Box Office Modeling & Analytics
This is FranchiseRe‘s launch page for box office modeling and analytics based on our propriety database of all wide releases — 3,574 movies
Franchise and non-franchise movies
In 2019, 58 franchise films earned approximately $22.77 billion at the worldwide B.O., more than four times as much as the 80 non-franchise original, single-episode films. In other words, the 42% franchise releases earned 83% of Hollywood wide-release worldwide B.O., while the 58% non-franchise films earned $4.82 billion, or 17%.
Think about that for a second. See it visually in chart 02 here.
After the pandemic
After the pandemic passes and business fully reopens, we see the following changes for the theatrical market:
- The line between big screen theatrical movies and small screen TV movies will be drawn more sharply than ever. Going forward, franchise movies are going to dominate more than ever (see figures above). This trend started 20 years ago, and it will continue.
- A flexible theatrical release window means that some movies will move in and out of release more quickly. A 45-day window covers six weekends; by that time, most movies have made 95%+ of their money. If there is more money to be made in theaters, a movie will play longer so that no theatrical money is left on the table.
- When all screens are open around the world, the hybrid streaming experiment will end. Hybrid releases made the best of a bad situation, but it was a compromise for all stake-holders. For big screen releases, the theatrical-first business remains the most profitable, and it also brings the greatest value to the after-markets, including streaming.
- At some point, China’s domestic theatrical market will surpass the U.S.’s. During the first four months of 2021, China’s box office was approx. $3.3b, or $10b annually, which is approaching the U.S.’s $11.4b in 2019. Since that time, the pandemic has closed key parts of the country, but still, this is going to be a success story for the Chinese government, who wanted to build a domestic movie business. However, Chinese movies will continue to have limited success outside of China, and Western movies will remain capped and controlled within China.
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%;
- In 2019, wide releases scored 60.3%, in 2021 it hit 63.7%, and it continues to rise.
Are movies improving? No, they’re the same. Rotten Tomatoes has said that the increase comes from adding more critics, with more diverse backgrounds, but that doesn’t add up — one set of professional critics would not be more positive than another set.
The Flaw: There is a flaw that continues to plague Rotten Tomatoes, outlined in chart 06 here.
Franchise creation update
New franchises are the lifeblood of the commercial movie business. There were 13 new franchises in 2019, the fewest number of new franchises since 2007, although they earned $2.96 billion, which is strong ($228m per film). See it here in chart 03.