September 9 2012

Winners and Losers of the Summer 2012 Box Office

Avengers movie posterThe Summer 2012 box office is going to be remembered more for its spectacular crashes than anything else.

While its true this summer saw some major hits like The Avengers, it was also riddled with amazing disasters such as Total Recall. While some of the films this summer did make enough globally to recoup their budget in black and white numbers on paper, as you always have to remember there is more to getting a film to the screen then just its production budget. While studios will share how much it cost to film a movie, they don’t share things such as marketing, the cost to release prints – digital or celluloid – shipping, exhibitor fees, back-end gross shares for A-list actors, making 3D glasses and so on, there is a lot of money moving around that the general public never sees. The rule of thumb has always been that a film must double its production budget domestically to break even, and foreign box office doesn’t do as much to help because there are even more associated costs when released overseas.

All this being said, when you see a film like Rock of Ages come in under its production budget when foreign dollars are counted in, not only did it crash, it crashes spectacularly.

If you look over the losers and winners below, I have put them in order by their budgets, and you’ll notice the majority of the winners were more modest films. Perhaps Hollywood needs to stop trying to constantly make gigantic movies because for every The Dark Knight Rises, there are also a couple of films in line with Battleship.

For those who are wondering, no, this is not a complete list of every film releases this summer.

Domestic Box Office
Foreign Box Office
Production Budget
The Losers
Battleship$65,233,400$237,602,860$302,836,260$209 million
Dark Shadows $79,727,149$156,800,000$236,527,149$150 million
Total Recall$57,160,131$98,700,000$155,860,131$125 million
Rock of Ages$38,518,613$11,600,000$50,118,613$75 million
That's My Boy$36,931,089$12,540,597$49,471,686 $70 million
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter$37,480,274$53,200,000$90,680,274$69 million
The Watch$33,849,802$9,300,000$43,149,802$68 million
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter$37,480,274$53,200,000$90,680,274$69 million
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World$7,078,738$855,287$7,934,025$10 million
The Winners
The Dark Knight Rises$435,414,000$577,700,000$1,013,114,000$250 million
The Avengers$620,828,000 $882,300,000$1,503,128,000$220 million
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$214,859,182$388,000,000$602,859,182$145 million
Ice Age:Continental Drift$156,476,000$672,400,000$828,876,000$95 million
Ted$216,309,330$168,400,000$384,709,330$50 million
Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection$65,339,469
$65,339,469 $20 million
Moonrise Kingdom$44,410,218$15,168,153$59,578,371 $16 million
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$46,000,681$85,458,613 $131,459,294$10 million
Magic Mike$113,485,818$41,000,000$154,485,818$7 million

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