Friday 11 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 10th - 12th August 2007

1. Rush Hour 3 - $50.2M - $50.2M
2. The Bourne Ultimatum - $33.6M - $132.3M
3. The Simpsons Movie -  $11.1M - $152.2M
4. Stardust - $9M - $9M
5. Underdog -  $6.4M - $24.7M
6. Hairspray - $6.3M - $92.1M
7. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - $5.9M - $103.8M
8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -  $5.3M - $272M
9. No Reservations -  $3.9M - $32M
10. Daddy Day Camp - $3.5M - $5M

Three new entries this weekend, which could be deemed the last one of the summer blockbusters. Next weekend sees us enter the quagmire that is mid-August, when studios generally clean out their closets and offload anything they can onto as many screens as they're allowed to. We'll see the occasional gem of course, but for all intents and purposes, blockbuster season ended this weekend. After a six year hiatus, the Rush Hour franchise returns to our screens, sitting somewhere between the first and second movie in terms of opening weekend. A movie like Rush Hour 3 is impervious to reviews and that six year gap it appears. Unlike Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3 faced some strong competition in the guise of The Bourne Ultimatum and The Simpsons but still managed an impressive $50M. It also had a decent Friday take of $19.1M which set it up for the weekend.

Was there a need for a third movie? Well combined total box office of the first two movies was over half a billion dollars - it also appears to be Chris Tucker's main bread and butter, with him only making Rush Hour movies since 1998. The franchise has decent appeal in the US market thanks to both Tucker and Chan, and the latters influence should help the movie perform well in a number of foreign markets. Rush Hour 3 won't see anything near the $226M that its prequel did but it should comfortably recoup its budget and see a greenlight for Rush Hour 4 (rumoured to be set in Moscow).

After its record breaking opening last weekend The Bourne Ultimatum drops the expected 51% in its second frame. The film crossed the $100M mark on Friday and went on to recoup its production budget on the same day. With this weekend's take the film has already surpassed the total domestic take of The Bourne Identity and sits just $44M behind the total domestic take of The Bourne Supremacy. Ultimatum has yet to open in any significant foreign markets where the previous movies have performed well. After only 10 days of release its obvious that The Bourne Ultimatum will become the most successful of the franchise. After ruling out any more Bourne movies, could those stellar numbers lure Damon back one more time?

The Simpsons movie has less of a drop in its third weekend of release as it crosses the $150M mark in the domestic market. Elsewhere the film has surpassed its US take and currently sits on a global total of $342M. It's unlikely the film will see $200M in the US but will still give a good return on its $65M budget.

Our second new entry, Stardust, failed to find much of audience. Based on a book by Neil Gaiman and directed by Layer Cake's Matthew Vaughn, Stardust drew a number of comparisons with The Princess Bride, another film that struggled to find an audience upon its initial release, only becoming a sizeable (and much loved) hit on video. An impressive cast, special effects and solid story all failed to make much impact on its target audience. Expect this to vanish quickly but to become a decent hit elsewhere in the world, something it will need to do in order to recoup its $70M budget. Like The Princess Bride, the movie couldn't decide who it was aiming at - romance fans or the action adventure crowd. Sitting across the two genres didn't help it, not in this day of tick-the-box film making.

A surprise success last weekend, Underdog drops about 44% of business as it comes close to the $25M mark. With no other movies aimed at the under 8s in the charts (save for the abysmal Daddy Day Camp) Underdog could become something of a minor hit.

Chuck and Larry crosses the $100M this weekend as the slow down really starts to set in. The film should end up around $120M by the end of its domestic run and go on to perform strongly on DVD. The films delayed release in the majority of foreign markets could see it reep another $100M. It's weekend-opening partner Hairspray is in a similar boat as it plods on toward $100M, with the vast number of foreign markets still to receive the film.

Order of the Phoenix has now surpassed the total US box office of both Prisoner of Azkaban and Chamber of Secrets. It might just pass the total box office of Goblet of Fire ($290M) before the end of its domestic run. Globally the film sits on $782M.

No Reservations makes it to $30M in what will likely be its last weekend on the charts. The Catherine Zeta Jones remake of Mostly Martha hasn't issued any budget information but a romantic comedy with no triple 'A' stars shouldn't have cost more than $30-40M to produce.

Rounding out the top ten is the sequel to minor hit Daddy Day Care, entitled Daddy Day Camp. Oscar winner (!!) Cuba Gooding Jnr takes the place of Eddie Murphy as the action is moved from a daycare centre to a summer camp. All you need to know about the movie comes from a review by Michael Ferraro of Film Threat : 'Daddy Day Camp is a perfect family film for the blind and deaf.'

Of note elsewhere this weekend - Transformers crossed the $300M mark, Die Hard 4.0 saw $131M and Ratatouille edged close to $192M.

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