Box Office Autopsy: Fall Report Card

The fall is typically a slow time for the movie business, but this year things seemed especially sluggish. For the first time since 2008, no October release topped the $100 million mark. Several high-profile releases gave the box office a jolt in November, but aside from four big hits, nothing else has had much impact. Only ten November releases have crossed the $10 million mark as of 11/30.

So to give a sense of what did well and what didn’t, here’s my Fall box office score card. I’ve graded each major studio from A to F based on the performance of their films. I’d like to note that this has nothing to do with film quality, and everything to do with financial prospects. Without further ado, my Fall Report Card.

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Box Office Autopsy: The 10 Biggest Bombs of 2016 (so far)

As much as it may be lamented, film-making is a business, and the goal of studios is to make money. Every so often (perhaps increasingly often) movies fail in that goal during their theatrical runs, and are dubbed bombs. They could make that money back on home media, but the earnings from these revenue streams are far less advertised. Much like my last Box Office Autopsy post, I haven’t taken into account marketing costs, since they are not widely available. To come up with profit numbers, I divided worldwide grosses by two and subtracted the production budget.

There are two ways to judge which movies are the biggest bombs of 2016: absolute loss of capital, and failure to return on investment. Rather than cop out and make two lists, I decided to unscientifically average the two numbers to make one master list. Without further ado, the 10 biggest bombs of 2016 (so far). (Zoolander 2 is #11)

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Box Office Autopsy: Why Hollywood Makes so many Sequels & Remakes

Every year, especially around summer time, people start complaining about the number of sequels and remakes coming out of Hollywood. “Why,” they ask, “can’t they come up with any original ideas anymore!” The answer is simple: original ideas don’t make as much money. As much as people talk about wanting to see original films, and being tired of the superhero movie machine, box office receipts show otherwise. I took a look at the 2016 box office takings of the big seven movie studios (Disney, Fox, Lionsgate/Summit, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros) to assess just how big this problem is.

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