Box Office Modeling & Analytics

Box office modeling and analytics for domestic and international markets based on our proprietary database of all wide releases — 3,398 movies


Weekend Box Office: Feb 21 to 23, 2020

Domestic Weekend Box Office, Feb 21 to 23, 2020
Sonic the Hedgehog (Par) $26.2m franchise, launch
Call of the Wild (Dis/Fox) $24.8m
Birds of Prey (WB) $6.8m franchise, spin-off
Bad Boys 3 (Sony)
$5.8m franchise, episode 3
Brahms: The Boy 2 (STX) $5.8m franchise, episode 2
Fantasy Island (Sony/Blum) $4.4m
1917 (Uni) $4.3m
Parasite (Neon) $3.1m
Jumanji 3 (Sony) $2.9m franchise, episode 3
The Photograph (Uni) $2.8m

Current Top-10:  Five of the top-10 movies this past weekend were franchises, with 53% of top-10 box office and 47% of all domestic box office coming from these five films.  Five franchises in the top-10 is above average among wide releases (average is 40% of all wide releases).


The non-franchise drought

Since the beginning of 2017 there have been fewer strong, single episode, non-franchise releases.  Only Bohemian Rhapsody and Dunkirk have earned more than $180 million at the domestic box office.  Compare that with American Sniper ($350M, 2014), Inception ($293M, 2010), Gravity ($274M, 2013), The Martian ($228M, 2015), Interstellar ($188M, 2014) and The Revenant ($183M, 2015).

Among comedies, only The Upside and Girls Trip have earned more than $100 million, compared with Bridesmaids ($169M, 2011), The Heat ($160M, 2013),  Identity Thief ($134M, 2013), Silver Linings Playbook ($132M, 2013), and Central Intelligence ($127M, 2016).

The movie business needs these non-franchise films to stay fresh and expand audiences.  Where will they come from in 2020?  At the moment they are missing.

Rotten Tomatoes rising

  • Between 1997 and 2010 wide release movies averaged a  44.7% Tomatometer score;
  • From 2011 to 2018 the average picked up to 52.2%;
  • And in 2019 wide releases scored 60.1%.

The Rise:  Rotten Tomatoes recently reached an important threshold: For the year 2019, the average RT score for wide releases hit 60.   60 is an important number because movies with a 60 or better receive a shiny red tomato with their score, while movies below 60 get an ugly green splat.   A picture is worth a 1,000 words and those shiny tomatoes and green splats are important — they’re everywhere.   2019 finished with an average score of 60.1.

The Timing:  Rotten Tomatoes’ scores jumped in 2011 when Warner Bros. bought the site as part of Flixster, and they jumped again in 2017 after NBC/Universal bought a majority stake.   Have movies improved critically?   No, they’re the same, but if 60 is the line between shiny red and ugly green, then 60 is where the average belongs.   RT hurt a lot of movies prior to 2011 with average scores in the 40s.   Those scores are still with those movies.  This is an improvement.

The Flaw:  There is a flaw that continues to plague Rotten Tomatoes.  Are reviews with a 60 score good, and reviews with a 59 score bad?  Of course not, there’s everything in between.  This hurts middle-score movies, which are stuck with their green splat when they appear on leading news, ticketing, streaming, and cable websites — forever.  Rotten Tomatoes should add a third icon indicating mixed reviews between 40 and 60.

Franchise creation update

New franchises are the lifeblood of the commercial movie business (see chart 03 on Movie Industry Charts page here):

  • There were 16 new franchises in 2018, following 20 in 2017 and 21 in  2016.  The 16 new franchises in 2018 ties 2015 for the fewest since 2011.
  • The new franchises in 2018 opened 21% higher than the new franchises in 2017 when you include Black Panther;  however, without Black Panther, new franchise openings were 9% lower in 2018 than in 2017.
  • The number of new franchises dropped in 2019 to 13 — still waiting for final box office figures for these films.