The New Math

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The New Math

Television has jumped onto social media like a life preserver, but movies have been slower to catch up. The question is, why?

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Maybe not a great change. Look at something like Sharknado; it got those ratings by being ridiculous, not by being good. With studios paying more attention to things which go Big On The Internet, we end up with movies about memes, and that's just a big barrel of "fuck that".

The problem is that what the internet likes is just too random and fast-moving. You can't predict it, you can't spot trends, you can only run to try and keep up and by the time your movie is made, nobody cares anymore.

Minor nitpicks, but The Lone Ranger hasn't earned hundreds of millions. It's earned about $123 million worldwide, against its $225 million budget and likely nine-figure marketing costs. Somehow, I doubt it's going to be a big earner in Japan or China (neither of which are running it yet).

As for Pacific Rim, we're basically stuck hoping that word-of-mouth and the East Asian markets will float it more. Part of the problem is that the US public seems to be less forgiving of "geeky"-looking movies unless they're either super-hero movies or famous fantasy/SF books.

WiseBass:

As for Pacific Rim, we're basically stuck hoping that word-of-mouth and the East Asian markets will float it more. Part of the problem is that the US public seems to be less forgiving of "geeky"-looking movies unless they're either super-hero movies or famous fantasy/SF books.

Don't underestimate things like DVD sales as far as Pacific Rim goes. I see it being a similar story to Dredd. Not very many people went to see Dredd in the cinema, but it reviewed well, was made for a niche, and has a devoted fanbase(of which I am a proud member) that have made so much noise that the studio "leaked" they were going to be looking at sales to guage sequel potential, and a single Facebook group led a charge which saw Dredd jump to number 1 in the UK DVD charts on Amazon and up to like 25 on the US one, that hundreds and thousands of spaces on the charts respectively.

And Firefly fans made Serenity happen.

Just saying, a booming box office does indeed appear to be meaning a bit less these days...

I'm still not sure what to make of the analysis of social media. It seems logical: nearly instantaneous feedback from a broader base than traditional ratings. The problem is, well, this:

SonicWaffle:
The problem is that what the internet likes is just too random and fast-moving. You can't predict it, you can't spot trends, you can only run to try and keep up and by the time your movie is made, nobody cares anymore.

Capturing the Zeitgeist is always a challenge, but in the age of the internet it's possible to have several, simultaneously, and sometimes counter to one another. In essence, the internet IS pop-culture, and it's pop-culture at an insane pace. Is it really rational to be basing large decisions on something that whimsical?

I wonder if the overall quality of films will increase over time? It should't be that hard to find talented directors.

money is power, but power is better. internet power.

On a pair of slightly smaller scales, Disney's Lone Ranger reboot is being described as a failure across the board, even though it was a #2 opener and earned hundreds of millions. That's what happens when your film is prohibitively expensive and opens to scathing reviews and accusations of racism.

To be honest, I doubt the latter mattered. The former? certainly. An expensive picture requires more money to break even and even more to be seen as a success. But racism? I doubt that bugs many people to the level that it would prevent them from seeing the movie even if things like "Johnny Depp is in it" didn't dissuade them.

Good change? Bad change? We'll see.

Bad change, unless you WANT to see cynical attempts to pander to social media through forced Twitter #douchetags and the like. In which case, AWESOME change.

SonicWaffle:
Maybe not a great change. Look at something like Sharknado; it got those ratings by being ridiculous, not by being good. With studios paying more attention to things which go Big On The Internet, we end up with movies about memes, and that's just a big barrel of "fuck that".

The problem is that what the internet likes is just too random and fast-moving. You can't predict it, you can't spot trends, you can only run to try and keep up and by the time your movie is made, nobody cares anymore.

This is a MovieBob column, so I somehow doubt being a good movie is necessarily a requirement. That's not even a slam to MovieBob, before anyone goes out of their way to defend him. I enjoy some pretty bad stuff myself. I've just gone on a spree of watching almost every season of Power Rangers. It's stupid, it'd ridiculous, I enjoy it most when it's at its most stupid and ridiculous. Bob has a pattern of liking stuff that is stupid and ridiculous. It doesn't hurt his cred as a critic or a film buff (even if I do disagree with him a lot), it just is what it is.

The latter part, of course, won't stop people from trying. You may have noticed the frequency with which TV tries to capture lightning in a bottle through social media and the interwebs. And while not necessarily their MO regarding the interwebs, this is the thinking that got us The Lone Ranger in the first place. And Battleship. In gaming, this is hwy everything is slowly becoming a brown FPS. "X Was successful," they say, "how can we replicate X?"

WiseBass:
As for Pacific Rim, we're basically stuck hoping that word-of-mouth and the East Asian markets will float it more. Part of the problem is that the US public seems to be less forgiving of "geeky"-looking movies unless they're either super-hero movies or famous fantasy/SF books.

And even then, only because it's become "cool" to like that sort of thing.

With sequels and franchises being such a significant part of the landscape, I think that marketing your version of a character is just as important as selling tickets. That's a problem Man of Steel could face--it made its own money back, but it also has to function as a commercial for Justice League--and if people don't like this version of Superman, they won't go to see more of him.

Sadly, I doubt positive internet buzz and doing 'slightly better' than the abysmal projections is going to save Pacific Rim, or the reputation of del Toro, among studio execs. Even if it makes up its budget eventually via DVD sales, that's still not good enough to matter. The international box office might, though.

As for whether the accusations of racism hurt the Lone Ranger - make no mistake, they did. You personally may not have run into people who cared, but a lot of people certainly did. I myself avoided the film on that ground alone - I'm enough of a fan of Depp to have seen it otherwise, even if it was terrible, and my family back home ended up not seeing it as well after discussing the issue over the phone, a scene that played out in many households. And Bob wasn't the only reviewer critical of that aspect - in fact, he was quite mild on the subject compared to many.

No, I don't think it was the biggest factor in the Lone Ranger's failure to live up to studio hopes, much as I wish it was, Far from it. But it was certainly a part of it, and contributed to the film's negative press, and was a major aspect of the social public discussion of the film. "Is this movie racist?" isn't the main thing you want people to be asking about your big budget family movie, and more than "is it safe to take my kids to it"?

I think the increased look towards social media, audience feedback, and thinking of profit in the long-term (hopefully), is a net positive change. I am as uneasy with the production of art by marketing departments as the next person, but if consumers act in mostly predictable patterns, then having more data on those patterns will lead to products that will satisfy more consumers. If, in the pursuit of good business, our films are lessened from an artistic standpoint and still satisfy us, then this problem lies with the audience not with the industry. I have a bit more faith in the movie-consuming public, so for me this is a net positive change (redundant statement is redundant).

Zachary Amaranth:

Good change? Bad change? We'll see.

Bad change, unless you WANT to see cynical attempts to pander to social media through forced Twitter #douchetags and the like. In which case, AWESOME change.

It's already happening in the music industry. There are a buncha crappy songs and videos slapping the obnoxious hashtag everywhere in desperate attempts to garner Twitter shares.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGIgXP9SvB8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe1wtkkt9-E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDUC1LUXSU

The third one has to be the most egregious example...and the one that worked the best since it's currently #1 one the Billboard Top 100 charts -_-

SonicWaffle:
Maybe not a great change. Look at something like Sharknado; it got those ratings by being ridiculous, not by being good. With studios paying more attention to things which go Big On The Internet, we end up with movies about memes, and that's just a big barrel of "fuck that".

That's honestly baffled me - where was the hype for similar garbage like "Sharktopus" or all the other crap Syfy churns out? I've seen some gifs and jpegs that did slightly endear it to me (the "samurai chainsaw chop" is my favorite) but I can't for the life of me figure out what was the magic moment that made this more special than the others. And who the hell still thinks Mia Farrow matters?

I like the new math. It sounds like Hollywood is slowly realizing that if you make movies that are both stupid and fun people will go see them. The catch is they learned the key is calling it as it is.. if it's stupid (like Sharknado) then just drop all pretense. I doubt most people going to see Pacific Rim care about its ecological message, they just want to see robots punching monsters in the face. Just like MovieBob pointed out last week.

I'm having a party with a drunk Sharknado viewing specifically because it's so dumb. Did the same thing with the likes of Mega-Shark and Megalodon (bad movies have a thing for sharks I guess).

Unfortunately Twitter still hasn't stopped from letting Adam Sandler and M Night Shabamalama make movies.

I suppose if you look at a movie like Pacific Rim and this 'new' way of thinking it could help for getting a sequel out the door. While it may be as successful at the box office as a Marvel movie, as long as you're not losing money if you attract a fanbase that really really liked it then that's a guaranteed sale for the next one and a very powerful and absolutely free marketing tool.

I think Pacific Rim is going to KILL in the dvd/bluray release sales.

I've also read that the action figures, or whatever it is you kids call them these days, are SOLD OUT.

They were selling so far beyond expectations that they had to start a 2nd run BEFORE the move was released, and will end up having to do a 3rd or 4th run before the end of the year.

RandV80:
I suppose if you look at a movie like Pacific Rim and this 'new' way of thinking it could help for getting a sequel out the door. While it may be as successful at the box office as a Marvel movie, as long as you're not losing money if you attract a fanbase that really really liked it then that's a guaranteed sale for the next one and a very powerful and absolutely free marketing tool.

I really hope they don't do a sequel. I view Pacific Rim the same way I view the first Matrix movie in that it was a bunch of sci-fi tropes mixed up and presented in a new and entertaining way. We all know what happened to the Matrix after that. If Pacific Rim taught me anything it's that I'm actually really tired of gritty sci-fi, something that 5 years ago I'd have never thought possible.

Tanis:
I think Pacific Rim is going to KILL in the dvd/bluray release sales.

I've also read that the action figures, or whatever it is you kids call them these days, are SOLD OUT.

They were selling so far beyond expectations that they had to start a 2nd run BEFORE the move was released, and will end up having to do a 3rd or 4th run before the end of the year.

The problem for DVD is that the market is a fraction of the size it was 10 years ago. Back then, when Family Guy was saved from cancellation twice by DVD sales, being #1 meant you sold maybe 10 million copies. Now it means you sell maybe 1 million copies - and when your budget is 200-300 million, that just ain't going to cut it. (ETA - For something like Dredd which has a budget of 20-30million, that may be enough to put it into black ink though)

For the action figures - it depends how many were produced. Certainly consumer merchandising is A Thing (I think Cars is actually the most profitable Pixar movie based on several billion dollars worth of toy sales), but it's MUCH harder to gauge. But, to give you an idea of the scale, in 2012 Warner Bros reported $1.9billion dollars in box office revenue from their film division... and only $208million in revenue from merchandising (and bear in mind this was a year that included Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit).

The single best way to put out a fire before it turns into a raging firestorm is to deprive it of fuel. Just because the movie studios are not deliberately going out of their way to aggravate and antagonise butthurt Superman fans, does not automatically mean that they actually give a shit about them, or their opinions. Sometimes the easiest and simplest way to win a fight when you hold all of the cards is to chose not to start one in the first place with people who desperately want to have a go at you..

Lone ranger tanked because no one outside of the u s cares about westerns. Im not sure the racism made a dent.

I loved pacific rim but i don't want a sequel. It was very well done but i cant see what else can be said about giant robots.

So the whole "question" of this article is "could movies possibly be shifting the way Television did in the 70's in the wake of rising social media technologies"? And the answer is... probably not. Just look at how Grown-Ups 2 did, look how Scott Pilgrim did against Expendables. Look at all the times some sequel or reboot or another otherwise unoriginal movie that played it safe to appeal to their demographics got higher ticket sales than movies that boasted monumentally intriguing and original premises, prospects, and ideas, and the answer boils down to: no it doesn't, because ticket sales=the bottom line for how studios approach greenlighting ideas, no matter how good the home sales turn out to be.

Maybe there'll come a time when audiences will see a trailer for a sequel to a crap movie and be a little more discerning about whether to go see it or not, but I think all of us can agree that we don't live in that time... not yet, hopefully.

bjj hero:
Lone ranger tanked because no one inside nor outside of the u s cares about another unoriginal live-action Disney movie with a godawful script with Johnny Depp. Im not sure the racism made a dent.

Fixed it there for you.

I loved pacific rim but i don't want a sequel. It was very well done but i cant see what else can be said about giant robots.

Evangelion puts a greater emphasis on the characters rather than their HOLYCRAPGIANTMECHS, yet the giant mech battles serve as the center of each pilot's will. Hell, a prospective movie's tagline could be "So just why did I decide to pilot it?".

shirkbot:
I'm still not sure what to make of the analysis of social media. It seems logical: nearly instantaneous feedback from a broader base than traditional ratings. The problem is, well, this:

SonicWaffle:
The problem is that what the internet likes is just too random and fast-moving. You can't predict it, you can't spot trends, you can only run to try and keep up and by the time your movie is made, nobody cares anymore.

Capturing the Zeitgeist is always a challenge, but in the age of the internet it's possible to have several, simultaneously, and sometimes counter to one another. In essence, the internet IS pop-culture, and it's pop-culture at an insane pace. Is it really rational to be basing large decisions on something that whimsical?

Why do I have the horrible feeling that some Hollywood producer somewhere is giving serious thought to a live version of My Little Pony?

Why not? Hollywood birthed not one but two Smurf movies.

Edit: *sigh*

Make that three

http://www.tv3.ie/entertainment_article.php?locID=1.803.810&article=108401

The Dubya:

Zachary Amaranth:

Good change? Bad change? We'll see.

Bad change, unless you WANT to see cynical attempts to pander to social media through forced Twitter #douchetags and the like. In which case, AWESOME change.

It's already happening in the music industry. There are a buncha crappy songs and videos slapping the obnoxious hashtag everywhere in desperate attempts to garner Twitter shares.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGIgXP9SvB8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe1wtkkt9-E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDUC1LUXSU

The third one has to be the most egregious example...and the one that worked the best since it's currently #1 one the Billboard Top 100 charts -_-

Forget music videos, go watch any network or most any cable show on its premier night. At the least, there will be a hashtag with the name of the show in the corner. At worst you'll see, like what the CW did with the premier of the Whose Line is it Anyway revival, attempts at some really weird astroturfing. I mean they made hashtags out of various scenes on the show, like #nicecatchryan (which is the wrong name but I can't be arsed to figure out what it really was) when the guest star caught a piece of popcorn in his mouth. That is not how hashtags work. If anything that would be the body of the tweet with spaces, not a friggin' hashtag, but tell that to whatever marketing exec came up with it.

Of course, there's a solid reason they're doing this: Nielsen is creating a new metric based on Twitter trends, and the networks are trying to manipulate the ratings/train their viewers to tweet about their shows. It's actually why I made an account, so I could tweet about Toonami and help keep it from getting cancelled. I'll be tweeting about it tonight, if anyone cares :P

Korskarn:

Tanis:
I think Pacific Rim is going to KILL in the dvd/bluray release sales.

I've also read that the action figures, or whatever it is you kids call them these days, are SOLD OUT.

They were selling so far beyond expectations that they had to start a 2nd run BEFORE the move was released, and will end up having to do a 3rd or 4th run before the end of the year.

The problem for DVD is that the market is a fraction of the size it was 10 years ago. Back then, when Family Guy was saved from cancellation twice by DVD sales, being #1 meant you sold maybe 10 million copies. Now it means you sell maybe 1 million copies - and when your budget is 200-300 million, that just ain't going to cut it. (ETA - For something like Dredd which has a budget of 20-30million, that may be enough to put it into black ink though)

For the action figures - it depends how many were produced. Certainly consumer merchandising is A Thing (I think Cars is actually the most profitable Pixar movie based on several billion dollars worth of toy sales), but it's MUCH harder to gauge. But, to give you an idea of the scale, in 2012 Warner Bros reported $1.9billion dollars in box office revenue from their film division... and only $208million in revenue from merchandising (and bear in mind this was a year that included Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit).

Have you got any sales numbers on that? I'd have figured the DVD market to have grown since then, not shrunk. Especially if you include blu-rays. I mean yes, a lot of people rent these days either through Netflix or through kiosks like Redbox, but a lot of people rented back in the day, too. It was just through Blockbuster instead. Besides, Netflix isn't anywhere near as big a part of the market as people in its primary demographic assume it is. They think its huge because all their friends have it, but all their friends have it because they're all in the target market, which is much smaller than the market as a whole.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Korskarn:

Tanis:
I think Pacific Rim is going to KILL in the dvd/bluray release sales.

I've also read that the action figures, or whatever it is you kids call them these days, are SOLD OUT.

They were selling so far beyond expectations that they had to start a 2nd run BEFORE the move was released, and will end up having to do a 3rd or 4th run before the end of the year.

The problem for DVD is that the market is a fraction of the size it was 10 years ago. Back then, when Family Guy was saved from cancellation twice by DVD sales, being #1 meant you sold maybe 10 million copies. Now it means you sell maybe 1 million copies - and when your budget is 200-300 million, that just ain't going to cut it. (ETA - For something like Dredd which has a budget of 20-30million, that may be enough to put it into black ink though)

For the action figures - it depends how many were produced. Certainly consumer merchandising is A Thing (I think Cars is actually the most profitable Pixar movie based on several billion dollars worth of toy sales), but it's MUCH harder to gauge. But, to give you an idea of the scale, in 2012 Warner Bros reported $1.9billion dollars in box office revenue from their film division... and only $208million in revenue from merchandising (and bear in mind this was a year that included Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit).

Have you got any sales numbers on that? I'd have figured the DVD market to have grown since then, not shrunk. Especially if you include blu-rays. I mean yes, a lot of people rent these days either through Netflix or through kiosks like Redbox, but a lot of people rented back in the day, too. It was just through Blockbuster instead. Besides, Netflix isn't anywhere near as big a part of the market as people in its primary demographic assume it is. They think its huge because all their friends have it, but all their friends have it because they're all in the target market, which is much smaller than the market as a whole.

Sure, from http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/annual/2013.php

RankNameUnits SoldRevenueDate
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 24,485,411$67,287,2663/02/2013
2Wreck-It Ralph2,640,606$49,739,9213/05/2013
3Taken 22,525,522$41,823,6851/15/2013
4Hotel Transylvania2,522,847$46,572,0631/29/2013
5The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey2,214,027$28,309,7033/19/2013
6Skyfall2,160,809$38,838,6902/12/2013
7Rise of the Guardians1,936,668$34,387,9153/12/2013
8Pitch Perfect1,744,205$29,107,75012/18/2012
9Lincoln1,508,367$29,166,0403/26/2013
10Les Miserables1,398,040$27,092,6963/22/2013
11Argo1,321,039$19,630,6142/19/2013
12Django Unchained1,292,185$23,818,9744/16/2013
13Life of Pi1,166,882$19,047,4573/12/2013
14Flight1,161,539$17,215,8472/05/2013
15Tyler Perry's Madea Gets a Job: The Play1,147,906$14,439,7172/05/2013
16Looper1,131,337$20,034,61812/31/2012
17Madly Madagascar1,066,324$5,704,3791/29/2013
18Safe Haven980,136$16,794,2905/07/2013
19Ted971,178$17,275,98812/11/2012
20The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2926,295$37,588,7273/02/2013

As a disclaimer, I'm not sure if this is before or after the retailer takes their cut, but even $30mil straight up into WB's pocket is a fraction of the $190mil production budget, let alone including Prints and Advertising.

ETA - compare this to the top 5 from 2007:

RankNameUnits SoldRevenueDate
1Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End13,699,490$279,046,39112/04/2007
2Transformers13,251,378$251,422,29110/16/2007
3Happy Feet12,225,634$196,875,3503/27/2007
430012,110,490$243,204,6187/31/2007
5Ratatouille11,233,232$169,016,02411/06/2007

Korskarn:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Korskarn:

The problem for DVD is that the market is a fraction of the size it was 10 years ago. Back then, when Family Guy was saved from cancellation twice by DVD sales, being #1 meant you sold maybe 10 million copies. Now it means you sell maybe 1 million copies - and when your budget is 200-300 million, that just ain't going to cut it. (ETA - For something like Dredd which has a budget of 20-30million, that may be enough to put it into black ink though)

For the action figures - it depends how many were produced. Certainly consumer merchandising is A Thing (I think Cars is actually the most profitable Pixar movie based on several billion dollars worth of toy sales), but it's MUCH harder to gauge. But, to give you an idea of the scale, in 2012 Warner Bros reported $1.9billion dollars in box office revenue from their film division... and only $208million in revenue from merchandising (and bear in mind this was a year that included Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit).

Have you got any sales numbers on that? I'd have figured the DVD market to have grown since then, not shrunk. Especially if you include blu-rays. I mean yes, a lot of people rent these days either through Netflix or through kiosks like Redbox, but a lot of people rented back in the day, too. It was just through Blockbuster instead. Besides, Netflix isn't anywhere near as big a part of the market as people in its primary demographic assume it is. They think its huge because all their friends have it, but all their friends have it because they're all in the target market, which is much smaller than the market as a whole.

Sure, from http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/annual/2013.php

Rank Name Units Sold Revenue Date
1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 4,485,411 $67,287,266 3/2/2013
2 Wreck-It Ralph 2,640,606 $49,739,921 3/5/2013
3 Taken 2 2,525,522 $41,823,685 1/15/2013
4 Hotel Transylvania 2,522,847 $46,572,063 1/29/2013
5 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2,214,027 $28,309,703 3/19/2013
6 Skyfall 2,160,809 $38,838,690 2/12/2013
7 Rise of the Guardians 1,936,668 $34,387,915 3/12/2013
8 Pitch Perfect 1,744,205 $29,107,750 12/18/2012
9 Lincoln 1,508,367 $29,166,040 3/26/2013
10 Les Miserables 1,398,040 $27,092,696 3/22/2013
11 Argo 1,321,039 $19,630,614 2/19/2013
12 Django Unchained 1,292,185 $23,818,974 4/16/2013
13 Life of Pi 1,166,882 $19,047,457 3/12/2013
14 Flight 1,161,539 $17,215,847 2/5/2013
15 Tyler Perry's Madea Gets a Job: The Play 1,147,906 $14,439,717 2/5/2013
16 Looper 1,131,337 $20,034,618 12/31/2012
17 Madly Madagascar 1,066,324 $5,704,379 1/29/2013
18 Safe Haven 980,136 $16,794,290 5/7/2013
19 Ted 971,178 $17,275,988 12/11/2012
20 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2 926,295 $37,588,727 3/2/2013

As a disclaimer, I'm not sure if this is before or after the retailer takes their cut, but even $30mil straight up into WB's pocket is a fraction of the $190mil production budget, let alone including Prints and Advertising.

The year's not over yet, though. If you go back to 2012, the numbers are showing a much bigger chunk of the budget:

Also, if you go back to, say, 2008, there's not a huge difference in the numbers there, either:

It's higher, but not so much higher that it makes more sense to say DVDs aren't as viable as they used to be -- it makes more sense to blame it on the economy, which hadn't totally tanked yet for most of 2008.

In fact, if you look at the numbers from 2011, those are the worst in the list, unless you think this year's numbers are going to stay where they are:

That means that whatever the issue was that year, sales have rebounded somewhat since.

Now there /is/ a significant jump if you go back to 2007 (which is sadly the earliest year they have numbers for), but again, the economy explains it: that year was totally pre-crash. I'd imagine if you compared ticket sales, you'd see a similar decline. Or at least you would in terms of numbers -- gross profit is up because ticket prices keep going up.

Finally, that site doesn't seem to track blu-ray sales, just DVD sales. If it's DVD only, that would more than explain the difference.

Edit: Ah, yes, Blu-Ray sales are a different chart on that site, and they just added it for this year, apparently: http://www.the-numbers.com/weekly-bluray-sales-chart

Looks like saying "disc based home video is dying" based on those DVD-only charts is about as premature as saying "PC gaming is dying" based on the Famitsu charts, which don't include digital distribution numbers.

Owyn_Merrilin:
*snip*

I had a look through the major studios' annual reports - only WB consistently breaks out DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming, so here's that summary:

YearRevenue From DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming
20122,320
20112,866
20102,760
20092,820
20083,320
20073,483
20063,040
20053,619
20043,594

(numbers in millions of dollars)

Disney finally got around to breaking it out last year, and their home delivery number is about the same as WB ($2.241bil in 2012 down from $2.435bil in 2011). So... yeah... the original point that DVD/Blu-Ray may not save Pacific Rim still holds, those streams don't pull in as much money as they used to.

Korskarn:

Owyn_Merrilin:
*snip*

I had a look through the major studios' annual reports - only WB consistently breaks out DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming, so here's that summary:

YearRevenue From DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming
20122,320
20112,866
20102,760
20092,820
20083,320
20073,483
20063,040
20053,619
20043,594

(numbers in millions of dollars)

Disney finally got around to breaking it out last year, and their home delivery number is about the same as WB ($2.241bil in 2012 down from $2.435bil in 2011). So... yeah... the original point that DVD/Blu-Ray may not save Pacific Rim still holds, those streams don't pull in as much money as they used to.

But look at the year where the decline happened -- 2008. What we're seeing isn't some strange decline in home sales. What we're seeing is a general decline in the economy as a whole. DVD/Blu-Ray may not be enough to save Pacific Rim, but if it is it's not because the home video market in particular is declining, it's because the entire economy is on the ropes.

Well at least this explains why good original series get cancelled and complete mindless rubbish gets 12 seasons of funding. Thanks for the info MovieBob.

vid87:
That's honestly baffled me - where was the hype for similar garbage like "Sharktopus" or all the other crap Syfy churns out? I've seen some gifs and jpegs that did slightly endear it to me (the "samurai chainsaw chop" is my favorite) but I can't for the life of me figure out what was the magic moment that made this more special than the others.

I think it just hit dumb-movie critical mass. It's something so utterly insane that it goes beyond standard crappy B-movie fare (which has gotten boring since there's so much of it) and straight into the sort of thing people on 4chan might come up with as a joke. It reminds me of stuff like Axe Cop or this video.

sleeky01:
Why do I have the horrible feeling that some Hollywood producer somewhere is giving serious thought to a live version of My Little Pony?

Why not? Hollywood birthed not one but two Smurf movies.

I think we're pretty well insulated from such a thing at this point. The position of "movie where one or more of the ponies gets magically sucked into the human world" has not only already been filled, it's spawned a TV series and toyline that are likely to stick around for quite some time. I suppose maybe it could work as a G1 adaptation, a la Transformers, with live-action actors playing Megan and her brother whose name I can't be bothered to look up. But given how Hasbro wasn't able to get the rights to use their own characters' names a few years ago, and that Friendship Is Magic has become such a runaway success for them, they probably have no more interest in reviving anything G1-related than they would in reviving Jem at this point.

Korskarn:

Owyn_Merrilin:
snip

Sure, from http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/annual/2013.php

RankNameUnits SoldRevenueDate
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 24,485,411$67,287,2663/02/2013
2Wreck-It Ralph2,640,606$49,739,9213/05/2013
3Taken 22,525,522$41,823,6851/15/2013
4Hotel Transylvania2,522,847$46,572,0631/29/2013
5The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey2,214,027$28,309,7033/19/2013
6Skyfall2,160,809$38,838,6902/12/2013
7Rise of the Guardians1,936,668$34,387,9153/12/2013
8Pitch Perfect1,744,205$29,107,75012/18/2012
9Lincoln1,508,367$29,166,0403/26/2013
10Les Miserables1,398,040$27,092,6963/22/2013
11Argo1,321,039$19,630,6142/19/2013
12Django Unchained1,292,185$23,818,9744/16/2013
13Life of Pi1,166,882$19,047,4573/12/2013
14Flight1,161,539$17,215,8472/05/2013
15Tyler Perry's Madea Gets a Job: The Play1,147,906$14,439,7172/05/2013
16Looper1,131,337$20,034,61812/31/2012
17Madly Madagascar1,066,324$5,704,3791/29/2013
18Safe Haven980,136$16,794,2905/07/2013
19Ted971,178$17,275,98812/11/2012
20The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2926,295$37,588,7273/02/2013

As a disclaimer, I'm not sure if this is before or after the retailer takes their cut, but even $30mil straight up into WB's pocket is a fraction of the $190mil production budget, let alone including Prints and Advertising.

ETA - compare this to the top 5 from 2007:

RankNameUnits SoldRevenueDate
1Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End13,699,490$279,046,39112/04/2007
2Transformers13,251,378$251,422,29110/16/2007
3Happy Feet12,225,634$196,875,3503/27/2007
430012,110,490$243,204,6187/31/2007
5Ratatouille11,233,232$169,016,02411/06/2007

The $30 million might be just a fraction of the budget...but as of today, Pacific Rim has already made $178.5 million, which means it's getting really close to breaking even, without the DVD sales. That's only after the second weekend too, I expect if we give it another week or two that number will be even higher, and it will probably end up making a profit on its own without the DVD sales. Which will make me really happy if it does :D

Jingle Fett:
The $30 million might be just a fraction of the budget...but as of today, Pacific Rim has already made $178.5 million, which means it's getting really close to breaking even, without the DVD sales. That's only after the second weekend too, I expect if we give it another week or two that number will be even higher, and it will probably end up making a profit on its own without the DVD sales. Which will make me really happy if it does :D

It's not even close to breaking even. The boxoffice numbers are the gross figures, or how much money people have handed over to the cinemas. The cinemas take their cut, which the common rule of thumb is 50%, which puts the amount of money WB/Legendary will receive so far under $100mil vs. the reported $190mil budget.

On top of that, the budget is only the production budget and does not include the costs of Prints and Advertising. When the MPAA stopped releasing data on P&A budgets in 2009 the average spend per movie was $65million - you can imagine for a summer movie positioned as a blockbuster Pac Rim's budget would be much higher than that, and costs would have probably increased over the last 4 years instead of decreased. So all-in the cost of Pac Rim would probably be in the region of $300mil and would need ~$600mil in boxoffice gross to break even just from ticket sales.

Korskarn:

Jingle Fett:
The $30 million might be just a fraction of the budget...but as of today, Pacific Rim has already made $178.5 million, which means it's getting really close to breaking even, without the DVD sales. That's only after the second weekend too, I expect if we give it another week or two that number will be even higher, and it will probably end up making a profit on its own without the DVD sales. Which will make me really happy if it does :D

It's not even close to breaking even. The boxoffice numbers are the gross figures, or how much money people have handed over to the cinemas. The cinemas take their cut, which the common rule of thumb is 50%, which puts the amount of money WB/Legendary will receive so far under $100mil vs. the reported $190mil budget.

On top of that, the budget is only the production budget and does not include the costs of Prints and Advertising. When the MPAA stopped releasing data on P&A budgets in 2009 the average spend per movie was $65million - you can imagine for a summer movie positioned as a blockbuster Pac Rim's budget would be much higher than that, and costs would have probably increased over the last 4 years instead of decreased. So all-in the cost of Pac Rim would probably be in the region of $300mil and would need ~$600mil in boxoffice gross to break even just from ticket sales.

You're right, my numbers were low and I was just looking at the raw production budget and Pacific Rim does need to make quite a bit more to break even. In the interest of accuracy, I consulted with a family member who works in the industry to see if you were right about the numbers and while my numbers are too low, yours are too high. By your numbers Man of Steel (having a higher budget than Pacific Rim and all) would have to make even more than $600 million just to break even, yet its already been considered a big commercial success.

The %50 cut figure isn't completely accurate, it is in most cases but the big studios have different arrangements and in the case of big studios like Warner Bros, its often closer to a 30/70 split rather than 50/50 (reason is because more people go to the bigger well known movies).
And with the Prints and Advertising costs, the costs in general have actually decreased. Advertising cost has remained about the same, but the print costs have gone down because most movie theaters are digital now, they don't have to print out as many film rolls.

But anyways, the rule of thumb for how much a movie needs to make to breaks even (including all th P&A stuff) is actually that it has to make back double the production budget, so in Pacific Rim's case it'd actually be around $380 million to break even.

Jingle Fett:

Korskarn:

Jingle Fett:
The $30 million might be just a fraction of the budget...but as of today, Pacific Rim has already made $178.5 million, which means it's getting really close to breaking even, without the DVD sales. That's only after the second weekend too, I expect if we give it another week or two that number will be even higher, and it will probably end up making a profit on its own without the DVD sales. Which will make me really happy if it does :D

It's not even close to breaking even. The boxoffice numbers are the gross figures, or how much money people have handed over to the cinemas. The cinemas take their cut, which the common rule of thumb is 50%, which puts the amount of money WB/Legendary will receive so far under $100mil vs. the reported $190mil budget.

On top of that, the budget is only the production budget and does not include the costs of Prints and Advertising. When the MPAA stopped releasing data on P&A budgets in 2009 the average spend per movie was $65million - you can imagine for a summer movie positioned as a blockbuster Pac Rim's budget would be much higher than that, and costs would have probably increased over the last 4 years instead of decreased. So all-in the cost of Pac Rim would probably be in the region of $300mil and would need ~$600mil in boxoffice gross to break even just from ticket sales.

You're right, my numbers were low and I was just looking at the raw production budget and Pacific Rim does need to make quite a bit more to break even. In the interest of accuracy, I consulted with a family member who works in the industry to see if you were right about the numbers and while my numbers are too low, yours are too high. By your numbers Man of Steel (having a higher budget than Pacific Rim and all) would have to make even more than $600 million just to break even, yet its already been considered a big commercial success.

The %50 cut figure isn't completely accurate, it is in most cases but the big studios have different arrangements and in the case of big studios like Warner Bros, its often closer to a 30/70 split rather than 50/50 (reason is because more people go to the bigger well known movies).
And with the Prints and Advertising costs, the costs in general have actually decreased. Advertising cost has remained about the same, but the print costs have gone down because most movie theaters are digital now, they don't have to print out as many film rolls.

But anyways, the rule of thumb for how much a movie needs to make to breaks even (including all th P&A stuff) is actually that it has to make back double the production budget, so in Pacific Rim's case it'd actually be around $380 million to break even.

Wow, so much movie nerd math in this thread. I like it!

The one thing I will say for Pac Rim though is that it's a bit early to totally count it out. It released on July 12th, which means at this point it hasn't even been out for a full two weeks. Despite that, it's already outsold The Lone Ranger (in total gross, thanks to those international numbers), which has been out for four. On the domestic side though, it's first week very nearly beat the first two weeks of The Lone Ranger, so I suspect that by the end of it's run it will have surpassed it both domestically and internationally.

What's the point though? It's just beating another flop, right? Well...not quite. It's beating another movie that, as MovieBob pointed out, was likely seen as a guaranteed success during it's production. It's a straight up genre flick by a genre director that's beating out the Depp juggernaut, and that might wake some people up. Sure, it might not be printing money, but perhaps it will open the door for more niche films with budgets that are a bit more modest. Guillermo's At The Mountain of Madness, for example.

That's the lesson I hope they'll start learning here. But who knows...

Data Source:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=pacificrim.htm
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=loneranger.htm

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