Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top Domestic Movies of 2012

One of the best years for movies in a long time has come and gone.  Who finished on top?  The numbers will surprise you.With the 2012 movie season wrapped up - and studio profits up 6.4%, it's time to see how the numbers changed since our original article back in June.  Several new films cropped up - as we thought they would - but how did it affect the top of the order?  Would The Dark Knight Rises swoop in to take the top spot from The Avengers, and how would other late-season films like The Hobbit and Skyfall affect the season's bottom line?  Here was the list as of early June:

10. Think Like a Man ($90,439,678)
9. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($103,600,774)
8. Snow White and Huntsman ($106,585,985)
7. The Vow ($125,014,030)
6. Safe House ($126,181,630)
5. 21 Jump Street ($137,634,849)
4. MIB 3 ($141,127,949)
3. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax ($212,177,580)
2. The Hunger Games ($400,758,010)
1. The Avengers ($576,583,182)

And here's the final one -  our thanks to the guys at BoxOfficeMojo for these numbers:

1 Marvel's The Avengers ($623,357,910 in  4,349 theaters)
2 The Dark Knight Rises ($448,139,099 in 4,404 theaters)
3 The Hunger Games ($408,010,692  in 4,137 theaters)
4 Skyfall ($294,730,000 in 3,526 theaters)
5 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 ($287,756,286 in 4,070 theaters)
6 The Amazing Spider-Man ($262,030,663 4,318 in 4,318 theaters)
7 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($251,520,000 in 4,100 theaters)
8 Brave ($237,269,198 in 4,164 theaters)
9 Ted ($218,815,487 in 3,303 theaters)
10 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted ($216,391,482 in 4,263 theaters)

Talk about a change - we knew that most of the lower end would succumb to the summer onslaught, but to see only one film from June remain on the list, AND to retain the Number 1 spot is surprising.  Here are some other trends of note: 
Most of our "Films That Could Enter This List" did in fact make the list: We were right about The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, BraveMadagascar 3Skyfall, and The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey.  In fact, most of the top films of 2012 had their releases after our article was released in June.  We were off on Total Recall and Ice Age: Continental Drift, although we enjoyed both.  Oh well - no one can be perfect.
Later releases are not necessarily a bad thing: The best example in years can be found with The Hobbit.  Released on December 14th, the film secured the #7 spot and will probably outperform most films on this list by the time it's finished, in terms of pure profits.  That says a lot about the personal appeal a film can have for its fans.
Moviegoers love their superheroes: From the critically-disappointing Dark Knight Rises and Amazing Spider-man, to the best film of the year in The Avengers, fans flocked to dark rooms all summer to see their heroes sling, batarang, and smash through the competition.  We have a new wave of superhero movies coming this summer, so let's see whether fans still flock to Phase 2.  
Bond if Back: Skyfall proved, perhaps once and for all, that Daniel Craig IS Bond.  The film was a world-wide phenomenon, surpassing $1 billion recently.  That says a lot for a franchise that nearly died two years ago.  Its domestic returns were only a fraction of its worldwide totals, but it also showed in fewer theaters than most of the top 10.  How the franchise can make another compelling film will be almost as interesting as any other aspect of the film.  For now, we have another truly great spy film to enjoy.
Family movies CAN make money: From Brave to Madagascar 3, family films made a ton of cash, blowing away bigger films that ended up on our most disappointing list.  We're glad to see that things other than death, worldwide invasions, and general mayhem can still perform well at the box office and still be family-oriented.
...The same goes for bad films: Our continued surprise is that bad films still have their fans, and still make their money.  I can't believe people still paid to see Twilight, and as well as the bore-fest The Hunger Games.  Hopefully, future episodes of HG will be better - there's nothing that can make Twilight better.

We'll be sure to keep an eye on things for you as 2013 gets underway.  Did you notice any other trends?  Comment below, let us know!