By Phil Contrino
As 2008 nears an end, it looks as though the year as a whole has a decent shot at topping 2007’s record-setting box office haul of $9.62 billion.
As long as this weekend’s estimates don’t fluctuate too much, 2008’s box office haul of $8.154 billion is currently around 1% higher than 2007’s haul at the same point in the year.
2008 achieved early success in January with films like Cloverfield ($80 million domestically) and 27 Dresses ($76.8 million). February boasted strong grosses from Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds ($65.3 million) and Fool’s Gold ($70.2 million). In addition, March featured 10,000 B.C. ($94.7 million), Horton Hears a Who! ($154.5 million) and 21 ($81.2 million). Plus, April and May produced two strong comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall ($63.2 million) and Baby Mama ($60 million), respectively.
Then came the summer.
Even if Summer 2008 hadn’t produced the second highest grossing film of all time with The Dark Knight ($528.6 million domestically), the industry as a whole would still be able to brag about the success of Iron Man ($318.3 million), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($317 million), Kung Fu Panda ($215.4 million), WALL-E ($223.1 million) and Hancock ($227.9).
The month of November has already proven to be incredibly successful thanks to the likes of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Quantum of Solace.
Looking forward, 2008’s box office still has to face strong 2007 results. The third weekend of November 2007 posted very solid numbers. Enchanted finished #1 with $34 million and a total of six films grossed more than $10 million that weekend. Still, next weekend should only help to boost 2008’s lead with the emergence of Twilight and Bolt. Twilight will bring in crucial teenage demographics, while Bolt will grab younger audiences and their adult chaperons. Plus, Solace and Madagascar 2 will continue to perform well.
Although, 2008 could lose out to 2007 if December produces mediocre results. Major December releases such as Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Seven Pounds are all plagued by commercial question marks.