2007 Summer Box Office Earnings Biggest in History
As much as you may have hated half of the trilogies this past summer, they paid their way in earnings and the studios walked away with a couple hundred million in their pockets. We rarely dabble in the business side of the film industry, but this time these earnings should be mentioned. 2007 has officially been recorded as the biggest summer of box office earnings in history. The record was previously held by 2004 (the summer of Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, The Incredibles, and The Bourne Supremacy) at $3.95 billion with that being surpassed this year by a total of $4.15 billion. That is far below my guesstimate in March of it being the $10 billion summer.
This summer's top 5 biggest earners in the US were (thanks to Box Office Mojo for the numbers):
1 - Spider-Man 3 - $337 million
2 - Shrek the Third - $321 million
3 - Transformers - $310 million
4 - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $308 million
5 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - $286 million
My initial statement about it being a $10 billion summer was not actually believing that it would make $10 billion, but rather that it would be a summer we would never forget (and ultimately go down in the record books). At the time, I was guessing that not only would the films be pretty damn good, but they'd bring people out in droves to the movie theater because they were almost all sequels that had years to build up incredibly strong fan-bases.
As John over at The Movie Blog points out, the MPAA always seems to claim that piracy is an issue that gets worse every year, yet when we had an increase in box office earnings and ticket sales (it also went up 3% over last year), how can they still make that claim? Watching this industry from my seat I've seemed to notice that piracy really doesn't have as strong of an impact as everyone makes it out to have. Those people who pirate are always going to pirate and nothing is going to convince them not to unless it's a really good movie. They won't be able to ever defeat it, they'll just have to improve ways of convincing people to stop watching movies at home and come to the movie theaters.
It's intriguing to look at this data and yet wonder why so many of us hated most of the films this summer. Besides possibly Transformers, the remainder of the 5 biggest earners listed above weren't that great. And the ones that were actually great: Ocean's 13, Knocked Up, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Sunshine, to name a few, really didn't break any big records with their earnings. How does that put your considerations on this industry into perspective?
I hope that in the future summer's to come, although more sequels are likely (given this summer's earnings), we'll hit a good year where the trend of requiring sequels to break records will stop. Just look at Transformers and 300, both movies came as first-time films with well-rooted backgrounds and both were in the top 10 earners for the entire year. I can't say I really see that Hollywood is progressing and evolving, but I can say that I hope for the best!