THE REAL TE$T OF A HALL OF FAME MOVIE FRANCHI$E!
What could possibly compare with that extraordinary global box office opening of Jurassic World (JW) on 6/12? It ca$h regi$tered $204.6 M domestically and another $307.2 M at the foreign box to become the GLOBAL OPENING BOX OFFICE CHAMP of ALL TIME ($511.8 M)! Its 2nd wknd was also spectacular as it crui$e$ to a $1 B global box! (Box office prognosticators predict it will finish as 3rd at 2015’s worldwide box office with $1.25 B±. When the dino dust settles, Avengers 2 will be #1 and Star Wars 7 will be #2 [Cinema Blend]). Its success while exceptional is nonetheless well reasoned. (1) Kids love dinos; (2) JW used the original JP location±(Isla Nublar); (3) Chris Pratt is the star human; (4) the “China Effect” is a prime player (China’s $100 M box was at the same time as the US opening); (5) regular box office $$ are being augmented by the widest worldwide IMAX screen release, EVER (800+ screens, Hollywood Reporter). We estimate those tix cost ¾± more than the avg tix; (6) Nostalgia from JPI (1993) is now multi-generational; (7) TIMING (no competitive blockbuster openings during wknd #1); and (8) JW’s new director (Colin Trevorrow) gave the franchise a “face lift” appealing to a younger audience. While no one can deny the box office bonanza that is JW, is it really a H of F franchise? Beyond its extraordinary box office, will it be a franchise that keeps gifting revenue $tream$ beyond its box $$? B-4 we view our movie franchise info (T-1) and consider JP/JW w/i it, we MUST acknowledge the fine work of WSJ journalist Erich Schwartzel. He noted that if JW faced ALL domestic movies ever released on a level playing field (using 2015 ticket prices) that Gone With the Wind (1939) would win by a landslide, boxing $1.64 B followed by Star Wars (1977) at $1.45 B with The Sound of Music (1965) being #3 ($1.18 B). ET (1982) follows at $1.15 B & Titanic (1997) with $1.10 B is #5. As for JW, EVEN if its 2015 domestic box office finished at a very unlikely total of $650 M, it still wouldn’t make the Top 15. The Return of the Jedi (1983) is now #15 at $760 M (inflation adjusted). ANYQUESTIONS?
Table 1 above reveals some of the obvious differences b/t great movie franchises and those that are H of F material with strong product line revenue streams. For sheer length and strength of the movie brand itself, it is hard to beat James Bond. From 1962 to 2014, there have been 24 movies featuring 5 James Bonds past the irreplaceable Sean Connery. Next we consider Mssn Impossible which grew from a TV show (1966) into a wonderful movie sequel after sequel with no end set in sight. There have been 5 movies (from 1996 – 2015). And then, there’s that box office explosion on behalf of the action thriller, Fast & Furious (7 movies from 2001 – 2015). Having said that, NONE of the above mentioned, NONE OF THEM qualifying for our H of F, not even close! Make NO mistake about it, however, Bonds, Mssn Impossible and Fast & Furious are great movie brands that will continue to robustly contribute to both domestic and foreign box offices. Less we be too dismissive of these fabulous flick franchises we must give James Bond more than just a leather glove or a tip of our cap as this franchise continues to deliver product placement $$. Congrats! It was one of the very 1st movie franchises that recognized the marketing value and the revenue stream that comes from product placement (James Bond #24 to be released during the Holiday Season of 2015 is scheduled to have $45 M worth of product placements. WOW!)
Now to the real story behind our H of F movie franchises starting with Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Avengers & Frozen. They are EZ Hall of Famers. The fact that the anchor movies themselves (of these very very successful movie brands), in each instance, account for less than of their total revenues. WOW! Even in other movie franchises such as Twilight, Transformers and Toy Story the % of box office hovers around 50%±. In short, these movie franchises’ total revenue where the movie’s revenue is exceeded by the other sources of revenue. Our 1st 4 STARS all have unique stories. The key to Star Wars’ success was its awesome toys from movie props & characters, themselves, (whether a spaceship, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, or whatever/whomever etc.) As for Harry Potter, the wonderful anchor of this franchise clearly are those J K Rowling’s books (and the toys that followed from them and the movies). Frozen has become a 1 movie legend that Disney converted into many mega revenue streams that target young girls. Cars almost looks like a movie franchise where the 2 movies seem all but an afterthought, an offshoot of the toys, the other merchandise and all those other revenue sources.
Given this brief exam of what a Hall of Famer flick franchise is, let’s see if JP/JW has the “right stuff.” Gee Whiz you can’t just “walk on the moon” once, have your pic taken and sign a few autographs on copies of that pic and call yourself a H of F-er. NO WAY! T-1 tells us that JP/JW has a long, long way to go. T-1 doesn’t even include the phenomenal box office from JW, itself is not even part of that table which means the other revenue streams must be very, very strong to offset those remarkable opening box office $$. Let’s be real in our attempt to give serious H of F eval to the total franchise w/o questioning its H of F box office credentials. We start at the end. Which means that the JP/JW movies themselves, MUST generate NO MORE than 50%± of its total franchise $$ & ¢¢. How could this happen? Thx to the work of The Wrap’s Todd Cunningham, fool.com’s, Demitrios Kalogerpou (DK), homemediamagazine and others, here’s our eval. Is it a H of Famer?
- Revenue in home entertainment & licensing will grow. Universal Studios theme park in FL & Japan have increase d attend. (While it would be unfair to try to add increased $$ to ZOO Dinosaurias and to museums of natural history, JW clearly will rekindle their attendances and their revenue.
- JW will add billions to Comcast’s as it collects part of ALL sales from the 4,300 theatres showing JW and from licensing the flick to “on demand” vid services, booking DVD sales and delivering the films to a network for cable broadcast.
- Hasbro is poised to reverse a decade of dormant dino themed toys. (According to DK, Frozen saw a 22% jump in sales during the holidays last yr. Hasbro’s shares grew by 13% 4/13 based on bullish Q1
- 18 of JW’s top 20 theaters were IMAX Typically IMAX accounts for 10%-15% of theater rev. Wall Strt, therefore expects IMAX to book 32% higher sales in Q2.
- JW will help sell JP’s existing trilogy that has generated $9.5 M since its release 10/25/11.
- JW’s predicted to release on DVD and Blu-Ray on 10/15. JW stands to make $65 M on its 1st day on DVD and Blu-Ray if its success mirrors Frozen ( The Numbers, 2015, Web)
- The state of LA has incentives including; a) 30% tax credit on qualified direct production LA expenditures, b) Additional 5% tax credit for payroll expenditures to LA residents, c) Tax credits may be used to offset income tax liability in LA (Film New Orleans, 2015, Web)