Summer Box Office Results Compared With My Predictions

At the beginning of the Summer I predicted there would be six movies that would break $200 million at the Box Office this year. That generous prediction was not quite reached, despite the fact that this Summer’s Box Office still managed to set a new record. I was correct in predicting the films that would finish the Summer as the top 5 highest grossing films, although they came in a slightly different order. Those films were Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover: Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Cars 2. Films like The Green Lantern and Super 8 did not do as well as I predicted and failed to make the top ten while movies like Bridesmaids and Rise of the Planet of the Apes came from off my radar to one of the top Summer films.

Below is a side by side comparison of the Box Office I predicted at the beginning of the Summer and the actual Box Office numbers according to Box Office Mojo.

Prediction

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Opening: $139 million | Total: $339 million

2) Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Opening: $103 million | Total: $324 million

3) Cars 2
Opening: $84 million | Total: $306 million

4) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Opening: $81 million | Total: $274 million

5) The Hangover: Part II
Opening: $64 million | Total: $262 million

6) Kung Fu Panda 2
Opening: $58 million | Total: $229 million

7) Green Lantern
Opening: $48 million | Total: $197 million

8) Captain America: The First Avenger
Opening: $47 million | Total: $192 million

9) Thor
Opening: $56 million | Total: $187 million

10) Super 8
Opening: $41 million | Total: $182 million

Actual

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Opening: $169 million | Total: $369 million

2) Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Opening: $98 million | Total: $349 million

3) The Hangover: Part II
Opening: $86 million | Total: $254 million

4) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Opening: $90 million | Total: $240 million

5) Cars 2
Opening: $66 million | Total: $187 million

6) Thor
Opening: $66 million | Total: $181 million

7) Bridesmaids
Opening: $26 million | Total: $168 million

8) Captain America: The First Avenger
Opening: $65 million | Total: $167 million

9) Kung Fu Panda 2
Opening: $48 million | Total: $164 million

10) Rise of the Planet of the Apes*
Opening: $54 million | Total: $142 million (so far)

* Technically X-Men: First Class is ahead of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but that is on track to change in less than a week.

It was no surprise that the final Harry Potter film had a record-breaking opening weekend and came out on top as the number one movie of the Summer. Transformers: Dark of the Moon performed less spectacularly than the previous film in the franchise, but managed to do quite well enough to secure the number two spot. The Hangover: Part II was one of the surprises of the Summer with one of the biggest openings ever for an R-rated comedy and strong enough legs to hold on to the number three spot of the Summer. It also proved to be critic-proof as the almost unanimously negative reviews did not seem to have an adverse affect at all.

A movie that was not quite as critic proof was the Pixar film Cars 2, which not only received worse reviews than any other Pixar movie, but also ended the Summer as the second lowest grossing Pixar movie of all-time. That was still enough to drop it in the fifth spot for the Summer Box Office. The film that had an opposite trajectory to Cars 2 was Bridesmaids which opened low and had good enough reviews and word of mouth to end its Summer in 7th place overall.

Thor was the winner of the superhero movies with a sixth place finish. It was just ahead of Captain America: The First Avenger making it a good Summer for Marvel movies. X-Men: First Class just missed the top ten, but still brought in good enough numbers to revive a tired franchise. Green Lantern was the least impressive superhero movie with a strong $54 million opening weekend followed by a huge drop-off to end up at $115 million.

One of the least talked about movies of the Summer despite it’s amazing performance at the Box Office was Kung Fu Panda 2. The film never held the number one spot at the Box Office, but still managed to come in as the 9th highest grossing movie of the Summer and one of only two animated movies in the top ten.

Were you surprised by any of this Summer’s Box Office performances?

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  • I’m surprised that Super 8 isn’t in the top 10. But then again I should be reminded that quality doesn’t matter at the box office.

  • Just look at the top 5 movies at this Summer’s Box Office for proof of that.

  • Asif Khan

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Thor, Bridesmaids and Rise of the planets of the apes are the best among them ……. though some other movies deserved to be in top 10 :((

  • Now, will there be any fall awards season films that can break 100M or the top ten ala The King’s Speech and Black Swan or True Grit??? Any hunch?

  • I would not be at all surprised if ‘Warrior’ pulled that off. I saw the film last week and it seems like it will be quite the crowd pleaser. I would also expect ‘Hugo’ and potentially ‘J. Edgar’ or ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ to earn over $100 mil, assuming they get decent reviews.

    Non-Oscar Fall movies that will make a lot of money include ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes 2’.

  • Jose

    Doubt Paranormal Activity 3 would get that, second one lost a lot of goodwill from the 1st one and didn’t even crack the $100 million mark.

    There could be a chance for Contagion, that’s the only September film I see crossing the $100 million mark. The movies I see most of the November releases doing it though.

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