The 2007 Box-Office In Review

The 2007 final box-office tally yielded $9.7 billion – a 4% increase on last year. Taking inflation into account it means 1.42 billion tickets were sold domestically last year – the same number as in 2006.

2002 remains the high watermark year for the past decade with 1.61 billion tickets sold and well over $10 billion in revenue when adjusted for inflation. Since that high watermark though, both markers began declining and hit bottom in 2005. The following year saw just a slight improvement in attendance and revenue, whilst 2007 saw a similar improvement again but in revenue only – not attendance.

Most of the money last year came from the rush of big Summer tentpoles and sequels which took in over $4 billion over the Summer, despite most of them earning both the least money and critical praise of their respective franchises. Short of “300” and “I Am Legend”, all the films of the Top Ten earners of the year came during the Summer.

1. Spider-Man 3 – $336.5m
2. Shrek the Third – $321.0m
3. Transformers – $319.1m
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – $309.4m
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $292.0m
6. The Bourne Ultimatum – $227.5m
7. 300 – $210.6m
8. Ratatouille – $206.4m
9. I Am Legend – $205.1m
10. The Simpsons Movie – 183.1m

Where Hollywood suffered was the Fall. Between late August and early December only three films – “Bee Movie,” “American Gangster” and “Enchanted” – crossed the $100 million mark, whilst only another three – “The Game Plan,” “Saw IV” and “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married” – crossed $50 million. A late rush in December with crowds turning out for “I Am Legend” and the “National Treasure” sequel helped boost the final tally with a much needed extra $350 million.

Where the studios where smiling this year was internationally. Foreign box-office reached record levels with a 9% jump from last year to $9.4 billion. There were however some very notable discrepancies between performances domestically and globally on key titles.

Films such as ‘Pirates’, ‘Potter’, ‘Ratatouille’, ‘The Simpsons Movie’ and ‘Die Hard’ made more than doubled their domestic hauls overseas; ‘Transformers,’ ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Shrek’ and ‘300’ were about even; whilst ‘Bourne’ and ‘Rush Hour’ made notably more money inside the States than globally (for those wondering, Bourne truly is the opposite of Bond who makes most of his money overseas).

American comedies rarely do well overseas, as demonstrated this year with the likes of ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘Bee Movie,’ ‘Wild Hogs’ and ‘Superbad’ failing to get anywhere near the $100 million mark. On the other hand some movies were saved from extinction such as ‘The Golden Compass,’ ‘Stardust,’ ‘Resident Evil: Extinction,’ The Heartbreak Kid’ and ‘Atonement’ which have all doubled (or more) their domestic totals.