One month into the summer movie season, the Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and Peter Berg's Battleship have proven major financial disappointments - while more modest productions like The Dictator and Chernobyl Diaries (and for that matter, What to Expect When You're Expecting) have not been all the industry hoped for either.
Men in Black 3 did somewhat better, but its opening weekend take ($55 million Friday to Sunday, $70 million Friday to Monday) was somewhat below expectations (in the $90 million range), despite these not being all that high - at least, by the standards of 3-D sequels to successful sci-fi action franchises budgeted at $200 million-plus and launching over Memorial Day weekend. (The money the movie took in is actually not much better than what Men in Black 2 did in its first Friday-to-Sunday session, without 3-D surcharges, and lower ticket prices - and despite the midweek launch of MiB2 - and unsurprisingly, Gitesh Pandya predicts that it will be the lowest grossing installment in the series.)
Only Marvel's The Avengers has been an unalloyed success, so much so that a reasonable argument can be made for its having crowded out the other big-budget science fiction spectacles. Still, while the U.S. box office was relatively healthy this year (helped by, among other things, another event film in The Hunger Games, just the first of many scheduled for 2012) it may be that we will see a repeat of something hinted at in last year's numbers (to say nothing of the general trend of media): fewer films accounting for a larger share of ticket sales, as more of the rest disappoint.
New and Noteworthy (Battleship, Skyfall, Superheroes)
New and Noteworthy (Avengers, "The End of SF"-Again, Fringe Renewed)
New and Noteworthy (Battleship, Clarke Awards, Blood & Chrome, "European Astroculture")
The Irrelevance of Oscar Night?
Coming This Year: Genre Movies in 2012
2011 Round-Up, Part II: Reflections on the Year That Was
The 2011 Summer Movie Season
"Was 2010 the Worst Year for Movies Ever?"
2010 in Review