Is Ocean’s 8 a Flop?

oceans8Ocean’s 8 has continued the recent trend of gender flipping an existing franchise, exemplified by Ghostbusters 2016, and, to a lesser extent, The Force Awakens. While Ghostbusters is generally seen as a flop, The Force Awakens was a clear success. It’s less successful sequel, The Last Jedi, was not an outright flop. So, is Ocean’s 8, the all female sequel to Ocean’s 11-13, a success, a flop, or something in between?

First, lets look at domestic box office. Here are the domestic theatrical grosses, unadjusted for historical value of the dollar:

Film Domestic Gross
Ocean’s 11 $183,417,150
Ocean’s 12 $125,544,280
Ocean’s 13 $117,154,724
Ocean’s 8 $140,218,711

The latest release has already surpassed the first two sequels, without adjusting for inflation. But the rule of thumb for judging whether a film is a flop or a success is that for a film to break even, it must earn roughly twice its budget in the domestic box office, and to be considered a success, it must earn three times its budget. Here are the domestic box office to budget ratios (so far) of all of the films:

Film Box Office/Budget
Ocean’s 11 2.16
Ocean’s 12 1.14
Ocean’s 13 1.38
Ocean’s 8 2.00

From this we can see that, while the first film made money, it wasn’t a huge success for the studio. The second film, which had a much bigger budget, did the worst of all the films in the franchise. The third and fourth films did successively better, largely on the back of decreasing the budget from the previous film in both cases (Ocean’s 8 was the cheapest to make of all the films).

So though Ocean’s 8 can’t be considered a success, and may not even earn the studio back its budget after the cost of advertising, it appears to have done better than any other sequel. Since the previous sequels did worse, and sequels continued to be made, does this mean we can expect more Ocean’s stories?

Answer: there’s more to the story. Why did Warner Bros continue to make sequels if they weren’t making money? The Ocean’s films did very well in the worldwide market. If, despite their poor performance domestically, the sequels were profitable once their overseas revenues were included, this could lead the studio to keep trying to reproduce the relative success of the original film. How have the films done globally?

Film Global Gross
Ocean’s 11 $450.7
Ocean’s 12 $362.7
Ocean’s 13 $311.3
Ocean’s 8 $297.7

Even with Ocean’s 8’s much lower budget, its global gross is far lower than the previous sequels. This means that, though all the sequels can be considered flops, Ocean’s 8, though it did the best domestically, may kill any incentive to make further sequels, given its poor global performance. Hence, one must conclude that Ocean’s 8 is indeed a flop, though it lands close to the mark.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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