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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.

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  • 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.

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