“Blood” money

July 14th, 2009

(7/14/09, 3:10 p.m.: Chart updated with Digimon, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! figures. Thanks, everyone!)

So the live-action Blood: The Last Vampire opened in U.S. theaters this past weekend. Made $110,029, too, according to Box Office Mojo’s weekend box office chart … good enough for 32nd place, yet far from the Bruno/Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs/Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen “high-rent” district.

Or was it all that far from this year’s blockbusters? Let’s look more closely at the numbers. The movie only played on 20 screens across the United States (two of which were right here in Hawaii). Its per-screen average was $5,501 — a total beaten only by the aforementioned Bruno ($11,110), Ice Age ($6,730) and Transformers ($5,640). That’s right … Blood made more money per screen than another, more high-profile movie that debuted last week, I Love You, Beth Cooper. (Of course, given Beth Cooper‘s rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it may not be that much of a surprise.)

Would this trend have held true had Blood opened on, say, 2,000 screens rather than 20? I doubt it. But just for kicks, I decided to compare Blood’s opening weekend per-screen average against a few other high-profile anime and anime-related theatrical releases in the U.S. I tossed out all those movies that debuted on fewer than 15 screens (sorry, Metropolis) as well as all of those limited-engagement, one-or-two-night-run movies that have been popping up on the schedule in recent years.  I might have missed some, but here’s what I found, again with numbers courtesy of Box Office Mojo:

  1. Spirited Away (limited release, Sept. 20-22, 2002): $17,301 (26 screens)
  2. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (April 4-6, 2003): $12,338  (19 screens)
  3. Howl’s Moving Castle (June 10–12, 2005): $11,888 (36 screens)
  4. Pokemon: The First Movie (Nov. 10-12, 1999): $10,199 (3,043 screens)
  5. Pokemon The Movie 2000 (July 21-23, 2000): $7,113 (2,752 screens)
  6. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Sept. 17–19, 2004): $6,760 (47 screens)
  7. Blood: The Last Vampire (July 10-12, 2009): $5,501 (20 screens)
  8. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (Feb. 27–March 1, 2009):  $4,156 (1,136 screens)
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (Aug. 13–15, 2004): $3,934 (2,411 screens)
  10. Steamboy (March 18–20, 2005): $3,490 (39 screens)
  11. Pokemon 3 (April 6-8, 2001): $3,080 (2,675 screens)
  12. Pokemon 4Ever (Oct. 11-13, 2002): $2,879 (249 screens)
  13. Spirited Away (post-Oscar wide release, March 28-30, 2003): $2,483 (711 screens)
  14. Digimon: The Movie (Oct. 6-8, 2000): $2,322 (1,823 screens)
  15. Dragonball Evolution (April 10-12, 2009): $2,181 (2,181 screens)
  16. Appleseed (Jan. 14-16, 2005): $2,157 (31 screens)
  17. Pokemon Heroes (May 16-18, 2003): $1,328 (196 screens)

So Blood pretty much held its own among the heavyweights of anime and anime-related movies. (Also, feel free to insert your Dragonball Evolution jokes here.) Whether it’ll show any legs beyond this weekend, we shall see. And then there’s the matter of what I thought of Blood … but we’ll save that for another time.

7 Responses to ““Blood” money”

  1. Major:

    I’m a little surprised you didn’t include all of the pokemon movies in the list. Wasn’t the first movie the highest grossing anime movie in the US? I know it’s pokemon…but it still counts as anime.

  2. Garrett Albright:

    I don’t think Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li should count. It was a domestic movie, and live-action at that.

    And I also agree that the Pokémon ones should be counted (unless they really didn’t do good enough to appear on the list anyway…?) Or the Digimon movie. And didn’t Akira get a non-limited run in the early ’90s-ish?

  3. AniMatsuri:

    This would be good news for Blood if it was going to expand its screens in the coming weeks instead of probably losing screens to some of the bigger blockbusters coming out this week and the rest of the summer. Indie flicks use these stats all the time to show how well their film is doing even though the over all take is pretty small.

    Overall, I liked this version of Blood as it sort of combined elements from the original OAV(a world weary Saya in the ’70s) and the TV series(Saya not always sure of what she’s doing). This movie was sort of a live action anime, so I didn’t mind some of the cartoony special effects.

  4. Jason S. Yadao:

    @Major: Pokemon movies have been added to the list … and it jogged my memory that the Yu-Gi-Oh! movie ought to be included, too. Thanks!

    @Garrett: Ooh, yeah, forgot about Digimon. I included Chun-Li because, like Dragonball Evolution, it’s based on an existing anime property (granted, they’re not very GOOD adaptations, but still). As for Akira, I didn’t see any data for the non-limited run on Box Office Mojo, only from the first, limited-to-two-theaters run in 1989.

    @AniMatsuri: Agreed. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure myself how long Blood would run locally, what with the new Harry Potter film opening at midnight tonight. But Fandango just added a bunch of showings at both Pearlridge West and Kahala through the 23rd, so that’s an encouraging sign.

  5. Garrett Albright:

    Jason: Fair enough. For my sake, I forgot that Evolution was live-action – not being a fan of the DB franchise, I must have glossed over it in the list.

    Though if live action flicks based on aminus are counted, wasn’t there a Death Note-based live action flick that saw limited release over here?

    But all this list-padding doesn’t really take away from your point – that all things considered, the Blood movie didn’t do that bad. Incidentally, Wikipedia’s article on the worst box-office bombs of all time can make for some interesting reading if you have a few dozen hours to kill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._and_Canadian_box_office_bombs

  6. Otaku Ohana » Blog Archive » Workin’ for the weekend:

    [...] to what must have been encouraging box office numbers to Sony, Blood: The Last Vampire is living to see another weekend. Showtimes are available through [...]

  7. Otaku Ohana » Blog Archive » PWNYO’d!:

    [...] trot out the tote board of theatrical releases with anime ties (seen earlier in “‘Blood’ money’”) and see where Ponyo stands among its peers in average per-theater [...]

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