Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 14th - 16th November 2008

1. Quantum of Solace $70.4M - $70.4M
2. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa $36.1M - $118M
3. Role Models $11.7M - $38.1M
4. High School Musical 3: Senior Year $5.8M - $84.3M
5. Changeling $4.2M - $27.6M
6. Zack and Miri Make a Porno $3.2M - $26.5M
7. Soul Men $2.42M - $9.4M
8. The Secret Life of Bees $2.4M - $33.6M
9. Saw V $1.7M - $55.4M
10. The Haunting of Molly Hartley $1.6M - $12.6M

Quantum of Solace gets off to an explosive start! The 22nd Bond film, the second with Daniel Craig, scored a whopping $27M on Friday, which is two thirds of what Casino Royale did for the entire first weekend of its release. Obviously the weekend total for Quantum comfortably eclipses that of Casino Royale (and in fact, is only around $25M short of Royale's nine day total!) and all other James Bond movies released so far. While Casino Royale had to face off against family comedy Happy Feet it also had to establish a new, darker James Bond, one without all the usual trappings of the super spy.

With no competition and Daniel Craig happily accepted as 007, Quantum of Solace was all set to become the most successful film of the entire franchise. There's already early word that Quantum will become the first James Bond to gross more than $200M in the US from its theatrical run.

Die Another Day previously held the James Bond weekend record at $47M, with Casino Royale opening at around $40M two years ago. Royale would go on to make an impressive $594M on the global market. Quantum has already been in the international market for two weeks and has so far amassed a strong $161M. Where will it go from here? Next weekend sees the release of Twilight, which has the potential to blast anything out of the water given its obsessive fan base - but that film is aimed squarely at the teen market so might not hit Quantum directly. After that comes Australia and the return of Jason Statham in Transporter 3, which might dent Quantum a little, but at that time Bond 22 will already be approaching $200M.

After a strong start last weekend Madagascar 2 took a hit on Friday and was down 50% from its previous Friday. This is fast becoming the norm nowadays as the number of CGI movies increases making each one a little less special than the previous one (even Pixar saw a higher second frame drop for the phenomenally well reviewed Wall-E). The film managed to recover somewhat on Saturday (again, expected for a family film) and finished the weekend down an overall 42%. By this time next weekend the film will have crossed the $140M point as it heads towards its production budget of $150M. Like HSM3, Madagascar 2 should see a large amount of easy money from the wealth of merchandising opportunities offered by a family friendly cuddly animal movie.

Role Models holds up incredibly well in its second frame on release. The Paul Rudd/Seann Scott Williams comedy recouped its $28M budget on Friday night so we're plain sailing from here on out. Box Office Prophets reports that its take this weekend is still higher than analysts predicted it would take on its opening weekend. With only Zack & Miri as direct competition, the well-reviewed comedy is benefiting from some good word of mouth and might have had an even better weekend were it not for some crossover audience taking in Quantum of Solace. Role Models should finish up with around $55-60M by the end of its theatrical run.

HSM3 will almost certainly stop short of making $100M on the domestic market but internationally the Disney TV movie series to theatrical release has already taken $110M. This weekend saw it pushing further for a global total (factoring in its US tally) of over $200M. On DVD the film should repeat that success alongside the millions already taken in merchandised products. All from a budget of just $11M, this will be a hugely profitable venture for Disney.

Speaking of word of mouth, Changeling is also benefiting again this weekend. The film is still in a relatively limited release, just under 1900 locations, but is managing a decent screen/takings average. At this point Universal need to make a decision on whether to cash in and expand the film further or accept that anyone who wants to see the film will go that extra mile to seek it out rather than wait for any expansion. There's every chance Universal will also push Angelina Jolie for an Oscar nomination, along with director Clint Eastwood.

Zack & Miri doesn't appear to be the first choice this weekend (or last weekend for that matter) for those cinema goers looking for a comedy, that honour goes to the aforementioned Role Models. Still, the Kevin Smith film has already recouped its $24M production budget and it's still got some life left in it yet. Zack & Miri should end up being Smith's biggest film to date, that current honour lies with Dogma's $30.6M.

Soul Men should manage just one more weekend in the top ten before becoming just a sad footnote toward the end of the careers of Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac. The film didn't garner great reviews but should break even from its DVD sales. Secret Life of Bees has been around a lot longer than expected but that could be down to a lack of new releases (just two last weekend, one this weekend). The Dakota Fanning drama was made for just $11M and has more than doubled that total in box office receipts so far. Saw V marked this weekend by recouping more than the original film's final total back in 2004. It's not got much left in it and should end up with around $65M before cleaning up on DVD. The Haunting of Molly Hartley has recouped its low production budget and won't be remembered as ever seeing the inside of a cinema in a fortnights time.

One other film to note - the Christian themed film Fireproof, which was made for $500K, has a current total of $28M and is still just at its 839 locations.

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