Box Office Modeling & Analytics

Box office modeling and analytics for domestic and international markets based on our proprietary database of all wide releases — 3,389 movies


Weekend Box Office:  Jan 17 to 19, 2020

Domestic Weekend Box Office, Jan 17 to 19, 2020
Bad Boys 3 (Sony) $62.5m franchise, episode 3
1917 (Uni) $22.0m
Dolittle (Uni) $21.8m franchise, episode 3
Jumanji 3 (Sony) $9.7m franchise, episode 3
Star Wars: Rise… (BV) $8.3m franchise, episode 11
Little Women (Sony) $6.4m franchise, remake
Just Mercy (WB) $5.8m
Knives Out (LG) $4.3m
Like a Boss (Par) $4.0m
Frozen 2 (BV) $3.8m franchise, episode 2

Current Top-10:  Six of the top-10 movies this past weekend were franchises, with 74% of top-10 box office and 68% of all domestic box office coming from these six films.  Six franchises in the top-10 is above average among wide releases (average is 40% of all wide releases).

Of Note

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 present the average picked up to 52.8%;
  • And in 2018 wide releases scored 57.9%.

The Rise:  Rotten Tomatoes’ scores jumped in 2011 and they continue to rise to this day.  Have movies improved critically?  No, they’re the same.  Did Rotten Tomatoes adjust its algorithm?  Don’t know.  Warner Bros. bought Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster in 2011, and NBCUniversal/Fandango bought a majority stake in 2016.  These events seem to align with improvements in RT’s scores.

The Threshold:  Rotten Tomatoes recently reached an important threshold: during the last 12 months, the average RT score for wide releases is now approximately 60.  60 is an important number because movies with a score of 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 ugly splats follow a movie on leading news, ticketing, streaming, and cable websites — they’re everywhere.

Improvement:  The rising RT scores are a positive change, after all, what’s the point of relentlessly trashing movies?  If 60 is where RT draws the line between good and bad reviews, then their average rating should be around 60.  Hopefully the average won’t climb much higher, or RT will become a shill.

The Flaw:  At the same time, there is a flaw that continues to plague Rotten Tomatoes, which is labeling a movie with the shiny red tomato for review scores >/= 60, and the ugly green splat for review scores < 60.  Are reviews with a 60 score good, and reviews with a 59 score bad?  No, there’s everything in between.  This is unfair to the green splat movies, and they’re stuck with their green splat forever.  Rotten Tomatoes should add a third icon to signal mixed reviews between 40 and 59.

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.