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Wkd Box Office - 7•19-21•19 - The King Returns To Claim Record July OW As The Box Office Drowns In Fudge

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SweetNicole

The Old Guard
Member
Oct 24, 2017
5,664
This is ResetEra's weekend box office thread. While the OP focuses on the popular weekend tallies, we typically discuss box office throughout the week as well when notable films are playing. New threads are posted each Sunday morning, between 8-10am PST.


Discussion Guidelines
Official Staff Communication
As an important reminder, Box Office threads should be a chill environment for people to talk about movies and the box office. This week in particular we would like to stress a few specific things. As a general request for this week:
  • Please keep all conversations about avatar bets out of this thread. If you want to talk about avatar bets, there are specific threads for that.
These are general site rules which we're asking you to pay special attention to this week:
  • Please do not use this thread to complain about moderation or others in any way, shape or form.
  • In the spirit of being a chill place, please avoid being hostile, making hyperbolic statements or engaging in toxic fanboy behavior.
Please do your part by not engaging in these behaviors. If you see someone engaging in these behaviors in this thread, please file a report. Thanks.

On this weekend, I want to take a second to stop and talk about the reality of Box Office numbers. Box Office numbers aren't a hard science. There's no agency that verifies or ensures that Box Office numbers reported by companies are completely accurate. In truth, a company can often manipulate numbers a bit to give themselves an advantage for a movie trying to cross a major milestone by moving ticket sales or revenue from one movie to another. This is a term called fudging. A company will shift dollars around to give a movie a monetary bump to cross a specific milestone. It's a hard thing to see, follow, and much less prove, but sometimes it is more obvious than others.

As an example, a remarkable thing happened the weekend of June 15-17th, 2018.



A Wrinkle In Time jumped 1,551.4% in a single weekend out of the blue. This is what we call a fudge. Disney manipulated the numbers and shuffled some money from another movie into the reported income for A Wrinkle In Time. The reason for this was simple: Get A Wrinkle In Time across the 100m+ threshold, something that would not have happened without the 1.6M fudge weekend.

Spectre is another famous example of fudging:

Notice how, in March at the end of the run, the per theater average jumps from 252 to suddenly 2.6k then 4.9k then 2.8k. This does not happen naturally. Spectre's numbers were fudged at the end of the life span so that it could reach the 200M domestic milestone.

Perhaps the most famous example is The Dark Knight which had an incredible fudge at the end of the lifespan so it could reach 1B internationally:


The massive spike you see at the end of the lifespan (6844% increase) and high per theater averages is WB pushing the Dark Knight over the line. Box Office Mojo wrote a great article on this: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2551&p=.htm

The Dark Knight had been hovering just shy of $1 billion for several months and reportedly sat at $997 million when Warner Bros. modestly relaunched it on Jan. 23, timed to take advantage of the announcement of the Academy Awards nominations on Jan. 22. A Best Picture nod did not materialize, but Warner's push was nonetheless enough to reach ten digits. Curiously, after weeks of silence on Dark Knight's latest foreign grosses, Warner suddenly chimed in with the announcement that it's total was now $1,001,082,160 shortly before the Academy Awards air on Sunday.​


The actual date that The Dark Knight crossed $1 billion is unknown at this time. Clearly, it's unlikely that it happened today or on Thursday, because its box office is at a trickle now and Warner Bros.' new figure is more than a million above a billion.​




Another good example is Black Panther which had a similar increase of +1,395% in its final weekend.



Black Panther's jump was similar to A Wrinkle In Time, boosting the movie at the very end by moving money around to get Black Panther over the 700M line, something that would not have happened without Disney fudging.

You may notice that there is indeed a pattern here with Disney, movies close to major milestones, and this practice of fudging. Disney is not alone in doing this, but they are certainly one of the more egregious practitioners of it. Beyond simply insanely large % increases from one week to the next, fudging can also be seen when studios lose lots of theaters, suddenly report more actuals (actual income for a movie) than the estimated gross for that weekend, and more.

Would you be shocked to learn that Disney is fudging the numbers for Endgame's final run as it closes to the the title of #1 grossing movie of all time?

Within the past two weeks, Endgame has lost roughly 25% of their overall theater count, which is a massive hit to any movie's box office numbers. Endgame, though, only reported a decrease that weekend of 32.5%, which for a movie, is practically unheard of. This would be because the numbers are not, unfortunately, accurate. Additionally, Disney has been using the tactic of fudging the international numbers particularly heavy, going from 1.1M internationally one weekend to suddenly jumping to 5.0M weekend* the next weekend with no re-releases or countries added is a clear indicator that the numbers are this point for Endgame are no longer accurate. (*The method of this is slightly more complex and best left to others in the thread to break down.) This isn't to mention the 3M in additional international gross that was randomly found on a Monday after previously reporting a weekend gross of 1M.

None of this is to say that Endgame's initial opening weekend is anything short of spectacular, or that the box office run wasn't impressive, or that Endgame doesn't deserve to be the top grossing film all time. Box Office numbers are a fickle thing. There's rarely a smoking gun for fudging like this, but as the saying goes, where there's enough smoke, there's fire. When the numbers involved come from some of the best accountants in the world and a company that has shown a propensity for fudging in the past, good luck finding the truth.

If you're wondering if Endgame really did beat Avatar, the truth is we'll never really know, but we can certainly can draw a reasonable conclusion. In reality, it is likely that Endgame would have beat Avatar, fudge or not. There was enough weekend over weekend for it to gross enough to put it over the top, but it would have taken longer for it to cross that finish line (a few more weeks at least). Disney, though, wanted to time the announcement with their Comic-Con panel last night that Endgame had crossed the threshold, so the numbers were fudged to make sure that it would have enough gross for them to make the announcement at the panel.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter which movie is number one. Both movies are owned by Disney, and there really is no reason why anyone should care beyond intense corporate loyalty. However, if you're wondering why people this week will be suggesting that, at least for now, Endgame is #1* with an asterisk, the reason is fudging.

TL;DR:













Disney’s Busy Weekend: ‘Lion King’ Rips Up July Record With $192M Following Marvel Slate Announcement, ‘Endgame’ Notching All-Time $2.8B B.O. Record

Early Sunday AM Update: What an awesome weekend for Disney. After pulling the veil off their awesome 2020 and 2021 theatrical and streaming slate for Marvel here at Comic-Con, and unseating Avatar as the highest grossing film of all-time with Avengers: Endgame (north of $2.7897 billion), their remake of The Lion King ripped up the July record for best domestic opening with an estimated $192M, easily defeating prior 2011 champ Harry and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s $169.1M. Saturday drew an estimated $61.6M, -21% from Friday’s $78.5M which included $23M Thursday night previews. We’ll have more updates, Disney official numbers and a chart later this morning.


While many rival studios have come to the sober realization that Disney will rule the box office for years to come, many executives agree that this is the fiercest year of all as the Burbank lot ramps up his streaming service Disney+. With one massive event pic after the other i.e. Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, Lion King and Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it’s like one massive advertisement for Disney+. There’s no reason why anyone would not want to sign up for it. With more than $2.1 billion at the domestic box office through July 12, Disney could do half that amount of business this year and still beat near rivals Warner Bros. ($894.3M) and Universal ($839.7M).


Weekend Box Office Archive and Appendix


 
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Antoo

Member
May 1, 2019
318
Wonder if Disney is lowballing estimates since other trade sites report a higher amount.
 

berzeli

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,383
The Farewell expanded... well. That's a really solid PTA considering how many theatres it added. Wonder if A24 can steer it to double digits.

David Crosby: Remember My Name did okay, I mean if this was two years ago I would have said great but documentaries have taken a swing upwards so even a really solid $10K PTA doesn't feel truly impressive.

The Art of Self-Defense kinda over expanded, it's not gonna be able to hold onto all those 500+ theatres it added

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is holidng decently, would be nice to see it get over $5M but doesn't feel like it will make it.

I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians made exactly as much as you'd think it would. Shame.

and lastly for no reason whatsoever an article about The Dark Knight making a billi*
 
Discussion Guidelines

2Bee

or not 2B
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
5,761
Official Staff Communication
As an important reminder, Box Office threads should be a chill environment for people to talk about movies and the box office. This week in particular we would like to stress a few specific things. As a general request for this week:
  • Please keep all conversations about avatar bets out of this thread. If you want to talk about avatar bets, there is a specific thread for that.
These are general site rules which we're asking you to pay special attention to this week:
  • Please do not use this thread to complain about moderation or others in any way, shape or form.
  • In the spirit of being a chill place, please avoid being hostile, making hyperbolic statements or engaging in toxic fanboy behavior.
Please do your part by not engaging in these behaviors. If you see someone engaging in these behaviors in this thread, please file a report. Thanks.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
12,004
The Farewell expanded... well. That's a really solid PTA considering how many theatres it added. Wonder if A24 can steer it to double digits.

David Crosby: Remember My Name did okay, I mean if this was two years ago I would have said great but documentaries have taken a swing upwards so even a really solid $10K PTA doesn't feel truly impressive.

The Art of Self-Defense kinda over expanded, it's not gonna be able to hold onto all those 500+ theatres it added

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is holidng decently, would be nice to see it get over $5M but doesn't feel like it will make it.

I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians made exactly as much as you'd think it would. Shame.

and lastly for no reason whatsoever an article about The Dark Knight making a billi*
Bless for talking about the performance of smaller films
 

Ryuelli

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,046
Lion King deserves a lot more than that score, glad to see it got number 1.

Far From Home's Total Gross isn't looking too impressive right now.
 

Rice Eater

Member
Oct 26, 2017
897
FFH probably not going to get to 400 million domestic. Hopefully it has enough gas to at least beat SM3.
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,413
A suspected massive weekend for Lion Kang, although that estimate seems to be quite a bit less than the predictions that came in after its Friday take.
 

FTF

Member
Oct 28, 2017
8,851
New York
Lion King deserves a lot more than that score, glad to see it got number 1.

Far From Home's Total Gross isn't looking too impressive right now.
It got an A Cinemascore and 89% on RT from 20k fan reviews so seems to be more of a crowd pleaser than the critic's score. Not sure it makes it to $600m dom though.
 

Cpt-GargameL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,819
I want data to see where Endgame earned $6m internationally from now! Lol

It did $1.5m last week but somehow did $6m this week when it had already expanded in it's biggest markets.
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,413
Lion King deserves a lot more than that score, glad to see it got number 1.

Far From Home's Total Gross isn't looking too impressive right now.
It got what it deserves. Middling.

I don't remember the last time I saw RT and MC matching exactly though.
 

Tace

Avenger
Nov 1, 2017
3,992
Do we actually have evidence of fudging? I thought some overseas markets either underreported or places like Thailand hadn’t been counted yet.
 

Salty Catfish

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,171
Florida
185M is massive but I was expecting even higher after the Thursday night numbers.

Real curious to see how Once Upon a Time in Hollywood does this coming weekend.
 
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OP
SweetNicole

SweetNicole

The Old Guard
Member
Oct 24, 2017
5,664
Thought I read somewhere that last week international numbers weren't actually reported?

Also why would they fudge? Just to make it be there for comic-con?
Do we actually have evidence of fudging? I thought some overseas markets either underreported or places like Thailand hadn’t been counted yet.
All your answers are found in the "A Primer For This Weekend" section in the OP if you want to know more about fudging.
 

berzeli

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,383
A suspected massive weekend for Lion Kang, although that estimate seems to be quite a bit less than the predictions that came in after its Friday take.
I think Disney is lowballing it a bit. But it's conceivable that it was in fact more frontloaded than your average family film.
So according to Jatinder, the millions out of nowhere are because of international territories reporting late.

This is exactly what happen with The Dark Knight, all of a sudden (and coincidentally at the same time as some other event going on) the international gross bumps up with just the amount needed to clear a milestone.
 

bastardly

Member
Nov 8, 2017
1,385
TLK will probably top off at 425MM DOM, 1.3B WW. pretty amazing but it's not gonna touch BatB here i dont think

Endgame deserves it, never thought it'd top IW because its 3 hours, and it's almost as much a drama/comedy as it is an action film
 

2Bee

or not 2B
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
5,761
I like fudge but not too much of it.

Oh and be prepared to see TLK doing amazing numbers week after week. I think WoM and legs will be Aladdin levels.
 

Cpt-GargameL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,819
Oh hey guys, remember when I said AVATARs total number was going to be updated once Endgame passed it? (Thanks to Charlie from BOT)

Well here it is




Apparently AVATAR was under reported for about $2m.
 

DeltaRed

Member
Apr 27, 2018
2,798
Infinity War added $2m at the very end of the year last year long after it had left cinemas because of numbers from smaller territories finally coming in. International numbers aren't as easily tracked so weekends where extra money comes in can happen.
 
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