Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 12th - 14th December 2008

1. The Day The Earth Stood Still - $31M - $31M
2. Four Christmases - $13.2M - $87.9M
3. Twilight - $8M - $150.1M
4. Bolt - $7.5M - $88.8M
5. Australia - $4.2M - $37.8M
6. Quantum of Solace - $3.8M - $157.6
7. Nothing Like the Holidays - $3.5M - $3.5
8. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - $3.2M - $170M
9. Milk - $2.6M - $7.6M
10. The Transporter 3 - $2.2M - $29.2M

The only good thing to say about The Day The Earth Stood Still is that it knocked the abysmal Four Christmases off the top spot. The big budget sci-fi remake comfortably takes the top spot but you can bet the studio were looking for something closer to $50M for opening weekend. Last year's I Am Legend which opened around the same time more than doubled Day's opening take and went on to earn over $200M at the domestic box office. With the original film being a 1950s produced science fiction classic, no one really wanted a Hollywood sheened remake and while it piqued enough interest to earn $31M, the majority of people battled the crowds and did their Christmas shopping instead.

Keanu Reeves slipped up earlier this year with the barely seen Street Kings and will have to look back to 2005's Constantine for his last sizeable hit. Further damage for Day comes next weekend in the shape of the Will Smith drama Seven Pounds and Jim Carrey comedy Yes Man. The Day The Earth Stood Still cost around $80-90M and will end up recouping that thanks to the international market, and with Christmas just around the corner (with its limited new releases) it should see a few weeks in the top ten. But will anyone remember it in 3 months time?

The aforementioned Four Christmases drops down just one notch and still manages a double figure weekend total. The festive comedy has now recouped its $80M production budget and in terms of Christmas movies, it's currently at number six having just surpassed The Santa Clause 3 ($84M) but still a way behind the next film on the charts, The Santa Clause 2 ($139M). Four Christmases will hit $100M during Christmas week and be done and dusted by early new year. Vaughn will be seen next in ensemble comedy Couples Retreat while Witherspoon lends her vocal talents to the CGI movie Monsters Vs Aliens.

With news that Katherine Hardwicke will not be returning to direct the sequel, Twilight has once again been in the news this week, keeping it in the public's eye and helping it reach $150M. The teen vampire flick has begun to expand overseas where it has already taken over $50M. Bolt meanwhile has struggled outside of Thanksgiving and will have a fight on if it wants to see $100M before leaving the top ten. The good news for Bolt is that the international market is awaiting its release but no one can deny, it's no Pixar film both in terms of quality and box office.

Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia might have been a feature of the centre of the charts for the last three weeks but it's not making any kind of big money. Budgeted at $130M, the most expensive Australian movie ever made will likely not even see $50M from the domestic market. Hugh Jackman should see some success in Wolverine in May 2009 while Kidman will have to wait for the release of the musical Nine, due next winter.

Quantum of Solace has slowed right down now, having been pretty heavily front loaded upon release. The 23rd James Bond film is within grasping distance of Die Another Day's $160M and should eventually best Casino Royale's $167M, though while not in the top ten. On the global market, factoring in its US take, Quantum has taken over half a billion dollars (Royale ended up with $594M).

Hispanic festive comedy Nothing Like The Holidays manages a top ten place from a 1687 location count. Starring (and produced by) John Leguizamo, Holidays was hoping to witness similar success to last year's This Christmas but its limited appeal and location count haven't helped. It'll manage another week in the top ten before making a swift exit.

Madagascar 2 is just about hanging in there, though has nothing to be ashamed of. It may even see a small boost during Christmas week as people look for a family friendly film to see (this too could help Bolt see some more box office dollars). The Dreamworks CGI movie has now been in the top ten for over five weeks.

Thanks to award success this past week, not to mention an expansion into 328 locations, Milk finds itself back in the top ten. The well reviewed Sean Penn movie may see further expansion and success as we progress deeper into awards season. Oscar nominations are a shoe-in for Penn and director Gus Van Sant. Transporter 3 managed a week longer than most people expected in the top ten. The Jason Statham action movie is currently the second best grossing of the trilogy.

Outside of the top ten, new release Delago failed to make any impact whatsoever and will see its limited screen count slashed almost instantly. The animated release managed only a 16th place in the charts and $916k in ticket sales.

With award season well and truly under way we've seen a couple of front runners throw in their hats this weekend. Gran Torino, Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood had the best screen/takings average of any film in the top ten, taking a huge $47K per location ($284k total for the weekend). The Kate Winslet drama The Reader managed $21K per location and the Meryl Streep film Doubt saw $525k from 35 locations. One other film of note - the exceptionally well reviewed Slumdog Millionaire, still in a very limited release of 169 locations managed to score $2.2M for a total of $8M since release.

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