February Releases: How’d They Do?

It’s May 1st, which means it’s time to jump back to February and discuss how the major releases of the month performed. I try and take everything we’ve seen into account before determining if a film was a hit or a flop… or somewhere in between. Sometimes, it’s not as easy as looking just at domestic grosses anymore.

Rings was pushed back a few times, and finally dumped into theatres. It’s kind of a sequel and kind of a reboot. The first Ring film made 249M worldwide, while the sequel made only 161M. Rings made just 83M worldwide, so the chances of a fourth installment are slim. However, this is the kind of thing that in 10 years, might get another reboot. But, there won’t be a direct sequel to Rings. It wasn’t very well received, and it didn’t do well overseas.

The Space Between Us
Another film with shifting release dates. Originally scheduled for last fall, it got pushed back to Christmas, then to February. The studio didn’t know how to market this, and it showed. With only 7.8M domestic and 14.7M worldwide off a 30M budget. This is one of the easier judgments to pass down.

Fifty Shades Darker
Before we talk about this sequel, I have to start out by saying Fifty Shades Of Grey was a phenomenon that was hard to live up to. 404M worldwide for a film without bankable stars is pretty uncommon. That buzz is based solely on the source material. The sequel couldn’t manage to come close to that, as buzz has died down somewhat, and negative reception for the first film hurt its chances of surpassing the original. Still, it managed 114M domestic (really, not bad) and 378M worldwide. It almost tied the original, and it is still technically in a few foreign markets. It will come close, which in itself is impressive. This means, it has grown in interest overseas, while dwindling domestically. These films are relatively inexpensive, costing only 55M. The third film is definitely still on the way.

John Wick Chapter Two
Again, before we talk about the sequel, we have to discuss the original. The original was hardly a hit, grossing only 43M domestic and 88M worldwide. What it was, however, was a film that did really well on home video, developing a cult following. While that didn’t work for films like Kick Ass, it did work out for John Wick, because the sequel established this as a legitimate franchise. It blew the original away with 92M domestic, and 163M worldwide. That’s some serious growth, even if the sequel was more expensive. I would not be surprised if there was a Chapter Three and this rounded off as a trilogy. This sequel definitely earned it.

The LEGO Batman Movie
This spinoff did not quite hit the heights of the The LEGO Movie, which was a sleeper surprise back in 2014, launching a series of LEGO movies. That film made 257M domestic and 469M worldwide. This spinoff didn’t match that, but it still made a respectable 174M domestic and 308M worldwide. In fact, in terms of the Batman franchise, it actually outgrossed Batman Returns and Batman and Robin. LEGO movies aren’t that expensive, costing only 80M to make. I’m not sure we’ll see a LEGO Batman Movie 2, but we might.

A Cure For Wellness
This was bloated from day one. 40M spent on a Gore Verbinski horror film with Dane DeHaan as the lead? That’s already a gamble. It didn’t really pay off, at least not initially. A Cure For Wellness is exactly the kind of film that could easily develop a cult following on DVD, as some people do passionately love this film. All it takes sometimes are a few people, as witnessed by the fandoms of Donnie Darko and Boondock Saints. Still, with only a worldwide gross of 26M, I can’t take a potential future into account here.

Fist Fight
Fist Fight was hoping through counterprogramming it would be a hit. That wasn’t enough. Bad reviews and a lack of interest couldn’t save this Ice Cube film from floundering. Comedies generally have a hard time overseas, and it made only 8M in foreign territories for a 40M worldwide total. I don’t know what the budget was on this film, and maybe it won’t lose that much money for the studio. I’m not sure it’s a huge flop, but it is definitely a disappointment.
STATUS: Disappointment

The Great Wall
Probably the most debatable film on the list. We could say that it made 45M domestically and cost a staggering 150M, so it’s a flop, right? My question is, why did the studio release a film that cost 150M into February in the first place? March makes more sense, if you’re trying to get the spring break crowd, or one of the other Holiday seasons. I’d argue this wasn’t the right month for this film. That being said, none of that matters. This film made 286M in foreign territories, making back its budget. It’s not quite as impressive as Warcraft, but its worth discussing. If a film explodes overseas, but flops in the US, is it still a flop? More and more, I’m leaning towards no. We can’t ignore the global economy, and they enjoyed the film more than we did.

This was a burn off release. Clearly the studio just wanted to try and make literally any money it could theatrically before it goes to DVD. Plus, it increases the films profile a bit having been in theatres when it finally hits home video. But this film made 4M worldwide. That’s absurdly awful.

Get Out
Get Out proves that not everything we make translates overseas, even if it is a gigantic hit here. Make no mistake, this is a mega hit. It’s a low budget horror film with unknown leads from a first time director. It was made for 4.5M, and domestically made 172.5M (so far). I actually feel bad casting judgment on this, because it is still 13th at the box office and making decent money. It is the highest grossing Blumhouse production ever, and the 22nd highest rated R film of all time domestically. It’s the second highest R rated horror of all time, behind The Exorcist. All of those stats, and it still has only made 21M overseas, for just 193M total. Sure, it might break 200M worldwide before it leaves theatres, but that doesn’t matter. On paper, this is already a gigantic hit.
STATUS: Mega Hit

Rock Dog
This low budget animation film was dumped into February where it made 9.4M. Again, like Collide, it’s just to increase its visibility when it goes to home video. I have no idea what the budget was, but I’m still going with flop on this one. Had it managed even 20M, I might be willing to just go with disappointment, but it didn’t even break 10M.

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