A few months ago I discussed the 2014 box office, and gave a few reasons as to why I believed numbers were down so much on recent years. What a lot of people said in response to last year’s poor numbers was ‘it’s ok, because 2015 will be the biggest year in movie history!’, which normally echoed a few times. I can’t really disagree, because 2015 still can be, and probably still will be exactly what people have been calling it. There are probably going to be three ‘billion dollar films’ (The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 2 and of course Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens), as well as loads of other huge blockbusters.
With that in mind, this year has had a terrible start. Firstly, there are a few films that have done well. Cinderella had a huge opening in America, and with a Frozen short playing in front of the film there’s no reason it can’t do the same worldwide. Fifty Shades of Grey beat off all its competitors (I know there’s a joke in there somewhere…) to become the biggest film of the year so far, even if a lot of people hate it. Kingsman: The Secret Service has over performed, meaning it could well get the sequel it thoroughly deserves.
Unfortunately, that’s more or less where it ends. Normally, it’s the other way round, and I would be pointing out the three films that haven’t done the business they should have, but this year is a little different. Just a quick note before I go on, I might refer to a film here as being a ‘bomb’ or a ‘flop’, and in some cases, these films may well have made their budget back, and even made some profit, but what I really mean is that they didn’t make the money they should have. Now that’s out-of-the-way…
One of the big things we’ve seen so far this year is that star power just isn’t enough anymore. Johnny Depp failed to bring, well, pretty much anybody out to see Mortdecai, a film I happened to quite like, but I’m about the only one. I’m sure to some people at the studio this one seemed like a surefire hit. I would have thought Chris Hemsworth was one of the most bankable stars working today, but neither he, nor Michael Mann could get people to spend their hard-earned money seeing Blackhat, which I once again enjoyed, even if it didn’t get a great write up here.
This is taking longer than I’d planned so I’m going to speed through a few more. Just a quick note, I would consider all of the films I’m about to list as having a name attached to them, either in front of or behind the camera, that would potentially draw people to the cinema, but didn’t. CHAPPiE, Jupiter Ascending, Seventh Son, Focus and Run All Night and all films that couldn’t capitalise on having at least a fairly big name attached to them. There are also some other that might not have had anybody attached to them, but failed to do the business they should have. Unfinished Business, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, The Loft and Strange Magic all had elements that could, and probably should have brought in more than they did, but all failed to make an impact. This variety also proves that no genre is safe from the 2015 curse!
But… Why is this happening? Honestly, I can probably think of an individual reason for each of these films, rather than a general explanation. It could also be the fact that a lot of these have fallen in that awkward period of time after Oscar season but before the summer blockbusters.
Why do you think the 2015 box office has had so many flops so far? Why do you think I have enjoyed so many of them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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