Thor: The Dark World is the third Disney release and second Marvel Studios film to cross the $500 million mark at the global box office in 2013. The film joins the elite club alongside Iron Man 3 and Monsters University.
Thor: The Dark World has been thriving overseas, already earning a total of $352.2 million as it heads into the weekend. The film has already passed the overseas totals of Captain America ($194M), Iron Man ($267M), Thor ($268M) and Iron Man 2 ($312M).
Thor: The Dark World is currently reporting a $504.2 million global cume. The figure is already ahead of the lifetime global totals of Captain America ($371M) and Thor ($449M).
By Shawn Robbins
Paramount announced last week that Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt will return in Mission: Impossible 5 on Christmas Day 2015. At first glance, the date makes perfect sense: Ghost Protocol revitalized the franchise with its successful 2011 holiday run, serving out the first non-summer launch for the series. But Ghost Protocol didn't have to compete with a little movie called Star Wars: Episode VII.
What's Paramount's play here?
They seem to be aiming for a repeat of December 2009's record market performance driven by a co-existence of marquee blockbuster titles. James Cameron's Avatar (having opened December 18) was beginning its long and fruitful run while, simultaneously, Warner Bros. and Guy Ritchie successfully reimagined Sherlock Holmes over Christmas weekend (to say nothing of Fox's success with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel). Holmes may not have won first place, but it was a big hit under Avatar's shadow nonetheless.
Unfortunately, Mission: Impossible 5 faces a tougher uphill battle than the famous detective. Regardless of your opinion on Tom Cruise, his public image has taken another hit recently. His box office stature sharply contrasts that of Robert Downey, Jr., who was fresh off the breakout success of Iron Man and hitting the stride of his career resurgence when Sherlock Holmes opened. Contrary to any 1990s status quo, Cruise's drawing power just isn't what Downey's is anymore (as evidenced by the lackluster domestic box office performances of Jack Reacher and Oblivion).
What about Star Wars? Take this to the bank: it won't be Avatar--a film that opened very well but built its legs in the weeks and months after its debut. Episode VII should handily top that film's $77 million domestic opening, and may even have a crack at besting its $75.6 million sophomore weekend if moviegoers like what they see and/or wait until Christmas to check out the highly anticipated sequel. Translation: the more money audiences spend on a four-quad movie like Star Wars (or the adult-skewing Inferno and Live By Night, for that matter), the less market share there will be for Mission: Impossible 5--especially when assuming that Disney will secure IMAX theaters well into early 2016. That format played a major role in helping Ghost Protocol correct its franchise's box office course, and Mission's powers-that-be should revisit it.
This isn't the first time Paramount has risked one of their lucrative properties being overshadowed by competition. Earlier this year, Star Trek Into Darkness--though a solid performer overall--failed to reach the levels of its 2009 predecessor despite positive critical reactions and word of mouth. Combined with a butchered marketing campaign, its underwhelming box office can be largely attributed to a lack of interest from younger audiences who instead swiped their debit cards for Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious 6, and even the surprise breakout that was The Great Gatsby (although that remake skewed older).
Of course, the scope is wider than North America as Tom Cruise's bankability remains strong with overseas audiences. Oblivion earned 69 percent of its $286 million from foreign territories, while Ghost Protocol's international returns accounted for nearly 70 percent of that film's $693 million global take. It's realistic, and maybe even likely, that Mission: Impossible 5 could improve upon its predecessor's global earnings even if domestic returns dip. Such is the nature of studio thinking in the globalization era of the box office.
The Mission franchise already managed one miraculous comeback--how many times can a phoenix rise from the ashes? That's not to suggest the series lacks momentum (moviegoers really dug the most recent flick), but it's a key note for a brand that has seen its ups and downs. December 2009 is a great precedent in its favor for 2015, but let's not forget that it may also be the exception to the rule. After all, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was trumped by Ghost Protocol itself two years ago, contributing to the former's franchise prospects sliding into a state of ongoing ambiguity. Opening one week after a guaranteed blockbuster doesn't spell automatic doom for Mission: Impossible 5, but it again leaves the series with very little margin for error.
What do you think, readers? Should Paramount reconsider opening Mission: Impossible 5 in a slightly less crowded market space such as Memorial Day 2015 or 2016?
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The official release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA -- Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has set a new record for its highest-grossing year ever at the North American box office with a total of $1.352 billion through Sunday. The previous record was set in 2012 with total grosses having reached $1.335 billion. The studio bested its previous international box office record ($1.794 billion/2012) in mid-August and the previous worldwide record ($3.129 billion/2012) in September. Universal's total worldwide grosses to date are $3.49 billion.
Propelling Universal's success at the North American box office this year were eight films that claimed the number one spot including: Mama ($71.6 million), Identity Thief ($134.5 million), Oblivion ($89.1 million), Fast & Furious 6 ($238.7 million), Despicable Me 2 ($365.9 million), The Purge ($64.5 million), 2 Guns ($75.6 million) and Riddick ($42 million). Identity Thief, Fast & Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2 each claimed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office twice. Fast & Furious 6 was Universal's top North American opening of 2013 ($117 million) and the second-highest domestic opening of the year (behind Iron Man 3). Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 had the highest opening for an animated film in 2013 domestically ($83.5 million). In addition, Universal's first micro-budget film under the studio's production deal with Jason Blum's Blumhouse Productions, The Purge, grossed more than ten times its $3 million production budget in its North American opening weekend and has gone on to gross $89.9 million worldwide.
On a worldwide basis, Universal Pictures boasts the second and third highest-grossing films of 2013 with Despicable Me 2, having grossed $916.1 million to date, and Fast & Furious 6 with $788 million. Despicable Me 2 is the highest-grossing animated film of 2013 and is currently the fifth highest-grossing animated film of all time. Despicable Me 2 is also the studio's second highest-grossing film of all time behind 1993's Jurassic Park.
Universal has two films yet to be released in 2013. These include 47 Ronin, the epic 3D feature that stars Keanu Reeves in his explosive return to the action-adventure genre on Christmas Day; and also in limited release on December 25, Lone Survivor, based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.
MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- Harkness screens, the world's leading provider of cinemas screens is proud to be included in Lightstorm Entertainment's newest production facility located at Manhattan Beach Studios.
This state of the art site will be the centre point for the state-of-the-art productions of the highly anticipated "Avatar" sequels. The two Harkness S240 Spectral screens will be installed by Paul DeClercq who also supplied the screen frames.
Paul explains "Harkness screens have a long history of success in the cinema business. I have worked with them for many years over many projects and found them excellent in quality and support."
Geoff Burdick, VP of Production Services at Lightstorm Entertainment, shares "Harkness silver screens were chosen due to their industry reputation and our experience over many screenings. We wanted to have quality screens which best reflect the installed base of cinema screens around the world. The images look stunning."
‘We're proud to be associated with Lightstorm Entertainment whose contribution to 3D features is legendary," said Keith Watanabe, Americas Sales Director for Harkness Screens. He added "Lightstorm has set the standards for performance and technical excellence reflected in their massive success of ‘Titanic' and ‘Avatar'. We look forward to continued innovation and are honoured to be a part of their process."
New York, N.Y., November 18, 2013 - Screenvision, a national cinema advertising leader, has teamed up with Brainstorm Media to give horror fans one last shriek this holiday season with showings of the Fangoria Presents screening of the 80's classic, Silent Night, Deadly Night. This uniquely chilling film, which has achieved cult status among horror fans, will be coming to theaters across the nation from December 4th - December 18th.
"We're excited to be teaming up with Brainstorm Media to bring such a cult favorite to horror fans in theaters nationwide," says Darryl Schaffer, Screenvision's Executive Vice President, Operations & Exhibitor Relations.
"We enjoy working with Screenvision. They've already locked in over 200 screens for this film and are working closely with us and the magazine to get the word out. Silent Night has never been seen in HD until now -- and there's no better place to see it than in a theater," says Meyer Shwarzstein, Founder of Brainstorm Media.
Charles E Sellier Jr.'s 1984 holiday cult horror classic tells the tale of Billy Chapmen, orphaned at five after witnessing the murder of his parents at the hands of a Santa suit-clad madman on Christmas Eve. Now eighteen and out of the brutal grip of orphanage nuns, Billy is forced to confront his greatest fear, sending him on a rampage, leaving a crimson trail in the snow behind him. This Fangoria Presents event, in conjunction with Screenvision, delivers this seasonal slasher essential in a stunning new HD transfer for the ultimate experience in ho-ho-horror!
"I'm bursting with blood-splattered bliss at the idea of fans being able to see this classic Christmas slasher on the big screen after all these years. This is the original "bad santa" shocker and whether seeing it for the first time or the fifteenth time, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT is an absolute blast to behold. No serious horror movie lover should miss the chance to experience this collectively, in a packed theatre," says Chris Alexander, editor-in-chief of FANGORIA magazine.