90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, June 6, 2013

Can Box Office Winners And Losers Be Predicted?

Actors Jaden Smith and Will Smith are pictured in a promotional image from "After Earth." (Columbia Pictures)

Actors Jaden Smith and Will Smith are pictured in a promotional image from “After Earth.” (Columbia Pictures)

Summer movies are the realm of the giant blockbuster, but can you tell by looking at a movie’s budget whether it will be a box office hit?

Linda Holmes, host of NPR’s pop culture blog Monkey See says no — but studio executives are counting on making back that money.

“When you see a company spending $130 million, which is what ‘After Earth’ cost — that’s actually relatively modest for a Blockbuster, believe it or not — they’re not looking for an ordinary box office experience. They’re looking for a gigantic hit,” Holmes said.

Holmes says there are usually both thematic and budgetary clues when studios expect big business at the box office.

“You’re looking at a potential planned blockbuster whenever you see lots and lots of explosions and big famous people and sometimes an attachment to a franchise,” she said.

Studios also worry about their films appealing to foreign audiences.

“‘The Avengers’ was the number one movie in America last year and it made about 60 percent of its money overseas.”

Guest:

  • Linda Holmes, host of NPR’s pop culture blog Monkey See.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com PolishBear

    Over time I’ve pretty much lost my taste for Will Smith. His work in “Men in Black” and “Independence Day” was fun, and “Six Degrees of Separation” proved he could do a serious dramatic role as well. But as he started fancying himself as the next big action hero I began to lose interest, and I despised “I, Robot.”

    When I first saw a teaser for “After Earth” a few months ago, I could smell box office poison all over it. It looked like little more than a CGI-driven, father/son vanity project. That it is tanking critically and commercially comes as no surprise.

    • methos1999

      Not to mention that it was directed by M. Night Shamilan… who hasn’t directed a success in a while. But I had the same reaction as you. In fact I wasn’t even aware it was out already until listening to this program.

  • J Frog

    “Fast and Furious 6″ is the perfect film for the twitter era….whole script 140 characters.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 19 4 Comments

Abandoned Homes In Buffalo, N.Y. Selling For $1

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1, as part of the "Urban Homestead Program."

August 19 Comment

A Look At U.S. Military Options In Iraq

Retired Admiral William Fallon, who was head of United States Central Command during the Iraq War, discusses the current conflict.

August 18 37 Comments

More Americans Are Flocking To The South

A New York Times interpretation of census data finds the South is seeing significant in-migration for the first time.

August 18 10 Comments

As Pot Laws Relax, Restrictions On Research Still Tight

The firing of a University of Arizona doctor highlights the complexity and politics of marijuana research.