Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 13th - 15th June 2008

1. The Incredible Hulk - $54.5M - $54.5
2. Kung Fu Panda - $34.3M - $117.9M
3. The Happening - $30.5M - $30.5M
4. You Don't Mess With the Zohan - $16.4M - $68.7M
5. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $13.5M - $275.3M
6. Sex and the City - $10.1M - $119.9M
7. Iron Man - $5.1M - $297.4M
8. The Strangers - $4.0M - $45.3M
9. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $3M - $131.7M
10. What Happens in Vegas - $1.7M - $75.7M

The Incredible Hulk gets off to a good start considering what it was up against. Not only the stigma created by the first movie and the competition from The Happening, but also the fact that Ed Norton had decided not to publicise the movie over creative differences relating to the cut. Given all that the film has done damn well to reach $54M in its first weekend out. It's slightly off what The Hulk opened to a few years back but at that time the franchise was fresh and people were eager to see it.

The Incredible Hulk, a near reboot of the story, had to contend with people's thoughts on that first movie not to mention negative critism of the special effects work (something that dogged the first movie too). It was beginning to look like a disaster until some early positive reviews began to appear. Some strong marketing and choice release of footage also helped a great deal too. This cost upwards of $130M to produce so it's off to a good start, and may have done even better were not for The Happening taking a sizeable chunk out of its potential box office (don't get too carried away with that comment Shyamalan, you didn't do that well). The film opened in a number of foreign markets too and could be looking at a global total somewhere over $100M by Monday morning when final numbers are released.

If you want to see how The Happening did, compare it to the second weekend take of Kung Fu Panda, which managed to exceed The Happening's opening take. Being the only film aimed at the younger, family market Kung Fu Panda been able to clean up well again this weekend, off just 43% from its stunning debut. The film should clear $150M in global terms this weekend from a budget of $130M, so it's all good from here on out. It'll tide the market over until Wall-E emerges in a few short weeks and goes on, perhaps, to rule the remainder of the summer. Reviews weren't great for Kung Fu Panda, something that has always blighted Dreamworks animation, but that'll be only a minor thorn in the side given how well the film is performing.

M. Night Shyamalan had a hell of a rough ride with his last film, Lady in the Water, critically reviled and a finacial flop upon release. He decided to switch tactics with his latest release - The Happening is his first R-rated movie and the hype has been keen to point this out (no idea why this would really be a selling point but still..). Did it work? Well financially the film has done well this weekend, especially considering it was produced on a budget of just $57M. Critically, it got almost as a bad a kicking as Lady in the Water and word of mouth is anything but positive so The Happening had to make this weekend count as it may not get another chance. In comparison to his other movies The Sixth Sense, which came with zero hype, did $26M in 1999, and his weekend totals have been increasingly impressive, until Lady in the Water took just $18M in its first frame and would go on to make just $42M. As mentioned, The Happening does have its relatively low budget on its side but this won't be any kind of box office return to form for Shyamalan and probably won't finish with much more than $80M domestically. Night will change his tactics once again with his next movie, an adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The Zohan can only wish it was doing as well as its release weekend partner Kung Fu Panda. After settling for second place last weekend, the Adam Sandler hairdresser comedy is off a nasty 57%. It now stands a real chance of not reaching $100M either, becoming one of only a few Sandler comedies not to do so. This is really an example of most of Sandler's fans turning up on the opening weekend and no one else really bothering on the second one. It'll recoup its $90M budget but it'll need its foreign take to shore things up. Maybe Sandler should have gone with a July release instead?

Indiana Jones is still doing double figure weekends but has slowed right down now and began to shed locations. Globally, the film has taken well over $600M and could finish up as high as $800M by the end of the summer. It's a curious case for Indiana - it's a smash hit for certain, but still a disappointment in some quarters as it fell quite quickly after its first weekend. It also looks like finishing up behind Iron Man on the domestic market, something not many suspected before summer kicked off just a few short weekends ago.

Sex and the City collapsed even quicker but is still managing to perform ok thanks to girl's nights out. The film crossed the $100M mark over the last week and looks to finish up around $150M, more than double its budget. Meanwhile Iron Man edges so very close to $300M. Will it be the only film to reach that height this summer? This last week has been rife with sequel talk, and not all of it good, but April 2010 is still a long way off.

The Strangers is preparing to the leave the top ten having already made a nice tidy profit. In a summer of huge movies, The Strangers became the little movie that could and will finish up with around $60M. Given its genre, the film should be equally strong on DVD.

Rounding us out are Prince Caspian, which Disney hopes will slink out the room quietly, and What Happens In Vegas, which has been a very profitable release for Fox, more than doubling its production budget in the domestic market alone.

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