Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 11th - 13th January 2008

1. The Bucket List - $19.5M - $20.9M
2. First Sunday - $19M - $19M
3. Juno - $14M - $71.2M
4. National Treasure: Book of Secrets - $11.4M - $187.2M
5. Alvin and the Chipmunks - $9.1M - $187.7M
6. I Am Legend - $8.1M - $240.2M
7. One Missed Call - $6.1M - $20.6M
8. P.S. I Love You - $5M - $47M
9. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie - $4.4M - $4.4M
10. Atonement - $4.2M - $25.2M

The Bucket List is our number one film this weekend. Starrring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List tells the tale of two terminal cancer patients who decide to create a list of all the things they want to do before they die. Two heavy weights in a potential comic and moving story could have been a shoe-in for awards but this was trashed pretty harshly by critics.

The film missed Oscar qualification too and hasn't featured on too many awards short lists either. So it's reassuring, for the stars and Warner Bros, that the film has been something of a minor hit. The film will have appealed to the 30+ demographic, possibly the same group who made Wild Hogs such a huge hit last year. The Bucket List has been on release for a few weeks and saw a wide expansion this weekend. Perhaps most surprising of all is the directors success on this film - Rob Reiner has been making films since 1984 and The Bucket List marks his biggest ever opening weekend, bettering A Few Good Men, Misery and When Harry Met Sally....It'll take a hit next weekend but should still hold up well with that older demographic.

The new Ice Cube movie opens a close second and marks his 9th $10M+ opening in a row. Cube plays a robber who decides to hold up a church and gets more than he bargained for in the shape of the congregation and salvation. Ice Cube can make these films in his sleep and they generally turn a decent profit - as First Sunday will do. Probably made for less than $20M, the film could easily see $45M from that budget and more from a decent DVD release. Again, it'll take a decent hit next weekend but should still see a decent drop/return.

Surprise winter sleeper, Juno, continues to do impressive business, expanding this weekend onto 2400+ screens. The film has now been on general release for eight weeks and has seen just tiny percentage drops in its last three weekends (it made $16M from just 1019 locations during the new years weekend). Juno is set to become Fox Searchlight's biggest ever release when it overtakes Sideways box office total of $71.5M in the next day or so. Juno also marks another critical hit for Jason Reitman, after the success of Thankyou For Smoking and further cements Michael Cera as one of the people to watch in the coming years. With those drops and some stunning word of mouth, Juno could reach as high as $100M - perhaps more if the film performs well at the upcoming Golden Globes.

National Treasure 2 finally lets go of its box office top spot after three weekends as it rockets forward towards $200M, a feat it should claim by next weekend. It will be one of the films directly affected by Cloverfield next weekend too so expect a larger percentage drop. This is certainly a bona fide hit for Nicolas Cage, who's had a few missteps in recent times (Next, Wicker Man & Ghost Rider all underperformed) and could easily greenlight a further sequel. The first National Treasure movie took a total of $173M at the box office, a sum this sequel surpassed last weekend. Expect it to clean up on DVD as well. A wise move to release the movie at Christmas and steer clear of the crowded summer schedule which could have seen the movie with a lot less in its coffers. (though why the UK is waiting until February for the film is beyond me)

Alvin and the Chipmunks and I Am Legend, two movies that opened on the same weekend are taking slightly bigger percentage drops now, mainly because anyone who wanted to see them already has done. Neither total is a disappointment and in fact, Alvin's is nothing short of astonishing. I am Legend should finish up around the $265M mark while Alvin stands every chance of seeing $210M. Expect sequels to both to be quickly greenlit. Legend currently sits on a global total of $409M, and is still to open in a number of foreign locales while Alvin has so far only received a limited global release. Meanwhile, last week's release of One Missed Call surprised many by not falling flat on its face. This weekend it continues to see a better than expected percentage drop. Another movie that'll be directly affected by Cloverfield next weekend, it could still see final tally of around $35-37M.

PS I Love You is going to get hit hard next weekend, though not by Cloverfield but the romantic comedy 27 Dresses. After a slow opening, PS has managed to carve out some decent box office - the girls night out/date movie crowd would make up a big percentage of that total seeing how, Atonement aside, it offers the only real option for them.

Our final new entry this weekend is the latest Veggie Tales movie. The original movie, Jonah, opened to $6M in October 2002 so a $4.4M weekend is something of a disappointment, at least on the surface. A cinema release for a movie like this is really just a glorified advert for the DVD release, which will probably follow up in April, if not earlier. Here this weekend, but gone by next, Pirates would have been made cheaply and should turn a tidy profit well before the end of the year. Finally, Atonement expands by another 367 screens as it grasps for box office and award nominations. Still at less than a 1000 locations, Atonement currently sits on a total of $25M and is seeing its last weekend in the charts.

Elsewhere, Charlie Wilson's War slips out the top ten and has so far made $59M, about $16M less than it cost to produce. It may pick up some further business if the film manages to win a couple of awards, but may need to rely on its foreign box office more than it would have liked. Uwe Boll's latest movie, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, opened at 1600 locations and managed just $3M. A success no doubt for Uwe Boll who somehow managed to rope in Jason Statham, Burt Reynolds, Leelee Sobieski, Ray Liotta, Clair Forlani and Matthew Lilliard to star in his latest (long on the shelf) attempt at movie making.

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