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Mystery: Legend of Tarzan Posts $20M New Foreign Income but Is Left Out of Domestic Weekend Charts

ERBDOM, Legend of Tarzan Box Office

So, the good news — Box Office Mojo has posted another $21M in foreign revenue for Legend of Tarzan, bringing its foreign total to 211M and its global to $334M.  But there’s a mystery as far as domestic is concerned. I first started noticing this yesterday — when I checked Box Office Mojo and Deadline and not only was there no mention of Legend of Tarzan in the article on Deadline, but neither showed LOT in the weekend charts.  So the global total of $334M does not count this weekend in the US, which should be in the $1.2-$1.4M range.  That puts the global gross at 1.85x the supposed budget of $180m — inching close to the “global box office = 2x budget” threshold for a film to at least earn the reputation of “probably eventually profitable” and hence, maybe, sequel-worthy.

Regarding the fact that LOT is missing from the charts — I thought it was strange when LOT was left out of the Deadline update chart yesterday — and stranger still when today, the regular Sunday reports came out — and again — no mention of Legend of Tarzan and it is absent from the Box Office Mojo and Deadline weekend charts. Think I’m kidding?  Here is Box Office Mojo’s Weekend Chart.  Legend of Tarzan belongs in 13th position, ahead of Hillary’s America and close to Cafe Society. But it’s absent from the chart altogether.  And the chart tracks down all the way to number 36, a film which did only $1,000 total this weekend.

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A look at the Legend of Tarzan daily chart  shows that the last update for LOT was Thursday.  Here is the chart, ending on Aug 4 — when we should be seeing Aug 5,6,7:

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Oh well. . . .

In all my years of box office watching, I’ve never seen that happen. I assume what will happen is, later today, LOT will be updated and then inserted into the master chart.  For now, we have the foreign update but not the domestic. Strange.


  • It’s as if Box Office Mojo was operating under the assumption that LOT would be gone from domestic theaters as of this Thursday. This could be due to a mistake on their part or a memo from WB that gave Thursady Aug 4 as the last day for LOT in theaters that was subsequently changed as WB readjusted it’s initial expectations and realized the LOT still had enough gas in the tank to warrant another week with a further drop in the number of screens. In Houston ,it’s gone from the greater metro area but still playing in the outlying suburban screens with limited showings.

    • I don’t think that’s it. If you lay all studio films out side by side on the daily charts — they all have a very loooong tail and keep going on going as their daily gross drops all the way down to almost nothing. LOT still did $123,000 on Thursday which means Friday, even after losing theaters (they lose them on Friday) would still be a few hundred thousand and that’s enough to put it at about number 13 out of 40 or so films. I’m sure there is just some glitch in the reporting. It will appear soon. But it’s still strange.

  • I noticed that yesterday. No WB movie outside the top 10 was reported, no Conjuring, LOT, Central Intelligence, etc. Since all of these were still making a decent amount of money on Thursday, I don’t think they suddenly stopped making money on Friday.
    So probably a studio reporting issue. Maybe WB was too obsessed with Suicide Squad to pay attention to much of anything else.

    • Speaking of Suicide Squad. I just saw a short Interview of Will Smith,Margo Robbie and the Director About 3-4 minutes on HBO in between the Martian and Everest tonight. I was expecting them to do something for LOT as well since HBO is a part of WB. But no. They did. Nothing on HBO yo advertise for LOT. Now I am waiting for Comcast’s On Demand to start running the making of and other featurettes for Suicide Sqaud like was done for War Craft during most of its run. Something else that wasn’t done for LOT. Surely with its bare bones advertising and rebate on production costs LOT has already made its costs and is moving into the might be could be profitable phase.

  • I got a reply from IMD about the absence of lOT from their charts showing weekend box office figures. They said they get that information from the distributer and when they get it they will post it. So, I guess someone in the distribution end of things has dropped the ball regarding sending figures for WB movies under the top 10.

  • I’m going to throw this here, since I’m not sure where else to put it. Over the weekend Kim Masters of THR (yes, her!) wrote an article about the massive amount of money that Suicide Squad was going to have to make in order to make a profit.
    Brian Byrd of Pajiba has written a response that makes many of same counter arguments some of us had to Masters’ LOT article:
    “Hollywood math” is a black box. Tax credits, back-end profit deals, distribution costs, licensing fees, ancillary revenues and a dozen other line items make it impossible for the layperson to comprehend how much a studio actually earns — or loses — on each of their films. This is not accidental.

    Studios have no incentive to clarify the calculations because this intentional obfuscation works in their favor. Spin masters can position commercial bombs like Battleship as hits because how could a movie that made $303 million worldwide not be profitable? Or they can oversell a film’s success to make it seem more impressive than it really is. Amazing Spider-Man 2 made $708 million! Isn’t that, uh, amazing? Sure…until you factor in expenditures, which, according to Deadline, totaled a mind-boggling $540 million. Sony’s second Spider-Man was such a raging success that within a year the studio scrapped its plans for two sequels and effectively sold the character rights to Marvel…
    The information void around Hollywood balance sheets has created a world where we’re forced to accept any statement on the subject as fact when even a cursory examination reveals logic gaps … For instance, that Suicide Squad needs to make $800 million dollars at the box office just to avoid losing money.

    Nearly every entertainment outlet in the country has regurgitated The Hollywood Reporter’s claim that David Ayer’s disaster will put Warner Bros. in the red if it doesn’t make close to a billion goddamn dollars worldwide. One anonymously sourced quote in a 1,000-word expose about the film’s treacherous development history became accepted fact within hours of its publication. Suicide Squad, the concluding chapter in Warner Bros.’ Superhero Disappointment Trilogy, will inevitably put its financial backers in serious financial jeopardy.

    Except, contrary to their name, The Hollywood Reporter didn’t actually report anything about Hollywood. The trade pub quoted an anonymous insider who said “The movie’s got to do $750 million, $800 million to break even. If they get anywhere close to that, they’ll consider it a win.”

    That’s not reporting. That’s passing along a throwaway line from someone who could very well being speaking directly out of their asshole. Think a less successful Ace Ventura with a bigger coke habit. Who is this insider? What are his or her qualifications? How do they know the movie needs to make three-quarters of a billion dollars just to avoid Warners taking a loss? While it’s always amusing when entertainment reporters bestow background status to Hollywood suits, it seems particularly questionable to grant anonymity here given the quote’s innocuous nature. The finances for a film about possessed witches and a croc man isn’t exactly the Pentagon Papers. If the estimate is correct and Suicide Squad won’t recoup its costs unless it rakes in fuck you money, why not go on the record? Simple: Either you’re afraid you’re wrong and you want to protect your rep, or you work for an entity with a vested interest in how the entertainment community perceives the film.

    We’ll circle back to motivations in a minute…
    But I promised I’d return to motivations. DC manboys (get it? Like “fanboys,” but instead of using “fan” I used “man” because they’re grown adults acting like teething infants in three-day-old Pampers. I am hilarious) got significant undeserved mileage out of their ridiculous accusations about critical bias toward DC Comics properties. The notion that film critics operate as a monolithic entity free from independent thought is absurd enough. Claiming they’ve conspired to bring down a studio for no apparent gain places them squarely in Alex Jones’ rectum.

    However, like Kevin Costner said in JFK, “I never understood why being a prostitute automatically means you have bad eyesight.” Acting like irrational petulant children doesn’t automatically invalidate their every claim. Many critics do seem to relish savaging DC properties. Anonymous sources didn’t offer ludicrous, objectively incorrect success thresholds when Civil War or Ultron hit theaters. If they had, those claims wouldn’t go unchallenged. ..

    • Great stuff. Thanks for sharing. Those are good comments on a number of levels. Kim Masters strikes again, with a big quote from an anonymous insider……

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