News

Studio Report: Fox Dominates the First Quarter of 2010

by Ray Subers
 

 
April 2, 2010

The box office surged in the first quarter of 2010, and, thanks to Avatar, 20th Century Fox was the top-grossing distributor by a long shot. Here's an analysis of how Fox and each studio in the top ten fared for the first quarter:

1. 20th Century Fox
Total Gross: $742.4 million
Market Share: 28.1 percent
Movies tracked: 6
2010 Movies: 3
% Change from Last year: +149.3 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): +2
Rank change (last quarter): +2

Q1 Analysis: Most of 20th Century Fox's $742.4 million tally came from James Cameron's box office behemoth Avatar, which accounted for $457.5 million or 62 percent. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, another 2009 holdover, grossed $98.4 million of its $219.1 million total in 2010. Fox's 2010 release, though, haven't been as impressive: Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief reached a decent-but-not-great $86.3 million, while Tooth Fairy petered out at $58.4 million. Even Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which surprised many when it opened to $22.1 million, slowed quickly, finishing the quarter with $39.5 million. Overall, Fox's first quarter grosses were up nearly 150 percent from the same time last year, when Taken led the way with $137.5 million.

Q2 Releases: Date Night (April 9), Marmaduke (June 4), The A-Team (June 11), Knight & Day (June 25)

2. Warner Bros.
Total Gross: $472.1 million
Market Share: 17.8 percent
Movies tracked: 14
2010 Movies: 5
% Change from last year: +0.3 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): -1
Rank change (last quarter): -1

Q1 Analysis: Thanks to two strong 2009 holdovers and a timely ensemble movie, Warner Bros. finished the first quarter with $472.1 million, good for second place. Valentine's Day led the way, opening with $56.3 million (a President's Day Weekend record), but it fell hard and finished the quarter with $109.9 million. Close behind was 2009 holdover Sherlock Holmes with $106.4 million in the first quarter of 2010, followed by The Blind Side, which racked up $58.7 million of its $255.2 million total in 2010. As far as other 2010 releases go, The Book of Eli performed well, grossing $94.1 million, while Edge of Darkness and Cop Out were relatively modest, finishing the quarter with $43.2 million and $43.7 million, respectively.

Q2 Releases: Clash of the Titans (April 2), The Losers (April 23), A Nightmare on Elm Street (April 30), Sex and the City 2 (May 27), Splice (June 4), Jonah Hex (June 18)

3. Walt Disney
Total Gross: $369.3 million
Market Share: 14 percent
Movies tracked: 6
2010 Movies: 3
% Change from last year: +103.8 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): +4
Rank change (last quarter): +1

Q1 Analysis: Alice in Wonderland accounted for over 80 percent of Walt Disney Pictures' $369.3 million first quarter total. Buoyed by the inflationary power of 3D pricing and its Johnny Depp-Tim Burton branding, Alice had the sixth-biggest opening ever ($116.1 million), and, in just 27 days of Q1, it raced to $299.5 million. When in Rome, though, didn't take off and made less in its entire run ($32.4 million) than Alice did on its first day. 2009 holdover The Princess and the Frog tallied $28.3 million of its $104.4 million total in 2010. Overall, Disney more than doubled its take through the same time last year, when Race to Witch Mountain was its top earner with $54.3 million.

Q2 Releases: The Last Song (March 31), Oceans (April 22), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (May 28), Toy Story 3 (June 18)

4. Paramount
Total Gross: $300.3 million
Market Share: 11.3 percent
Movies tracked: 6
2010 Movies: 3
% Change from last year: +5.5 percent
Rank change (year-to-year):
Rank change (last quarter): +3

Q1 Analysis: Paramount Pictures saved themselves from a terribly slow first quarter when they moved Shutter Island from Oct. 2009 to Feb. 2010. The Martin Scorsese-directed period thriller opened to $41.1 million on its way to $121.6 million, easily making it Paramount's highest-grossing Q1 movie. How to Train Your Dragon was Paramount's other big opener, grossing $57.9 million in its first five days in theaters, though the majority of its earnings will be made in Q2. Debuting in limited release in 2009, The Lovely Bones grossed $43.7 million when it went nationwide in January, which wasn't that bad for a critically-maligned movie about the rape-murder of a teenage girl. Up in the Air, another 2009 release, made $50.1 million of its $83.8 million total in 2010. Finally, She's Out of My League was mostly out of moviegoers minds, tallying a modest $26.8 million in its first 20 days.

Q2 Releases: Iron Man 2 (May 7), Shrek Forever After (May 21)

5. Universal
Total Gross: $205.1 million
Market Share: 7.8 percent
Movies tracked: 7
2010 Movies: 4
% Change from last year: +56.9 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): +3
Rank change (last quarter): +1

Q1 Analysis: While Universal Pictures' $205.1 million first quarter take was actually up from last year, it's easy to imagine they were aiming a little bit higher. The studio's highest-grossing movie was a 2009 holdover: It's Complicated made $72.4 million of its $112.7 million total in Q1. Leap Year was Universal's first disappointment of 2010, grossing a mere $25.9 million. The Wolfman opened to a solid $31.5 million, but it went the way of most werewolf movies and wound up with $62 million. Green Zone managed a weak $31.6 million total, which was a fraction of any Bourne movie. The Wolfman and Green Zone's performances look even worse when taking in to account that their production budgets were close to $100 million each. Lastly, Repo Men was another disappointment, grossing a meager $12.3 million in its first two weeks, though its sci-fi chase sub-genre has rarely been successful.

Q2 Release: Robin Hood (May 14), MacGruber (May 21), Get Him to the Greek (June 4)

6. Sony
Total Gross: $178.4 million
Market Share: 6.7 percent
Movies tracked: 8
2010 Movies: 3
% Change from last year: -41.5 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): -4
Rank change (last quarter): -4

Q1 Analysis: Sony Pictures is the only one of the big six studios to make less in the first quarter of 2010 than it did in 2009. The main difference is that last year Sony had Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which was a huge hit with $142.6 million that quarter. Sony's 2010 releases did fare decently, led by Dear John. The romance opened to $30.5 million, giving it the distinction of being the movie that ended Avatar's reign, and finished the quarter with $79.4 million. The Bounty Hunter grossed $20.7 million in its opening weekend, and has played pretty well since with $41.6 million in 13 days. Meanwhile, horror thriller Legion banked $40.2 million which, while not exactly impressive, isn't bad when factoring in its estimated $26 million budget.

Q2 Releases: Death at a Funeral (April 16), The Karate Kid (June 11), Grown Ups (June 25)

7. Lionsgate
Total Gross: $85.8 million
Market Share: 3.2 percent
Movies tracked: 5
2010 Movies: 3
% Change from last year: -54.8 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): -2
Rank change (last quarter): +2

Q1 Analysis: None of Lionsgate's first quarter releases impressed, beginning with vampire thriller Daybreakers, which opened with $15.2 million but fizzled out at $30.1 million. The Spy Next Door also underperformed, finishing with $24.3 million. Lionsgate's big disappointment, though, was From Paris with Love, which made less in its entire run ($24.1 million) than its director's (Pierre Morel) 2009 hit Taken earned in its opening weekend ($24.7 million).

Q2 Releases: Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (April 2), Kick Ass (April 16), Killers (June 4)

8. Overture Films
Total Gross: $65.4 million
Market Share: 2.5 percent
Movies tracked: 4
2010 Movies: 2
% Change from last year: +273 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): +6
Rank change (last quarter):

Q1 Analysis: Founded less than four years ago, Overture Films is still in its infancy; however, it did manage to produce a solid hit last year with Law Abiding Citizen ($73.4 million). Its two first quarter 2010 releases, though, didn't exactly light up the box office. The Crazies opened to $16.1 million on its way to $37.9 million through the end of March, which was in the range of similar horror remakes. Though it looked like the sequel to 2001 hit Training Day (with the same director, Antoine Fuqua, and same actor, Ethan Hawke), cop drama Brooklyn's Finest managed a weak $26.5 million.

Q2 Releases: None currently scheduled.

9. Fox Searchlight
Total Gross: $59.1 million
Market Share: 2.2 percent
Movies tracked: 4
2010 Movies: 2
% Change from last year: -67.8 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): -3
Rank change (last quarter): +1

Q1 Analysis: Fox Searchlight was down 68 percent from the same quarter last year mostly due to not having a Slumdog Millionaire-like surprise hit in their lineup. Crazy Heart rode Jeff Bridges Oscar buzz to a solid $37.5 million, impressive considering the budget was a mere $7 million. Our Family Wedding, on the other hand, disappointed with a $7.6 million opening weekend on its way to just $17.6 million through the end of the quarter. Fox Searchlight also released Bollywood co-production My Name is Khan, which made just under $4 million in limited release.

Q2 Releases: Just Wright (May 14)

10. Summit
Total Gross: $43.4 million
Market Share: 1.6 percent
Movies tracked: 5
2010 Movies: 2
% Change from last year: -57.1 percent
Rank change (year-to-year): -1
Rank change (last quarter): -5

Q1 Analysis: Summit Entertainment, flush with cash thanks to the Twilight series, has moved from small boutique studio to borderline serious mainstream contender. The first quarter of 2010, though, didn't do much to further this notion. Twilight star Robert Pattinson appeared in his first non-vampire, non-wizard role in a nationwide release, but his legion of rabid teenage girl fans forgot to follow: Remember Me grossed a meager $17.6 million through the end of March. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, after burning out quickly in 2009, still grossed $12.1 million of its $296.6 million total in 2010. Meanwhile, The Ghost Writer looked promising in its first four weeks of limited release, but it floundered in its nationwide expansion on Mar. 19 and has only grossed $9.7 million thus far.

Q2 Releases: Furry Vengeance (April 30), Letters to Juliet (May 14), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (June 30)

Related Charts
Studio Market Share
Q1 Calendar Grosses
2010 Calendar Grosses



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