Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 19th - 21st September 2008

1. Lakeview Terrace - $15.6M - $15.6M
2. Burn After Reading - $11.2M - $36.4M
3. My Best Friend's Girl - $8.3M - $8.3M
4. Igor - $8M - $8M
5. Righteous Kill - $7.7M - $28.8M
6. Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys - $7.5M - $28.4M
7. The Women - $5.3M - $19.2M
8. Ghost Town - $5.2M - $5.2M
9. The Dark Knight - $2.9M - $521.9M
10. The House Bunny - $2.8M - $45.7M

The latest Samuel L Jackson vehicle, Lakeview Terrace, is our number one movie this week. Released with little hype or fanfare, the psychological thriller is the story of an inter-racial couple who move into the titular street, only to find themselves hounded by Jackson's LAPD cop. Jackson's record of late has been a bit hit and miss (The Cleaner went straight to DVD and does anyone remember Home of the Brave and Resurrecting The Champ?) so this is a bit of a return to form for him. Interestingly this is Neil Labute's follow up the diabolical Wicker Man remake. Obviously this has faired much better but you have to wonder why Labute is going mainstream given the critical success he's had in the past. The film will face direct competition from Eagle Eye next weekend but it's off to a decent start for now.

After becoming The Coen Brothers first ever number one movie last weekend (along with being their biggest opener) Burn After Reading drops down a notch. It's Friday to Friday drop was an ok 46% and the film will be in profit by the end of play on Monday. Made for just $37M it didn't review as well No Country For Old Men but the slapstick approach and attractive cast have bought in different type of audience. By the end of its domestic run the film should end up with around $65M and perform better on the international market, where the major stars will be a strong selling point.

Dane Cook returns a year after Good Luck Chuck playing pretty much the same character in My Best Friend's Girl. Starring alongside Jason Biggs and Kate Hudson, Cook plays a guy who takes out ex-girlfriends, giving them such an awful date that they run back into the arms of their former boyfriends. Jason Bigg's character has just split up with Kate Hudson. You can figure out the rest. Good Luck Chuck opened to $13M but this one isn't as lucky and that total could well be made up of Cook fans alongside people who wanted a comedy but had already seen or didn't fancy Burn After Reading. Don't expect to find this one in the top ten in three weeks time.

Our third new release this week is the CGI comedy Igor, featuring the voice of John Cusack. It's the tale of the legendary hunchback who tires of being an assistant and decides to become a scientist, much to the displeasure of the scientific community. Even as the only family friendly film in the top ten, Igor still disappoints with that total - even Hoodwinked did better - and it'll be on DVD well before Christmas. Igor did recover a little on Saturday (weekend estimates had it pegged at $6.5M) but the boat had already sailed by that point.

The same applies to Righteous Kill, which had a huge 60% drop from last Friday. Those still curious of a De Niro/Pacino partnership saw the film last weekend and got it off to a better than expected start. A week later and the word of mouth has spread and the box office reflect that. A shame as a few years ago the film could have been dynamite instead of a post script to their careers. After the shocking 88 Minutes, one would have thought that Pacino would have learnt that working with John Avnet doesn't work out too well for him.

Tyler Perry's Family That Preys didn't fair much better with a 66% drop but that's par for the course for Tyler Perry as fans turn out the opening weekend and leave the film for dead in the second frame. No budget details have been released for the film but there's a good chance it's already in profit. The Women is already into a profit thanks to its amazingly low budget of just $16M. Managing a double figure total last weekend despite some terrible reviews, The Women is still the main (only?) choice for the older female demographic. It should just about weather another week in the top ten before heading to DVD.

Our final new release is the Ricky Gervais starrer Ghost Town, in which he plays a dentist who dies on the operating table, upon being revived he finds he can see and talk to dead people. This is Gervais' first leading role in a film so a lot rests on its performance. Unfortunately the Ghost crossed with Sixth Sense movie didn't fill Paramount with confidence and they released the film into just 1500 locations, hence the low weekend total. The film reviewed well but it will need to expand further in the coming weeks in order to capitalise on any good word of mouth. The question is, is that total enough to justify expansion or will Paramount have already given up on the film? (Nicki Finke claims that rival studios are already stating Ghost Town is dead in the water)

The Dark Knight is facing its last weekend in the top ten. Globally, it's sitting less than $30M from the $1B mark and with international grosses still doing well, it should achieve the huge sum within a couple of weekends. It's also less than $80M short of Titanic's total, could a re-release at Christmas push it within grasping distance of one more record? Also seeing its last weekend in the top ten is The House Bunny, the Anna Faris Playboy comedy. It should end up with around $50M when the dust has finally settled. The downside of this mainstream success is that Faris has pulled out of the Linda Lovelace biopic.

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