Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 6th - 8th February 2009

1. He's Just Not That Into You - $27.4M - $27.4M
2. Taken - $20.3M - $53.3M
3. Coraline - $16.3M - $16.3M
4. The Pink Panther 2 - $12M - $12M
5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop - $11M - $97M
6. Push - $10.2M - $10.2M
7. Slumdog Millionaire - $7.4M - $77.4M
8. Gran Torino - $7.2M - $120.2M
9. The Uninvited - $6.4M - $6.4M
10. Hotel For Dogs - $5.8M - $55.2M

Ensemble romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You scores the top spot this weekend and does so with ease. Featuring Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston and Scarlet Johansson, amongst many others, even against three other new films and one strong second weekend for Taken, it managed to win Friday with $10.5M and carried on well over the rest of the weekend.

Saturday will almost certainly have been its strongest day with it being a perfect date movie, though would it have been better next weekend, Valentines day being next Saturday? Hard to say, there's a chance the studio figured couples might skip a cinema visit for dinner out so chose this weekend to release the film. It certainly looks to have worked. It'll face competition next weekend from Confessions of a Shopaholic but by that point the film should have already taken over $45M.

Taken was down just 34% on a Friday to Friday basis and a stunning 17% for the whole weekend, giving the thriller a take of $53M after 10 days on release. Some positive word of mouth helped this one achieve that fantastic drop in its second frame and it did so against at least one new release that would have been in direct competition. Taken ended its international run with $69M, a figure its domestic take looks likely to surpass shortly. Next weekend it'll face off against the Friday the 13th reboot but should still manage another respectable drop. Looks like holding the film back has paid dividends for Fox.

Coraline marks the return of stop motion expert Henry Selick. Working not with Tim Burton but Neil Gaiman, the film is the tale of young girl who finds a secret door to an alternate version of her world and her life. Coraline may have been a difficult sell - it's not quite a family film as it's a little too scary for younger children, but at the same time it's not strictly an adult orientated film. It probably wasn't helped by Pink Panther 2 kicking it in the back but Coraline still managed a respectable $16M for the weekend overall and word of mouth could help keep this in the charts for a few weeks to come. Critically, the film was the best reviewed of the week by some distance. Given that the top ten consists of at least three other family movies, Coraline's quirky look and quirkier humour did well to finish third.

No one really wanted a new Pink Panther franchise yet the first film with Steve Martin in the lead role finished with a not too shoddy global total of $158M. Move forward three years and it looks unlikely that The Pink Panther 2 will be able to emulate the business of the first movie. Reviewing even worse than the first film, it's on course to finish the weekend with just over half the take of the first film. In fact, it's opening day take pegged it even further down the chart and it had to work hard to score a fourth place for the weekend. It will see another weekend in the top ten but not many more after and will be looking to its international take to help it out.

Paul Blart edges closer to $100M, a figure it should see within the next few days. This has been nothing but a resounding success on all sides save the critical one (but given its financial success, it's highly doubtful that the studio would be concerned about it's Rotten Tomatoes score). Made for $26M, it's put Kevin James on the map as a lead actor, not a supporting player and made a huge amount of cash for Sony, not to mention launched a potential franchise into the bargain.

Push is a sci-fi thriller set in a world of people gifted with telekinetic and clairvoyant powers, all being tracked by a top secret organisation. Sound familiar? Push might have opened higher were it not for its similarities to a certain gifted people TV show... While initial trailers were flashy and word out of the AICN footage screening in December was positive, Push stumbled out of the door on Friday to just $3.5M. The rest of the weekend didn't see its performance improve and it's unlikely to recover in its second frame. Push stands every chance of being done and dusted with under $35M in the box office kitty.

Another film heading slowly toward $100M is Slumdog Millionaire, and unlike Paul Blart, this one has the critics on its side too. Still at just 1700+ locations (compare that to the 3200+ of the Pink Panther sequel) its continued to build on strong word of mouth and it's already huge & still growing bag of awards. Gran Torino might have been pushed a little down the charts thanks to the four wide opening new releases but it's not leaving without a fight. The Clint Eastwood pic has so far made $120M from a budget of $33M.

The Uninvited got off to a lacklustre start during its opening weekend and pretty much gets kicked out the door in its second weekend on general release. This Korean remake had very little going for it and like the recent horror film The Unborn, will be a distance memory in just a few short weeks. Even if it had held better, Jason Vorhees' return next weekend would have surely ended that success.

Hotel for Dogs did manage something of a recovery after its disappointing start but the writing is on the wall for the canine family comedy. Paramount will be hoping that DVD is a little kinder to the release.

One other release, the long delayed and much maligned Fanboys, opened at just 44 locations and made only $164K.

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