90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.
Robin and Jeremy

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

April 16 7 Comments

Oklahoma City Bombing Juror Looks Back

Mike Leeper was Juror No. 5 in Timothy McVeigh's trial for the 1995 terror attack that killed 168 people.

April 15 Comment

‘Institutional Memory’ Of U.S. Senate To Retire

Donald Ritchie has spent nearly 40 years keeping track of Senate lore and delivering weekly historical minutes to Senate lawmakers.

April 15 Comment

Watson Can Win ‘Jeopardy!’ But Can It Cook?

IBM has created a new cooking app called Chef Watson. Eliza Strickland threw a dinner party to find out if it works.

April 14 122 Comments

Turkish Professor Concludes There Was An Armenian Genocide

While Turkey denies the killings were genocide, a Turkish professor explains how she arrived at the opposite conclusion.