It was the highest-grossing ever, but the bombs nearly overshadowed the hits
The summer of 2013 is now in the record books as the biggest ever at the box office, with more than $4.75 billion in grosses.
Hits like “Iron Man 3,” ‘Despicable Me 2” “Man of Steel” and “Monsters University” led the way, but bombs like “The Lone Ranger,” “White House Down” and “R.I.P.D.” made nearly as many headlines. Nonetheless it topped the mark of $4.4 billion set in 2011 by nearly 8 percent.
That was the way the whole summer played out, with a lot of positive news at the box office, but nearly as much negative. If you've been paying close attention, you may already know most of the big numbers. But here is a look at some of the figures — good, bad and ugly — that you might have missed:
$1.2 billion – That’s the worldwide haul for Disney’s “Iron Man 3,” the only movie to hit a billion at the box office this summer. “Marvel’s the Avengers” and “Dark Knight Rises” did it last year.
$190 million – Disney was forced to make a major write-down when the Johnny Depp-Jerry Bruckheimer action Western “The Lone Ranger” badly missed the mark at the box office. At least it wasn't much as the $200 million charge for “John Carter” last year.
17 – The number of movies that made more than $100 million at the box office this summer was way up from last year’s 12. The Jennifer Aniston comedy “We’re the Millers” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” and were the latest to join the club. (If you’re looking for the flip side on this one, there were 19 movies with budgets higher than $100 million released this summer.)
$3.2 million –Seth Rogen, James Franco and their partying “This Is the End” pals could have written a check for that amount to a theater somewhere to get the raunchy comedy over the $100 million hump. Instead, Sony is putting it back in theaters again Friday to get there.
$15 million – Pre-release tracking had Brad Pitt’s pricey zombie thriller “World War Z” opening to $50 million after reports of costly production delays and snafus. It was off a bit – it did $65 million in its first three days for Paramount.
34 cents – The price of an average movie ticket rose that much – to $8.12 — between the first and second quarter of this year. Most of it was due to the surcharges tacked on for 3D and Imax screenings.
98 – Out of 100 reviews for the Selena Gomez-Ethan Hawke thriller “Getaway” posted on Rotten Tomatoes, just two were favorable. The public listened. Its $5.6 million four-day debut was the summer’s worst for a wide release.
$157 million – That’s the domestic haul to date for Sony’s “The Heat,” the Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock buddy film that was one of the few movies aimed at women this season. It was the top comedy, nearly $30 million ahead of Adam Sandler and his buds in “Grown Ups 2.” It was the season's highest-grossing R-rated movie, too.
7 p.m. – “Midnight” screenings on the day before the official openings have morphed into what are nearly entire extra days. Paramount gave theaters the go-ahead for the extra-early shows on its two summer releases, “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “World War Z” and others followed.
6 – The six top movies of summer – ‘Iron Man 3,” ‘Despicable Me 2,” “Man of Steel,” “Monsters University,” “Fast & Furious 6” and “Star Trek into Darkness” – were sequels.
5 – Of the quintet of animated family films that hit theaters and parents’ pocketbooks in the season’s last two months this summer — “Monsters University,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Turbo,” “Smurfs 2” and “Planes” – only the first two thrived.
4 – The summer’s biggest disappointments — “The Lone Ranger,” “White House Down,” “After Earth” and “R.I.P.D.” – were all originals.
III – The finale in the “Hangover” franchise was by far weakest of the batch. Its $112 million domestic haul was less than half of what each of the first two Wolfpack films made.
$3 million – “The Purge,” a home invasion thriller from Jason Blum and Universal, opened to $35 million in June has taken in $84 million domestically, or roughly $81 million more than it cost to make.
2 – It seems only two of summer’s new films will generate follow-up films: Lionsgate’s magic-themed heist thriller “Now You See Me” and New Line’s low-budget horror film “The Conjuring.”
2D – “Fast and Furious 6” was the only film in the top ten that wasn’t 3-D.
240 – That’s how many days we have to wait until next May, when “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” kicks off summer 2014.