Friday, 11 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 13th - 15th July 2007

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -  $77.0M - $140M
2. Transformers - $36M - $222M
3. Ratatouille - $18M - $143M
4. Live Free or Die Hard - $10.8 - $102M
5. License to Wed -  $7.4M - $30.5M
6. 1408 - $5M - $62.2M
7. Evan Almighty - $4.9M - $87.8M
8. Knocked Up - $3.6M - $138.1M
9. Sicko - $2.6M - $15.8M
10. Ocean's Thirteen - $1.9M - $112.4M

This weekend's numbers are another enigma given the early week release of Harry Potter, similar to that of Transformers the week before. What this does is make the weekend's three day take lower than it would have been, with a high figure for the tally since release. Harry Potter opened late on Tuesday night and went on to take the best Wednesday record from Spiderman 2. But that huge Wednesday and a good Thursday have left Potter with the lowest three day weekend take of any of the previous movies. Of course, this is largely academic because the final take since Tuesday is still huge. What it means is that Potter lost the chance of taking more records because of that early release. Before the summer release of Phoenix, only Prisoner of Azkaban had tried the blockbuster season waters, opening to $93M in June 04.

Curiously, while that movie was possibly the best reviewed of all the movies, it went on to be the lowest grossing one. Could Order of the Phoenix suffers a similar fate due to the other huge movies on release and about to open? Again, it's academic because the Harry Potter movies are a license to print money - the average total gross of the movies so far seems to be around $850M, with Sorcerer's Stone clocking a huge $976M. Opening quite late in the summer has given the movie a better chance than Prisoner had, but it'll still have a few tough weeks ahead, though without direct competition for a while it should easily reach $200M in a short space of time. Globally, including the US take, the movie is already on $169M, from a production budget of just $150M. The release of the 7th and final book next weekend has also provided plenty of free hype for Warner Bros.

Transformers crossed $200M this weekend and $300M on the global market. It's taken an expected drop of around 48% this weekend - Harry Potter and the ongoing success of Ratatouille and to a lesser degree, Die Hard 4, being the main cause of the fall. This is where an early week release can help - had Transformers posted $150M just for last weekend it would have seen a huge, worrying second weekend percentage drop (something that studios are increasingly aware of - they make their biggest cuts of box office cash in those first couple of weekends) but thanks to the $70M it did see from the last weekend, the drop looks much more respectable and on track. Transformers was heavily front loaded meaning a lot of fans rushed straight out to see it as soon as they can - something that can damage a movie on occasion, but given the huge opening take of Transformers, I doubt it will have the studio worried. If a movie has done decent opening business, it relies less and less on having legs in the coming weeks (a good thing in a packed summer schedule).

Ratatouille recovered well last weekend after a slightly disappointing start. This weekend's drop is even less than last weekend's‚ thanks in part to being the only real family friendly movie in the top ten, backed up by excellent reviews and word of mouth. The movie had a lower opening than Cars but a stronger second weekend. It's now tracking lower than Cars did in its third weekend of release but that successful second weekend has allowed the movie to recover somewhat. Next weekend sees the release of two more movies but neither should affect Ratatouille directly, allowing it to move closer to that $200M mark. Like most (not all) Pixar movies, this had yet to really expand into the global market.

Die Hard 4.0 continues to hold up well against newer releases, crossing the $100M line in the US and $200M line in the global market. What seemed like a cash-in and an attempt at a career resurrection for Bruce Willis has actually turned into a well reviewed and enjoyable addition to the franchise. The film was made for $110M and should end up with a domestic tally of around $135M once its run comes to an end.

License to Wed, which had an ok opening last week had another decent, if not spectacular weekend. It will probably see another couple of weekends on the charts simply due to the lack of new releases (just one this weekend and two next weekend) and should see a small profit by the end of its run. As alternate programming it didn't quite work out but you do need to ask the studio why they'd release a barely hyped movie among some of the biggest releases of the year.

1408, now seeing its fourth weekend on the chart, crosses the $60M mark, while Evan Almighty trudges on, desperately trying to reach $100M. It's only saving grace is the global market that awaits, though bad word of mouth might already have already put paid to that. Quite the opposite awaits Knocked Up, which has received excellent word of mouth and box office to match. Having only really opened in Australia so far, the movie should see another $100M from its global release.

Rounding off the top ten is Sicko, which is still doing pretty good business from its relatively low screen count and might end up beating the box office total of Bowling for Columbine before the end of its domestic run. Ocean's 13, which sees its last weekend in the top ten, has amassed a total box office, including its US tally, of $250M. Impressive for certain, but still an amazing $110M lower than the global total of the abysmal Ocean's 12.

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