We’ve come to the end of another box office month for the summer of 2012. So, far, just as with any summer, there are hits and their are misses. So far, at your local westside Chicago theaters, the hits are outweighing the misses. For the latest movie box office results, check out the Box Office Mojo and Box Office Guru websites. With a little critique, here are the box office winners and losers for the this past month.
JUNE 2012 BOX OFFICE WINNERS
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted— While Brave had a larger debut weekend, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted made the wise move to come out two weeks before the sure-fire Disney hit. In doing so, it got the jump on the family crowd and has made more than $180 million in four weeks. In another week, it will be the highest grossing film of the three movie franchise.
Brave— Even though the Madagascar zoo animals beat Pixar to the punch a little, Brave still had the bigger debut at $66.3 million and is already up to $130 million in ten days. Give it time and the staying power of Disney will pass Madagascar. (my full review)
Ted— When you open #1 and set records for original R-rated comedy debuts, you get to make the winners list after just one weekend. $54 million beats the old record of $44 million set by the first Hangover. Nice work from a teddy bear, eh?
Magic Mike— Though, like Ted, it’s only had one weekend, but women “tucked their bucks” and did their job for the shirtless boys of Magic Mike. With just a $7 million budget, it’s already more than quintupled that with its $39 million opening weekend. Expect more to come!
Moonrise Kingdom— Wes Anderson’s quirky talent is well-regarded by critics and movie snobs, but few of his movies has been embraced by general audiences. With Moonrise Kingdom, and its $18+ million gross, he may just finally get some broad appeal. Keep an eye on this one as it expands.
The Avengers— The Marvel Studios juggernaut makes this list for passing $600 million in domestic return, just the third movie in history to do it (and only one not direction by James Cameron). A milestone like that makes this list! (my full review)
The Hunger Games— On a smaller, but still significant level, The Hunger Games, as of last month, passed every Twilight AND Harry Potter franchise movie. This month, it crossed the exclusive $400 million plateau. Well done and a long roll from March that culminates with a mid-August DVD/Blu-ray release. (my full review)
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE
Prometheus— Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien world of science fiction was well-reviewed by critics, but hasn’t taken off with audiences. Even though, it has grossed a respectable $118 million so far, that’s behind its $130+ million budget. International grosses will more than take care of that, but I know the aim was much higher. (my full review)
Men in Black 3— While grossing $170 million doesn’t make Men in Black 3 a loser, but, when you compare that to the earnings of Men in Black II and the original Men in Black, it falls short. That’s disappointing, especially with the 3D price boost calculated in that the first two did not have. (my full review)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World— While this movie only had a budget of $10 million, it’s apocalyptic comet has been nothing more than a bottle rocket at the box office, grossing just $6 million in two weeks. With little marketing, the movie wasn’t trying to be a be blockbuster and it will make its money back. That puts it in the middle.
TOO SOON TO TELL
Madea’s Witness Protection— Say what you will about the dwindling quality of Tyler Perry’s movies, his brand has a built-in audience and devoted fan base. Tyler also knows how to keep costs down. Madea’s Witness Protection only cost $20 million to make and just earned $26 million and change in its opening weekend. That’s a financial win for sure, but too early to call a hit.
People Like Us— This movie, starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, is trying to be a piece of heartfelt summer counter-programming and it still might succeed. It had a small and slow opening weekend of $4 million versus a $16 million budget. That one gets a big “we’ll see” on whether an audience catches on.
JUNE 2012 BOX OFFICE LOSERS
Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy— I’m going to group these two duds together. It’s sad when we’ve reached that day that the two highest earning male lead stars in history (Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler, both of whom have made $2 billion each in their careers) can’t beat computer-animated zoo animals. Both Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy were trounced in the box office by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. Neither movie got favorable reviews and neither movie has resonated with audiences.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter— Though it’s still a little early and international grosses will help the bottom line, the 63% drop from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter‘s first weekend to its second weekend is a sign that word of mouth is not going to catch on. With a budget north of $60 million, earnings at $29 million and change are just not enough.
To Rome With Love— This may be a little mean to call a loser already, but Woody Allen’s newest international romance has the unenviable task of having to follow the critical and commercial success of last summer’s Midnight in Paris (my full review). That success is hard to duplicate. It’s only been two weeks of limited release, but To Rome With Love has made less than $2 million compared to the $56 million of Midnight in Paris. Italy is not going to catch France.
I hope you enjoyed the month of June as much as I did. All of these movies are still bouncing around your local westside Chicago theaters. You can pick up advance tickets from Fandango and MovieTickets.com at anytime online. I’ve also written an article, looking ahead to the July releases with my bold and full box office predictions. Check that out and enjoy the movies to come!