Box Office

Box Office: Where Does Rings Rank Among the All-Time Super Bowl Openings?

Super Bowl weekend is a great time to premiere a new movie trailer, but it’s not a good time to actually release a new movie in theaters. That doesn’t stop Hollywood from trying, ever hopeful that a perfectly timed horror movie or female-leaning drama/comedy might entice those audiences who couldn’t care less about football.

This past weekend, as the world prepared for what turned out to be a historic Super Bowl (the Patriots set multiple records for both the way in which they won as well as the mere fact that it was Brady/Belichck’s fifth overall Super Bowl win) Hollywood offered up the much-delayed Rings…um, sequel? reboot? revival? Hold on, what the heck is the deal with this movie, anyway? [Leaves to check Wikipedia]

Ah, it’s a sequel, set 13 years after the original, focusing on new characters but set in a universe in which the events of the first two movies are well known. Johnny Galecki and Vincent D’Onofrio are around in supporting roles. It sat on the shelf for a year before reshoots, which wasn’t enough to save it, according to reviewers (just a 5% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes).

So, after all that waiting and critical thrashing how did Rings do at the box office this weekend? Like the Atlanta Falcons (too soon?), it came in second, finishing with $13m, which was not enough to dethrone M. Knight Shyamalan’s surprisingly formidable Split. Prior to the weekend, tracking suggested Rings would finish in the $10-12m range, with the more bullish predicting a ceiling of $15m. So, it neither exceeded nor came in below expectations, and has an additional $15m from overseas to go along with it, meaning Rings has slightly better its budget ($25m) in worldwide gross ($28m).

Paramount can’t be too surprised or disappointed. Rings was delayed three different times before finally getting dumped on Super Bowl weekend, and turns out it didn’t embarrass itself (at least as a money-making enterprise, not so much as an actual movie). Mazeltov!

But in terms of Super Bowl openers, is $13m good or bad or somewhere in-between? Last year, three new movies came out over Super Bowl weekend, and the highest-grossing among them (Hail, Caesar!) only made $10m. That’s normally how it goes, but when a movie hits over Super Bowl weekend how big can it hit? Surely $13m is on the low end, right?

It is indeed, ranking 14th on the list of highest Super Bowl openings (not adjusted for inflation):

  • 2008 – Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31.1m)
  • 2010 – Dear John ($30.4m)
  • 2009 – Taken ($24.7m)
  • 2012 – Chronicle ($22m)
  • 2006 – When a Stranger Calls ($21.6m)
  • 2012 – Woman in Black ($20.9m)
  • 2013 – Warm Bodies ($20.35m)
  • 2005 – Boogeyman ($19m)
  • 2004 – You Got Served ($16.1m)
  • 1999 – She’s All That ($16m)
  • 2011 – The Roommate ($15m)
  • 2007 – The Messengers ($14.7m)
  • 2001 – The Wedding Planner ($13.5m)
  • 2017 – Rings ($13m)

Full disclosure: I have no memory of The Roommate, The Messengers or Boogeyman. I know I’ve never seen them, but I don’t even remember seeing a trailer or overhearing people discuss the movies when they were out. They appear to have made no lasting impact on the world, which is likely the same fate awaiting Rings.

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