Friday, September 25, 2015

The Summer of 2015: Now That It's Over . . .

By and large, the pattern evident in August held.

The season was indeed dominated by those big, relatively early releases (Avengers, Jurassic), and no additional films adding to the list of $200 million hits. Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation seems to have sputtered out a little short of the mark. Straight Outta Compton proved a surprise hit--big enough to hold the #1 spot for three weekends, a long time these days--and can be regarded as another story of an August release performing well above expectations in that slower period, but it falls far short of mega-blockbuster status.

So the total number of $200 million hits during the season stands at four, the number of $150 million hits at ten, of $100 million hits at twelve.

As to individual films . . .

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. disappointed, but I've already covered that.

With $400 million in the till, it is now relatively difficult to call Ant-Man a flop, especially in light of the money spent. (At $130 million its budget was by no means low, but still markedly less than what an Avengers film runs.)

By contrast, things look dimmer than ever for the Fantastic Four franchise, though it is worth considering the actual numbers here. That movie took in $163 million globally, about a tenth what Jurassic World made to be sure, but actually not that far behind Straight Outta Compton's gross of $189 million, and well ahead of Trainwreck's $137 million. However, would-be summer blockbusters with nine-figure budgets are necessarily judged differently from smaller-scale dramas and comedies, where the commercial stakes and expectations are lower.

And of course, where Compton's gross was primarily earned stateside (84% of it), and so was Trainwreck's (79.5% according to BoxOfficeMojo), the new Fantastic Four film made just a third (34%) of its money here, amplifying the difference in perception.

In any case, it's all over. Now, on with fall . . .

Review: Outbound Flight, by Timothy Zahn.
Just Out . . . (The Forgotten James Bond)
That Jinx Johnson Movie . . .
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the Market for Retro-Science Fiction
The Summer of 2015, An Early Assessment

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