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Where the Data Ranks 2018’s Comic Book Films. Black Panther Rules 2018 as it Winds Down

Comic film adaptations are big dollars and we track how they do each week to see trends and what’s working and what’s not. This past weekend, Ant-Man and the Wasp came in at #13 earning an estimated $2.6 million to bring its domestic total to $208.4 million. Internationally the film has earned $257.2 million for a worldwide total of $465.6 million. The film is still shy of the original’s total though it has earned $28 million more domestically unadjusted for ticket price inflation. Worldwide the sequel is shy $54 million.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies dipped a few spots to come in at #18. The film added $710,000 to its total to bring its domestic earnings to $27.3 million. Internationally the film stands at $5.3 million for a worldwide total of $32.6 million off of a $10 million budget. While the film’s earnings might seem low, it has a multiplier of 3.26, better than Ant-Man and the Wasp. That means the film should be profitable at this point and with earnings still coming in, it’ll continue to be the film of 2018 which in the surface seems like a dud but overall is a winner.

Despite its home release, Avengers: Infinity War continues to bring in money. The film was #32 with $97,000 to bring its domestic total to $678.6 million. Worldwide the film has earned $2.046 billion.

Deadpool 2 wasn’t on the chart for the weekend, but the film added about $500,000 to its total over the week. Domestically, the film has earned $318.3 million and also $415.3 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $733.6 million. The sequel lags the original in every way and with a much higher budget, it’s unlikely it’ll be as profitable as the original. It is the second most successful “X” film domestically behind the original (not adjusted for inflation) and worldwide the film is in third place (again unadjusted).

Black Panther has slowed down finally ending its theatrical run. The film is the top grossing domestic film of 2018 so far and isn’t likely to be passed. The film added about $20,000 internationally over the week. Worldwide, the film has brought in $1.347 billion. The movie is the rare blockbuster that has earned more domestically than it has internationally.

The Death of Stalin didn’t shift at all and looks like it’ll stay at earning $8,041,828 domestically.

I Kill Giants continues to be a weird one when it comes to numbers. Some more numbers have come in. According to what little we could find, it looks like the film’s domestic box office has brought in $183,754. All together, the film has earned a reported $263,621 at the foreign box office. The movie was released on demand at the same time in theaters, so the film has made money it’s just unknown how much.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $1.941 billion
Total International Gross: $2.705 billion
Worldwide Gross: $4.646 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $797.1 million
Total “Profit”: $3.828 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $277.3 million
Average International Gross: $386.4 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $663.7 million
Average Budget: $132.9 million
Average Profit: $530.8 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Crazy Rich Asians Helps Warner Bros. Deliver a One Two Punch

Crazy Rich Asians won the weekend beating most industry expectations. The film earned an estimated $34 million over its five-day opening. Made on a reported $30 million budget, the film has a strong 74 rating on Metacritic and an “A” Cinemascore.

For the three day weekend, the film earned $25.2 million and will likely cross $100 million before it’s done. The film opened in just six foreign markets where it earned $730,000. The movie is getting a staggered release schedule with Australia opening on August 30 and mid-September in the UK.

The second spot was held by last weekend’s winner, The Meg. The film earned an estimated $21.2 million to bring its domestic total to $83.8 million. Internationally, the film added $67 million from 55 markets to bring the foreign gross to $230.4 million.

Mile 22 opened in third place with a slightly below expectation earning of $13.6 million.

The fourth and fifth place is a photo finish. New film Alpha and Mission: Impossible – Fallout both have an estimated $10.5 million as of reporting. Those totals may change when the final numbers come in.

When it comes to comic film adaptations…

Ant-Man and the Wasp came in at #13 earning an estimated $2.6 million to bring its domestic total to $208.4 million. Internationally the film has earned $257.2 million for a worldwide total of $465.6 million.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies dipped a few spots to come in at #18. The film added $710,000 to its total to bring its domestic earnings to $27.3 million. Internationally the film stands at $5.3 million for a worldwide total of $32.6 million off of a $10 million budget.

Despite its home release, Avengers: Infinity War continues to bring in money. The film was #32 with $97,000 to bring its domestic total to $678.6 million. Worldwide the film has earned $2.046 billion.

Come back in an hour when we’ll have a deeper dive into this year’s comic adaptations.

How to Paint Characters the Marvel Studios Way! Celebrating the Marvel Studios Visual Development Team in April 2019

Black Panther. Thor. Captain America. You’ve seen them fight on the big screen—now, you can paint them yourself! While celebrating the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel invites fans of all ages to learn the tips and tricks of painting your favorite super heroes from the masters themselves…with a brand-new book called How to Paint Characters the Marvel Studios Way!

In this beautiful hardcover, you’ll discover insights from some of the industry’s leading concept artists. Ryan Meinerding, Charlie Wen, Andy Park, Jackson Sze, Rodney Fuentebella, Anthony Francisco and more of the artists behind The Marvel Studios Visual Development team will share their method behind creating iconic designs for all your favorite characters, from Captain America to Black Panther!

Within the stunning pages of this keepsake book, readers will learn these artists’ favorite tools of the trade, their tips for visual character development, their process of collaborating with filmmakers and other artists on the team, and the costume and props departments—and how it all comes together to create seamless film designs! Each five-ten page “character study” will take readers on a step-by-step journey through the artist’s approach to bringing a specific hero or villain to life. Not only will readers get a sense of how each artist works, from their tools to their process, they’ll also get to see how a character’s design was created—from blank page to a final approval!

Don’t miss How to Paint Characters the Marvel Studios Way, coming this spring!

How To Paint Characters the Marvel Studios Way is out April 17, 2019.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Gets an Art Book

Dark Horse Books has announced preorders are now available for The Art of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, a beautifully designed hardcover book featuring exclusive commentary and never-before-seen art from the creation of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The book goes on sale March 5, 2019, and the film arrives in theaters on March 1, 2019.

This brilliantly illustrated full-color book celebrates the astonishing film, showcasing the surprising new tale of Toothless and Hiccup through hundreds of pieces of original art.  The book includes commentary by director Dean DeBlois and the many talented artists who worked on the film.

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World HC goes on sale March 5, 2019, and is available now for pre-order at Amazon and your local comic shop. This 184-page volume retails for $39.99.

Where the Data Ranks 2018’s Comic Book Films. Ant-Man and the Wasp Crosses $200 Million

Comic film adaptations are big dollars and we track how they do each week to see trends and what’s working and what’s not. This past weekend, Ant-Man and the Wasp crossed the $200 million mark after earning an estimated $4 million this past weekend. That brings its domestic total to $203.5 million. The film has also earned $245.4 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $448.9 million after six weeks. The film is still shy of the original’s total though it has earned $23 million more domestically unadjusted for ticket price inflation. Worldwide the sequel is shy $71 million.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies came in at #15 earning an estimated $1.8 million to bring its domestic total to $25.5 million off of a $10 million budget. The film has also earned $4.5 million at the foreign box office for a total of $30 million. That’s a gain of $6.9 million over the past week.

Despite being released for home, Avengers: Infinity War was #25 for the weekend earning an estimated $196,000 to bring its domestic total to $678.4 million. The film has also earned $1.367 billion for a worldwide total of $2.046 billion.

Deadpool 2 wasn’t on the chart for the weekend, but the film added about $600,000 to its total over the week. Domestically, the film has earned $318.1 million and also $415 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $733.1 million. The sequel lags the original in every way and with a much higher budget, it’s unlikely it’ll be as profitable as the original. It is the second most successful “X” film domestically behind the original (not adjusted for inflation) and worldwide the film is in third place (again unadjusted).

Black Panther continues to bring in the dollars even though it is out on digital and Blu-ray. The film added about $55,000 domestically and about $60,000 internationally over the week. Worldwide, the film has brought in $1.347 billion. The movie is the rare blockbuster that has earned more domestically than it has internationally.

The Death of Stalin didn’t shift at all and looks like it’ll stay at earning $8,041,828 domestically.

I Kill Giants continues to be a weird one when it comes to numbers. Some more numbers have come in. According to what little we could find, it looks like the film’s domestic box office has brought in $183,754. All together, the film has earned a reported $263,621 at the foreign box office. The movie was released on demand at the same time in theaters, so the film has made money it’s just unknown how much.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $1.934 billion
Total International Gross: $2.692 billion
Worldwide Gross: $4.626 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $797.1 million
Total “Profit”: $3.808 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $276.2 million
Average International Gross: $384.6 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $660.8 million
Average Budget: $132.9 million
Average Profit: $528 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

The Meg Dominates the Weekend with a $44.5 Million Debut

It was a monster of a weekend that shows giant sharks can still drive audiences into the theater. The Meg won the weekend with an estimated $44.5 million debut at 4,118 screens for an average of $10,806. That debut is well above the estimates which expected it to be in the $20s million range.

The film received a “B+” CinemaScore, nothing that really shows this is a film driven by positive word of mouth. But, with a lack of giant monster films, this is one that could just be the right release at the right time.

The film has also earned $97 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $141.5 million, already passing the $130 million budget.

In second place was the box office champ for the past two weekend, Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The movie earned an estimated $20 million to bring its domestic total to $162 million. With $275.6 million at the foreign box office the film is showing sequels can mean success with a worldwide total of $437.6 million on its $178 million budget.

In third place was Disney’s Christopher Robin which dropped 49.4% from its debut weekend. The film earned an estimated $12.4 million to bring its domestic total to $50 million. Internationally the film has earned $12.1 million for $62.1 million total.

Rounding out the top five were two new films.

Slender Man came in fourth with an estimated $11.3 million off of a $10 million budget. There’s lots of money to be made in low budget horror and the films seem to do well no matter the time of year that they’re released.

Rounding out the top five was BlacKKKlansman from Spike Lee. The film earned an estimated $10.8 million from a $15 million budget. It has also earned $400,000 at the foreign box office. This is on the higher end of openings for Lee whose best was 2006’s Inside Man. It’s close to his second best opening which was The Original Kinds of Comedy’s $11.1 million in 2000. That film went on to earn $38.2 million.

In comic movie earnings…

Ant-Man and the Wasp rounded out the top 10 earning an estimated $4 million to bring its domestic total to $203.5 million. The film has also earned $245.4 million at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $448.9 million after six weeks. The film is still shy of the original’s total though it has earned $23 million more domestically unadjusted for ticket price inflation. Worldwide the sequel is shy $71 million.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies came in at #15 earning an estimated $1.8 million to bring its domestic total to $25.5 million off of a $10 million budget. The film has also earned $4.5 million at the foreign box office for a total of $30 million.

Despite being released for home, Avengers: Infinity War was #25 for the weekend earning an estimated $196,000 to bring its domestic total to $678.4 million. The film has also earned $1.367 billion for a worldwide total of $2.046 billion.

We’ll have more coverage of this year’s comic film adaptations in an hour.

Movie Review: The Meg

themegposterIt doesn’t get more quintessentially end of summer than a scary shark movie, and The Meg hopes that by upping the size of the shark, the size of the audience thrills will increase proportionately.

Welp . . . we’re gonna need a bigger shark.

While the film delivers on some basic scares, its ridiculous premise (ancient megalodon escapes from previously unexplored area of the ocean and wreaks havoc) and over the top action don’t make for nearly as thrilling an experience as the filmmakers would like. But, it’s slightly smarter than a Sharknado, and its effects budget are equal to at least a half dozen Sharknados, so it’s not unwatchable. But it’s as big as it is stupid. That doesn’t mean it isn’t at least a little fun.

A lot of that fun comes from the main cast, with Jason Statham as the action hero and asian cinema mainstay Li Bingbing as a marine biologist. Funding her research is a rebel billionaire played by Rainn Wilson, who brings some comic relief to the story.  And supporting cast like Ruby Rose and Masi Oka do a good job of being story/character chum in the water. While not used to their full potential, they do their job.

Let me take a moment and address the news that Ruby Rose will be playing Batwoman on the CW crossover event later this fall. She is great in this film — as she is in most things — and this is an opportunity to check out what you’re likely to see. She’s not in the film much, but enough to enjoy, and possibly is even the best performance in the entire thing, or at least in a close contest with Li Bingbing.

This movie is best when it embraces being a big, dumb shark movie. It is at its worst when it veers from that. Yes, there’s a romantic subplot. Yes, there’s an adorable child. There’s even a scene late in the movie with an adorable dog in peril! It has plot holes as big as its prehistoric antagonist. But the worst is when it takes a few moments to give us a very special public service announcement:

While tracking our eponymous Meg, they come upon wreckage from a fishing boat, and are surprised to find dead sharks floating in the water. One of them notes the sharks have had their fins removed — The Meg didn’t do this, evil fishermen did. “All this for a bowl of soup,” one of them laments. All we need is the rainbow flying across the sky to tell us “The More You Know!”

I understand that this message was not meant for me, per se, but for the audiences in China that this film was, evidently, largely made. That’s fine. They’re the world’s largest movie market, and not everything has to be made for US consumption. But it specifically takes us out of the film and out of the moment to remind us that what we’re seeing is fake. For those who complain about “SJWs” “ruining movies/tv shows/comics” with “social justice messages,” here’s a reminder of what that actually looks like when it’s done badly.

There’s a certain type of person who needs to see every shark movie, and for those people this will likely check off a number of boxes of what they want to see. It isn’t Jaws, and it isn’t even Deep Blue Sea, but it has its share of fun. If you’re looking to escape the summer heat in an air-conditioned theater and munch through a giant bucket of buttered corn like a feeding frenzy, you could do worse. (I mean, convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza has a new piece of propaganda out there deifying his man Trump, possibly in return for issuing him that crooked pardon, so that goes without saying) But in order to even attempt to enjoy this movie, you will have to de-evolve your brain to prehistoric shark levels.

2.5 out of 5

Bad News for Geeks: The Oscar for Achievement in Popular Film

And the Award for the Worst Idea for Awards Shows 2018 goes to. . .  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announcing an award for “outstanding achievement in popular film.”

It’s stupid, it’s pandering, it’s condescending, and also potentially racist.

On first glance, geeks might rejoice! “Finally, a category that will reward the movies I love — Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park!”

Well yes. And no.

The Academy is correct in identifying that fewer and fewer people are watching The Oscars every year. But this won’t help with that– at all. Yes, please, add more categories and ones that will represent the best in pop geek cinema. In fact, I identified five such ideas earlier this year. I quote myself:

“Most of the Best Picture nominations have made less than $100 million. NONE of the top 10 grossing movies of 2017 are nominated for Best Picture or Best Director. While we should in no way conflate box office with artistic merit, … it’s no wonder the public tunes out– because the Oscars celebrate what Hollywood likes in its movies, but not necessarily the rest of the country. In fact, of the top twenty best performing films of 2017, you only have two that received Best Picture / Best Director nominations — Dunkirk (16th) and Get Out (18th).”

My personal favorites of 2017 included blockbusters and artsy movies. While I would never expect to see Atomic Blonde nominated for Best Picture (it was also only a minor box office success), I am surprised that amazing films like Coco and Your Name are not. (Note: I am talking about the time-travel-starcrossed lovers anime Your Name and not Call Me By Your Name). But why are they not nominated as Best Picture?

Because they are animated films, and animation has its own separate category. Films like Zootopia, Inside Out, and The Incredibles deserve Oscar buzz. But they will never get it because they are stuck in the same situation we are about to put “popular” films in. This is the same problem documentaries have– films like Man on Wire, The Act of Killing, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, or 13th should all be considered amongst the best films of their respective years. Ditto for foreign language films.

The Academy should be asking, “Is how we choose Best Picture, Director, Writer and Actor nominees maybe not considering a whole slew of great films because our voting population is mainly old, white men who are susceptible to lobbying/bribery/marketing from the major studios and bullies/abusers like the Weinsteins?” Instead they’re saying, “Maybe if we nominate one of these superhero movies it will get these rubes off their tractors and turnip trucks.”

In the wake of controversies like #OscarsSoWhite, they are trying to increase the diversity of what films they consider, but this will ultimately backfire. Let’s be 100% real — if this category had existed last year, Get Out would’ve been in it. How do we know this? Because at the Golden Globes, it was nominated in the “Musicals and Comedy” slate.

It’s not hard to posit that the following conversation took place:

A: “They’re going to call us racist if Black Panther isn’t nominated for Best Picture.”
B: “Well, what if we designed a new category it can be sure to win, so we don’t have to worry about it?”
C: “Yes! A separate, but equal, award for. . . best popular movie or something.”

Or maybe the answer is just make sure the people voting are given the option to, you know, vote for Black Panther. And maybe extend your voting to enough people to make sure it can happen. And you don’t have to pander. You don’t have to condescend. But that, of course, would require you to make Hollywood less of an old-boys-club run by suits looking at spreadsheets. The key is having a younger, more racially diverse, more equal in terms of gender ratios group of voters, which means having more of those people making the films we love. But nah, let’s just make a popularity award.

This is not at all to poo-poo “popular” movies. I will fight you why Captain America: Civil War was the best movie of 2016 (and Captain America: Winter Soldier the best of 2014). Of the 100+ films I’ve seen and reviewed this year here on Graphic Policy and elsewhere, Black Panther has so far received my highest score. It shouldn’t be nominated for an award because it’s “popular”– it should be nominated because it’s a damn fine movie. Again, I will fight anyone who says differently. I love nothing more than sit down and obsessively talk about the minutae of Ryan Coogler or Rian Johnson’s work.

Do I want The Last Jedi to be nominated for Best Picture? Sure! The original Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture and should’ve won against Annie Hall, and Rian Johnson’s masterpiece is in that same echelon of great Star Wars movies. (Yes, @ me if you must, because I will die on this hill and am happy to block tons of trolls on Twitter)

But what I don’t want is every year or so for a Star Wars film to get a participation trophy because it made so much money. It doesn’t need a popularity award– it just made a billion dollars! It’s @#$%ing Star Wars — one of the most culturally ubiquitous things on the planet. That’s enough. If you’re going to reward it for its cinematic achievement, then do so. But don’t do it because you think it will get more eyes on a tv broadcast. (SPOILER ALERT: It won’t.) That path leads to the Dark Side. . . and the Star Wars Holiday Special.

What it will do is ghettoize great films just because they are popular.

Let’s play this out. This year’s nominees will likely include Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, Mary Poppins Returns. . . yes, those are all Disney films. Add in Deadpool 2 as a soon-to-be-Disney property. Anyone see a problem with this? First, if you’re literally any other film, why even bother? Second, remember that the Oscars telecast is on ABC. If this category — even just for this year — is just an extended commercial for Disney’s corporate holdings, then, again, why even bother?

The biggest tragedy will be if groundbreaking genre films like Sorry to Bother You, Hereditary, or A Quiet Place get relegated to this category.  Again — 100%– Get Out would have been in this category last year. So would Logan and likely Wonder Woman. We shouldn’t be content with this, but instead demand that real artistic work be taken seriously and not dismissed out of hand as though “Best” and “Popular” are largely mutually exclusive categories. Both James Mangold and Patty Jenkins deserved to be nominated as Best Director and their films nominated for Best Picture. Instead, we get Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Darkest Hour. 

It’s precisely that kind of bullshit that makes people not tune in. Another movie about Dunkirk? (and the absolute worst of the three released in 2017!) And a misguided discussion about forgiveness that completely misses the mark, especially when it comes to issues of race? Yeah, no. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ghettoizing Get Out, Logan, The Last Jedi, and Wonder Woman into a “popular movies” category wouldn’t fix that.

Apologies for using the word ghettoize. I do not do so lightly. I do so in the literal sense of segregating people based on outward characteristics in order to provide them with substandard services.

While The Academy would like to be more diverse, this category will serve as a “runner up” category to keep films like Black Panther, Sorry to Bother You, A Wrinkle in Time, Crazy Rich Asians AND their filmmakers away from the podium.

That’s not fair, and it’s not ok. I made a joke earlier about a “separate, but equal, category.” That’s what this is. As long as it exists as a consolation prize while “real” art gets nominated for Best Picture, it will serve to “other” deserving filmmakers.

While this will be good news that early next year we can stop remembering that the only recent movie based on a comic book to win an Oscar is Suicide Squad (executive produced by supervillain Treasury Secretary and therefore fifth in line for the presidency Steve Mnuchin!) that is likely the only good thing about this situation. Sure, Ryan Coogler might get to accept an Oscar, but he deserves to be in the same category as Spielberg and Scorcese.

Ryan Reynolds stars in new ad for Deadpool 2 on Digital

The sequel to the first one! (That’s just lazy writing)

But wait…there’s more! If your second time wasn’t enough, your second, second time will blow you away. The Deadpool 2 Super Duper $@%!#& Cut gives you even more of everyone’s favorite red-spandexed superhero now with 15 minutes of brand-new action and jokes lovingly inserted throughout. That’s a whole lotta D in a surprisingly small package!

Add Deadpool 2 to your Digital collection TODAY! 

Available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD August 21.

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