Friday, 9 September 2016

BLOGGING DESIGN box office example

Through my British Cinema blog you can find a links list on box office, a key topic for coursework and exam research alike. There are many great resources on this, including American sources like Variety and the site boxofficemojo.

For this example I'll use Charles Gant's fantastic weekly UK box office analysis. If you routinely read this you'll build up a much wider knowledge than your teacher can hope to provide directly, and will over time take on industry terms and concepts.

Below is how I'd blog on this, then a breakdown of what design decisions/blogger tools I've applied.

Charles Gant's latest UK box office review.
Clarke's surprise 2008 hit
British producers struggle in the face of the 'big six' dominance, unable to approach the tentpole $100-300m budget level of the Hollywood conglomerates when only two films have ever made £100m+ at the UK box office. When you add the social realist genre to the mix, typically lacking any major stars and providing the opposite of the feelgood narrative that dominates US cinema (still the biggest cinema market, though China will soon top it, so vital for film producers to aim for), box office success is unlikely.

Even getting a limited theatrical release is beyond most UK social realist films. There are always exceptions, and Noel Clarke, like Shane Meadows, has become an auteur brand that will attract an audience:
Eight years ago, Noel Clarke’s Adulthood stunned the UK film industry when it debuted in the UK with £1.20m from 157 cinemas, on its way to a total of £3.35m. This represented a big jump up from the success of Kidulthood from 2006, and set a high commercial bar for the British urban drama. [Gant]

Clarke returned to find the specialist distributor behind many 'urban' Brit movies had gone bust - a common fate amongst Indies generally, struggling to survive in a market so dominated by the big six in which stars (or hugely successful IPs like the Harry Potter book series) are key. Just as the iconic Ken Loach and Mike Leigh have always experienced, getting financing for a seemingly non-commercial movie with limited box office potential is always a struggle:
Distributors were hardly running at Clarke waving chequebooks, and the film-maker received only a couple of viable bids for financing, eventually choosing Lionsgate.
So, the £2m opening week takings are another triumph against the odds for Clarke, and Indie film generally:
Given a release in just 220 cinemas – less than half of the number for all its close competitors – ... a very robust site average ... of £4,581 is the highest of any film on release.
British films tend to get limited releases (if any): the US blockbusters can expect 400-600+ cinemas in the UK (3000+ in the US) - see this post. Warp's greatest success until '71 was Four Lions - released on just 115 screens initially, doubled after an unexpected success:
From a 2010 blog post.

That this is an exception to the rule can be seen by looking at the summer 2016 UK box office top ten, a near lockout for big six franchise tentpoles:
As Gant points out, this represents a disappointing return for those Hollywood giants, with signs that franchise fatigue may be setting in. Nonetheless, they continue to utterly dominate cinema markets worldwide - the UK is typical in having relatively few breakout domestic hits. Only the US giants can afford the type of casting and CGI/SFX extravaganzas that we get with the likes of the $175m Suicide Squad:
The Wiki stars list.
The cinema market overall remains very healthy despite all the challenges that digitisation, convergence and the disruptors of Netflix, Amazon and so forth bring, the 18 week summer period taking in £0.5bn!
Total UK box-office for the 18-week period beginning with the arrival of Captain America: Civil War at the end of April is £456.0m, which compares with £436.0m for the same period in 2015, a rise of 4.6%. Given the general mood of despondency over this summer’s crop of blockbusters, that’s a surprising number.
The same paper has been full of stories about the pending collapse of the franchise model!
Top 3 Google results for 'guardian film blockbusters'

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