As we head into the last month of the year and take a look at the new theatrical release sweepstakes — where everyone’s a winner, if they gross over $25 million (no matter how bad the reviews) — there are strong similarities between 2012 and the peak release year of 2008.
It should be noted that the 2012 count always runs behind those of comparative periods. The numbers from previous reporting periods are final results, whereas the current year is still in flux as new films continue to expand their box office revenues.
For example, the Argo domestic box office count sits at $98.1 million as of Nov. 25, but the film will certainly move into the top tier ($100 million-plus) when all is said and done.
The same holds true for the Red Dawn remake, which has ticket sales of $21.7 million, it will hit the $25 million mark.
With these real time adjustments, the 11 month count for 2012 yields 94 films in the top two boxes ($25 million-plus; $100 million-plus) and 2008, during the same period, scored 95. 2008 finished with 621 “reported” new theatrical releases (there were certainly additional, mainly self-distributed, films with one and two theatre breaks were no box office totals were recorded — that happens) and 2012 is tracking at 628 at this point.
No matter how you cut it, the number of “hit” theatrical films generated each year — and by “hit,” we mean films grossing at least $25 million — is always in the 100 film range (give or take). It is a mechanical thing — only so many weeks; only so many theatres … only so many seats and only so many consumers available to fill them.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report