Movie Modeling & Box Office Analytics

Box office forecasting for domestic and international markets based on our proprietary database modeling all wide releases — 3,287 movies.


Weekend Box Office Notes:  Feb 15 to 17, 2019

Domestic Opening Weekend Box Office, Feb 15 to 17, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel (Fox) $28.2M franchise launch
Lego Movie 2 (WB) $21.0M franchise, episode #4
Isn’t It Romantic (WB/NL) $14.3M
What Men Want (Par) $10.7M franchise, episode #2
Happy Death Day 2U (Uni) $9.5M franchise, episode #2
Cold Pursuit (LG) $6.0M
The Upside (STX) $5.5M
Glass (Uni/Blum) $3.9M franchise, episode #3
The Prodigy (Orion) $3.2M
Green Book (Uni) $2.9M

Current Top-10:  Five of the top-10 movies this past weekend were franchises, with 70% of top-10 box office and 63% of all domestic box office coming from these five films.  Five franchises in the top-10 is above average (average is 43% 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 Girls Trip has 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 52.3%;
  • And in 2018 wide releases scored 57.3%.

Rotten Tomatoes’ scores started rising in 2011 and they continued to improve in 2018.  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.

This is a positive trend — there’s no reason the movie review cup should be less than half-full.  However, if you were involved with a pre-2011 movie that carries an unduly negative review score for the rest of its life throughout the internet, you’re out of luck.

Franchise creation update

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

  • 16 new franchises opened in 2018, the same as in 2017.
  • 2018 new franchises opened 13% higher than in 2017 when you include Black Panther;  however, without Black Panther, new franchise openings were 12% lower than in 2017.

We recommend the following to stay current with industry commentary (alphabetically):  Michael Cieply/Deadline, Todd Cunningham/Rotten Tomatoes, and John Horn/KPCC’s The Frame.