Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 20th - 22nd February 2009

1. Madea Goes to Jail - $41.4M - $41.1M
2. Taken - $11.4M - $95.2M
3. Coraline - $11M - $53.4M
4. He's Just Not That Into You - $8.5M - $70.1M
5. Slumdog Millionaire - $8M - $98M
6. Friday the 13th - $7.8M - $55M
7. Confessions of a Shopaholic - $7.5M - $7.5M
8. Paul Blart: Mall Cop - $7M - $121.4M
9. Fired Up - $6M - $6M
10. The International - $4.4M - $17M

Oscar weekend can occasionly result in lower Sunday evening box office as people stay home to watch the awards. That said, a Tyler Perry movie will generally remain largely unaffected. Factor in the return of Madea, Perry's popular grandmother character (played by Perry himself) and you'll have something of a hit on your hands. The one man studio that is Tyler Perry returns again this week with Madea Goes To Jail. The character has remained largely unseen since 2006's Family Reunion but returns to headline this time around and the box office reflects that popularity - making this Perry's biggest theatrical opening of his career so far (and all from just 2075 locations).

Perry's films are critic proof too, made very cheaply and usually in profit by the Monday night after their opening weekend, if not much sooner. The only problems are that he's still relatively unknown outside of North America (an attempt to release Meet The Browns internationally fell flat) and they're a one week wonder. But none of that really matters to Perry who has released two other films in the last 12 months. He's also a playwright, oversees two TV shows and runs his own studio, amongst many other things. Tyler Perry's Madea Goes To Jail is our number one movie this weekend.

Taken and Coraline are both working the word of mouth and seeing some fantastic success in the process. Taken is down 40% in its fourth weekend of release while Coraline fell 25%. Taken will see $100M by next weekend, something that many analysts would have scoffed at a month ago. The film has had legs like almost no other, enduring minuscule weekend to weekend drops. Even next weekend's releases won't cause it to take too much of a knock. Coraline got off to a pretty good start and has built up from there. It could in fact go on to be Henry Selick's biggest film - A Nightmare Before Christmas only took $74M, a figure Croaline is well on the way to attaining. .

Perhaps buoyed by the Academy Awards this weekend, Slumdog Millionaire finds itself moving back up the charts. The $15M film is teetering close to the $100M mark and could see a final push on Monday once the Oscar dust has settled (and providing it wins of course). A resounding success on so many levels, the film is easily director Danny Boyle's biggest ever release, comfortably eclipsing The Beach ($39M), 28 Days Later ($45M) and Sunshine ($3M).

The rebooted Friday The 13th fell an horrific (and almost unheard of) 86% from Friday to Friday (down 80% for the weekend overall), making it one of the heaviest front loaded movies to ever be released. It'll manage just a couple more weekends in the top ten but has already doubled its production budget and allowed the franchise to be relaunched for a whole new generation of horror fans. Expect a sequel sooner rather than later.

While separated by a couple of films, He's Just Not That Into You and Confessions of a Shopaholic are both working the female demographic angle and for Not That Into You, it appears to have worked, having two pretty good weekends (opening and the subsequent Valentine one). Shopaholic got off to an ok start last weekend, especially given the amount of choice on offer to the average cinema goer. With Isla Fisher as the only actor to hang the film off, it shouldn't have cost the earth to produce and will turn a tidy profit once international grosses are in, but whether we'll see further adventures of the literary character remains to be seen.

Paul Blart shares at least one quality with Jason Vorhees - neither of them will go quietly into the night. The film has now been on general release for five weeks, taken over $120M, became the biggest grossing film of 2009 so far and is still pulling in pretty decent totals for such a release. Considering there are two releases next weekend (neither at more than 1200 locations) and just Watchmen the weekend after, there's every chance Blart will still be in the charts some way into March.

Our only other new release is the 'comedy' Fired Up, about two American football players who decide to attend a cheerleaders academy to meet girls. Hilarity ensues. Or rather doesn't given that box office. Like the recently released College and Sex Drive, Fired Up won't be around long and you'll struggle to remember if you've even heard about it in two weeks time.

The International got off to a bad start last weekend and things haven't gotten any better in the second frame of release. Unless it performs very well on the global market, The International will end up being a costly flop for Sony, having been produced for $50M.

There's a chance that any films in limited release that perform well at tonight's Oscars will see a small boost in takings in the coming week, but it's unlikely that any of them will be expanded any further than they already have been.

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