Friday 11 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 17th - 19th August 2007

1. Superbad - $31.2M - $31.2M
2. Rush Hour 3 - $21.8M - $88M
3. The Bourne Ultimatum - $18.9M - $163.8M
4. The Simpsons Movie - $6.6M - $165.1M
5. The Invasion - $6.0M - $6.0M
6. Stardust - $5.2M - $19M
7. Hairspray - $4.2M - $100.5M
8. Underdog - $3.6M - $31.6M
9.Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix - $3.5M - $278.6M
10. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry -  $3.4M - $110.3M

Superbad was expected to be something of a cult hit but with that opening it bypasses cultdom to become a breakout hit all on its own. Made for just $20M, the film tells the story of two friends with separation anxiety as they begin to deal with the prospect of attending different colleges and salvage party plans that have gone awry. Written by man of the moment Seth Rogen and produced by Judd Apatow, the film had been testing well for a number of months with trailer feedback being positive. The film avoided costly TV advertising until the last minute and instead built up a cult following via its website and internet word of mouth (which can sometimes backfire - see last August's Snakes on a Plane). All that combined with the lacklustre new releases this weekend and the drop off of Rush Hour 3 meant Superbad had the weekend almost to itself.

As previously mentioned the film cost just $20M to produce and will almost certainly have doubled that amount by Wednesday. While there are five new movies opening next weekend, none of them should directly affect Superbad's time at the top of the charts. This will be a sizeable hit for all concerned and make the perfect end to summer for Seth Rogen, who scored big earlier in the summer in Knocked Up. This'll be a wake up call to the makers of Hot Rod, which was tipped for success but failed pretty miserably.

After a decent if unimpressive opening last weekend Rush Hour 3 drops 56% in its second outing. It'll now struggle to recoup its $140M budget and may end up finishing with the lowest box office of the series. The film will now need to rely heavily on its foreign takings to shore up its worryingly low US take.

On the other side of the coin, The Bourne Ultimatum crossed the $150M mark and is off less than 45% compared to last weekend. In only its third weekend on the charts the film has come within shouting distance of the final box office take of The Bourne Supremacy (final box office $176M). With only Superbad offering it serious competition this weekend and none of next weeks releases liable to offer much in the way of trouble, The Bourne Ultimatum could see close to $200M by the end of August.

The Simpsons has dropped off pretty quickly since its impressive opening and won't reach $200M in the US. Elsewhere the film is still performing well and crossed the $400M mark on the global market. This is all academic as the film cost $65M to produce and still had a huge DVD release waiting for it.

A big release starring one major star, a star who is certainly on the up and up and an acclaimed director at the helm with a solid remake idea as the starting point. Oliver Hirschbiegel's 'The Invasion' had everything going for it, but once the studio saw what he'd produced it was all hands to the pumps to rescue what they saw as a deeply flawed remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The film was shot over 18 months ago, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (the film was in the can before he'd even started Casino Royale) but was reworked by V For Vendetta director James McTeigue with new scenes scripted by The Wachowski Brothers. The studio had found Hirschbiegel's version too arty and ordered the massive rewrite & reshoots, all it seems to no avail. The film opened with a lowly $6M and will only remain in the charts thanks to the limited opening releases next weekend. Hopefully the next collaboration between Craig & Kidman (His Dark Materials) will perform better.

A movie without an audience, Stardust continued to stumble in only its second weekend of release after an already unimpressive opening. Like Rush Hour 3, the film will now be relying heavily on its foreign box office, so far the movie has only opened in Russia. Meanwhile Hairspray crosses the $100M mark on its 29th day of release. Underdog crosses the $30M point this weekend and may leave the top ten next weekend.

Order of the Phoenix sits just $12M short of the Goblet of Fire domestic total and has taken $826M on the global market. Chuck & Larry is looking at its final weekend on the charts and should finish up with around $120M.

Just outside the top ten is Becoming Jane, the Anne Hathaway 'Jane Austen portrait' which opened in a limited capacity at the start of August expanded to 1,186 this weekend. The only other new release, The Last Legion, failed to enter the top ten taking just $2.5M. Transformers is now just $2M behind the final total of Pirates of the Caribbean 3, surpassing that would put it as the third biggest movie of the year behind Spiderman 3 and Shrek 3.

Next week, a lot of new releases but only one of them is on more than 2,200 screens.

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