Predicting the Movie Hits and Bombs of 2014

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. cwsiggy

    cwsiggy Well-Known Member

    I'm going to get real bold here and say Captain America - The Winter Soldier will do well...:)
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  2. Cerebus

    Cerebus Forum Resident

    I actually liked that one they did together. The one in the prison?
  3. Detuned

    Detuned Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    Escape Plan. I haven't seen it, so don't really have any opinion about it other than the financial results. Looks like I need to correct myself a little on that one, it did much better overseas than here.

    Total Lifetime Grosses
    Domestic: $25,132,228 18.3%
    + Foreign: $112,192,336 81.7%
    = Worldwide: $137,324,564

    The budget was rumored to be about $50 million.
  4. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    Captain America headed towards a $93 million domestic opening - BIG HIT.
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  5. wayneklein

    wayneklein Deus Irae

    It happens to be a very good movie as well.
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  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    Wow, that surprises me, too! If it cleared $137M on a cost of $50M, they're doing OK... but it's not nearly up to where Arnold used to be.

    Getting very good reviews, some of which say that it's "the best superhero movie since The Avengers." I really look forward to seeing it.
  7. mep

    mep Member

    In Germany there was quite a controversy about the dubbing of this particular movie, because Schwarzenegger and Stallone feature the same german voice actor. In the Trailer they first used this voice actor for both of them; but for the movie they changed Arnolds german voice and gave the job to another unknown voice actor, because they thought the same voice actor for the two leading men would be too distracting through out a whole movie. Many german movie buffs hated that (including me) and resisted to watch the film during it´s short movie theater run and waited for the BD with the original sound track instead.
  8. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    update: $303.3 million worldwide already!!!!

    In only 10 days overseas, the sequel has already taken in $207.1 million -- eclipsing the entire foreign run of Captain America: The First Avenger ($193.9 million). Domestically, Captain America 2, playing in 3,938 locations, scored the top April opening of all time. The film has a strong shot of surpassing the entire global gross of The First Avenger ($370.6 million) by the end of next weekend.
  9. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    $500 million as of April 16th for Captain America:

    I liked the film a lot and am glad it did well.

    After seeing the trailer and reflecting on it, I'm predicting Maleficent will bomb:

    I don't get it. But I'm also not a fan of the original Sleeping Beauty, and I always wince when I see cartoons turned into live action films (101 Dalmations notwithstanding). The whole thing is weird to me. The audience response in a packed theater was crickets and coughs -- not good. People damn near cheered for Spiderman 2.

    Transcendence, the new Johnny Depp film, looks like it's gonna be a stinker, judging by the reviews. If this one tanks, Mr. Depp will be 3-for-3: Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows, and now this. Not good. I really, really like Wally Pfister, and I bet the film will look amazing, but I dunno...

    Note that of the 14 "predicted bombs" in the original thread-starter, three of them have already bombed, and most of the rest haven't been released yet:

    I, Frankenstein

    I think Divergent did OK ($300M gross with a cost of $80M), but it didn't get even close to reaching the level of Twilight or Hunger Games, which is what the studio was hoping for.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  10. HiredGoon

    HiredGoon Forum Resident

    I'm guessing it will bomb based on the trailer, which gave away the whole freaking plot ("here's the first act, here's the second act, here's the third act, here's the dilemma facing the hero at the end, gosh darn it do you think they will make the right decision and save the world?"), thus negating any reason to see the movie at all.

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  11. Bryan

    Bryan Forum Resident

    Berkeley, CA
    Man, you really went out on a limb with those ones. You really ought to pat yourself on the back for that!
  12. Detuned

    Detuned Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    The riskiest looking enterprise I've seen a trailer for this year has to be Jupiter Ascending. The latest huge budget feature from the Wachowski's.

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  13. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    After "Speed Racer" and "Cloud Atlas" I'm amazed they got the money for another expensive effects extravaganza.
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  14. Bryan

    Bryan Forum Resident

    Berkeley, CA
    Depending on the budget, I'll say this will probably be a minor flop or maybe break even in the US. I think worldwide profits may push it into profitable territory, though. International audiences seem to be eating up all kinds of garbage like this lately.
  15. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    "Robocop" didn't bomb - it did $241 million worldwide with a budget of $100 million. Not a smash, but not a bomb...
  16. Maggie

    Maggie much older now, with hat on, drinking wine

    Toronto, Canada
    1. I'm sure you're right about Maleficent. An unpronounceable title and a script and aesthetic cobbled together from Wicked and Snow White and the Huntsman does not a hit make. Looks like a vanity project.

    2. I'm genuinely surprised by the terrible advance reviews for Transcendence, although the trailers HAVE been making it look more and more like a fancy-pants version of Lawnmower Man mixed with Virtuosity (two eminently forgettable and badly-reviewed 90s technothrillers that were once state-of-the-art).

    3. Robocop was far from a bomb internationally. Actually I'm surprised at how successful it's been overseas given how thunderous a flop it was in America. It's a surprisingly thoughtful movie, though. If it weren't a franchised remake of the original and was just a kind of 'loving tribute,' it would be more widely admired, I think.

    4. My theory about Divergent is that it made the money it did because nothing else that appealed to a similar audience was playing on the three weeks on either side of it.
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    Robocop is another film where if it hadn't cost so much, it might have eventually made money. It cost a whopping $130M, but only made $241M worldwide, so that's not enough to break even. If they had done north of $300M-$350M, that would've been OK. The original 1987 movie made four times its budget, which is a hit by any definition.

    Budget of $130,000,000. As we've discussed before, there's a huge bomb, a big disappointment, a flop, a movie that barely breaks even... all of these are not good. Studios only want films that make a big profit, and Robocop isn't one of them. As one exec quipped, "if I want only 3% return on our investment, I'd go to Bank of America!" Bear in mind that the studios only get to keep about 50% of the gross, between overhead and theater profits. And the production gets charged interest every single day, and there's also P&A which probably went over $50M by itself.

    I said it back in early January, weeks before the movies came out. I'll have some more distant opinions when I get a chance. Note that they're just opinions -- nothing more than that.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  18. Meltdown

    Meltdown Active Member

    United Kingdom
    Who is charging the production interest? The studio that green lit the movie?
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    Yes. The financing dictates that the studio loans the money to the production company, then the production company makes the film. This is a buffer for legal and financial reasons. For example, if somebody gets killed working on the movie, technically, they're employees of the production company and not the studio, so only the production company can be sued.
  20. Meltdown

    Meltdown Active Member

    United Kingdom
    Cheers for the response. Still string to get my head round this kind of thing.

    So are the studios and production companies completely separate entities or are the production companies normally subsidiaries of or owned by the studios? What proportion of the official budget is spent on this interest. Because it seems to me whereas P&A is often not included when it should be, if production companies are indeed owned by the studio, this interest is in effect a profit for the studios, not a cost, and so should not be included in the published budgets but is.

    Basically I'm asking is this production company/situation an example of something that was created for valid reasons but has been exploited by studios for creative accounting purposes?
  21. chargrove

    chargrove Forum Ghost Hunter

    Fort Worth, TX
    So when you say people cheered for Spider-Man 2, are you referring to the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 that's getting ready to be released in a few weeks? I dunno...when I saw no less than THREE villains in the plot, I was skeptical to say the least.
  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    The studio is a corporate entity, often with stockholders, other divisions, boards of directors, and all that stuff. When a producer/director team sells the idea for a movie, they immediately form a self-contained separate "production company" responsible for making and delivering the movie to the studio for a certain amount of money and by a certain delivery date. There are often other stipulated conditions: approved actors, rewrites, production start dates, content reviews by studio execs, editing considerations, and MPAA ratings. For legal and financial purposes, the production company is completely separate from the studio.

    That's an interesting question. I've posted the Harry Potter profit & loss sheet before:


    Note the $57 million in interest charges! This is among the reasons why a film that cost technically $150 million to make, and grossed $939 million, has still not made a profit. Not according to the studio definition of profit. Screwy business, eh?

    Guaranteed, the studio made money on the film, probably from the moment it made about $325M-$350M. There's gross profit, defined profit, net profit... lotta screwiness. The 1992 book Fatal Subtraction: The Inside Story of Buchwald v. Paramount goes into excrutiating detail on how movie contracts and profits really work, and it's a sobering tale (but be warned a lot of it is very dull and bogged down in legalese and accounting terms). The contract templates they used for Coming to America are pretty much what's been used for the last 30 years.

    There are some pretty egregious stories over the years about TV shows and movies you'd swear made a profit, only the studios claim they didn't. Paramount told Gene Roddenberry around 1984-1985 that the original Star Trek TV show had still not gone into profit, so he sued; they paid him a few million dollars as a settlement so that he would agree to create and produce the 1987 Next Generation show. In the Coming to America lawsuit, Paramount admitted there had only been about a dozen movies in the previous ten years that had ever made a real profit. One of them was Airplane, which cost $3 million and made $83 million. When you gross 25 times the budget, there's no way the studio can hide all the money, so they had to pay everybody their net points -- which is extremely rare.

    But these movies that cost $150M and make maybe $300M... those are considered break-even films at best, and it drives studio execs crazy. They're not in business to make movies that only break even. What they want are films like Avengers and Captain America that a) drive whole franchises, 2) set up sequels, 3) trigger lots of ancillary business [video games, comic books, even TV series], 4) have huge overseas appeal, 5) don't have a lot of profit participation [beyond one star and maybe the director and main producer], and 6) make big, big money. My fear is, if one studio makes three or four huge films that fail in a single year, it could literally topple the studio, just like Heaven's Gate almost single-handedly killed UA. That's the opposite: a movie that cost $44 million and grossed $4 million.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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  23. Detuned

    Detuned Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    It's not a screwy business, it's complete bulls***.
  24. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    And speaking of bombs, there's now a huge dark cloud over 20th Century-Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past, as director Bryan Singer is embroiled in a very nasty scandal involving sex with underage minors. Huge, huge, huge scandal, very similar to that of British singer Jonathan King or director Roman Polanski some years ago. On the surface, it would seem that the timing was deliberate -- like maybe this was a blackmail deal that went south, so the accuser (now 31) went ahead and made it public.

    Even if Singer is 100% innocent, it puts him in a bad light. ABC has already yanked his name off promos for a new show he was producing, Black Box, and it can't help the Fox movie at all. Note that Days of Future Past was reported to be in trouble as of January, when they went back and did a bunch of frantic reshoots, plus the movie is said to be well over budget at $260M+, making it the most expensive superhero movie so far.

    I really like Bryan Singer's films -- particularly The Usual Suspects and the X-Men films -- and people I know who worked with him on X-Men 2 said he was a genuinely good guy. But who knows what skeletons are in people's closets. I guarantee you, 90% of most people I know would indulge about every affectation they could if they had this kind of fame and money, whether it was through rock & roll or movies or TV or whatever. Drugs, wild sex, parties, the whole deal.
  25. Vidiot

    Vidiot I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie.

    Yeah, that was Art Buchwald's opinion as well. Note that he won the lawsuit -- he and his lawyer proved in court that Eddie Murphy and the Coming to America writers and producers did steal the basic idea for his story. But they ruled that because the movie hadn't technically made a profit, Buchwald only got $250K in a settlement. This, for a movie that made $288 million. The deck is stacked against you, and unfortunately it's been that way forever and shows no signs of ever changing.