Box Office Aftermath from the Smurfs and 2 Guns Shootout

Scott analyzes the results after the final weekend of what is traditionally known as blockbuster season.  He also takes a look at some heavy hitting limited release pictures.


Not only is another weekend in the books in the box office, but we now enter into the final month of the summer blockbuster season.  The year of 2013 did not start off with a lot of excitement with January and February both failing to come anywhere near 2012’s numbers.  Entering the start of the summer months there was a lot of doubt as to how movies would perform.  This doubt was well founded, as we saw that a lot of action and comedy movies were flopping during the winter (the two genres that carry the bulk of the summer releases).  However, it started out on the right foot with the highest grossing May and June of all time.

As much as July would try to three-peat, it fell just $26 million shy and ended up in the number two spot when compared to other years.  It would have easily taken top slot if not for what could possibly be a sign of ‘action fatigue’ amongst movie goers.  May and June sported a number of high budget, high octane, and high grossing action movies that appear to have zapped interest from the offerings of July.  The Wolverine, The Lone Ranger, R.I.P.D., Red 2, and Pacific Rim all fell below expectations, with some possibly not looking to make their budget back.  The successes of the month came from Despicable Me 2, Grown Ups 2, and The Conjuring.

Kicking off August, 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg opened to mixed reviews and brought in $27 million domestically.  While it is not a horrible number, many originally had this movie pegged to open at around $35 million.  Perhaps it was a combination of the reviews and the fact that many people had already had their fill of movies this summer that brought the movie down.  The strength of the film laid neither on its convoluted plot nor the trailers (which gave away the convoluted plot, and probably could have left more mystery around what may happen), but on the shoulders of Washington and Wahlberg who did everything they could to bring a lot of energy to the movie.  With a rumoured budget of $60 million, it should be able to make it back fairly easily.

Also coming out this past weekend was The Smurfs 2, which started off with a five day opening weekend that made $27 million domestically and $52 million in the international markets, and apparently only 4% behind The Smurfs at the same time during its release.  At the end of its run, it should be able to make north of $450 million worldwide, which would leave the creation of The Smurfs 3 as a no-brainer.  With the numbers looking good for the franchise, it is lagging far behind in the domestic market.   Perhaps there is such a thing as ‘digital animation fatigue,’ which would make sense considering this is the fourth of its genre within the last month and a half.  If that is true, then things do not look so good for Planes, which comes out on Friday.

Recently I wrote about Sharknado getting a shot in theatres.  Regal Entertainment Group held a midnight screening of the made for TV movie in 200 theatres on August 2 after it debuted to enormous success in mid-July on the SyFy channel.  There is no confirmed information as to its success in theatres, but the word around the campfire is that it made $200,000.  While the number does not seem like a lot, I believe this is the first movie from The Asylum Studios to enter theatres.  The Asylum generally makes low budget ‘mockbusters’ (rip offs of Hollywood blockbusters, e.g. Atlantic Rim) as well as creature features.  A sequel is currently in the books for 2014, with New York City being the host battle ground for the deadly confrontation between man and storm swept shark.

Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine expanded from 6 theatres to 50 and made $1.8 million this weekend, putting it just under three million for its current two week run in the box office.  It finished with the second highest average per theatres at $37 thousand, coming behind the debuting The Spectacular Now, which averaged $49 thousand in the four theatres that it opened in.  The Spectacular Now is an award winner at the Sundance Film Festival, with its screenplay written by the same team that wrote (500) Days of Summer.  If you have not heard of (500) Days of Summer, consider yourself advised to watch it.  It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in a movie about love, but that is not a conventional romantic comedy.  If you have Netflix, there is literally nothing stopping you from seeing it.