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Matt Damon + Robert Pattinson + Kristen Stewart Flop + James Cameron Blockbuster Trailing Ben-Hur?

Matt Damon Green Zone Iraq thriller Universal bomb
Matt Damon in Green Zone: Political thriller is latest Universal and Iraq War box office bomb.

Box Office: Matt Damon political thriller Green Zone + Robert Pattinson romantic melodrama Remember Me flop

March 15 update: Starring Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass’ Iraq War thriller Green Zone landed far behind top movie Alice in Wonderland this past weekend (March 12–14). Faring even worse – though on about 15 percent of Green Zone‘s budget – was Allen Coulter’s romantic melodrama Remember Me, toplining Twilight Saga actor Robert Pattinson in his first star vehicle.

In Green Zone, Matt Damon plays the leader of a U.S. Army team who uncovers a government conspiracy in Iraq. American and Canadian audiences couldn’t care less. Green Zone pulled in an underwhelming $14.3 million from 3,003 locations, or a mediocre $4,765 per theater.

That’s not only slightly less than estimates released on Sunday but also several million less than Universal and partner Relativity Pictures were expecting. One key reason: unlike kiddie flick Alice in Wonderland, the adult-oriented Green Zone did relatively poor business on Saturday.

Clearly, this $100 million production will turn out to be the latest Iraq War-related flop at the domestic box office, following, among others, Redacted, In the Valley of Elah, and this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. Green Zone also happens to be Universal’s third domestic bomb of 2010, following The Wolfman and Leap Year.

Besides Matt Damon, the Green Zone cast includes the following: Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), Best Supporting Actor nominee Greg Kinnear (As Good as It Gets, 1997), Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson, Khalid Abdalla, and Omar Berdouni.

Universal’s two box office bombs

March 29 update:Paul Greengrass-Matt Damon Iraq War thriller Green Zone took in $3.38 million, down 45 percent. The $100 million Universal production has grossed a mere $30.4 million to date.

At no. 9, down from no. 4 last weekend, the Jude Law-Forest Whitaker futuristic action thriller Repo Men earned only $3.01 million. Universal’s $32 million production lost 50 percent of its business from a week ago. Total to date: $11.3 million. Repo Men has become the studio’s second flop in a row.

Remember Me soon to be forgotten at domestic box office

Remember Me, Robert Pattinson’s first big-screen try-out as a human being since Twilight made him a household name, brought in $8 million at 2,212 screens, or a highly disappointing $3,657 per screen – that’s about $1,000 less than Green Zone‘s average, even though Matt Damon’s movie is screening at about 50 percent more theaters. (All things being equal, the smaller the number of theaters, the higher the per-theater average should be.)

One key issue: Remember Me has been plagued by mostly negative reviews, which may help to explain why it opened at the very low end of Summit Entertainment’s already modest expectations.

Of course, a number of Robert Pattinson fans showed up at this past weekend’s showings, but not nearly enough of them to give the $16 million romantic melodrama the initial boost it so desperately needed. In fact, Remember Me actually suffered a 20 percent box office drop on Saturday.

Ultimately, Remember Me debuted below both She’s Out of My League, a teen comedy with no stars, and Martin Scorsese’s hold-over mystery thriller Shutter Island.

March 22 update: Remember Me suffered the weekend’s second worst drop-off among the top twelve movies: 59 percent.

Most of Robert Pattinson’s Twilight Saga fans have clearly opted to stay away from a movie in which their idol gets killed. Or it could be that they only care about Pattinson as the vampire Edward Cullen.

Robert Pattinson Remember Me film first post-Twilight star vehicleRobert Pattinson in ‘Remember Me’: Romantic melodrama is his first post-‘Twilight’ star vehicle.

Not so surprising climax

Saturday’s box office figures all but killed Remember Me, possibly because of poor word of mouth or perhaps Robert Pattinson’s fans decided they didn’t want to go see a movie in which the all-but-immortal Edward Cullen dies. Really, the film’s “twist” ending was out even before Remember Me opened.

Allen Coulter’s romantic drama will in all probability be unable to recover its low cost at the domestic box office. (Exhibitors keep about 50 percent of a film’s gross.) But ancillary and international revenues will likely earn investors some good cash, even after taking out distribution and marketing expenses.

Besides Robert Pattinson, Remember Me features the following:

Emilie de Ravin. Pierce Brosnan. Chris Cooper. Tate Ellington. Peyton List. Ruby Jerins. Lena Olin.

Crazy Heart Jeff Bridges Oscar distribution strategy‘Crazy Heart’ with Jeff Bridges: Oscar-related distribution strategy pays off.

Oscar box office effect: ‘Crazy Heart,’ ‘The Blind Side’ & ‘The Hurt Locker’

At the North American box office, Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart, John Lee Hancock’s The Blind Side, and Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker were the only three movies that benefited from their Oscar victories on Sunday, March 7.

Starring veteran Jeff Bridges (The Last Picture Show, King Kong) as a down-and-out country singer who strikes up a relationship with a younger woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Crazy Heart earned Bridges the Best Actor Oscar, in addition to winning another statuette for Best Original Song (“The Weary Kind” by T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham).

More than any other film, Crazy Heart has been immensely helped by this year’s awards season buzz. Following Bridges’ victory and the addition of 87 locations, the film was down a mere 9 percent from the previous weekend – the smallest decrease among the top 14 films. To date, Crazy Heart has pulled in $34.2 million.

At no. 13, The Blind Side – relatively speaking – did even better, gaining 28 percent despite the loss of 19 sites. The sentimental family/socially conscious drama stars Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. After adding $1.6 million this past weekend, the top sleeper hit of 2009 reached a remarkable cume of $252.7 million.

Following the addition of 75 venues, at no. 17 Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker grossed an estimated $828,000 at 349 theaters, for a $2,372 average. These are hardly huge figures, but they’re not insignificant ones either, considering that the Iraq War drama was initially released last summer – when it flopped – and it has since become a sizable hit on DVD.

The Hurt Locker won five other Oscars, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal). Total to date: $15.7 million. The cast includes Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner, Guy Pearce, and Anthony Mackie.

Alice in Wonderland Mia Wasikowska‘Alice in Wonderland’ with Mia Wasikowska: Alice never looked quite like this in the old Walt Disney cartoon.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ tops international box office

Alice in Wonderland is doing extremely well overseas, raking in an estimated $76 million from 6,621 screens in 48 markets. Tim Burton’s 3D extravaganza was the top movie in every single territory.

After ten days the film has taken in a staggering $221 million, nearly 70 percent of which at 3D venues (which charge a premium). And there’s more to come. Alice in Wonderland has yet to reach several top international markets, including France, China, Japan, Spain, and Brazil.

Alice‘s current top markets are:

  • The United Kingdom with $10.8 million this weekend; $34 million total.
  • Russia with $10.6 million; $32.2 million total.
  • Italy with $9.3 million; $28.7 million total.
  • Germany with $7.1 million; $16.4 million total.

Worldwide, Alice in Wonderland has amassed $429.6 million.

‘Green Zone’ finds slightly greener pastures overseas, ‘Remember Me’ not so lucky in Australia

Matt Damon’s Green Zone was no. 4, with $9.7 million at 1,562 sites in 14 markets. In terms of per-theater average, that’s better than the Iraq War-related thriller’s domestic performance (at least in part thanks to the weak U.S. dollar), but Green Zone is hardly what you’d call an international blockbuster.

Universal/Relativity Pictures will have trouble recovering their $100 million investment, not to mention distribution and advertising costs.

Meanwhile, Robert Pattinson’s domestic disappointment Remember Me fared even worse in Australia, where it opened at 173 screens. The romantic drama grossed only $388,000 in that country. For comparison’s sake: also in Australia, Green Zone, scored $1.9 million at 212 screens.

Overall, despite Pattinson’s Twilight popularity, Remember Me brought in a paltry $1.6 million at 530 screens in 9 markets.

Oscars also helping ‘international audience-unfriendly’ movies

Crazy Heart, The Blind Side, and The Hurt Locker have all apparently also been helped at the international box office following their Oscar victories.

This past weekend (March 12–14, but in some territories four or even five days are included as “weekend”), The Blind Side took in $1.8 million from 369 sites in 11 markets for an overseas cume of $10.3 million. That’s not bad for this type of film, but by the end of its run The Blind Side will be one movie to have performed infinitely better domestically than internationally.

Part of the reason may be that Sandra Bullock isn’t as much a box office draw overseas as she is in the United States. Besides, despite its Oscar win, The Blind Side may feel much too culturally “suburban USA” for non-American-suburbia tastes.

Crazy Heart, for its part, beat to the tune of $882,000 at 459 theaters in 21 markets. International total to date: A very modest $3.9 million. Why such modesty?

Well, country music and Jeff Bridges aren’t exactly major box office draws anywhere in the world, especially outside the U.S. But the Oscars in all probability helped. Else, rest assured that Crazy Heart and The Blind Side – in addition to The Hurt Locker – would have fared much worse internationally.

Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq War drama, in fact, grossed an impressive $580,000 this past weekend in Australia for a total of $2.5 million.

Remember Me Robert Pattinson Ruby Jerins Feel-bad romantic melodrama‘Remember Me’ with Robert Pattinson and Ruby Jerins: Feel-bad romantic melodrama fails to lure ‘Twilight’ crowd.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ down nearly 60 percent, ‘Green Zone’ & ‘Remember Me’ are box office casualties

March 13 update: As expected, Alice in Wonderland was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office on Friday, March 12, grossing an estimated $17.4 million – an impressive (3D-boosted) $4,667 per location.

At a distant no. 2, Paul Greengrass’ Iraq War drama Green Zone picked up $5 million from 3,003 venues, or $1,665 per theater. That doesn’t bode well for the $100 million production starring Matt Damon, though Green Zone will possibly end up earning more on its first weekend than distributor Universal (at least officially) expected.

Allen Coulter’s Remember Me, featuring Robert Pattinson’s first non-vampire starring role since his meteoric rise to fame as Twilight‘s Edward Cullen, took in $3.6 million at 2,212 screens – or a mediocre $1,627 per theater at about 800 fewer venues than Green Zone. (Generally speaking, if movies are equally popular, the one playing at fewer theaters should have a higher per-theater average.)

Matt Damon, Robert Pattinson non-franchise box office appeal

The Green Zone and Remember Me figures are “modest” for movies toplining Matt Damon and Robert Pattinson, the stars of the spectacularly successful The Bourne Identity and Twilight franchises. But that would be comparing apples and watermelons.

From the get-go, The Bourne Identity and The Twilight Saga have enjoyed wide brand recognition by way of bestselling novels. Besides, neither Green Zone nor Remember Me are feel-good fare.

Set in Iraq, the former is a political thriller that depicts a chunk of its American characters as corrupt jerks – hardly the sort of thing to whet the cinematic appetite of millions of popcorn-eating U.S. moviegoers. Remember Me, for its part, amounts to a low-budget indie drama with a much talked about feel-bad Sept. 11, 2001, finale.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ to rule, Matt Damon’s ‘Green Zone’ and Robert Pattinson’s ‘Remember Me’ to be ruled

March 12: Reviews for both Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, and Allen Coulter’s Remember Me, starring Robert Pattinson, have been mixed to negative. According to The Wrap, Universal is expecting Green Zone to open in the “upper teens.” If so, that will prove troublesome for the $100 million production.

In addition to Remember Me, Summit Entertainment is rereleasing at 349 venues The Hurt Locker, winner of six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow). The studio expects Remember Me to earn between $8 and $10 million – a worrisomely modest amount for a movie opening at more than 2,000 screens.

Robert Pattinson Remember Me movie weekendRobert Pattinson ‘Remember Me’ movie: Weekend flop, weekday okay.

‘Remember Me’: Weak weekend performer

At no. 12, Robert Pattinson’s Remember Me earned $1.93 million, down an acceptable 42 percent from last weekend. Curiously, when compared to most other movies Remember Me actually does better on weekdays than on weekends.

The romantic drama was no. 10 on Friday, but according to current estimates it had only a minor surge on Saturday and did poor business on Sunday. That has been the film’s pattern since it opened two weeks ago. A relatively weak weekend, but then on weekdays it goes up a spot or two on the chart.

To date, Remember Me has brought in $17.1 million, or about $1 million more than its production cost. It’ll probably earn another $3-$5 million in the next couple of weeks, ending its run in the low $20 million range. That’s not bad at all for a movie that at first looked like it was going to disappear within the week.

Movies in limited release: Kristen Stewart-Dakota Fanning rock biopic down alarmingly

A holdover from last week, the Kristen Stewart-Dakota Fanning rock biopic The Runaways dropped an alarming 43 percent, collecting only $455,000 at 237 North American screens this past weekend. Average per screen: a paltry $1,920.

Here’s wondering what’s going to happen when The Runaways opens wide in April. The film’s total to date is $1.58 million.

The silver lining: much like Robert Pattinson’s Remember Me, The Runaways will probably do much better on home video and pay-per-view. Twilight fans may not be willing to go to a movie theater and shell out $12 to watch Pattinson or Stewart in off-beat roles, but they may well be willing to catch them on the small screen.

Weekend debuts: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ & movie ticket price increases

March 26: How to Train Your Dragon opens today in North America. Expect box office receipts to soar even if actual attendance drops.

Thanks to the success of James Cameron’s Avatar and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, 3D venues have decided that the Great Recession is over, spring is here, and it’s time to cash in on the Good Times.

That means an additional $2 to $3 per ticket for 3D presentations – though the price hike will actually take place across the board. In other words, 2D movies will be affected as well.

At this rate, next spring a 2D matinee will cost about as much as an IMAX-3D ticket for Avatar last winter.

Avatar James Cameron Sam Worthington‘Avatar’ set with James Cameron and Sam Worthington.

Avatar inflation-adjusted domestic box office chart

James Cameron’s socially conscious sci-fi/fantasy/adventure mix Avatar hasn’t been the top grosser at the North American box office for nearly two months. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, Avatar was initially dethroned by the shirtless Channing Tatum-Amanda Seyfried tearjerker Dear John, followed by Garry Marshall’s all-star Valentine’s Day, the Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio thriller Shutter Island, and, for the last three weekends, Tim Burton’s 3D extravaganza Alice in Wonderland.

Avatar is still doing okay business, but it lost quite a bit of steam globally after Alice in Wonderland took hold of hundreds of IMAX and 3D screens. Adding insult to injury, Tim Burton’s fantasy adventure starring Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp broke Avatar‘s domestic IMAX record a mere two and a half months after the sci-fier’s release.

Avatar worldwide box office

Still, Avatar remains at the top of the all-time box office charts. As of this past Sunday, March 21, Avatar had grossed $736.9 million in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to $1.931 billion internationally (up to March 14) for a staggering worldwide total of $2.667 billion.

On the all-time, inflation-adjusted domestic box office chart, which is supposed to more accurately reflect the number of tickets a film has sold, Box Office Mojo estimates that Avatar is no. 14. (For comparison’s sake, James Cameron’s own Titanic is no. 6; Victor Fleming’s Gone with the Wind remains a distant no. 1.) Four weeks ago, Avatar was no. 15, right behind Richard Marquand’s 1983 Star Wars sequel Return of the Jedi. In other words, Avatar has gone up a single slot in a month.

The big blue Na’vi have just about had it, at least for the time being. In about a week or so, Avatar will probably be gone from North America’s top-ten box office chart.

And if things continue as they’ve been in recent weeks, Avatar will need at least two more weeks to reach the no. 13 slot. That’s currently occupied by William Wyler’s multiple Oscar-winning epic Ben-Hur, which raked in the equivalent of $745.7 million (in 2010 dollars) back in 1959. Slightly ahead is another Star Wars sequel, Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back (1980), with $747.1 million.

Chances are Avatar will end its initial run at no. 12, though with some luck it may reach no. 11. That slot is currently occupied by Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (which has had multiple rereleases since it first came out in 1961) with an adjusted cume of $760.3 million.

With $829.4 million at no. 10, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (which has also had multiple rereleases since 1937) is totally unreachable.

Avatar‘s only chance to surpass Snow White and thus become one of the all-time top-ten movies in North America is if Fox’s planned late-year rerelease becomes a monumental hit.

Now, if 3D/IMAX surcharges and currency fluctuations (for the international box office tallies) are taken into account – to reflect actual ticket sales – the overall picture would change quite dramatically. Avatar ticket costs have ranged from $9 to $16.50 or whereabouts, or between 28.5 percent and 40 percent more than ticket prices for 2D movies. [See Avatar vs. Titanic: International Box Office.]

Box office factors

Once again, bear in mind that the figures found on Box Office Mojo’s inflation-adjusted chart are approximations based on “average” ticket prices provided by the National Association of Theater Owners.

In Avatar‘s case, the 3D/IMAX premiums in North America can add between 25-40 percent to the sci-fier’s grosses when compared to 2D movies that sold the same number of tickets. According to The Hollywood Reporter, approximately 80 percent of Avatar‘s domestic gross and about two-thirds of its international gross have come from 3D and 3D/IMAX screenings.

So, out of its $736.9 million earned in North America as of Sunday, March 21, $147.4 million (20 percent) came from 2D venues and $589.5 million (80 percent) from 3D/IMAX sites charging premiums. Now, deduct one third of the latter amount and you’ll place Avatar on a par with 2D movies in numbers of tickets sold. Approximately $196.5 million would be taken out (of the $589.5 million figure), leaving Avatar with a 2D-equivalent total of $540.4 million.

Avatar, currently at #14 on Box Office Mojo’s inflation-adjusted chart, would fall behind nearly 20 more movies if 3D/IMAX surcharges are factored into its box office grosses. As I’ve explained before, Box Office Mojo’s inflation-adjusted chart is supposed to better reflect the number of tickets a movie has sold.

In (approximate) number of tickets sold, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic would then find itself at #32, a couple of million ahead of the 1984 supernatural comedy Ghostbusters with $538.2 million and slightly behind DreamWorks’ 2004 animated feature Shrek 2 with $540.6 million.

If things continue as they are, Avatar will likely end its initial run at #30, sandwiched between two old Disney releases: The Jungle Book (1967) with $560.7 million and Sleeping Beauty (1959) with $553 million.

Once again, bear in mind that those are approximations based on “average” ticket prices provided by the National Association of Theater Owners: $7.61 for 2010. An accurate calculation of a film’s popularity at the box office — as in, the number of tickets sold and its ratio to the population size at the time of the movie’s release — would be based on where the movie made most of its money, e.g., a top-dollar New York house, thousands of cheaper small-town theaters, 3D/IMAX screenings, or kiddie matinees.

Avatar‘s ticket prices, for instance, cost much more than the purported $7.61 “average” for 2010. In fact, most releases — whether new or old — that earn(ed) most of their revenues in major urban centers are at an advantage on those charts, whereas movies that did well in smaller towns or those made for children (lower prices for kids, matinees) are at a disadvantage.

It’s also worth remembering that population increases, changes in movie-going demographics, changes in movie distribution (movies didn’t open at 3,000 — or even 300 — screens until the mid-1970s), and the growth of entertainment alternatives (home video, cable television, pay-per-view options) should all be taken into consideration when comparing the box office success of movies from different eras. And that many of the movies found on Box Office Mojo’s inflation-adjusted chart had one or more rereleases throughout the years.

The effect of piracy on a movie’s box office performance remains highly debatable. It all depends on the type of movie (would you rather watch Avatar on your computer screen or at a 3D movie house?), the quality of the pirated material (high-def. copies vs. crummy reproductions), and where the copying is taking place (Beverly Hills or, say, Lagos or Kinshasa, where most people who’d buy 50-cent copies of Hollywood flicks wouldn’t be able to afford going to the movies, anyhow).

Avatar Pandora panoramic view‘Avatar’: Pandora panoramic view.

Feb. 11: estimates that Avatar is now #20 on the all-time domestic box office chart adjusted for inflation, or six slots higher than it was ten days ago. It’s just ahead of Disney’s Fantasia (1940), which has had numerous rereleases, and about $12 million behind George LucasStar Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).

If things continue as they’ve been – a decrease in revenues of around 15 percent each weekend – Avatar will gross another $4 million by Thursday night and about $19 million over the three-day weekend for a total of $23 million. By Monday, Avatar should be either #17 or #18 on the inflation-adjusted all-time box office chart, having passed both Star Wars and Mike NicholsThe Graduate, while (figuratively speaking) running neck and neck against Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993).

Still some ways ahead of Avatar will be Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), starring Harrison Ford (above); George Roy Hill’s Best Picture Oscar winner The Sting (1973), with Paul Newman and Robert Redford; Richard Marquand’s Return of the Jedi (1983), also with Harrison Ford; William Wyler’s multiple Oscar winner Ben-Hur (1959), with Charlton Heston; and another Harrison Ford movie, Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

If 3D/IMAX surcharges are factored in, Avatar would drop quite a bit on Box Office Mojo’s inflation-adjusted chart. As I’ve explained in the comments section of a previous Avatar post, the 3D/IMAX premiums can add somewhere between 25-30 and 40 percent to Avatar‘s grosses. Most other movies, including the vast majority of recent releases, don’t have that sort of advantage — certainly not to Avatar‘s extent, as 80 percent of its domestic gross has come from 3D and/or IMAX screenings.

Even if you opt for the lower end of the scale and subtract only 25 percent from Avatar‘s earnings – in order to better estimate where James Cameron’s sci-fi adventure would rank in number of tickets sold – the film would have earned to date (Feb. 9) $475.2 million, placing it at #51, ahead of Peter Jackson’s 2003 fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and a couple of million dollars behind Leo McCarey’s 1945 comedy-drama The Bells of St. Mary’s, made in the days when Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman were two of Hollywood’s top box office stars.

If you opt for a mid-level percentage, or about 33 percent, Avatar‘s “2D-equivalent revenues” would be $422.4 million, which would place it at #71, slightly ahead of David Lean’s 1962 political epic Lawrence of Arabia (above, and with which Avatar has thematic elements in common) and slightly behind Steven Spielberg’s 1977 sci-fi drama Close Encounters of the Third Kind (including the 1980 rerelease).

‘Repo Men’ ready for repossession

Starring two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law (supporting for The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999; lead for Cold Mountain, 2003) and Best Actor Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, 2006), Repo Men had a dismal opening at no. 4, with a mere $6.015 million and a meager $2,440 per-screen average.

Miguel Sapochnik’s futuristic action thriller won’t get even close to recovering its relatively modest $32 million budget – unless, that is, the international market (unlikely) and home video/pay-per-view come to the rescue.

That’s more bad news for Universal, whose $100 million Green Zone has thus far grossed an underwhelming $24.7 million, and hasn’t been doing all that great overseas either.

March 22 box office actuals: Repo Men drew in $6.12 million over the weekend. Don’t be too surprised if by next weekend the action thriller is nowhere to be found on the Top Ten chart.

The Ghost Writer Roman Polanski thriller Ewan McGregor title role‘The Ghost Writer’: Roman Polanski thriller with Ewan McGregor in the title role.

‘The Ghost Writer’ goes wider for last time?

As mentioned above, Roman Polanski’s thriller The Ghost Writer, winner of the Best Director Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, earned an estimated $2.1 million at the North American box office this weekend.

Playing at 819 theaters at the start of its fifth week – 595 more venues than last weekend – The Ghost Writer soared in terms of revenues, but disappointed in terms of per-screen average: only $2,564. Unless these screens are all located in really tiny theaters, that probably means the film’s expansion will end at those 819 sites.

Polanski’s latest has thus far brought in $6.8 million in North America. That’s not bad when compared to the director’s Oliver Twist ($2.08 million in 2005), but it isn’t great, either, especially considering the film’s remarkable first couple of weeks and the fact that it has received mostly glowing notices from U.S. critics.

For comparison’s sake, the Holocaust drama The Pianist, which earned Polanski the Best Director Oscar, grossed $31.5 million in 2002. The film’s star, Adrien Brody, took home that year’s Best Actor Oscar.

Roman Polanski movies better appreciated internationally

Like other previous Roman Polanski efforts, The Ghost Writer will likely do much better business overseas. To date, things stand at about 50-50. But bear in mind that Oliver Twist went on to gross more than $40 million internationally, while The Pianist took in $87.5 million.

The tale of a corrupt former British prime minister (based on Tony Blair) with lots of decomposing skeletons in his past, The Ghost Writer stars the following:

Remember Me actor Pierce Brosnan. Ewan McGregor. Kim Cattrall. Timothy Hutton. Olivia Williams. Tom Wilkinson. James Belushi.

Veteran Eli Wallach (Baby Doll, The Misfits).

The Runaways Kristen Stewart Joan Jett rocker‘The Runaways’ with Kristen Stewart as rocker Joan Jett.

Limited release: Kristen Stewart-Dakota Fanning biopic disappoints

The Kristen Stewart-Dakota Fanning star vehicle The Runaways, the IMAX documentary Hubble 3D, the Noah Baumbach-Ben Stiller collaboration Greenberg, the Swedish crime thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Raymond De Felitta’s comedy City Island, and Marco Bellocchio’s historical drama Vincere were the films opening in limited release this weekend in the United States.

Among these, The Runaways posted the highest gross, an estimated $803,000 – but the rock biopic also had the highest number of theaters by far: 244. As a result, its $3,291 per screen average was – also by far – the lowest.

Although not exactly disastrous, The Runaways’ average was below par especially for a movie in limited release. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the Floria Sigismondi-directed effort, which opens wide in April.

Image of Ewan McGregor in the Roman Polanski thriller The Ghost Writer: Guy Farrandis / Summit Entertainment.

Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett in The Runaways: Apparition.

Ruby Jerins and Robert Pattinson Remember Me images: Myles Aronowitz / Summit Entertainment.

Matt Damon Green Zone image: Jasin Boland / Universal.

Jeff Bridges Crazy Heart image: Lorey Sebastian / 20th Century Fox.

Avatar Pandora image: ILM / 20th Century Fox.

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mh -

>>>>>>>>>Remember Me did quite well actually.

No, it didn’t. It grossed a little over $8 million, when Summit was reportedly expecting between $8 and $10. In other words, the film opened at the lower end of already quite low expectations.

>>>>>>The budget for this movie was $16M and it made back over half that amount in its first three days of opening.

No, it didn’t. Box-office grosses don’t translate into studio earnings. Studios get roughly 50% of what a movie earns at the domestic box office.

>>>>>>>It played in fewer theatres but still had a per theatre average of $3,657. It actually did better than Green Zone, which had a budget of over $100M and went way over even that amount and so far only has a per theatre average of $3,003.

The fewer the number of theaters, the more likely it is for a movie to have a higher per-screen average. For an opening weekend, $3,657 isn’t good. Also, GREEN ZONE was **playing** at 3,003 theaters. Its per-screen average was $4,765, or more than $1,000 higher than that for REMEMBER ME.

>>>>>>>If you want to be critical of a movie, go start there.

I’m not being critical of anything. I’m just pointing out the facts.

For the film to break even at the worldwide box office it’ll likely have to earn anywhere between $30 and $40 million. I’m not sure that’ll happen.

But of course, as a result of its low cost REMEMBER ME will eventually end up in the black thanks to ancillary venues both in North America and overseas.

Dawn -

Remember Me did quite well actually. The budget for this movie was $16M and it made back over half that amount in its first three days of opening. It played in fewer theatres but still had a per theatre average of $3,657. It actually did better than Green Zone, which had a budget of over $100M and went way over even that amount and so far only has a per theatre average of $3,003. If you want to be critical of a movie, go start there.

gerry -

Your aunt may turn-out to be your cousin and your uncle.
forget dollar value and length of time. you forgot population. gwtw and avatar are in different categories to begin with. Avatar is a Disney movie for adults. Tree worshipping? give me a break!

mh -

>>>>>>>>>>>Ya. And if my aunt had balls. she’d be my uncle.

Actually, she might turn out to be your cousin.

>>>>>>>>>>Avatar is just over three months old. Let’s wait and see….let’s give it seventy plus years, the same as Gone With the Wind.

In other words, it’s ok for “Avatar” to be on the all-time box-office chart as long as it’s at the very top. If it isn’t — and it’s not even close when it comes to the number of tickets sold — then it’s no longer ok. That makes sense.

Minor detail: In all its releases and rereleases put together, GWTW didn’t get even close to playing at as many screens as “Avatar” on its initial run. Keep that in mind as well.

Also, “Gone with the Wind” found most of its audience on its initial run and two rereleases. “Avatar” will have its first rerelease later this year. Let’s see how well it does.

>>>>>>>>>>>I agree with the blahblahblah statement above.

Excellent! Thank you.

zoey -

Ya. And if my aunt had balls. she’d be my uncle.

Avatar is just over three months old. Let’s wait and see….let’s give it seventy plus years, the same as Gone With the Wind.

I agree with the blahblahblah statement above.

mh -

Blah, blah, blah… indeed.

This worldwide inflation-adjusted box-office chart is highly inaccurate as it doesn’t take into account dollar fluctuations which can add (or subtract) tens of millions to a movie’s box-office take.

And it certainly doesn’t give you an even remotely accurate picture of the # of tickets a film has sold.

Stef -

Blah, blah, blah…

Worldwide Avatar is #2 on the all-time box-office chart adjusted for inflation:
1. $3,429,000,000 Gone With The Wind 51% domestic
2. $2,670,000,000 Avatar 27%
3. $2,476,600,000 Titanic 32%

L Pate -

They all seem like they will be great movies. Haven’t seen any of them yet but am looking forward to them, especially Alice in Wonderland. I hear that is not for children or at least young children as it might scare them. Who would have ever thought they would have made an Alice in Wonderland movie for adults? Go figure.

Brisbane Dave -

I hope that the producers did a good job with the Alice in Wonderland movie and didnt wreak a classic movie!

Dennis -

Hey! Mia is great ))) dont touch her plz)))

Tina -

A very likeable movie-I thought Rob was great! He really is a very good actor. Hope to see him in a lot more movies!


The audience does not have to be in film school to instinctively know what looks good, what looks confusing and what looks just bad.
If the whole film was shot at a medium shot the ENTIRE way through, no matter what film, we would be bored out of our minds. Avatar has more wide shots, some medium and closeups, but if everything were shot at the same level and no one ever sees up or down, just straight on and you can only see shoulders and above…well it’s like watching the news channel, informative but boring.

Couldn’t pay you to watch what? I care why?
Didn’t I already say we have to know who goes to see these films, who are the demographics? Why yes I did. Thanks for reiterating something I already said. You are a parrot. If you don’t watch the film or understand the concept of it through either the original (book usually) or the screen writer’s direction and couldn’t even be paid to see it, then don’t even bother to post about films at all.
I have to stomach to watch even the worst of films just for critiquing and understanding.

TWILIGHT HYPE…Since when did I ever care for any tweenies to watch the Robbert Pattinson film? Or are you talking to someone else?
Yes, anyone who reads a story called Twilight from a woman who said it was all her dream with a guy she found hot, and calls Shakespeare a misogynist (which is not true) and hating misogynists but making her own hot guy a misogynist has some issues to work out, but that’s their life mystery which has nothing to do Robbert Pattinson.

Film school? Did I say film school? Nope, not at all.
Art School, honey, not film school. We just have the film majors over here (it is a form of art).
AP, I was talking to everyone in general, but you should probably clarify who you are speaking to, because some of your own mess is found through the incoherence of your comment.
Your beloved dark drama isn’t as big a hype as you want it to be and it’s not because of prejudice or because of Twilight tweenies or adults or anyone against it.
I could tell you the main reason it didn’t do so well, but we’ll go with the one that probably won’t bog people so much in America.
It’s a poor film. Perhaps a great story, but poor quality in general.
“Crappy animation usually can’t save a good story, but really good animation can save the worst story ever.”- teacher who shall go unnamed.
If it isn’t eye catching or beautiful, then this film will go to the flops 90 percent of the time.
So that dark indie drama you think is a “beautiful” piece of “art” isn’t so beautiful after all.

Val -

Remember Me is a fantastic movie and Rob was great in it. I hope it does really well in the UK and then on DVD. In my opinion it is a must see movie. Up until now it has seemed to hold it’s own in the top 10 being out with big movies like ALice that was in many more theaters than RM. My family Loved the movie. GO SEE IT!!

luvrob -

Rob is excellent in remember me…he deserves much more praises and awards than he’s got…someday all people will realize his valuable talents…go rob!!!we love you!!!!!

JQ -

Remember Me is not a perfect movie but it is much better than many mindless movies that are playing right now. I liked the story but didn’t like slow pace of it however the acting was excellent and made you care for characters. Young actors held their own alongside such veterans as Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates good acting and movies that make you feel and think afterward.

bettyel -

Remember Me was a wonderful movie. It has a good script, terrific acting, and a thought provoking theme which stays with the movie-goer long after exiting the theatre. Both males and females will enjoy it. Even though many of the critics gave it lukewarm reviews, the word of mouth has been excellent. I haven’t spoken to anyone who saw it and didn’t love it. Go see it before it leaves your neighborhood moviehouse. You won’t be sorry.

mh -

>>>>>>>>>>>The theater count for Remember Me can’t be correct. The new Miley Cyrus flick opened Wednesday yet there is no change shown for the current movies. That movie had to take some film’s place and judging by the major change for Remember Me I would bet it’s the one that lost screens.

You make a good point, but I checked both Box Office Mojo and, which show the # of theaters on Wednesday. Both showed the same # of screens for “Remember Me”: 1,935.

“Avatar,” “Our Family Wedding,” “Repo Men,” and “Green Zone” are four that lost hundreds of screens from Tuesday to Wednesday looking at the charts on both sites.

You could still be right. But if so, neither one of those two sites showed the decrease in # of screens for RM.

Sia -

It’s not Robert Pattinson IT’S THAT DUMB MOVIE. I’m sorry but that movie only appeals to the Rob fans. It just didn’t look good at all. Maybe another movie will get me to watch it.

Anne -

The theater count for Remember Me can’t be correct. The new Miley Cyrus flick opened Wednesday yet there is no change shown for the current movies. That movie had to take some film’s place and judging by the major change for Remember Me I would bet it’s the one that lost screens.

Den -

Thank God for RPattz! He is a breath of fresh air. He has the ability to be so different and so good in the movies he’s been in and the movies to come. It’s a bonus he’s unconventionally attractive.

renate -

Mr. Pattinson is here to stay. He is different to all the pretty faces and buff Bodies..he is a real Person . We relate to him because he can be the Boy next door, the gentle lover we all grave the Protecter and the Friend we want. This is what dreams are made off… and he feeds them well. A Guy who is not scarred to show his goofiness awkwardness ..Ect. The Faces he had in RM were the ashtray scene or when he sprays Ally in the kitchen or the look when he talks to his sister absofeakenlutly….

Roeben -

Well, the story of avatar is the same as the story dancing with wolves. It’s not very original. The graphics are good in Avatar, but that is all.
If you compare avatar with Alice in Wonderland, I must say I liked Alice in Wonderland more. It’s a nice sequel on the first disney animation Alice in Wonderland. Also the actors are better, and the story-line is nicely done. I vote for Alice in Wonderland.

Satine -

I don’t think Remember Me is a failure, I am uncertain what the expectations from Summit were about the film but I believe this film would have tanked if Robert was not in the movie. It is neither a feel good film or a drama with an ending to satisfy everyone but I believe it has heart and almost every person who has commented on the film takes away something different but profound. I truly believe this film will resonate with future generations and my only hope is that more people will appreciate the film once it is on DVD.

twmmy -

And it is 11th on the box office weekend list now, budapest time 03.29.2010. 8:00 a.m.

twmmy -

my bread and butter: my hobie and my 3 children. but i have to admit, i don’t like twilight too much, but the other movies of Rob Pattinson yes… they are amazing. And Rememer Me is a better movie for me than Love Story. Why ? Cause it makes the people thinking about theirs relationships with their familymembers, and about the life how they live it.And I don’tunderstand the perpetual debunking of the movie.By the way:have you seen the oscar winner another man made only 10 millions in 16 weeks?

ap -

If you touch people with your movie, you’ve done your job. The audience is not in film school so we don’t go to look for camera angles and all that jargon crap. You either like the film or you don’t. Every film has it’s audience. Some are more mainstream. You couln’d pay me to see a horror or sci-fi flick period. I don’t care who’s in it.

With the whole Twilight hype,a backlash is inevitable. (think Leo-post Titanic) that’s just how petty people are. It’s their nature & they can’t help it. I think Pattinson is getting the brunt of it. I mean people talk as though Remember Me cost 100 million dollars & if Pattinson fails, it’s all over. It’s a $16 million dark indie drama people. Get a grip. So the Twilighters are not flocking to it, big deal. I don’t think it’s their cup of tea anyway. Personally i think in the end that’s a good thing.

Sol -

Hey I am 41 years old, and I love Robert Pattinson, “his movie “Remember Me” was great and Robert And Emilie DeRavin did an excellent job. I just love him and I annot wait for Bel Ami and Water for Elephants!!!!!! Good job Rob!!! :)

MR -

Remember Me is doing quite well. I think it will be around for a longer time than some of these other movies in the top ten. And that is, because the movie’s characters are such good actors and actresses and the script evokes emphathy,since it deals with more ordinary problems in life, is a good love story and ties together with a tragic event, 9/11.

Val -

I too was shocked at the negative reviews of RM. I love the movie! My whole family did. i hope Rob knows his fans gave RM great reviews. I thought Rob was outstanding in the film. I love Rob and hope he has a big career ahead of him.

Linda -

I loved Remember Me - i think it is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I love Robert.I don’t mind admitting that I am close to middle aged and mildly obsessed with RP!

jen -

GEE. Not a Twilight fan. Not overweight. Not middle age. Loved “Remember Me”. As a matter of fact I didn’t know who Rob P. was until I went to this movie. GREAT MOVIE!!. Shocked at the negative comments but these comments are so easy to see though. They all seem to point at Mr. Pattinson.Why?His acting was incredible.IT is a great story. Very moving film. Great cast. It makes me question the people that are trying to make it a flop and put a negative view on it.And reporting things as fact that don’t exist.

an -

I’m 27, teaching at a music school and a fan of Robert Pattinson. I’m not married, nor overweight and not a Twilight fan. So where do I fit according to fanboy expertly knowledge?

%$@%!! refuse to admit that his film isn’t a flop.

mh -

>>>>>>>>>>>In case you missed it Michelle, Robert Pattinson fans are middle-age to elderly women. You are obsessed with him and report DAILY on this guy’s movie but seem to know nothing about his demographic.

LOL. Well, apparently I’m not the only one “obsessed” with Robert Pattinson. I mean, for you to know that I “report DAILY on this guy’s movie” you must be reading my pieces on Pattinson on a DAILY basis as well. Cool.

>>>>>>>>>>His bread and butter are cougars like you.

ROFL!! Whether intended or not, this was a great compliment. You’ve truly made my day. You’ve made MY WEEK!!

But cougar or panther or pussycat, I find Robert Pattinson a terribly appealing actor. That I must admit. If I and others like me — irrespective of age or gender or height or weight or nationality or … — are his “bread and butter,” then it’s all good.

mh -

>>>>>>>>I’ve wondered about Box Office Mojo’s “average” movie ticket price, and decided it must include second run theaters. Perhaps it even reflect the estimated number of tickets sold at matinees.

Apart from 2010, those estimates come from the National Association of Theater Owners. But even including small towns, second-run theaters, and matiness, $7.61 for 2010 or $7.50 (I think it was) for 2009 is much too low.

Those “averages” don’t truly reflect average ticket prices — at least not in terms of where most movies make money: major cities, first-run movies theaters, later afternoon/evening showtimes (except for kiddie flicks).

>>>>>>No need to get snarky.


Naomi -

“when compared to other movies Remember Me actually does better on weekdays than on weekends.”

In case you missed it Michelle, Robert Pattinson fans are middle-age to elderly women. You are obsessed with him and report DAILY on this guy’s movie but seem to know nothing about his demographic. His bread and butter are cougars like you.

mfan -

I’ve wondered about Box Office Mojo’s “average” movie ticket price, and decided it must include second run theaters. Perhaps it even reflect the estimated number of tickets sold at matinees. No need to get snarky.

Dee -

should be retitled … “Forget Me” …a mediocre film.

an -

Fanboy rents at it’s best.
Remember Me is an outstanding film and a surprising film among all the CGI crap and mindless comedies that are released.
Keep hating.
The film is not a flop, Green Zone is a FLOP as is your action hero Matt Damon.


Anything Robert Patterson, I am not moved by…honestly. And I hate Twilight just as much.
By the way I have no prejudice against a movie called Remember Me…I didn’t even know it was Robert Patterson until I read this thing.
I saw the trailer and went “Ugh…really? That’s already a stupid film.”
Sorry when you go to a school with film majors and one of your teachers pretty much teaches you how all stories in all movies go (there is an actual formula), then all movies become ruined.
We do not look at it the same way-we actually look out for camera shots, how long each shot was, what program was used for each, the sequential time for each shot to render… Shooting…everything. We even know the audience type that usually enjoys that too.
Repo Men’s performance was not embarrassing, but the ending truly bogged it down into making everyone think about the ending and only the ending and really not what the whole film was about.
As another film major said, “There’s almost never an ending that satisfies me.”
Repo Men was that ending. It just ended. Point plain blank.
There’s nothing about Remember Me that I can say I would truly ever like. The shot is already just…blegh.

ap -

oh please Remember Me had several things going against it. Several sites had leaked the Entire film including the effing ending long before it debut in theaters. Those twilighters love happy ending and they already found out their hero dies at the end. Are you really surprize they didn’t show up. The stupid critics were b!tching and moaning about 9/11 being exploited & plus they could not hide their hatred of pattinson no matter how hard they try. Combine that with Summits’ Horrible marketing campaign to pass it on as a chick flick which it isnt, I’m surprized this film made any money at all. It’s a very dark drama about familial relationships. Everybody I know who have seen the movie loved it and were moved by it. It’s a beautiful piece of art. It’s too bad most people won’t see it due to prejudice.

IK -

I agree with the first post. Instead of trying to defend Remember Me all of you RP fangirls should have gone out and watch it. With an over 2,000 screen release and the huge amount of promotion the movie had gotten, it did lousy at the box office especially compared to Twilight (it opened to what…a little over 8 Mio?). It cost 16 Mio to make and if it’s lucky it’ll make in the low 20 Mio… not a true flop but far from being a hit and definitely proof that RP can not sell a movie just based on his name unless it’s Twilight. I think RP is overexposed and overrated. A true indie hit doesn’t need close to 2,000 screens to make money…. like Paranormal Activity.

mh -

“Repo Men” was #4 last week; it’s #9 this week. It’s been out for 8 days. It’s an action thriller; it stars two established “name” actors; and it cost $30 million. It won’t get even close to earning back its cost. Perhaps, with a lot of luck, it’ll break even once worldwide ancillary revenues are tallied. With a **lot** of luck.

Also, it grossed $355 per screen on Friday — $2 less than “Remember Me.”

“Remember Me” is basically an indie, and one that isn’t all that commercial since its hero dies at the end. It stars an unproven, up-and-coming young actor. It’s been out for 15 days and it’s still among the top ten (or was on Friday). And it’ll in all likelihood earn its distributor a profit. Its budget was about half of that for “Repo Men.”

You may find it forgettable, but “Remember Me” was no embarrassment at the domestic box office. Unfortunately for Universal, “Repo Men” (and “Green Zone”) have been total flops, performing way below expectations.

toots -

Funny you rate Repo Men’s performance as “embarrassing” and put no such spin on the forgettable “Remember Me” BO performance. RP fangirl?

mh -

You make a good point. But unfortunately, studios and distributors only divulge their movies’ gross box-office receipts — not # of tickets sold.

Of course, as you pointed out, the best way to calculate the # of tickets a movie has sold is to find out the average ticket price per movie.

I’m just not sure where you found your figures for “Wimpy Kid” — surely lots of people watched in the evening as well.

Johnathan A. -

I saw the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and loved it. It was great entertainment, fun, and it reminded me of my middle school experience almost to the “T”. Everyone, young and old will enjoy this movie.

However, I am confused about these comparisons and ratings of box office receipts. How can you compare a movie like Diary of a Wimpy Kids box office receipts to say Alice in Wonderland or the Bounty Hunter. First of all Alice is 3D and in an average of 2-3 screens per movie theater and the average ticket cost of Alice is $12.50 to $14.50 per seat. Diary is on one screen in the theaters it’s in and the average ticket cost of Diary is $6.00- $8.00. Bounty Hunter gets $11.50 per ticket. Yet you compare their gross box office receipts equally? That doesn’t make sense, nor is it fair, it’s not apples and apples!

Since Diary brought in over $22,000,000 last weekend, that would be the equivelent of about almost $40,000,000 if they were getting $14.50 per ticket like Alice does. And Bounty Hunter would really have taken in only $12,000,000 if the tickets cost the same amount as Diary. So Wimpy would really be in the #1 position if they went by the number of people who went to see the movie and not by the amount collected. More people went to see the Diary of a Wimpy Kid than Alice in Wonderland….

This is not an accurate accounting of the success of a movie. Diary of a Wimpy Kid actually got more people into the theater than either Alice in Wonderland or The Bounty Hunter. So in reality, they are really the #1 movie.

tan young -

i was surprised how i enjoyed Bounty Hunter. had avoided it over the past weekend because of the reviews

zoey -

There’s really no comparison when it comes to the quality of these films.

The overall ensemble cast was far better in Avatar, and so is it’s screenplay. Quibble all you want. The story in Avatar is universal, and speaks to everyone, like it or not.

Alice will drop off. It isnt good enough, nor are the visuals, to sustain anything near the level of Avatar, the latter which is far superior in every way.

ViviLit -

Remember Me has made worldwide, until now, a little more than $ 19 million. And it still has to be released in UK and some other countries. So I guess tt will get the $30 million only with the total BO.

DVD will sell a lot, cause EVERY Robert fan that watched it and loved it will want it (and that’s a lot of people - according to BO Mojo 70% graded the movie A).

So, yes Summit will profit on it even with all the negative press propaganda and critic reviews. And let’s face it, that is mostly because of Rob presence. Without it the movie would probably be a major fail, like Green Zone (with acclaimed Matt Damon) and Repo Man (with Oscar winner Forest Withacker and acclaimed Jude Law).

Yeah, I guess we are learning that not the actor alone can make a movie a real success (If you have a very good ensemble you could be successful… But lately BO success has been more about effects and 3D than anything… Plot and acting? who cares about it when you can almost touch the pretty fake things on Alice or the pretty colorful plants and animals in Avatar :eye roll:)

Marcela -

Remember ME is an excellent movie!!!. It is definitely not a flop. The movie is beautiful and the performances are great.

Green Zone was a flop. It cost $100 million to make and according to “mh” the movie has to make what $150 million then to brake even, give me a break..

RM has already passed the $16 million figure and there are many countries that have not shown the movie yet like the UK.

So give Remember Me and Rober Pattinson a break. He was exceptional!!!!!

Richy -

Ironically Mia Wasikowska and Sam Worthington are both in the movie Rogue.

mh -

A few things:

GREEN ZONE’s dismal box-office performance has been discussed elsewhere in this blog. Universal has had two major losers in a couple of weeks. REPO MEN was the other.

Exhibitors usually keep about 45-50% of a film’s box-office grosses. That’s why “Remember Me” would have to gross about $30 million to break even.

Even more, actually, when you include distribution and advertising expenses.

But that’s where international box-office rentals (about 40% of total overseas grosses), and ancillary revenues (DVDs, Blu-Ray, pay-per-view, TV & cable, etc, both in the US and abroad) come into play.

mh -

The star, Mia Wasikowska, isn’t well known.
True, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, etc. helped. But “Avatar” has its own box-office star, too: James Cameron.

kes -

Why does Remember Me have to make $30mil when it only cost about $14mil to make?
It’s far from a flop it’s made it’s budget back already hasn’t it? And it hasn’t even opened in the UK and lost of other places yet.

It’s a beautiful movie with fantastic performances.

DN -

‘ little-known performers ‘? Johnney Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter little known?

anonymous -

Remember Me is a beautiful film I hope more people go and see it cuz if they don’t there really missing out on a special movie and a terrific performance by ROBERT PATTINSON.

Sue -

You can’t count Remember Me out yet. It’s not done with all its premieres and considering how it’s done so far versus some of what else is out there it is a LONG way from a flop.

Angela -

Seems that no one talks about Green Zone. Now that’s really a flop! The production cost was $100K and so far the movie has only earned $46K worldwide. They will have to sell a lot of DVDs to get even.



mh -

That’s correct.
But it’s good to remember that most movies don’t recover their production and marketing costs at the North American box office.
“Remember Me” has been a disappointment, that’s undeniable, but it’s not a real flop.
The film will eventually earn Summit a profit — after international box-office revenues, pay-per-view, cable and TV showings, and home video sales are accounted for.

Nina -

Remember Mr still has to make 30 million to break even. That’s not gonna happen! The studios only bank around 55%. So, look at this way Summit spent 16 million and has made back around 8 million. All indications are that this is definitely a flop for Robert.

Andrea -

I really, really liked the movie, not going in expecting much but mushy romance, but I love how it wasn’t hyped up as the event to sell it, but the movie actually happened just like in real life, totally unexpected and i think about it several times a day now, how every decision that we make seems trivial but is consequential. i think it was exceptionally well done, and really brought the reality home.

mh -

>>>>>>>>Another lame attempt to make Avatar look less successful than it is.

Lame is right. But more like another lame attempt to make “Avatar” look more successful than it actually is.

Re: rereleases. That’s mentioned in the piece. If you didn’t read it before commenting, that’s not my responsibility.

>>>>>>>>>>That means if your movie is re-released 5 or 10 years later, the amount of money earned per ticket is more (b/c of inflation), plus the movie gets credited additional dollars to it’s total with inflation calculated on top of that.

Yes, but you’re wrong anyhow. Box Office Mojo calculates the inflation-adjusted ticket costs for the year of the rerelease. Now, *that* you omitted from your tirade.

So, if “Snow White” made $100 million in 1970, that amount will be added to the film’s inflation-adjusted total as **1970** $100 million. That should be obvious. Else, “Snow White” would have made a couple of trillion dollars on that chart.

>>>>>>>>In fact, the only post 80’s movies on that list above Avatar are 1) The Empire Strikes back … 2) ET, & 3) Titanic (will be re-released in 2012).

That’s because more people went to the movies in the past. Four billion movie tickets were sold a year in the 1940s. (,5117412) Today they’re lucky if they sell 1.4 billion even though the population of the United States is more than twice what it was then.

>>>>>>>>>So in summary, to prove that Avatar is less successful, the author has needed to…

The author has needed to do only one thing. Come up with best possible approximation for the # of tickets the movie has sold (in current dollar terms). That’s what the inflation-adjusted chart is all about. That’s it.

>>>>>3) claim that downloads which weren’t available for any other film ahead of Avatar on the list had no impact which it most certainly would have, particularly for people afraid of 3D hurting their eyes,

C’mon, you must be able to come up with better arguments than this.

>>>>>>>>>4) the market has changed and today there are more big budget movies knocking Avatar out of cinemas such as Alice,

Clearly, you don’t understand the way the market worked 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 years ago if you believe big studio movies are something new. Take a look at the movies released in 1939 or 1940 or 1950 or 1960 or 1970 and you’ll find lots and lots of big, big movies that were very successful. (And some that weren’t.)

>>>>>>>>>5) today people also have to content with television, pay TV and DVDs which is an option but I suppose the author would discount this as not applying to Avatar

You should read the article before commenting.

Jay -

Another lame attempt to make Avatar look less successful than it is. The author failed to mention that on that same Box Office Mojo page the author quote for unadjusted inflation it says:

“Most pre-1980 pictures achieved their totals through multiple releases, especially Disney animated features which made much of their totals in the past few decades belying their original release dates in terms of adjustment. For example, Snow White has made $118,328,683 of its unadjusted $184,925,486 total since 1983.”

That means if your movie is re-released 5 or 10 years later, the amount of money earned per ticket is more (b/c of inflation), plus the movie gets credited additional dollars to it’s total with inflation calculated on top of that.

In fact, the only post 80’s movies on that list above Avatar are 1) The Empire Strikes back (which is only $10M ahead of Avatar and will be caught, plus that was re-released in the 90s with extra scenes), 2) ET, & 3) Titanic (will be re-released in 2012).

So in summary, to prove that Avatar is less successful, the author has needed to: 1) rely on data that is adjusted for inflation in it’s release year when almost all the movies ahead were re-released years later, 2) discount Avatar’s 3D surcharge which is valid considering it is adding value the other movies aren’t, 3) claim that downloads which weren’t available for any other film ahead of Avatar on the list had no impact which it most certainly would have, particularly for people afraid of 3D hurting their eyes, 4) the market has changed and today there are more big budget movies knocking Avatar out of cinemas such as Alice, 5) today people also have to content with television, pay TV and DVDs which is an option but I suppose the author would discount this as not applying to Avatar, 6) excluded the fact that it hasn’t even been released for 100 days yet so this article is a bit pre-mature, 7) exclude the fact that it has earned more than twice that of any film in history worldwide.

In 7-10 days this article will be redundant anyway as Avatar is on track to take Ben Hur despite all the dodgy inflation accounting. Plus, like all the great movies on that list Avatar is set for re-release later this year with additional scenes. It may very well be re-released again decades later too when movie prices are $37 each and have it’s total figure adjusted from amounts of $7.61. That would really stuff the argument up (when it’s finally competing on the same field). What will Avatar haters use as evidence for how unsuccessful it is then?

bettyel -

Maybe word of mouth is getting around and people are now going to see Remember Me. It is an excellent movie, good script, well enacted, engrossing and it leaves you with lots to think about after you leave the theater. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure you go soon before it is no longer playing. You won’t be sorry.

Stef -

Worldwide Avatar is #2 on the all-time box-office chart adjusted for inflation:

1. $3,429,000,000 Gone With The Wind 51% domestic
2. $2,670,000,000 Avatar 27%
3. $2,476,600,000 Titanic 32%

renate -

Alice is so confusing and BAD

bettyel -

Those who haven’t seen it are missing a really good films in Remember Me. It is engrossing, well enacted and gives the viewer a lot to ponder after it ends. Go see it and take your male and female friends. I guarantee they will enjoy it.

Terry -

All should be great movies anyway….

Ricky Bu -

This movie could have done even better if more theatres had invested in the 3D technology, which was the original plan. But because of the financial crists, a lot got cold feet, resulting far fewer theatres with the required equipment than Cameron had hoped for. Since about 80% of the tecket money comes from the 3D theatres, imagine what would have happened if the transition had went more smoothly.

Anyway, because of Avatar’s success, they will speed up the process. Which says something about its influence.

The movie will probably end up as number 15 on the list. You have to go back to 1997 and Titanic to find a movie that did it better. And before that, to 1983 and The Return of the Jedi. If excluding the movies with more than one release, you even need to go back to 1975 and Jaws to find the second oldest on the list. And 1965 before that.
So what movie is going to beat Avatar? I have no idea, but it can take a while, and it is going to be some very impressive stuff.
Now when people have seen what performance capture, CGI and 3D can do, it will no longer be anything new, and these kind of movies will probably not grap quite as much as attention in the future as they do now. Just as color and sound no longer makes people amazed like they once did.

The next step will probably be 3D without glasses. And after that, holographic movies, which will be the final major leap in the visual evolution of movies.
As for sound, imagine sound canons that are able to shoot “sond rays” to the area on the screen where a sound is supposed to come from, like a character’s mouth, and the sound is then reflected from the screen and carried to the audience. That way, the direction of the movies would be far more realistic.

Tony Robertson -

I have seen several articles about the whole inflation thing but see how ify it gets when you have to guess length of release, cable and dvd eating into time at the box office. Growth of population. It just really becomes a guessing game with all the what ifs. I just don’t see how you can compare movies from 40’s years ago and further back. Really if you think about it when the talk about the top pop songs they really don’t go back further than the rock era and a lot of times not back further than 1970. There is that obvious break at 1955 when the rock era began.

Reason, people just are not interested in something that far back for the most part. Even if you put say Gone With the Wind at the top what would that accomplish. Probably not much. Would people start demanding a return to that style of movie, I doubt it. Even the sequel to it Scarlett did only so so. You didn’t see a mad rush of people to see it like when more recent sequels were made like Phantom Menace. I just don’t see the advantage to dig up old movies. Those who do care know which ones they are, all the rest of the population will continue to ignore them.

Orangino -

Fact: I would pay 17.50$ to go see Avatar many times over.
Fact: I would NEVER pay that much to watch Gone With The Wind.
Fact: Avatar is the highest grossing movie of ALL time.

Leave it at that, money matters more than numbers of butts in a seat.

peanuts -

Avatar’s worldwide box office gross has been due to a “perfect storm” of events; a weak dollar, inflated ticket prices and lack of competition. If it had opened last summer, it would have had to contend with a new big release weekend after weekend. Also Avatar has only sold two thirds of the tickets that Titanic sold. Fewer people (relatively speaking) are paying more to see it. In other words, Avatar’s box office is giving the misleading impression that it is the most popular film of all time, when the reality is quite different.

mh -

“Avatar’s” worldwide performance in truly impressive. But it’s good to remember a few things:

About 60% of the film’s take overseas came from 3D/IMAX theaters that charge extra. That can really “inflate” a film’s revenues (in relation to the # of tickets sold).

The US dollar has been in the dumps for some time. For example, back in 1998, when “Titanic” came out, the US dollar was very strong. That makes a *huge* difference when foreign currencies are converted into dollars.

Top markets Russia and especially China were mostly unavailable to Hollywood movies until a few years ago.

Worldwide box-office figures for older movies is either unavailable or - often - come from unreliable sources.

Many (perhaps most) countries report # of tickets sold. That’s the best way to estimate a film’s success. Someone has posted a comment — some other AVATAR post in this blog — which included such a list for Australia. There were movies such as “The Sound of Music” and “Gone with the Wind” on the list — movies that you won’t find anywhere near the top on Box Office Mojo’s worldwide charts.

Len S. -

Taking inflation into account would certainly explain the fact that according to the charts 9 out of the top 10 worldwide money making films date from the year 2000 or later. Out of the top 10, only Titanic from 1997 (#2) on the list was made earlier than the year 2000. However, that being said, with the exception of Titanic, Avatar has taken in more than double the amount of any of the other films on the top 10 worldwide list. Therefore even taking into account “inflated” prices, Avatar’s box office performance has been remarkable. Avatar even has a chance to earn more internationally than the #2 (Titanic) and #3 (Lord of The Rings ROTK) films combined. Most impressive !

Federico -

I think it would be worth noticing that ALL the existing charts are DOMESTIC (i.e. north american), while Avatar is primarly an INTERNATIONAL success, over 70% of its gross comes from foreign contruies.

Although it is difficoult to make comparison adjusted by inflaction based on worlwide sellings, if you simply compare the percentage of domestic/worldwide sellings of all the movies in the 20 top seller adjusted by inflaction chart, you will find that Avatar has rougly tied Star Wars and that the only movies still haed of it are Titanic and GwtW.

To tie these two Avatar will need to make rougly 3 bilions $, which is not at all impossible IMHO

mh -

>>>>>>>>>If you really want to do a fair comparison, you need to account for the decrease in popularity of movies overall. For example, calculate Avatar ticket sales as a percentage of total ticket sales for the year and do the same for other movies you want to compare.

I’d disagree that movies are less popular than they used to be. Moviegoing may be less popular, but that’s different. People still watch lots of movies at home. And I *do* mention that in my article.

As for the “percentage of ticket sales” comparison, that’s an interesting idea though I’m afraid it would probably be “misleading” as well. Studios released many more “big” movies in the past than they do today.

As a result, ticket-sale percentages of major movies released in 1930 or 1940 or 1950 or even 1960 would probably be smaller than today. Release patterns were also different. Movies didn’t open in 500 theaters — let alone 3,500. So, the time period (for tallying tickets sold) would have to be different as films opened very slowly. But that’s something worth looking into.

mh -

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Your numbers are off. Box office mojo calculated out the 3d/IMAX ticket prices about a week ago and estimated up to that point it had sold about 60 million tickets. Using the $7.35 average, Avatar would have made atleast $440 million if everyone did not pay the extra charge for 3d/IMAX tickets.

No, the numbers aren’t “off.” At least no more “off” than anyone else’s. Try handing out $10 at the box office in just about every theater in any major urban center and see if you’ll be able to buy a ticket for “Avatar.”

Box Office Mojo’s Brandon Grey used a $10 average for the 3D screenings. He does explain that’s just an approximation based on his observations of ticket prices nationwide. I’d have used something closer to $12 based on my own observations, especially considering that the “average” ticket price — as published by the National Association of Theater Owners — is way too low to being with. “Avatar’s” 2D screenings don’t cost $7.61 on average, you can bet on that. But as Grey explains in his piece, it’s better to have an approximation than no idea whatsoever of how many tickets a movie has sold.

Here’s the Box Office Mojo piece:

Dennis -

Money is money - no matter when collected! The success of Avatar is amazing $2.3 Billion and counting in 57 days! This record will not be broken anytime soon.

TM -

“Though imperfect, inflation-adjusted charts are the best way to calculate how many tickets a movie has sold. *That* is the only true measure of a film’s popularity **at the box office**.”

You probably don’t realize, but what you are doing is just as misleading as comparing unadjusted box office in that you assuming one ticket sold today is just as meaningful as one ticket sold 10, 20, 30 years ago. A ticket sold today is actually much more meaningful simply because there are so many other entertainment options out there. It is *harder* to get that sale today than it was in the past.

If you really want to do a fair comparison, you need to account for the decrease in popularity of movies overall. For example, calculate Avatar ticket sales as a percentage of total ticket sales for the year and do the same for other movies you want to compare.

Rich -

Your numbers are off. Box office mojo calculated out the 3d/IMAX ticket prices about a week ago and estimated up to that point it had sold about 60 million tickets. Using the $7.35 average, Avatar would have made atleast $440 million if everyone did not pay the extra charge for 3d/IMAX tickets.

mh -

What you say is absolutely true, and it’s mentioned in my article.

armand -

Well, sure the number of tickets sold show how many people go to see the movie. But… times have changed. Nowadays there are a lot more home entertainment options and people generally do not go to the cinema that often as back in the day…

mh -

No, I’ve nothing against “Avatar.” I’m just trying to put things in perspective. Those who prefer the studio hype or inflated box-office charts are free *not* to read those “inflation adjusted” posts. (I’ll be posting another one soon.)

So, perhaps GWTW would have flopped today. Perhaps not. Only someone who has never watched GWTW, one of the prototypes of the Hollywood blockbuster, would find it “arthouse.” But who knows, perhaps “Avatar” would have been a monumental flop back in 1939. Either way, that’s not what these posts are about.

Though imperfect, inflation-adjusted charts are the best way to calculate how many tickets a movie has sold. *That* is the only true measure of a film’s popularity **at the box office**. And I can’t understand why some refuse to acknowledge such an obvious fact.

JonDoe -

I think its quite obvious by now that this website has some sort of bone to pick with Avatar. Why is Alt Film Guide so obsessed with the incredibly inane adjusted box office numbers? Avatar is surviving and making money in its own time, just as Titanic and Star Wars did. Who knows if they would’ve made as much money today as they did back then…certainly Gone With the Wind would flop, as it would be considered “boring” and “art house”.


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