With Disney second and Warner Bros. third, 2oth Century Fox is now first of all the studios in terms of market share due to their films doing so well at the box office this year, a major turnaround from the previous few years when the studio struggled with quite a few commercial disappointments. This year, Fox has eclipsed its highwater market of $1.48 billion from 2010 when Avatar was such a huge money-maker for them. Their three biggest hits of 2014 have been Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Gone Girl and X-Men: Days of Future Past,all three of which were huge successes, but The Fault In Our Stars, Let’s Be Cops, Rio 2 and DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman [How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a bit of a disappointment, amazingly considering how good it was, though it still did okay], which they distributed, also made lots of money. The Grand Budapest Hotel was also a major hit for Fox’s indie division Fox Searchlight. Fox’s domestic total tops out at $1.63 billion.
To me, the best part of all this is the success of Gone Girl, because it proves that adult-aimed films with high age ratings can still attract a large audience in the days when so many films seem to feel obliged to get a 12A/PG-13. Even though it was based on a popular book and had one big star in it, as well as being pretty good and for me marking David Fincher’s return to quality filmmaking, I was still surprised at its performance. Hopefully it will inspire more studios to feel less pressurised to deliver films with the lowest rating possible and make more films for us adults who don’t seem to get enough sex, violence and adult material on our cinema screens at the moment!