Comics Creators

Box Office Mojo


I’m still shocked by Justice League’s performance. On paper, this should have been destroying everything at the box office. The fact that the third Thor movie is doing better is just insane.

I wonder if BvS gave too much away and diluted JL. BvS was basically JL Lite. Maybe if they had left Wonder Woman out of it, JL would have been a bit more special.

Star Wars is coming out in a couple of weeks and that is going to suck the air out of any movies at that time.


The problem with what the DC films are trying to do is that it’s a scattershot approach with little logic and no long-term planning.

I don’t know if the audienc is picking up on that, but it seems like Marvel has managed to build a brand that audiences trust and are loyal to.


Ha! You knew what I meant.


What I find crazy is not so much that Justice League will do less business than Suicide Squad but that Suicide Squad did such great business. Half of that must be due to the trailer. JL never had a cool trailer.

Really, I think DC should abandon a strong crossover universe approach. Make each movie distinct.


The Suicide Squad cast were more appealing to regular people than the Justice League cast. It’s a Fast & Furious situation.


Yeah Suicide was sold completely on the strength of its trailer rather than the film itself. The steep drop off in box office by the second weekend makes that pretty clear.

Honestly, I think at this point people are just tired of getting burned by DC movies. BvS and SS had great trailers so that their profits were all front loaded and then when word spread that the films weren’t good that dried up. Look at Wonder Woman, a lot of people made a big deal about it not doing huge numbers at first, chalking it up to it not being as big a draw. However, really, it seems more like people were just leery of DC movies and once the positive word of mouth spread they started showing up. JL had the same situation but the word of mouth wasn’t good so they didn’t show up.


Rupert Murdoch wants Bob Iger to run Disney/Fox;

For those of us who concentrate on his authoritarianism, that may come as a surprise, but he’s never really been into the entertainment business. It’s just a means to an end, it feeds the cable and satellite businesses.

Iger might just stay on for the transitional period anyway, he’s postponed his retirement several times over the years. He will go at some point.


He is rumoured to be getting into politics and possibly looking at a White House campaign in the not too distant future. Of course, timing is everything.


From the article:

Marvel’s Kevin Feige has an almost unblemished track record for success in superhero movies at Disney, and he lent his magic to resuscitating Spider-Man in partnership with Sony. He’s said to be eager to get his hands on the X-Men universe — Fox has Deadpool 2, New Mutants, Dark Phoenix, Gambit, X-Force and the James Franco-starrer Multiple Man all on the assembly line — and cross-pollinate the rich swarm of characters with the existing Marvel franchise heroes who show up in each other’s films. Feige’s division is responsible for four of the 15 top grossing films of all time, worldwide.


If Disney does buy Fox I wonder if they’ll be able to tempt Hugh Jackman back as Wolverine since he said he wanted to crossover with the MCU movies.




Murdoch vs. Iger: How Much Power Could Rupert and Sons Wield at Disney?


The deal under discussion involves cash and Disney stock that would flow to Fox shareholders, and it could make the Murdochs Disney’s largest individual shareholders, just as Steve Jobs had been after the late co-founder of Apple sold Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion in 2006. (Jobs’ widow sold half her Disney shares earlier this year.)

Just as Jobs was added to the board, analysts speculate that Disney would add both James and Lachlan Murdoch, Fox’s CEO and co-executive chairman, respectively, and possibly also add Rupert, who has the co-executive chairman title at Fox.


The Murdochs would be minority shareholders at Disney, of course, though they are negotiating for certain veto and approval power over big decisions, which could include the naming of a CEO when Iger retires.

Several outlets are reporting that James Murdoch, who at 44 is 22 years younger than Iger, might want the position while Lachlan and Rupert take control of what’s left of Fox, which would include certain sports assets, the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

The Disney-Fox negotiations over power are commonplace, says Larry Hutcher, a corporate governance specialist with the Davidoff Hutcher & Citron law firm. “They’ll likely want assurance that their minority voices will be heard on issues involving hiring, the sale of assets and large expenditures,” he says. “They’ll want to ensure key rights even if the board is expanded. They may have a checklist.”

Also needing to be hammered out is something new in Hollywood transactions: specific indemnity for sexual harassment claims, involving executives and talent alike, that could materialize after a merger is closed. “What every buyer worries about is the unknown,” says Hutcher. “Lawsuits can go up the chain to the board of directors, which is what is happening with The Weinstein Co.”

But first, Disney needs to beat out competing proposals from Comcast and perhaps others, then it needs approval, which is “no regulatory walk in the park,” says Steven Cahall of RBC Capital markets.

Citing the Department of Justice’s decision to file a lawsuit to block AT&T’s planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, he argues that “the new DOJ has yet to make clear how it is approaching media consolidation.”


Many on Wall Street also expect the combination of the Disney and Fox film and TV studios to get a close look from regulators. “There may be some degree of anti-trust problem on the theatrical side,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger says. Juenger uses what’s known as the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, a commonly accepted measure of market concentration, which he says registers a high score that is “potentially troubling.”

“The studio could prove thorny with theater groups likely crying foul,” echoes Cahall. “Though studios can argue that the world has moved beyond the theatrical window with Netflix and Amazon creating a new definition of competition and appropriate scale.”

CFRA Research analyst Tuna Amobi similarly argues that the ownership of two studios by one company could “raise some U.S. antitrust questions, though [is] probably not a deal breaker, and in any event the studio labels will likely continue to operate autonomously.”


Regulation could complicate this, but as the article says; what is the attitude now? It’s a different political world.


Meanwhile, in a pair of milestones, Warner Bros/DC’s Justice League batted across the $400M mark internationally and $600M at the global box office. The respective cumes are now $401.3M and $613.4M.

Elsewhere, Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok Hulk-ed up to $833.2M to become the No. 7 title of 2017 at the global box office.

With Star Wars coming out this week, I don’t see either getting significantly more at the box office.

Story considerations aside, I wonder if JL would have benefited from a release date where it wasn’t sandwiched among Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars movies? Disney just tiretracked the hell out it.


I don’t think there’s any particularly logic to which movies are going to be more successful, none that I can see anyway. DC jumped the shark with dark knight rises as far as I’m concerned so I’m just waiting for all dc movies on the telly.
How did kingsman end up? Were they happy with the return?


Kingsman 2 apparently ended up with close to US$400mn on a US$104mn budget, which sounds pretty healthy to me.


Moviepass repped 1.78% of domestic box office for Warner Brothers’ Justice League — that’s $1.7M off an $93.8M opening. “Even as the domestic box office for the film shrunk to nearly 27% of opening weekend box office for the second full week MoviePass’ ticket purchases actually climbed to 2.17% of domestic box office total during that same period.”


Matthew Vaughn is a very good producer (and director) but not everyone in the UK industry can say the same.

Stephen Follows is a film journalist who concentrates on the numbers. I’ll concentrate on the bits I think are important, from his analyis;

The shocking state of corporate finance among UK film companies

The vast majority of film research is focused on either the sector as a whole, or studies the performance of a subset of films. There is very little research into the companies behind the films and how the corporate side of the film business operates.


Which is why I am pleased to be able to discuss the results of two studies that looked at the corporate finances of over 100 film businesses in the UK over a ten-year period. They provide a vital insight into how the film sector is operating in the UK and suggest what may need to change if we want to strengthen UK film.

However, it’s hardly good news – for two reasons:

  1. It’s not pretty. The picture they paint is a bleak one, highlighting a number of areas where UK companies are performing shockingly badly.

  2. One of the reports was covered up. The BFI commissioned one of the reports but declined to release it to the public. I had to use the Freedom of Information Act to force the BFI to share the results.


2. It’s uncommon for new producers to break into the top levels of production
The authors note that a small number of producers have been at the top of UK film during the ten years they studied. As they put it: “whether this reflects an industry that is resistant to ‘new blood’ or simply that there is no substitute for experience in a highly complex area such as film production is beyond the scope of this study, but it appears that in terms of personnel the churn rate of producers within the upper echelons of the UK film industry is fairly low“.

Not only that but “there has been a narrowing of the number of production companies that account for the most successful independent films."


5. Business sustainability is a massive problem for UK film companies
In the second report, the authors revisited the cohort of top film companies from the first study. They found that “almost half of the businesses originally identified as producing, selling or distributing the best British films have subsequently ceased trading or appear to be in decline“. This survival rate is on a par with brand new starts ups, but these are the top companies in the sector!


6. The film sector often pays suppliers very late, even when they don’t have to
They state that these UK film businesses had an “almost systemic reliance on dilatory payment of creditors with some companies continuing to take over six months to settle debts“.

They go so far as to suggest that it’s built into the business model of the distribution sector: “It is the ability to collect their own debt faster than they pay others that appears to provide most of the capital for vertically integrated and independent distribution companies“.

7. The authors were not impressed with the way UK companies report their financial accounts
They describe the accounting practices of UK film companies as “largely incoherent“, “often idiosyncratic“, “inconsistent” and “typically falls far short of US accounting requirements“. They recommend a new accounting standard be established, modelled on the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the US.

8. There is poor understanding and appreciation of the value of Intellectual Property
In both reports, the authors identify a “widespread failure to appreciate and accurately value intellectual property created by the UK film industry“. Towards the end of the more recent report, it’s noted that “it is difficult… to avoid the impression that most UK film companies continue to make an almost unconscious decision not to ascribe a value to the intellectual property that is at the core of their businesses”.


It is worrying that such an important piece of research was withheld from the public, and only released when a blogger learns of its existence and forces them to publish it. This is not how important research should be released.

In addition, the reports cover a ten-year period in which they report little change in the key areas. Therefore, it is rather dismissive of the BFI to imply that because this report is three years old, its contents are no longer relevant. The industry has certainly changed in the past few years but it’s inconceivable that the industry has properly addressed all of the points raised in the report to such an extent as to make its findings redundant.

I don’t have an official reason as to why this report was withheld. I can only surmise that the BFI does not like the picture of UK film that it paints, or they are sensitive to the report’s criticisms of the UK public funding sector’s low level of support for UK businesses.

The BFI do a terrific amount of good for the UK film sector and their Research and Statistics Unit provides fantastic data about our industry. So it’s disappointing to have to force this particular report out of them.



It’s official:


A huge shift for the film business.


Just in time to shoot that Infinity War post-credits scene.