Michael Bay‘s next “Transformers” movie can’t come soon enough for studio Paramount.Universal, Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. all passed $1 billion at the domestic box office already this year. But Paramount is far behind. The studio has released six films so far this year, to varying degrees of success.
So far, the studio’s 2012 domestic total gross is $581 million, though roughly $150 million of that is due to holiday 2011 holdovers like “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “The Adventures of Tintin.”
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted made $211 million, and is the Paramount’s only successful movie so far. The studio can still rely on its kiddie franchise to post big numbers for them, as the third film in the franchise actually made more than the previous installments, all but guaranteeing a fourth.
The rest of Paramount’s slate, however, stunk up the multiplex:
- The Dictator – $60 million. The Sacha Baron Cohen comedy didn’t reach its production budget stateside, but is likely saved by more than $100 million in foreign grosses.
- Titanic 3D – $58 million. Even if the studio expected more for this 3D re-release, they can’t be too upset after only paying for the 3D conversion, prints, and advertising.
- The Devil Inside – $53 million. With a budget around $1 million, this one is pure profit for the studio after opening in January with a stunning $34 million opening weekend.
- Katy Perry: Part of Me – $25 million. The gross may not be too high when compared to a movie like “Madagascar,” but concert movies are cheap to make, and with a $12 million budget, this one should finish in the green.
- A Thousand Words – $18 million. The only “bomb” on this list is the latest from Eddie Murphy, and the studio seems to have seen it coming. They moved the movie’s release date several times before settling on March 2012.
There are a few reasons for why Paramount is nowhere near the $1 billion mark, but the biggest one is it simply hasn’t released enough movies. Compare the studio’s modest six films to Warner Bros.’ 11.
This wasn’t by design though. Two major releases were pushed back to 2013 for various reasons. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” was moved to January 2013 where it could benefit from Jeremy Renner being better established as an action star, and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” was pulled just weeks before its expected release for a 3D conversion and to expand rising star Channing Tatum‘s role.
This should set the studio up for a bigger 2013, which will also feature Brad Pitt’s “World War Z,” J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Trek” sequel, and “Anchorman 2.”
Posting a $1 billion 2012 is still possible, though. With seven films still to be released, including “Paranormal Activity 4,” Tom Cruise‘s “Jack Reacher,” Dreamworks’ holiday pic “Rise of the Guardians” and Denzel Washington‘s Oscar buzz-y “Flight,” the second half of the year could be stronger than the first.
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