Sunday, July 17, 2022

Box Office Breakdown 2022

All things considered, my time quarantined with Covid hasn't been that bad. My symptoms never got that serious. The worst part is that I'm still testing positive, so I'm quarantined in my bedroom. I'm stir crazy. I'm just passing time at this point. So maybe I should take the top 100 domestic grossing movies of all time and determine what it takes for a movie to gross a record amount of money.

Movie prices have gone up by a hell of a lot in the last 20-30 years, so it's not surprising 57 of the top 100 are from the last decade, even with a pandemic slowing ticket sales in the past few years. A full 87 of them are from the last 20 years.

With all the media options these days, the audience needs to feel a level of confidence in the movie they're going to go out and spend money on will entertain them. This usually means a recognizeable property. That's why:

71 are adaptations of books, comic books, historical events, and theme park rides
65 belong to a beloved franchise (10 Star Wars, 17 MCU, 6 Batman, 6 Spider-Man)
18 are reboots, remakes, or spinoffs
51 are sequels or prequels
21 are threequels
4 are fourquels
38 are deepquels,
a word I made up to denote a movie that is fourth or more in a series or part of a continuing story (ie- Thor is the fourth MCU movie, but it wouldn't be considered a direct sequel to any of the three that came before)

The Holy Grail is Jurassic World, a Fourquel and a Reboot of a beloved Franchise adapted from a best-selling book.

That leaves only 12 original movies: Avatar, Star Wars, E.T., The Lion King (1994), Finding Nemo, The Secret Life of Pets, Inside Out, Zootopia, Independence Day, The Sixth Sense, Up, and Inception. I know, it's hard to remember a time when Star Wars wasn't a huge franchise, and yes, some of it's massive box office comes from multiple re-releases drawing on the strength of the brand. All of that, though, derives from this film, which at the time it was released, was truly original. It pains me to call Avatar original, but despite stretching the definition of the word, it's a completely original concept.

Five of these films are Disney/Pixar. This is the state of filmmaking these days. The only way to put out a big, original movie that will still make tons of money is to rely on the comfort of Disney's brand recognition. For a while, Pixar was THE place to go for clever, original films. Now, they're a sequel factory with an occasional new movie. Even Disney is raking it in with live action remakes of their beloved films. Still, Finding Nemo and The Lion King are two of the best movies made in my lifetime. I've never seen The Secret Life of Pets, but for an animated film to crack this list without The Mouse behind it is impressive. Keep in mind, Shrek and Despicable Me, two of the biggest animation powerhouses of the 21st Century, the originals are not in the top 100.

Of the remaining six, five are original sci fi concepts. Four of them are big, high concept action films. Futuristic military vehicles fighting big blue aliens, giant space adventure, global alien invasion flick, and a dream heist.

The other two are smaller films by visionary directors about a child with a secret non-human friend: E.T. and The Sixth Sense. After all that, there should be some kind of conclusion, but I'm still getting over Covid. You decide what this means. Here's the whole list.

1) Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
2) Avengers: Endgame
3) Spider-Man: No Way Home
4) Avatar
5) Black Panther
6) Avengers: Infinity War
7) Titanic
8) Jurassic World
9) The Avengers
10) Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
11) Top Gun: Maverick
12) Incredibles 2
13) The Dark Knight
14) The Lion King (2019)
15) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
16) Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
17) Beauty and the Beast (2017)
18) Finding Dory
19) Frozen II
20) Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
21) Star Wars
22) Avengers: Age of Ultron
23) The Dark Knight Rises
24) Shrek 2
25) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
26) Toy Story 4
27) Captain Marvel
28) Hunger Games: Catching Fire
29) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
30) The Lion King (1994)
31) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
32) Toy Story 3
33) Wonder Woman
34) Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
35) Iron Man 3
36) Captain America: Civil War
37) The Hunger Games
38) Spider-Man
39) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
40) Jurassic Park
41) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
42) Frozen
43) Spider-Man: Far From Home
44) Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
45) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
46) Finding Nemo
47) Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
48) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
49) Spider-Man 2
50) The Passion of the Christ
51) The Batman
52) The Secret Life of Pets
53) Despicable Me 2
54) The Jungle Book (2016)
55) Deadpool
56) Inside Out
57) Jurassic World: Dominion
58) Aladdin (2019)
59) Furious 7
60) Transformers: Dark of the Moon
61) American Sniper
62) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
63) Zootopia
64) Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
65) Spider-Man 3
66) Minions
67) Joker
68) Aquaman
69) Spider-Man: Homecoming
70) Alice in Wonderland (2010)
71) Guardians of the Galaxy
72) Forrest Gump
73) Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
74) It
75) Suicide Squad
76) Deadpool 2
77) Shrek the Third
78) Jumanji: The Next Level
79) Transformers
80) Iron Man
81) Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
82) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
83) Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
84) Thor: Ragnarok
85) Iron Man 2
86) Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
87) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
88) Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
89) Independence Day
90) Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
91) Skyfall
92) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
93) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
94) Twilight: Eclipse
95) Twilight: New Moon
96) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
97) The Sixth Sense
98) Up

99) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
100) Inception

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