It May Be Hard To Ague Anything But
|Should This Be The
#1 Movie of the Month?
The clock is ticking on August, an August that looks to achieve the worst box office numbers since 1998 (not adjusted for anything, just gross numbers). There has not been a single movie that hasn’t underperformed this month (believe me, they expected more than $85 million at this point of The Bourne Legacy‘s run) and for most “underperformed” doesn’t do justice for how they have done. But does that mean that this month has been a “bad” month of movies? Well, it hasn’t been a great month (and normally I love August movies), maybe even calling it a so-so month is a bit of stretch … So, yeah, it is a bad month, I guess the question is has it been the worst August in the past decade? Only one way to know for sure, let’s take a look.
There are basically three categories by which a month can be judged; box office, big budget quality & depth, indie/cult classics. Think about it, do you view last May as a great movie month? Well, May failed absolutely in the second category (big budget quality & depth) even if one great blockbuster hid the dearth of quality and bolstered the first category (box office) to unprecedented heights. May also didn’t have a great indie/cult classic unless The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has greater legs than I expect it will. So, we have a month that is strong in one category and weak in two, fair to say May was not a great month. Having said that, any month with one of the biggest hits in movie history can’t be considered an awful month either. So May is somewhere in the middle and is destined to be overrated because of The Avengers.
Let’s see how this August stacks up with other August’s …
|How much did Batman
steal from August releases
Ouch. That is all I can say about the box office performance of this August. Yes, it is a month with a couple of big excuses. First, the Olympics hurt the box office. Second, The Dark Knight Rises was a strong July holdover that took some box office away from some of the new releases. The problem is, even if you consider those legitimate factors the numbers are still ridiculously low. August 2012 is set to finish nearly $100 million lower than 2008 (the last Olympic year) and that box office includes all of the residual TDKR business. None of these numbers are adjusted for the increase in ticket prices, which only makes this August look even worse (tickets have increased from $5.80 to $8.02 on average in the last decade alone). Adjusted for ticket prices moves this month even significantly lower than 1998, the last August that will have a lower total box office than 2012. No question that if box office is the sole judge of quality that August 2012 is the worst August in more than a decade.
Big Budget Quality & Depth:
Where’s the August hit? The Bourne Legacy is OK. The Expendables 2 was awesome if you like that kind of movie but it failed to cross-over to people that weren’t fans of 80’s action movies. The Campaign is good, but is a long way from joining Anchorman as a cult comedy classic. Here is a look at the top 10 movies from each of the last three August’s:
|The Bourne Legacy||Rise of the Planet of …||The Other Guys|
|The Campaign||The Help||The Expendables|
|Total Recall||Final Destination 5||Eat Pray Love|
|The Expendables 2||Spy Kids: All The Time…||Takers|
|Hope Springs||The Change-Up||Step-Up 3D|
|DoaWK: Dod Days||30 Minutes or Less||The Last Exorcism|
|The Odd Life of …||The Debt||Scott Pilgrim vs. …|
|Sparkle||Our Idiot Brother||Nanny McPhee Returns|
|Hit and Run||Don’t Be Afraid of …||The Switch|
|Where is 2012’s