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Flicks Flashback: Fantasy films thrive in January cold over past decade

January has traditionally been a good spot for fantasy films over the last few years. This week the streak looked to continue with the debut of “I, Frankenstein,” but the 3D IMAX release under performed (in a big way) when compared to its contemporaries, especially those from the last decade.

'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters'

1 Year Ago

Hansel &Gretel: Witch Hunters
Original Release Date: January 25, 2013
The Line (in millions) – Budget: $50, Opening: $19.6, Total: $55.7, Worldwide: $225.7

The title alone was enough to make the movie stand out. Domestically, the film topped the charts and earned $19.6 million, on its way to a $55.7 million haul. Made for just $50 million, it looked like the film would be just a modest hit…then you factor international audiences and the results were stunning. The 3D movie actually went on earn another $170 million in foreign box office receipts. Not bad for what may have been the most unique take on the classic fairy tale ever.

5 Years Ago

Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans
Original Release Date: January 23, 2009
The Line (in millions) – Budget: $35, Opening: $20.8, Total: $45.8, Worldwide: $89.1

While the initial “Underworld” was a September release, all three of its sequels debuted in the month of January. Granted, not all were mega-hits and this particular installment was the worst performing of the four and while it made back its production budget domestically, it needed the international crowd to once again come through and help boost its bottom line.

10 Years Ago

The Butterfly Effect
Original Release Date: January 23, 2004
The Line (in millions) – Budget: $13, Opening: $17, Total: $57, Worldwide: $96

It was a battle of the TV stars ten year ago as Ashton Kutcher starred in his first dramatic role with “The Butterfly Effect” and defeated the cinematic debut of fellow prime-timer Josh Duhamel. Kutcher earned $17 million and came in first, while Duhamel’s “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton” fell flat in third with $7 million. To date neither actor has really dominated the big screen, but Duhamel’s role in the “Transformers” films certainly hasn’t hurt his total box office earnings!

15 Years Ago

Original Release Date: January 22, 1999
The Line (in millions) – Budget: $30 Opening: $2, Total: $4.1

This was definitely not a fantasy film; in fact it was probably more of a horror story. Sharon Stone fronted this drama which starred her as mob wife who takes a 6 year old under her wing after his family is gunned down. Somehow the movie cost $30 million to produce and it earned a stunning $2 million opening weekend. It would top out at $4.1 million.

20 Years Ago

Original Release Date: January 21, 1994
The Line (in millions) – Budget: NA, Opening: $7.8, Total: $20

Richard Gere has made a career out of playing some slimy characters and his part in “Intersection” was no different. Here, he portrayed a man cheating on his long time wife with a new mistress. The movie opened in third place behind “Philadelphia” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” with $7.8 million and ended up with around $20 million in total.

Next week: A teen classic and a surprise action hit celebrate milestone.

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