Happy New Year my friends. Now that it is 2016, it seems fitting to recap the financial winners and losers (and in between) in 2015. There will be a lot of films on here, but not everything. I will begin with January and work my way through December for each category. I hope some of you will voice your opinions in the comments. So, I now give you my take on the winners and losers of 2015.
Part 1: Losers:
1. Chappie (March 6)
Opening Weekend: $13.3 million
Final Domestic Total: $31.6 million
Final Worldwide Total: $102.1 million
It is a shame Chappie did not do well. You may disagree with me, but I enjoyed this film. I give it an A-. It had a very good premise, but it was widely maligned by the general public.
2. Insurgent (March 20)
Opening Weekend: $52.3 million
Final Domestic Total: $130.2 million
Final Worldwide Total: $297.3 million
Technically, it did not flop as its production budget was $110 million, but it still disappointed. Divergent opened to $54.6 million on its way to a domestic total of $150.9 million in 2014, and it was expected that Insurgent would have a higher total than that, but it was reviewed even worse and was far more front loaded in the domestic market. There is consolation, though in the fact that Insurgent's $297.3 million worldwide total exceeded its predecessor's $288.9 million worldwide total.
3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (April 17)
Opening Weekend: $23.8 million
Final Domestic Total: $71 million
Final Worldwide Total: $107.6 million
Here is the sequel to the widely disliked but very popular Paul Blart Mall Cop from 2009. I personally did not think the first was that bad. It was not great either. I would give that one a B+. Quite frankly, though, I believe this one deserved to fail like it did. It tried halfheartedly to copy everything from the first and the jokes and dialogue all seemed very forced. I thought it was horrible and gave it a D+. Its domestic total ended up less than half of its predecessor's domestic total of $146.3 million and the worldwide total for the sequel was even less than the domestic total for the original which we all can agree is a very bad sign. I hope, for Sony's sake, a third Paul Blart is not in the works.
4. Tomorrowland (May 22)
Opening Weekend: $33 million
Final Domestic Total: $93.4 million
Final Worldwide Total: $209 million
I did not dislike this film nor did I particularly like it. It seemed that it gave off too much of a Spy Kids vibe to be taken seriously. All in all, I give it a B. Still, I thought that the marketing was going to help Tomorrowland earn a lot. The marketing consistently mentioned that Brad Bird (the director of The Incredibles and Ratatouille) was directing it and it seemed to have a lot of visual appeal. Its production budget was $190 million and it was a bit of a slouch overseas.
5. Ted 2 (June 26)
Opening Weekend: $33.5 million
Final Domestic Total: $81.5 million
Final Worldwide Total: $215.9 million
I personally did not think this film was nearly as bad as people have claimed, but I thought the first was still better. I give Ted an A and Ted 2 an A-. Most of us did not expect Ted 2 to outperform its predecessor, because the Summer before, 22 Jump Street exceeded the earnings of its well liked, well remembered predecessor when nobody thought it would and miracles like that tend to not happen very often. Also, people were probably scared off by Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West that came out 13 months prior. Still, nobody expected it to perform this poorly. It really did deserve to do better than this, though, given how well liked the original was.
6. Magic Mike XXL (July 1)
Opening Weekend: $12.9 million
Final Domestic Total: $66 million
Final Worldwide Total: $122.5 million
In terms of box office earnings, it was expected to live up to the XXL part of its title, but instead, it was extra extra small. That is disappointing when you consider the success of its predecessor back in 2012, which opened to $39.1 million and closed to $113.7 million.
7. Terminator: Genysis (July 1)
Opening Weekend: $27 million
Final Domestic Total: $89.8 million
Final Worldwide Total: $440.6 million
When word was that Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to be back, there was hope that Genysis would perform better than Salvation back in 2009 which opened to $42.6 million, closed to $125.3 million in the US, and earned $371.4 million worldwide. Salvation was not well reviewed but Genysis was reviewed even worse and that is what probably stopped it from doing as well as it could have. The only consolation is that is that Genysis' worldwide total is higher than that of Salvation.
8. Pixels (July 24)
Opening Weekend: $24 million
Final Domestic Total: $78.7 million
Final Worldwide Total: $243.9 million
This film sucked, but I did not think it was not as bad as Paul Blart Mall Cop 2. I would give Pixels a C. Ultimately, it could have done better if the film had different actors and was not made to look like a joke. People are tiring of Adam Sandler and Kevin James' consistent bathroom humor, and for good reason. There comes a point where humor is played out too much and it starts to become a nuisance which turns moviegoers to other options and this film is a great example.
9. Fantastic Four (August 7)
Opening Weekend: $25.7 million
Final Domestic Total: $56.1 million
Final Worldwide Total: $168 million
This film was universally bashed by fans and critics alike. It did not seem to really be trying half the time. It was very forced and you know a film is bad when not even its own director will defend it. Its final domestic total is equal to the opening weekend of the first original one and it was lower than Rise of the Silver Surfer ($58.1 million). That is pretty pitiful. What is even more troubling is that a sequel is in the works.
10. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18)
Opening Weekend: $30.3 million
Final Domestic Total: $81.6 million
Final Worldwide Total: $312.2 million
Many people expected Scorch Trials to exceed its predecessor but it had an Insurgent-like drop from its predecessor. It may be possible that it was due to poor reviews in comparison to the original. I did not think it was that bad. I would give it a B+. The domestic difference however, was enough that Scorch Trials' worldwide total was below that of its predecessor ($348.3 million).
11. Pan (October 9)
Opening Weekend: $15.3 million
Final Domestic Total: $35 million
Final Worldwide Total: $126.9 million
This raised a lot of eyebrows and to me, it almost looked like a spoof. If they meant to turn moviegoers away, they sure did a good job. It got abysmal reviews as well and it seemed to fail on pretty much every level it could.
12. Mockingjay Part 2 (November 20)
Opening Weekend: $102.7 million
Final Domestic Total (Estimated Stopping Point): $286 million
Final Worldwide Total: (N/A)
Ok, I realize the above statistics might be confusing, so I will have to briefly explain. It has earned a total of $269.6 million so far but it still has a little further to go, which is why I predict it will stop at $286 million. I cannot predict a worldwide total, either for that reason since it is still out, and I do not know whether or not it will gain any new territories, but it has a worldwide total of $621.8 so far. Anyways, it should have opened at least a little higher than Part 1 ($121.9 million), because Part 1 tends to perform the worst. In hindsight, though, this probably happened because a lot of people who see the films read the books, and the Mockingjay book had an unfavorable ending, which is likely what turned people away.
13. The Good Dinosaur (November 25)
Opening Weekend: $39.2 million
Final Domestic Total (Estimated Stopping Point): $125 million
Final Worldwide Total: (N/A)
This is poised to be the lowest grossing Pixar film in history behind A Bug's Life's $162.8 million. It has a domestic total of $110.7 million so far and its worldwide total to date is $219.7 million. It was really good and deserved to do better, but it is likely failing because of the lack of marketing effort. They probably just thought, "Hey, this is a Pixar movie. As long as people know it is coming out, they will see it." Well, if that is the case, it looks like they thought wrong.
Part 2: In Between:
1. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)
Opening Weekend: $191.2 million
Final Domestic Total: $459 million
Final Worldwide Total: $1.405 billion
Back in 2012, The Avengers opened to $207.4 million (which was a record opening at the time) and closed to $623.4 million. People expected Age of Ultron to open higher than that even if it were to close to less than its predecessor. Its predecessor earned a worldwide total of $1.520 billion and the domestic difference was large enough that Age of Ultron could not quite get there. It was expected to open higher, but in the end, it is hard to call a total in the top 10 all time list a disappointment.
2. Spy (June 5)
Opening Weekend: $29.1 million
Final Domestic Total: $110.8 million
Final Worldwide Total: $235.7 million
Quite a few people expected it to get to The Heat and Bridesmaids level totals ($159.6 million and $169.1 million, respectively), but a $110.8 million total is not so bad either.
3. Ant Man (July 17)
Opening Weekend: $57.2 million
Final Domestic Total: $180.2 million
Final Worldwide Total: $519.3 million
This was a really good film. I did not expect much, but it was really well done and I give it an A. I do not think anybody expected to reach Guardians of the Galaxy's $333.2 million total, but predictions also pegged it going as low as The Incredible Hulk's $134.8 million total. Thank goodness it was not that low.
4. Spectre (November 6)
Opening Weekend: $70.4 million
Final Domestic Total (Estimated Stopping Point): $204 million
Final Worldwide Total: N/A
Spectre technically will not break even in the US. It is currently at $197.1 million domestically. It appears to be making up for that with its worldwide earnings. It has a worldwide total of $851 million so far. Skyfall opened to $88.4 million on its way to a domestic total of $304.4 million. Worldwide, it stopped at $1.109 billion, which makes this result for Spectre pale in comparison, but it is still nothing to sneeze at.
5. The Peanuts Movie (November 6)
Opening Weekend: $44.2 million
Final Domestic Total (Estimated Stopping Point): $133 million
Final Worldwide Total: N/A
It got off to a strong start as people knew it would. It opened almost as high as animated holiday season kickoff openers Megamind and Wreck It Ralph ($46 million and $49 million, respectively), but people expected it to get past $150 million in the US by the end of its run. Worldwide, it is at $172.8 million so far. Even though higher totals were expected, this is not so bad.
1. American Sniper (January 16)
Opening Weekend: $89.3 million
Final Domestic Total: $350.1 million
Final Worldwide Total: $547.4 million
Technically it opened in limited release on Christmas Day 2014, but it expanded nationwide on January 16th of this year which is why it is on this list. It more than doubled the January opening weekend record previously set by 2014's Ride Along ($41.5 million). Its domestic total is the highest for any movie that has opened in January ahead of Paul Blart: Mall Cop's $146.3 million in 2009. It deserved its prosperous box office run. It was well done. I would give it an A-. It was also the most disturbing film I have ever watched, mainly because it was an accurate exhibition of the aftereffects of war and what it can do to a person. The most disturbing part of it all was how a lot of that stuff really happened. Children in real life were, and still are, brutally executed and tortured before their families' eyes just like it was depicted in the film. It was a well done film, but it was also very hard to watch.
2. Spongebob 2 (February 6)
Opening Weekend: $55.4 million
Final Domestic Total: $163 million
Final Worldwide Total: $323.4 million
It did surprise many when it opened as high as it did, especially since the beloved television program declined after the first Spongebob movie came out. I personally hated this film and thought it was one of the worst films I have ever seen. I give it an F. It was way too random and bizarre and it was a reflection of how the tv series declined after the first film. Still, a lot of people did enjoy it, so it is not so shocking that it held on so well.
3. Fifty Shades of Grey: (February 13)
Opening Weekend: $85.2 million
Final Domestic Total: $166.2 million
Final Worldwide Total: $570.5 million
This film topped the previous February opening record held by Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million) back in 2004. However, its horrible reviews caused it to drop off so quick from there that it failed to earn even twice as much as it opened with. That may sound bad, but its domestic total is still very good and it has a strong worldwide total.
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13)
Opening Weekend: $36.2 million
Final Domestic Total: $128.3 million
Final Worldwide Total: $414.4 million
While it did have to settle for second place in its opening weekend behind Fifty Shades of Grey, it did have pretty strong legs and was enjoyed by many. A sequel is on the way in Summer 2017.
5. Home (March 27)
Opening Weekend: $52.1 million
Final Domestic Total: $177.4 million
Final Worldwide Total: $386 million
This was the film from Dreamworks Animation that could help turn things around for the struggling company. So little was expected of Home because How to Train Your Dragon 2 failed to take off like people expected and Penguins of Madagascar earned an underwhelming $83.4 million. Home was a good film, too. I give it an A-. Unfortunately, because of all the hardships Dreamworks has been facing, this was their only offering of 2015.
6. Furious 7 (April 3)
Opening Weekend: $147.2 million
Final Domestic Total: $353 million
Final Worldwide Total: $1.515 million
The 7th installment in the Fast and Furious franchise was expected to drastically exceed the earnings of its predecessor from 2013, which opened to $97.4 million, closed with a domestic total of $238.7 million, and closed with a worldwide total of $788.7 million. It did not disappoint. It broke the April opening record previously set by Captain America: The Winter Soldier's $95 million opening. This is also the highest total for any film to open in the month of April ahead of Winter Soldier's $259.8 million. People rushed out to see this for nostalgic reasons, no doubt. The "One last ride" tagline was reminding audiences of the demise of Paul Walker and that this was the last time he would be seen in those films. It is sad, but that sadness caused this film to make big bucks.
7. Jurassic World (June 12)
Opening Weekend: $208.8 million
Final Domestic Total: $652.3 million
Final Worldwide Total: $1.669 million
Jurassic World's performance shocked everybody when it opened to a new all time opening record (until Star Wars 7 came along). Its total ranks 4th all time, because sometime today, Star Wars 7 passed it. This is the highest total for any film to open in June ahead of Toy Story 3's $415 million total.
8. Inside Out (June 19)
Opening Weekend: $90.4 million
Final Domestic Total: $356.5 million
Final Worldwide Total: $856.1 million
Even though it had to settle for 2nd place in its opening weekend (the first Pixar film to not open in first place) behind Jurassic World's second weekend, it still set some records. It had the highest opening weekend ever for an original animated film (non-sequel) ahead of 2007's The Simpsons Movie ($74 million). It also had the highest 2nd place debut ever ahead of 2004's The Day After Tomorrow ($68.7 million). I would give the film an A. It was my second favorite Pixar film behind Toy Story 3.
9. Minions (July 10)
Opening Weekend: $115.7 million
Final Domestic Total: $336 million
Final Worldwide Total: $1.157 billion
The iconic Despicable Me sidekicks had a very good run. As far as spin offs go, it was not too far from Despicable Me 2's $368.1 million total. Nobody expected it to pass that, but the fact it came as close as it did is very impressive. I personally thought it was ok, but it was not as good as either of the Despicable Me films. I gave Minions a B. Their antics seemed to grow stale after a while and they were funnier when Gru was present because the chemistry Gru has with them helped to make the Despicable Me films so good.
10. Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25)
Opening Weekend: $48.5 million
Final Domestic Total: $167.8 million
Final Worldwide Total: $456.2 million
Many were not expecting it to do better than the first. Its predecessor held the previous September opening record of $42.5 million and its final domestic total was $148.3 million, with a worldwide total of $358.4 million. Hotel Transylvania 2 set a new September opening record and also beat its predecessor domestically and worldwide.
11. The Martian (October 2)
Opening Weekend: $54.3 million
Final Domestic Total (Estimated Stopping Point): $230 million
Final Worldwide Total: N/A
Not many people knew about this until a couple months before it was supposed to come out. It is up to $225.4 million domestically so far, and so far it is up to $595.8 million worldwide. It is one of my favorite films now. I give it an A+. I liked the way it was shockingly amusing when it could have been so much darker in tone.
12. Star Wars Episode 7: (December 18)
Opening Weekend: $248 million
Final Domestic Total (Estimated Stopping Point): $1.153 billion
Final Worldwide Total: N/A
We should not of course forget Star Wars 7. It is days away from passing Avatar's $760.5 million domestic total. It is up to $652 million in the domestic market as of yesterday, which means hours ago, it passed Jurassic World's $652.3 million to become the highest grossing 2015 title. It is at $1.331 billion worldwide as of yesterday and there is a very real possibility it could pass Avatar's $2.788 billion worldwide total by the end of its run as well.
Well, that is the list of losers and winners and films in between for 2015. Feel free to comment on what else you think should be in each list (because I could not include everything). Also, I would like to hear your opinions on some of the films.