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.

July 23 Comment

DJ Sessions: Latin Alternative From Los Angeles To Venezuela

KCRW's Raul Campos introduces us to some groups he came across while hosting the 15th annual Latin Alternative Music Conference.

July 23 6 Comments

ISIS Forces Christians To Flee Iraq City Of Mosul

The militant group's threat -- convert, leave or die -- has forced most Christians in Mosul to leave.

July 22 3 Comments

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

DNA from the boy buried 12,600 years ago shows his people were ancestors of many of today's native peoples.

July 22 Comment

After Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Closer Look At Planning Flight Paths

Retired pilot John Ransom discusses how to factor in war zones, and how the decision is made to close an airspace.