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Noctis

Has Following the Box Office Lost Its Appeal and Luster?

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I joined BOM when I was 15 in 2008 and completely fell in love with box office that many close friends would tease me by calling me "box office mojo." When it came to online activity for me, it was overwhelmingly on box office sites and not really that much anywhere else. It was a very concentrated interest for me online.

 

Of course, I joined because of Harry Potter. It was the winter before the release of Half-Blood Prince, and I remember how phenomenal spring and especially summer 2009 was in the release of films like Up, The Hangover, Star Trek, etc that blew up the box office. I remember how fun the Half-Blood Prince VS Transformers 2 WW battle club was and everyone's shock when HP6 broke the midnight record, and then the much bigger shock when New Moon not only broke the midnight record, but also shattered TDK's OD record. Things seemed just more simple and you felt was a much bigger love for box office. And then AVATAR comes along and takes the world by storm. 2009 was peak in box office.

 

2010 and 2011 were great fun as well even though they weren't as phenomenal as 2009 but many great runs happened and it was so exciting following the runs of DH1 and DH2 for me. There was a far bigger selection of series to pick from and things seemed way more diverse. Even when losing BOM in 2011 due to fucking Amazon/IMDB, @Shawn managed to create an even better community rapidly after. 2012 was one of the best years for following box office with The Hunger Games, Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Breaking Dawn, Skyfall, and The Hobbit. Gems like Life of Pi and other unexpected hits made everything more great. 2013-2015 were great fun (aside from maybe 2014 which was fine but it did have its great moments for sure) and 2016 was one of the few years in box office where every season was great fun to follow. 

 

And then it simply...changed. 

 

Of course, life changed and there were a lot more responsibilities for me to focus on, but that shouldn't have made me lose that much interest in box office. Were there great runs from 2017 to 2019? 100%, and a handful of them historic and incredibly fun to track but they were so few and far between. Things just felt so much more stale since then especially that, while I am a fan of some of DC and Marvel's films, it seemed like there was very little selection on the menu. 

 

Then the death blow came. For me...one thing that really solidified losing so much interest in the box office for good was the destruction of BOM's website to what it is today. We used to be able to see the numbers so clearly with so much detail for every single day in a movie and the format was so crisp and clear and now it has regressed into something difficult to handle, and worse off, with far less detail and nuance and comparisons. What the hell did they expect to happen? 

 

After FB3's run, which is practically where 80% of my posts come from, then it's probably going to be me coming to visit the box office just to see the opening weekend numbers of big releases. But the magic...the fun...the excitement of box office has largely disappeared. 

 

I'm very curious to see what people think. It just seems like the golden days of 2000-2016 are long gone.

 

Edited by Noctis
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For me it totally has. I too joined in 2008 in the heyday of the BOM forums. BOM acquisition by IMDB was the final death blow as it made tracking almost impossible and took away all the enjoyment. And then covid happened. Also, while I like superhero films, the BO has been completely oversaturated by Marvel/superhero flicks (or at least it feels like it) and streaming is overtaking. 

 

I am also rarely shocked anymore by BO numbers as people were back in the 2005-2011/12 era, which was part of the excitement. Now it’s just ‘which next marvel film will break the opening record’. I remember the days of hours and hours of anticipation and pure excitement over numbers from ‘Nikki’ on deadline, and the forums teeming with hundreds and hundreds of members in a single thread. It’s just not the same anymore. I remembers the days of the derby on BOM and Baumer’s summer game which had so many players. It felt like a proper community. 
 

I miss the the old days, but maybe that’s because I joined when I was a teenager and the responsibilities and priorities of adult life took over. 

Edited by Heretic
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7 minutes ago, Thanos Legion said:

Well I only seriously started in early 2018, but O feel like 2018 and 2019 were spectacular and 2021/2022 have been interesting in a different way.

 

Things were a lot more diverse and unpredictable then. 

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1 minute ago, Noctis said:

 

Things were a lot more diverse and unpredictable then. 

I like being able to make highly accurate predictions though 👀   
 

Maybe it got moneyballed.

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Always had its ups and downs. Been following since 2014 with The Hobbit, and loved to discover all the archives possible. It was mainly 2020 that bored me a little for obvious reasons but there's so much to look forward to. Do we have potential for 10 250M films this year or even 10 300M like in 2019? Will wr get Avengers 5 in 2028 with Avatar 5 in 2028? When will we see a 3 billion dollar grosser. What will be the Blind Side, Greatest Showman, American Sniper of the 2020s? There is so much anticipation for me

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Yes. This is entirely because of just how one-sided the box office is. If you aren't Disney, or a Disney-type film, your film will 9 times out of 10 suffer. Beforehand, you had every studio having at least a couple hits, a surprise indie sensation, some big award contenders that had interesting and exciting runs, and a lot of other fun surprises. 

 

Now...I guess things are a bit better in terms of variety, but not that much better, with a lot of people simply incurious and refusing to see anything that isn't a sequel or nostalgic or toyetic. I know people hate when I say this, but...that's just what is happening. And it sucks. 🤷‍♂️

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Can confirm, box office has completely lost its luster when your favorite creator is sucking at box office and also better than ever when they have another rousing success.

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3 minutes ago, MrPink said:

Can confirm, box office has completely lost its luster when your favorite creator is sucking at box office and also better than ever when they have another rousing success.

 

Be more clear with what you're saying or I'll have August entangle me.

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As a follower of the box office since the late 1990s, no doubt things aren't the same with so few surprises, such little creativity, and Disney holding a monopoly on things. 

Edited by excel1
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3 minutes ago, Noctis said:

 

Be more clear with what you're saying or I'll have August entangle me.

 

Enjoyment of the box office is entirely dependent on whether your favorite franchise/director/creator is doing well or not, but I'm keeping she who must not be named out of my mouth.

 

Spoiler

In all seriousness, it is obviously less diverse and less interesting in that regard. A run can be mapped out quickly these days and there's hardly any room for films to breathe. But I guess I'm waiting to see what the official post pandemic era looks like before I'm completely ready to doom. As is, theaters are still in a precarious state so there'll be years of fallout before we see what normalization ends up being. In a way, box office runs in the first few months this year were actually a little more interesting because things were actually spaced out for once.

 

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19 minutes ago, MrPink said:

 

Enjoyment of the box office is entirely dependent on whether your favorite franchise/director/creator is doing well or not, but I'm keeping she who must not be named out of my mouth.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

Ah no, some of the best years in box office (2012, 2013, and 2015) didn't have Potter. 

 

I just want to root for a new series that isn't from Disney or superheroes. It's just become so stale on that end, and you can feel original blockbusters really dying out. 

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Yes and no. The market is way too unpredictable and far from normal for any box office goals to be achieved if you're not a franchise. The market has been slowly recovering, but there's not enough theatrical content to meet demands. The Lost City and Dog still feel like anomalies. The sparse market makes flops like Ambulance/Moonfall/Marry Me all the more obvious, even if they weren't going to gross that much in a 2019 market. If we're lucky, next weekend will have three 10M+ openers, but they could easily fall under that mark too. We aren't close to normalcy to feel comfortable yet.

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I only joined in 2019 and it's been a lot of fun since then other than the 2020 dead zone. 

2 hours ago, Thanos Legion said:

I like being able to make highly accurate predictions though 👀   
 

Maybe it got moneyballed.

+1, I like being right. 

 

 

I will elaborate a bit more. You mention all those great pre-2016 runs. I feel like 2019 had a lot of very interesting ones to follow, and 2022 will again. 2019 obviously was a banner year for Disney with Endgame/F2/TLK/TS4/CM/TROS (and Sony's FFH) but there were a lot of other interesting runs like IT2, Joker, Jumanji, Knives Out, Hobbs and Shaw, Parasite though at a smaller scale. 2020 started well with a strong performance from 1917 and then  Bad Boys and Sonic sandwiching the Birds of Prey flop. Even in those doldrums there was some cool stuff going on with international runs like Demon Slayer in Japan. 

 

Also, for me the studio delivering the good BO runs is not that relevant, I just like to see cool runs, so I suppose that contributes to it. 

Edited by Menor Reborn
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11 minutes ago, WrathOfHan said:

Yes and no. The market is way too unpredictable and far from normal for any box office goals to be achieved if you're not a franchise. The market has been slowly recovering, but there's not enough theatrical content to meet demands. The Lost City and Dog still feel like anomalies. The sparse market makes flops like Ambulance/Moonfall/Marry Me all the more obvious, even if they weren't going to gross that much in a 2019 market. If we're lucky, next weekend will have three 10M+ openers, but they could easily fall under that mark too. We aren't close to normalcy to feel comfortable yet.

Honestly even the anomalies make me anxious. Dog was probably going to do 60M no matter what, maybe 75M back in 2016. But Lost City, even with its mediocre reception, would have gone past 100M easily in 2016. It only makes the box office for stuff like Northman or Crawdads or Bullet Train or The Woman King or Thirteen Lives more vulnerable in my eyes and more likely films like these will just be streaming fodder at worst or day-and-date films at best. Even now, the studios are still plopping films (albeit ones that probably wouldn't make much) onto Netflix or Amazon.

 

And again, there's nothing that indicates today's audiences want non-IP stuff in theaters. I don't think things are unpredictable at all. It's just following a trend that was only accelerating due to COVID normalizing home viewing.

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Personally I started losing interest around 2017/2018 when the discourse around every single semi-big movie became about who was offended by its existence today, and no one cared enough about the not so big movies to even bother talking about them. It didn't feel like there was much actual joy to talking about movies anymore.

 

Since coming back this year though it does seem like the forum is a lot more relaxed and mature than it used to be. I'm starting to get that thrill of anticipation again and have movies I'm legit looking forward to and enjoy talking about. I do still prefer talking about the art over the numbers though, I try not to let all the talk of cinematic apocalypse get me down since that honestly has been a thing ever since I originally joined Mojo.

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4 minutes ago, AniNate said:

Personally I started losing interest around 2017/2018 when the discourse around every single semi-big movie became about who was offended by its existence today, and no one cared enough about the not so big movies to even bother talking about them. It didn't feel like there was much actual joy to talking about movies anymore.

 

Since coming back this year though it does seem like the forum is a lot more relaxed and mature than it used to be. I'm starting to get that thrill of anticipation again and have movies I'm legit looking forward to and enjoy talking about. I do still prefer talking about the art over the numbers though, I try not to let all the talk of cinematic apocalypse get me down since that honestly has been a thing ever since I originally joined Mojo.

I should have gotten a BOFFY for ridding us of the Fanboy Wars thread 😒

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5 minutes ago, Eric Says Trans Rights said:

I should have gotten a BOFFY for ridding us of the Fanboy Wars thread 😒

That was a great move, that isn’t talked about enough. You cut out the oxygen supply to most of the worst posters causing them to either die out or get themselves banned eventually. Made the forum a better place.

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