Box Office Modeling & Analytics

Box office modeling and analytics for domestic and international markets based on our proprietary database of all wide releases — 3,348 movies


Weekend Box Office:  Sep 20 to 22, 2019

Domestic Weekend Box Office, Sep 20 to 22, 2019
Downton Abbey (FF)
$31.0M franchise, launch
Ad Astra (Fox/Dis) $19.2M
Rambo 5 (LG) $19.0M franchise, episode #5
It 2 (NL/WB) $17.2M franchise, episode #2
Hustlers (STX) $17.0M
The Lion King (Dis) $2.6M franchise, remake
Good Boys (Uni) $2.5M
Angel Fallen (LG) $2.4M franchise, episode #3
Overcomer (Sony) $1.5M
Hobbs & Shaw (Uni) $1.5M franchise, spin-off

Current Top-10:  Six of the top-10 movies this past weekend were franchises, with 64% of top-10 box office and 59% of all domestic box office coming from these six  films.  Six franchises in the top-10 is above average (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.  Among dramas, 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 2019?  At the moment they are missing.

Rotten Tomatoes rising

  • Between 1997 and 2010 wide release movies averaged a  44.6% Tomatometer score;
  • From 2011 to present the average picked up to 52.6%;
  • And in 2018 wide releases scored 57.8%.

Rotten Tomatoes’ scores jumped in 2011 and they continue to improve to this day.  Have movies improved critically?  Probably not.  Did Rotten Tomatoes adjust its algorithm?  Don’t know for sure.  Warner Bros. bought Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster in 2011, and NBCUniversal/Fandango bought a majority stake in 2016.

Rotten Tomatoes has come a long way from their early years of mocking sarcasm.  This is a good thing, after all what’s the point of relentlessly trashing movies?

At the same time, there is a flaw that continues to plague Rotten Tomatoes, which is the line they draw between a shiny red tomato for reviews with a >/= 60 score, and an ugly green splat for reviews with a </= 59 score.  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.

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 19 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.
  • In 2019, the number of new franchises will remain the same at 16, although additional films can turn into franchises if they hit big later in the year — it remains to be seen.

We recommend the following to stay current with the best industry commentary (alphabetically):  Brooks Barnes/New York Times, Michael Cieply/Deadline, Ryan Faughnder/Los Angeles Times, and John Horn/KPCC’s The Frame.