Entries in Box Office (6)


"Harry Potter" Tops Highest-Grossing Film Franchises

2011 Warner Bros. Ent./ Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.(NEW YORK) -- Harry Potter is the box office's highest grossing film franchise, according to Forbes.  But Lord of the Rings is a serious contender, with new films hitting screens.

The latest movie in the Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is out on Friday.  It is the first of three films to be drawn from J.R.R. Tolkien's book, The Hobbit.

"This past summer the wise (some might say greedy) men at Warner Bros. decided to split The Hobbit into three separate movies," wrote Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes.  "The move left many scratching their heads.  The Hobbit is the slimmest of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels at only one-quarter the length of the other three books combined.  Can it work as three movies?"

They have a long way to go to beat the eight-film adaption of the seven-book Harry Potter series, which has earned $7.7 billion.  The Lord of the Rings films have earned $2.91 billion in ticket sales so far, ranking the series ninth among franchises.

Forbes used data from Box Office Mojo to compile its list of global box office hits, not adjusting for price inflation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Summer Movie Turnout Likely Lower Than Last Year

Warner Bros. Pictures TM/© DC ComicsPhoto by Ron Phillips(NEW YORK) -- While blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises brought in record-sized audiences, this summer may be seeing lower attendance levels than last year, in part due to the shootings in Aurora, Colo., The Hollywood Reporter said.

According to preliminary estimates, there were 533.5 million tickets sold this summer domestically, down 4 percent from last year. The lowest attendance came two summers ago, with 534.4 tickets sold.

Marvel and Disney’s The Avengers broke box office opening weekend records with about $200.4 million grossed in its opening on May 4.

People are still seeing the film around the world, which completed Labor Day weekend with a worldwide gross of $1.5 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood Reporter said Dark Knight Rises and a number of family films took a hit after the shooting in Auorora, Colo. At a midnight showing of the film on July 20, accused shooter James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 in a movie theater.

Still, Dark Knight Rises earned $433.2 million through Labor Day weekend domestically, which is a strong figure but significantly less than what the previous Batman film, The Dark Knight, earned: $533.2 million.

The film has had strong overseas earnings, grossing over $1 billion worldwide through Sunday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Colorado Shooting Could Affect This Weekend's Movie Box Office

Thomas Cooper/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Last weekend’s shooting spree at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater appears to be having an effect on Americans’ recreation habits, at least in the short term.

According to a survey of moviegoers, 20 to 25 percent say they’re considering skipping a visit to the multiplex this weekend, telling research firm NRG they’re hesitant to go because of events that took place during the July 20 midnight screening of Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora.

If that many people who would normally go to the movies do make other plans, it would certainly have an impact on the second weekend receipts for The Dark Knight Rises as well as two new movies opening Friday -- 20th Century Fox's R-rated comedy The Watch and Summit Entertainment's 3D dance movie Step Up Revolution, distributed by Disney, the parent company of ABC News Radio.

The Watch, a sci-fi spoof starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, ran into problems earlier this year following the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain.  Seeking to avoid controversy, 20th Century Fox changed the original title of the movie,  Neighborhood Watch, to The Watch.

More problematic for the movie’s producer is that The Watch hasn’t been tracking well and its R-rating also puts limits on who will go to see it.

Step Up Revolution, the fourth in the franchises, is expected to do well with its predominantly female teen audience.  However, the movie does contain a scene in which dancers wear gas masks and carry gas canisters to a party, which may call to mind alleged Aurora shooter James Holmes, who police say did the same before he went on a shooting rampage.

Mindful of this, Summit Entertainment said it was leaving the scene intact although it did stop advertising a TV commercial of Step Up Revolution that showed the scene.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Dark Knight Rises' on Track for $162M: Report

TM and © DC Comics/Photo by Ron Phillips(NEW YORK) -- Despite the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," the film took in about $162 million in North America, the New York Times reported today.

Warner Bros. announced it would hold off reporting the film's opening grosses until Monday, but the information was leaked to several media outlets.

"Out of respect for the victims and their families," the studio said in a statement to ABC News, "Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for 'The Dark Knight Rises' throughout the weekend. Box office numbers will be released on Monday."

This is an unprecedented move because the practice of releasing box office numbers for an opening weekend is standard for Warner Bros. and most major Hollywood studios.

James Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire on unsuspecting moviegoers Friday during a sold-out midnight screening of the new "Batman" film at a mall in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. Police said the alleged shooter was wearing a gas mask and was dressed in body armor.

"My heart aches and breaks for the lives taken and altered by this unfathomably senseless act," said Anne Hathaway in a statement, according to People Magazine. Hathaway plays Catwoman in the film. "I am at a loss for words how to express my sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them," Christian Bale, who plays Bruce Wayne/Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises," said in a statement Saturday.

Christopher Nolan, director of "The Dark Knight Rises," called the mass shooting a "senseless tragedy."

"Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community," he said in a statement released by his publicist today. "I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.

"The movie theatre is my home," he said, "and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

Warner Bros. also removed the trailer for the Ryan Gosling film "Gangster Squad," which features a movie theater shooting scene, from screenings of "The Dark Knight Rises." The studio pulled some TV ads for the Batman film, according to Bloomberg News.

The studio does not plan to pull the movie from theaters, but canceled the Paris premiere of the film after learning about the shooting. Nolan and cast members Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman also scrapped media interviews.

Some theaters are offering to refund those who bought tickets early. AMC released a statement this weekend saying it will exchange and refund tickets per the chain's existing policy. It also banned moviegoers in "costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable" and said it "will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings."

Suspected shooter James Holmes had painted his hair red and told cops, "I am the Joker," when apprehended.

Many cities are stepping up security at theaters in light of the tragedy. New York City police Commissioner Ray Kelly released a statement this morning, saying, "As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the 'The Dark Knight Rises' is playing in the five boroughs."

Police in Washington, D.C., have been told to provide "special attention" to movie theaters.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"The Avengers" and the Power of the Throwback ANGELES) -- Hollywood's new box-office king, The Avengers, demonstrated the power of the throwback film ahead of several other films that will provide a blast from the past this summer.

The Avengers not only shattered the previous opening record with $200.3 million grossed during its debut weekend, its global opening in one week has brought in more than its recent film forerunners, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America, brought in their entire theater releases, according to box office figures.

Matt Patches,'s movie editor, said he wasn't surprised that the film was "huge," describing The Avengers as an "endeavor that was five years in the making."

"Once Iron Man was a hit in 2008, we knew The Avengers was going to be big because Marvel put everything into it," he said.

Each forerunner film built anticipation for The Avengers.

"They were almost like promotions for The Avengers. The films created the biggest trailer you've ever seen," he said.

Patches said the film had a broad appeal that was, however, unexpected, given that comic books "are still a 'geek' medium."

Iron Man 2, the previous highest grosser of the franchise had opening sales of $128.1 million and a total gross of $312.4 million, according to Box Office Mojo, dwarfing its prequel debut of $98.6 million. But Iron Man's gross was higher at $318.4 million.

Tim Burton's Dark Shadows film, to be released on Friday, is based on a 1966-1971 gothic soap opera that aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. Burton's last film, Alice in Wonderland, is a throwback of a different kind. That had an opening weekend debut of $116.1 million in 2010, the highest that weekend.

This year's superhero genre, ever-present in the summer blockbuster set, may give Disney, the studio for The Avengers, reason for concern. (The Walt Disney Co. is the owner of ABC News.)

The Amazing Spider-Man will be released on July 4 and The Dark Knight Rises will follow on July 20. Both franchises had films that performed notably well overall, giving reason for proceeding versions.

The last Batman film, The Dark Knight, from 2008, still has the no. 3 spot in all-time opening box-office. Directed and produced by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight had an opening weekend debut worth $158.4 million, and a total gross of $533.3 million, Box Office Mojo reports.

This year's The Hunger Games follows with an opening weekend debut of $152.5 million. Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man 3 follows at no. 5 with a weekend opening of $151.1 million. That film grossed $336.5 million after it was released in May 2007.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Box-Office Bust: Movie Attendance Hits 16-Year Low

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Conan the Barbarian. Mars Needs Moms. Cowboys and Aliens.

They were supposed to be the silver screen mega-hits of 2011. Instead, they are on the list of the year’s biggest flops. If you didn’t see them, you’re hardly alone.

Despite some big-name sequels, superstar lineups and multibillion-dollar investments from movie studios, 2011 was a tough year for Hollywood. Ticket sales are on pace to be a half a billion dollars behind last year. Attendance figures haven’t been this low since 1995.

“It’s a pretty tough year at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of “We’re ending 2011 on a whimper, not really a bang.”

Critics say there were too many family movies on the marquee that pushed out the teens and young adults who usually pack the theaters. And the long lineup of dark and depressing films might also have kept moviegoers at home.

But both moviegoers and analysts agree the biggest factor in declining attendance is cost. Ticket prices continue to rise; moviegoers now pay an average of $7.89 per ticket, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

“Obviously when ticket prices go up it makes it harder for families to go to the movies,” Dergarabedian said. “And that hurts particularly in the holiday seasons.”

The availability of movies online, analysts say, is also hurting the industry’s bottom line. “There’s so many different ways to get content for the audience. They’re pulled in a million different directions,” Dergarabedian said. “That makes it a very competitive environment. The films have to be that much better otherwise audiences are going to do something else.”

Despite the low year-end figures, moviegoers spent nearly $10 billion on tickets in 2011, according to, which compiles box office data.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio