5

$44.0

2.56

2/12

Valentine’s Day

$110.5

$56.3

1.96

5/14

Robin Hood

$105.3

$36.1

2.92

8/13

The Expendables

$103.1

$34.8

2.96

Worldwide Totals

The worldwide box office rankings tell a similar story, though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Inception, and Shrek Forever After were bigger draws overseas than Iron Man 2, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Resident Evil is a reliable franchise in the States, but nothing like its success abroad: Afterlife earned nearly four times as much overseas than it did here. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time similarly found its saving grace with an impressive $244 million international haul after a relatively disappointing $91 million domestic gross.

28 films grossed more than $200 million worldwide in 2010.

Title

Worldwide

Domestic

International

Pct

Toy Story 3

$1,063.1

$415.0

$648.1

61.0%

Alice in Wonderland

$1,024.3

$334.2

$690.1

67.4%

Harry Potter 7-1

$865.8

$278.8

$587.0

67.8%

Inception

$825.4

$292.5

$532.9

64.6%

Shrek Forever After

$739.8

$238.4

$501.4

67.8%

Twilight: Eclipse

$693.5

$300.5

$392.9

56.7%

Iron Man 2

$621.8

$312.1

$309.6

49.8%

Despicable Me

$540.4

$251.0

$289.4

53.6%

Train Your Dragon

$494.9

$217.6

$277.3

56.0%

Clash of the Titans

$493.2

$163.2

$330.0

66.9%

The Karate Kid

$358.7

$176.6

$182.1

50.8%

Prince of Persia

$335.2

$90.8

$244.4

72.9%

The Last Airbender

$318.9

$131.6

$187.3

58.7%

Robin Hood

$318.1

$105.3

$212.8

66.9%

Shutter Island

$294.8

$128.0

$166.8

56.6%

Resident Evil: Afterlife

$294.1

$60.1

$234.0

79.6%

Salt

$293.5

$118.3

$175.2

59.7%

Sex and the City 2

$288.3

$95.3

$193.0

66.9%

Tangled

$276.0

$158.0

$118.0

42.8%

The Expendables

$274.5

$103.1

$171.4

62.4%

Grown Ups

$271.0

$162.0

$109.0

40.2%

Chronicles of Narnia

$262.7

$76.6

$186.0

70.8%

Knight & Day

$261.5

$76.4

$185.1

70.8%

Megamind

$252.3

$143.3

$109.0

43.2%

Percy Jackson

$226.4

$88.8

$137.7

60.8%

Sorcerer’s Apprentice

$215.3

$63.2

$152.1

70.6%

Valentine’s Day

$213.0

$110.5

$102.5

48.1%

Eat Pray Love

$203.0

$80.6

$122.5

60.3%

Limited Release Totals

There were no limited release superstars, though the The Kids Are All Right grossed a solid $21 million for the top spot. Awards season could still spawn a hit or two: The King’s Speech, in particular, is on a nice trajectory. And The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is surely the most successful Swedish film in North America in a number of years, but did most of its business overseas.

19 films grossed more than $5 million in 2010.

Title

Domestic

Theaters

The Kids Are All Right

$20.8

994

Hubble 3D

$19.5

151

The Ghost Writer

$15.5

819

The King’s Speech

$15.2

700

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

$10.1

202

127 Hours

$9.9

433

Get Low

$9.1

570

Fair Game

$8.9

436

The Girl Who Played with Fire

$7.6

185

Cyrus

$7.5

454

Babies

$7.3

543

Conviction

$6.8

672

City Island

$6.7

269

The Last Station

$6.6

354

Waiting for “Superman”

$6.4

330

The Secret in Their Eyes

$6.4

166

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

$6.4

757

Winter’s Bone

$6.2

141

I Am Love

$5.0

166

Movies With “Legs”

The opening weekend of How to Train Your Dragon was a bit of a letdown for DreamWorks. But Dragon had a long life, even reclaiming the top spot at the box office in its fifth weekend. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer film. Inception, on the other hand, opened as well as Warner Bros. could have hoped for and never stopped.

Here’s a look at the top 15 highest multiples:

Title

Domestic

Opening

Multiple

Train Your Dragon

$217.6

$43.7

4.98

Inception

$292.5

$62.8

4.66

Secretariat

$58.6

$12.7

4.61

Despicable Me

$250.8

$56.4

4.45

Tooth Fairy

$60.0

$14.0

4.28

Red

$89.2

$21.8

4.10

The Social Network

$92.0

$22.4

4.10

Grown Ups

$162.0

$40.5

4.00

Letters to Juliet

$53.0

$13.5

3.92

Date Night

$98.7

$25.2

3.92

The Town

$92.1

$23.8

3.87

Knight & Day

$76.4

$20.1

3.79

Toy Story 3

$415.0

$110.3

3.76

Life as We Know It

$52.3

$14.5

3.61

Hot Tub Time Machine

$50.3

$14.0

3.59

One Weekend Wonders

On the flip side, some films prefer to do most of their business upfront. Valentine’s Day rode its opening to $111 million, plenty for a loosely related sequel.

To be fair, The Warrior’s Way is still in theaters, but it will remain on this list by the end of its run. But Skyline may ultimately win the honor of the film the public least wanted to see by the end of weekend one.

And congratulations to Tyler Perry, who managed to land two films – For Colored Girls and Why Did I Get Married Too? – in the bottom 15 multiples:

Title

Domestic

Opening

Multiple

The Warrior’s Way

$5.5

$3.0

1.82

Skyline

$21.4

$11.7

1.83

Nightmare on Elm Street

$63.1

$32.9

1.92

For Colored Girls

$37.7

$19.5

1.93

Jonah Hex

$10.5

$5.4

1.96

Valentine’s Day

$110.5

$56.3

1.96

The Wolfman

$62.0

$31.5

1.97

Daybreakers

$30.1

$15.1

1.99

Extraordinary Measures

$12.1

$6.0

2.01

The Last Exorcism

$41.0

$20.4

2.01

Saw 3D

$45.7

$22.5

2.03

Brooklyn’s Finest

$27.2

$13.4

2.03

Why Did I Get Married Too?

$60.1

$29.3

2.05

Paranormal Activity 2

$84.5

$40.7

2.08

Predators

$52.0

$24.8

2.10

Sorted By Genre

I sorted these films by genre myself, so don’t read too much into it. But I’m most interested in the average multiple by genre. The data seems to match conventional wisdom, where animated and family films have the best legs, horror flicks suffer the steepest drop-offs, and everything else is somewhere in between.

Genre

Movies

Domestic

Open

Multiple

Action/Thriller

21

$79.9

$28.0

3.05

Animated

9

$150.5

$42.3

3.30

Comedy

21

$61.7

$20.1

3.02

Drama

21

$51.9

$17.7

2.95

Family

10

$49.9

$16.0

3.14

Horror

13

$40.0

$18.4

2.29

Romantic Comedy

11

$46.7

$17.2

2.91

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

18

$116.3

$38.5

2.57

genre-box-office-2010

Sorted By MPAA Rating

I was surprised there were only three G-rated films in 2010: Toy Story 3, Oceans, and Ramona and Beezus. Toy Story 3 obviously skewed the average gross in that category. Again, the data matches conventional wisdom: PG and PG-13 films earned more than R-rated films on average.

Rating

Movies

Domestic

Open

G

3

$153.5

$41.4

PG

30

$89.2

$26.7

PG-13

48

$80.3

$27.1

R

45

$46.4

$18.1

Sorted By Month Of Release

For whatever reason I didn’t expect wide releases of any one month to average more than $100 million, much less three. But if three must, it will always be May, June, and July. We’ll see where the December releases end up by the end of January.

Month

Movies

Total Domestic

Avg. Domestic

Avg. Open

January

10

$378.7

$37.9

$14.1

February

8

$577.3

$72.2

$29.1

March

12

$943.0

$78.6

$24.3

April

10

$574.0

$57.4

$21.9

May

8

$925.0

$115.6

$40.2

June

11

$1,377.0

$125.2

$34.1

July

10

$1,082.4

$108.2

$29.4

August

12

$618.7

$51.6

$17.5

September

11

$482.8

$43.9

$15.0

October

11

$612.0

$55.6

$20.2

November

12

$957.9

$79.8

$29.4

December

11

$536.0

$48.7

$19.3

month-of-release-box-office-2010

20th Century Fox

Fox actually started off the year really well: Avatar earned $466 million of its $750 million total in 2010. Otherwise, a pretty mediocre year for the studio. Date Night was the only notable success. There were no absolute flops, though Marmaduke surely lost some money, and Gulliver’s Travels opened very weakly over the holidays.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

1/22

Tooth Fairy

$60.0

$14.0

2/12

Percy Jackson

$88.8

$31.2

3/19

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

$64.0

$22.1

4/9

Date Night

$98.7

$25.2

6/4

Marmaduke

$33.6

$11.6

6/11

The A-Team

$77.2

$25.7

6/23

Knight & Day

$76.4

$20.1

7/9

Predators

$52.0

$24.8

7/23

Ramona and Beezus

$26.2

$7.8

8/18

Vampires Suck

$36.7

$12.2

9/3

Machete

$26.6

$11.4

9/24

Wall Street 2

$52.5

$19.0

11/12

Unstoppable

$78.9

$22.7

11/24

Love and Other Drugs

$30.9

$9.7

12/10

The Chronicles of Narnia

$76.6

$24.0

12/22

Gulliver’s Travels

$18.1

$6.3

fox-box-office-2010

Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s affinity for genre films paid off with The Expendables, which milked the male nostalgia for a tidy $103 million sum. I joked about the viewing distribution of Tyler Perry films, but he’ll deliver two solid films for you every year.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

1/8

Daybreakers

$30.1

$15.1

1/15

The Spy Next Door

$24.3

$9.7

2/5

From Paris with Love

$24.1

$8.2

4/2

Why Did I Get Married Too?

$60.1

$29.3

4/16

Kick-Ass

$48.1

$19.8

6/4

Killers

$47.1

$15.8

8/13

The Expendables

$103.1

$34.8

8/27

The Last Exorcism

$41.0

$20.4

9/17

Alpha and Omega

$25.1

$9.1

10/29

Saw 3D

$45.7

$22.5

11/5

For Colored Girls

$37.7

$19.5

11/19

The Next Three Days

$21.1

$6.5

lionsgate-box-office-2010

Paramount Pictures

Paramount pushed nearly every one of their releases above $100 million, with True Grit poised to do so next weekend. I suppose Iron Man 2, Shrek Forever After, and The Last Airbender had to settle for “very profitable” when they hoped for the stratosphere. But the only real disappointment is Morning Glory.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

2/19

Shutter Island

$128.0

$41.1

3/12

She’s Out of My League

$31.6

$9.8

3/26

How to Train Your Dragon

$217.6

$43.7

5/7

Iron Man 2

$312.1

$128.1

5/21

Shrek Forever After

$238.4

$70.8

7/1

The Last Airbender

$131.6

$40.3

7/30

Dinner for Schmucks

$73.0

$23.5

10/15

Jackass 3-D

$117.0

$50.4

10/22

Paranormal Activity 2

$84.5

$40.7

11/5

Megamind

$143.1

$46.0

11/10

Morning Glory

$30.7

$9.2

12/10

The Fighter

$36.4

-

12/22

True Grit

$62.3

$24.9

paramount-box-office-2010

Sony Pictures

Sony was heavy on the original material last year. It was the only major studio that didn’t release a sequel in 2010. Of course, their highest grosser was The Karate Kid, a remake. Still it looks like the strategy will pay off with a Best Picture win for The Social Network, which earned a nice sum for the studio well before the abundant awards attention.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

1/22

Legion

$40.2

$17.5

3/19

The Bounty Hunter

$67.1

$20.7

4/16

Death at a Funeral

$42.7

$16.2

6/11

The Karate Kid

$176.6

$55.7

6/25

Grown Ups

$162.0

$40.5

7/23

Salt

$118.3

$36.0

8/6

The Other Guys

$119.2

$35.5

8/13

Eat Pray Love

$80.6

$23.1

10/1

The Social Network

$92.0

$22.4

12/10

The Tourist

$48.0

$16.5

12/17

How Do You Know

$20.5

$7.5

sony-box-office-2010

 

Universal Pictures

Despicable Me was a shining star for Universal in a year of struggle. Green Zone, The Wolfman, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World were financial disappointments. MacGruber and My Soul to Take were two of the biggest flops of the year. Little Fockers didn’t open as strong as the studio might’ve hoped over the weekend. But Robin Hood was bolstered by a strong overseas gross, so it’s not all bad news.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

1/8

Leap Year

$25.9

$9.2

2/12

The Wolfman

$62.0

$31.5

3/12

Green Zone

$35.1

$14.3

3/19

Repo Men

$13.8

$6.1

5/14

Robin Hood

$105.3

$36.1

5/21

MacGruber

$8.5

$4.0

6/4

Get Him to the Greek

$61.0

$17.6

7/9

Despicable Me

$250.8

$56.4

7/30

Charlie St. Cloud

$31.2

$12.4

8/13

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

$31.5

$10.6

8/20

Nanny McPhee Returns

$29.0

$8.4

9/17

Devil

$33.6

$12.3

10/8

My Soul to Take

$14.7

$6.8

11/12

Skyline

$21.4

$11.7

12/22

Little Fockers

$77.0

$30.8

universal-box-office-2010

Walt Disney Studios

Kudos to Disney for becoming the first studio to release two $1 billion grossers in the same year, enough to call 2010 a success for the studio. However, Tangled and Tron: Legacy are two expensive films with sustained earning power into the new year. So more than any other studio, it may be too early to close the books on Disney’s 2010 releases.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

1/29

When in Rome

$32.7

$12.4

3/5

Alice in Wonderland

$334.2

$116.1

3/31

The Last Song

$63.0

$16.0

4/22

Oceans

$19.4

$6.1

5/28

Prince of Persia

$90.8

$30.1

6/18

Toy Story 3

$415.0

$110.3

7/14

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

$63.2

$17.6

8/6

Step Up 3-D

$42.4

$15.8

9/24

You Again

$25.7

$8.4

10/8

Secretariat

$58.6

$12.7

11/24

Tangled

$158.0

$48.8

12/17

Tron Legacy

$112.5

$44.0

disney-box-office-2010

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. distributed 21 films in 2010, the most of any studio. It follows that the results were scattered: WB ran the gamut from Jonah Hex to Inception. There’s one more film left for 2011, but boy will the studio miss the Harry Potter franchise when it rides off into the sunset. The Boy Who Lived has been good to Warner Bros. over the past decade.

Date

Title

Domestic

Open

1/15

The Book of Eli

$94.8

$32.8

1/29

Edge of Darkness

$43.3

$17.2

2/12

Valentine’s Day

$110.5

$56.3

2/26

Cop Out

$44.9

$18.2

4/2

Clash of the Titans

$163.2

$61.2

4/23

The Losers

$23.6

$9.4

4/30

Nightmare on Elm Street

$63.1

$32.9

5/27

Sex and the City 2

$95.3

$31.0

6/4

Splice

$17.0

$7.4

6/18

Jonah Hex

$10.5

$5.4

7/16

Inception

$292.5

$62.8

7/30

Cats & Dogs 2

$43.6

$12.3

8/20

Lottery Ticket

$24.7

$10.7

9/3

Going the Distance

$17.8

$6.9

9/17

The Town

$92.1

$23.8

9/24

Legend of the Guardians

$55.3

$16.1

10/8

Life as We Know It

$52.3

$14.5

10/15

Hereafter

$32.6

$0.2

11/5

Due Date

$97.9

$32.7

11/19

Harry Potter 7-1

$278.8

$125.0

12/17

Yogi Bear

$53.1

$16.4

warner-bros-box-office-2010




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  • Pardis

    I’d love to see the same graphs with estimated budgets included alongside opening and domestic totals. Is that possible?

    • jrod

      Either that or show the net gross, which would be a more accurate indication that a movie was a hit or not.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      I would have loved to do that. But budgets aren’t widely reported, and the budgets we do see are measured in different ways and not particularly accurate.

      Ultimately decided it was a lot of extra work for dubious analysis.

      And I believe a hit is entirely measured by box office. The budget determines profitability.

      • timmy

        Your belief that a hit is measured in Box Office is, no doubt, a belief held widely in Hollywood. Of course, that belief is also totally erroneous. Profitability should always be the primary determinant of what is a “hit”. This is a business after all. By BO standards, Prince of Persia was a “hit”, by profitability standards, it was a disaster. There’s a reason you can’t get accurate budget data. No one wants you to know how much they lost on a “hit” movie.

  • gimpsuit

    You say, unless I misread the typo, that there was NOT a dominant force this year like Avatar last year of The Dark Knight in 08.
    Yet both Alice and Toy Story made more that the Dark knight. If TDK was the dominante force then surely Alice and Toy Story, having made more than TDK, are this years force.
    Or do you simply mean there was no clear outstanding Box Office winner?
    Small point in an otherwise pretty awesome box office wrap. Very interesting stuff and proves that movies are a global investment nowdays, not just for american audiences. If you make a universal movie the world can enjoy you are on pretty sweet, providing it’s a halfway decent film.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

    Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland did earn more than Dark Knight worldwide, but I was referring to domestic totals. $400+ million is amazing, but I guess I was setting the bar for “dominant” at $450-$500 million. Perhaps unfair.

  • Andy

    Hey Brenden… I just wanted to say awesome work. Box office and numbers are always big news to me, and it is very clear that you did quite a bit of research to put all these facts/charts out in front of us with such clarity. That’s a quite a bit of information to lay out, and you did a great job. Kudos, and thank you!!!

  • João Paulo

    Summit Entertainement Guys really

    Twilight Saga Eclipse 300 millions
    Red – 89 millions
    and others better than lionsgate

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