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Muppet Movies Actual Box Office!

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by frogboy4, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    While I appreciate the NYTimes giving the Muppets a high-profile article, many of the facts are contrived or just plain wrong. Tough Pigs artfully goes through many of the discrepancies, yet I still wondered what the 6 Muppet movie box office actuals would be when adjusted for 2011 ticked prices. Here's what I got for the totals. :search:

    TMM: $ 65,200,000 / $ 208,068,526
    GMC: $ 31,206,251 / $ 89,914,414
    MTM: $ 25,534,703 / $ 60,872,908
    MCC: $ 27,281,507 / $ 52,656,595
    MTI: $ 34,327,391 / $ 62,208,688
    MFS: $ 16,625,807 / $ 26,215,101

    TOTAL: $ 200,175,659 / $ 499,936,232 (a half-billion dollars!)

    (based on 2011 average over-all average ticket price $8.01)

    I must point out that the Times claims that the last 5 Muppet pictures together didn't take in as much as Toy Story 3 did in its first 5 days. That's comparing apples and cannonballs! TS3 is the 9nth biggest film of all time, grossing $415,004,880. Not many films do that! It also commanded a heftier 3D ticket price. Its first 5 days TS3 made $141,036,487 compared to the last 5 Muppet films' unadjusted domestic take of $134,975659. The actual adjusted domestic for those 5 pictures is $291,867,706. Nonetheless, a cockeyed comparison.

    Any picture, taking in account that it's not some big budget sci-fi adventure, that makes over $50 million at the domestic box office is still considered a hit. That's what causes MFS to be the only "flop" in this little model, but rest made enough bank and we're not even talking overseas or the lucrative home video market. The NYTimes has a thing or two to learn about the Muppets, but I thank them for inspiring me to investigate the facts. Aren't you glad to have them now too? ;)
  2. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Actually I remember at the time of the article (2008) the Tough Pigs forum also mentioned that there was a Letter to the Editor after this article, so at least there was some interest from the public. :)
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    This is actually a new article that just came out. I listed the wrong link and fixed it.
  4. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I said this on facebook but I will say it again.

    I don't think you can compare all six Muppet movies, and how well they did in the box office. They where very different movies, so it would like compareing Follow that Bird to Elmo in Grouchland.
  5. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Well one of those films sucked, while FTB was fantastic. :wisdom:
    Muppet Master likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's the problem with society and the model they're using. We need a completely in your face culture to constantly remind us that something exists. And if something doesn't have fifty TV shows going at once anymore (a hard feat, since it's impossible for ANYTHING to go to regular broadcast or even cable TV), it's off the radar.

    Plus... oh... the creator and head of a company died. So that's gonna cause some headaches. Disney floundered around for sometime after Walt died... then it came back with Eisner, who preceded to ruin things again.

    It happens.

    Now, truth be told, there is NO WAY a Muppet project can survive on television in this climate, where everything has to be either a reality show or a pale carbon copy of something successful. Shows that start off huge never really manage to keep up that momentum (look at Heroes), and they won't accept something that isn't a monumental hit off the bat. Though... Fox did force that horrid Till Death show down everyone's throats and no one wanted it. They must've had a GOOD contract negotiator, otherwise that show would have lasted 2 episodes. the exception to the rule is Reality TV, because it's so cheap to produce it doesn't matter if no one's watching. You're still guaranteed 2 seasons.

    A Muppet TV series, possibly variety style like the original, just won't work on network television... it never did. TMS lasted 5 seasons ONLY because it was syndicated... networks didn't want to give it a shot. JHH, ha! NBC pretended it was on another network, ABC blew any chances of MT doing decent by moving the timeslot around, giving it a terrible spot opposite 60 minutes. The only way we'd see a Muppet show is on Disney or ABCFamily, and they're stuck in too deep pandering to a specific demographic.

    Until now, a theatrical was out of the question. Studios wouldn't want something that wasn't... well, third and fourth party CGI cartoons or scraping the bottom of the barrel super hero movies (that only appeal to people who say how terrible they are, either instantly or in hindsight)... yet they'd take a chance on making D and F grade CGI talking animals in a human world films they THINK kids love. most of them done by the guy who ruined MFS, actually.

    So what do we have left... TV specials and DTV's. Now, Oz, I still feel ruined the franchise and it was the Batman and Robin of the films... the sad part is, Disney didn't make that one, but felt it was getting off on the wrong foot. The last special we had was 3 years later, LTS... that was alright but it really wasn't enough. The virals and comics basically held the franchise together until production of the movie.

    That said... WB has been killing itself because they feel they needed to rebrand the Looney Tunes after BIA, and they kept screwing things up.
    Muppet Master likes this.
  7. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I feel the need to be clear just in case. The point of the gross receipt listing was not to compare as much as compile how much Muppet movies have made altogether. That should have been clear from the paragraph accompanying the list. Maybe that part was skipped. Still, Elmo's movie did bite, but that's neither here nor there in the listing of Muppet Show character movies.

    Yeah, It does show just why MFS sunk the Muppets cinematic future from a bean-counter perspective, but the rest/the bulk of the films held firm and performed impressively in some cases. It wasn't fair of the NYTimes to paint the entire Muppet enterprise with one brush when only one out of 6 films disappointed at the Box Office. Even so, MFS made bank on home video.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    As it should, MFS screams Direct to video quality all over. And it does indeed play better that way. Especially the commentary of the DVD.

    But really, the NYTimes article was written by someone who's the product of the it has to be in your face 24/7 to matter camp.
    Muppet Master likes this.
  9. ZeppoAndFriends

    ZeppoAndFriends Well-Known Member

    I've been trying to find a DVD copy for just that reason.

    I didn't really think the movie was anything really impressive, but it does arguably have the most fearsome Muppet villain of all time.
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Are you talking about in today's ticket prices? Because I was looking at the profits you mentioned and The Muppet Movie is the only one that made more than 50 million dollars at the box office.
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yup! I clearly marked it "adjusted" for inflation and that was the whole point of this thread. :)

    Some idiot from the NY Times was comparing Toy Story 3-D ticket prices to all the Muppet movies that came out decades before it when ticket prices were did not factor in a modern $15 bucks for 3D films! It was a ludicrous comparison from a paid professional who should have known better. :grouchy:

    Funny enough there's a Box Office Mojo article here about this very topic that was published over a year ago that came to an almost identical conclusion concerning the Muppets' box office take. :search:

    Anyway, "Muppets from Space" really was an epic bomb and the Muppets' only true box office disappointment. The rest of the movies actually did okay or better. I personally think MFS was bad enough to warrant the terrible reputation, but I also respect that this was the first theatrical film for so many Muppet fans so I do try to be nice about it. I cried after seeing it because I predicted its failure to perform and knew it would send the Muppets into movie oblivion for many years to come. :sympathy:At the time it came out it cost $24 million and only raked in $16 million of that back. Even a crummy kiddie film should make far more than that in the summertime. It was a shocking miscalculation that was quickly yanked so that it could be rushed to the much more forgiving home video market. It did do well there, just like most Muppet media does. I'll still watch it on DVD every year or so, but not like I watch the others. :shifty:
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Had MFS actually been good, I don't think it would have made all the difference.

    What I'm desperately wondering is who said the Muppet Movie that was going to be made HAD to have a space/Sci Fi theme? Was it Henson or Columbia? I mean, CLEARLY they wanted to compete in Star Wars summer, and there were a few movies that basically just kept referencing Star Wars coming out at the time... Austin Powers definitely... I think South Park too. If it didn't have a Space theme, it had to have the song "All Star" in it.

    We have to face facts, MFS good film or what we ended up with was doomed to doing poorly in a fiercely competitive part of the year during a fiercely competitive year in and of itself. Even without Star Wars, there was just too much out there, and most of it didn't do so well either. Remember Wild Wild West? Wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

    MFS was a DTV quality product that had a very disastrous run (though both times I saw it in the cheaper theaters the place was packed)... pluys it came out Mid-July... that's just a week or so short of when people stop seeing films.
    Muppet Master likes this.
  13. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think they knew it would turkey-out so and buried it. I just watched the latest Tough Pigs interview with key Muppet performers and they keep mentioning Disney's mysterious marketing strategy. I don't think Columbia Tri-Star had much of one for "Muppets From Space".
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    But something tells me even if they didn't, it still would have been buried. This was back when my cheaper theaters (they're now just the relative cheaper theaters that show first run movies... not complaining) didn't get Star Wars episode 1 until almost OCTOBER... so basically when I saw a movie, I had to see the little left over ones that no one wanted to see and the ones that did well, but just not as well.

    Here's a partial list of stuff that came out during that summer, from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_movies#April_-_June (the list continues after that)

    Most of them I remember, the rest of them I didn't. And most of them I remember either did well or flopped. Though, to be fair, MFS came out as the ONLY movie that week (according to that list).

    So it's a mix of both. Competitive summer, lack of care over the film... buried in July when someone MIGHT see it. But then again, I fault whoever said "Star Wars is coming out next summer, so let's force a Muppet Sci-Fi film in before then." Clearly there was some sort of rush somewhere. That's why they went with a bad director, that's why they got less than satisfactory results.

    Somehow, I just can't help but think the same of the Smurfs movie. They rushed a script out to get a film out before the license was up, they made something that looks terrible, and shoved it in August when no one watches movies (except for poor people who can only afford dollar cinemas who waited patiently to see the big movies of the Summer that came out in May). But they seem to want it to make some money and marketed the heck out of it.

    That said, crummy as MFS was, it was a crapload better than Blair Witch. That was just... I watched like 20 minutes and I wanted to rip my head off. Just... UGH!
  15. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Ed wasn't really fearsome. Nicky Holiday and Doc Hopper surpass him by far. Though the most effective muppet villian though is Rachel Bitterman. I wanted to take her eyes out after what she did to the muppets.
    muppetlover123 likes this.
  16. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    Constantine is definetly going to be the most fearsome villain!
  17. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Really, stupid NY Times! Anyway does it really matter? What matters is the profit. Here are the statistics for the original muppet movie trilogy

    TMM: Gross: $65 mil. Budget: $8 mil. Profit: $57 mil. ($150+ mil. in 2014 $)
    I don't know about the NY times, but that's a big success, making $57 million even in today's money is really good, but that was 35 years ago, and making $150 million + profit is awesome, it's obvious why that combined with critical acclaim and an oscar nomination led to a sequel.

    GMC: Gross: $31 mil. Budget: $14 mil. Profit: $17 mil. ($50+ mil. in 2014 $)
    While all statistics were a step down from the previous film, making $50+ mil. profit or $17 mil. in 1981 $ is still a really large profit, and good reviews and an oscar nomination obviously led to a three-quel.

    MTM: Gross: $25 million Budget:$8 million Profit: $17 mil. ($50+ mil. in 2014 $
    'bout the same as GMC

    Unless you're the NY Times then I'm pretty sure that those are real good numbers, furthermore MCC made $27 mil. on a $12 mil. budget gave that film a decent $15 mil. profit. Also I don't know the MTI budget, can someone please find out? So really only MFS was a flop, but it was its own fault boasting a robust $22 million budget, much more than the $14 million GMC budget which was the highest muppet movie budget before the film.

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