Back in 1984, when a hit film played for six months, the world didn’t live or die by opening weekend. Today such a head-to-head match-up would be suicidal. Yet we see on the horizon, in 2016 especially, a handful of seemingly insane demographic box office duels, where films either targeting identical demographics or big enough that they need to suck up most of the oxygen in the room are opening against each other.
As someone that didn’t follow the release date until the early 1990′s, I will admit that it came as a shock when I discovered through happenstance that Columbia’s Ghostbusters and Warner Bros.‘ Gremlins both opened on the same exact day. 30 years ago yesterday, June 8th, 2014 saw the wide release debuts of both iconic horror-tinged comedies. They both opened with over/under $13 million ($13.5m on 1,300 screens for Ghostbusters, $12.5m on 1,500 screens for Gremlins) and both rose 11% in their second weekend. What’s most interesting about their respective box office stories is how little effect going head-to-head had for either picture.
We saw this madness last summer when Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 went head-to-head with The Hangover part III over Memorial Day weekend. Obviously there was a clear winner, as Fast & Furious 6 earned $117m over the the weekend, including $97m over the Fri-Sun portion, while The Hangover part III earned $62m over its Thurs-Mon debut.
I talk a lot about weekend box office not necessarily being a competition between debuting movies, but sometimes the demographics are such that the opposite is true. Here are three explicit examples, all in the summer of 2016 no-less, of seemingly insane box office match-ups. Obviously it’s June 2014, so all three of these may end up getting called off as studios come to their senses. But for the moment, let us highlight what amounts to “very big apple” versus “very big apple” showdowns that are currently scheduled for summer 2016.
( Batman v. Superman vs. Captain America 3Collapse )
( X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Alice in Wonderland 2Collapse )
( Finding Dory vs. How To Train Your Dragon 3Collapse )
What are your bets for these three showdowns?