Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 22nd - 24th February 2008

1. Vantage Point - $24M - $24M
2. Jumper - $12.6M - $56M
3. The Spiderwick Chronicles - $12.6M - $43.5M
4. Step Up 2 The Streets - $9.7M - $41.4M
5. Fool's Gold - $6.2M - $52.4M
6. Definitely, Maybe - $5.1M - $21.7M
7. Be Kind Rewind -  $4.1M - $4.1M
8. Juno - $4.1M - $130M
9. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins - $3.9M - $35.4M
10. There Will Be Blood - $2.5M - $34.9M

With the Oscars today, Sunday's takings may be a few dollars lower than expected, but that's not stopped studios giving us four new releases. Vantage Point, the multi-camera, multi perspective thriller opens with a strong $24M. Featuring Forest Whittaker, Dennis Quaid, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox and William Hurt to name just a few, Vantage Point tells of an assassination attempt on the president of the United States, as seen from the perspective of agents, tourists, TV network people and the president himself.

That opening is actually a little higher than expected especially for a movie which didn't really show up on anyone's radar until a few weeks ago - something that seems odd given that impressive cast. Reviews haven't been stunning but given the new release competition (and lack of availability of one of those) Vantage Point made the best of the situation. Expect a half decent holdover next weekend when it'll face off against just one wide release (but its a biggie, see below).

Jumper does have the advantage of that strong opening weekend behind it but that 53% weekend to weekend drop is liable to be a bit higher than the studio had hoped. Furthermore, after such a drop the film will unlikely recoup its production budget without the aid of DVD sales as its take next weekend is liable to be in the mid to high single millions. Doug Liman this week talked about a sequel involving time jumpers but unless the film performs well in the international market (current total $29M), that might have to stay a pipe dream.

After a somewhat bumpy start, Spiderwicke ended up performing better than Step Up 2 and Jumper last Monday. It's second weekend drop is quite respectable and it's not yet the disaster they may have been expecting when they saw its opening day numbers. With little competition to come, Spiderwicke could see another good weekend but will still ultimately struggle to recoup its huge budget. But like The Golden Compass and Eragon, don't expect to see further Spiderwicke adaptations.

Dropping down by 48% is Step Up 2 The Streets, which opened quick and fast last week, took its money and is already on its way out the door. This kind of movie release is a huge advert for the DVD and soundtrack, they open wide and take the vast majority of their total box office in the first weekend. Step Up 2 recouped its production budget on Thursday so once prints and advertising is factored in, it should provide Buena Vista with a decent profit. Expect Step Up 3 around the same time next year.

Fool's Gold and Definitely Maybe are fighting it out for the next spots and pretty much the same market of people too. Fool's Gold had the stronger opening but did have next to no competition in it debut weekend while Definitely Maybe had to face off against last weekend's slew of new releases. Fool's Gold crossed the $50M mark this weekend but has slowed right down now and should end up with around $65-70M when the dust has settled. A solid if unimpressive hit. Definitely Maybe on the other hand, will be thankful that there aren't more new releases to cut into its screen count too quickly and will end up with around $35M. Would a less crowded weekend been better than trying to cash in on Valentine's Day?

Released at just 808 locations, Be Kind, Rewind had a strong screen to takings average, propelling it into the top ten. The latest Michel Gondry film features Jack Black and Mos Def recreating some of the most famous movies when Black accidently erases all the video tapes in the local store. Initial trailers looked promising and with Gondry onboard the potential was huge, but something happened along the way - the studio appears to have lost faith in the product (though it has appeared in a lot more places than Gondry's Human Nature and Science of Sleep) and decided to almost quietly release it rather than throw it into as many locations as possible. This could be a mistake - word of mouth is decidedly mixed so Be Kind could already have missed the boat if the studio does decide to expand the film further. It'll be interesting to see where the film goes next - further expansion and potential box office or cult DVD?

Both Juno and There Will Be Blood could see improved box office if they score big at today's Oscars. Juno has nothing left to prove - it's a smash hit (only My Big Fat Greek Wedding has been a bigger independent hit) and has thrust its star Ellen Page onto the A-list, along with screenwriter Diablo Cody. There Will Be Blood is a critical powerhouse but has been a tough sell for the studio. An Oscar win for Day-Lewis would certainly help pique interest but the film has already recouped its modest $25M budget.There Will Be Blood is out for the kudos and the awards. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins might manage one more week in the top ten but that's about it. It's just about in profit, though Tyler Perry will show Martin Lawrence how its done in a few weeks with his latest movie, Meet The Browns.

Opening outside the top ten is 'comedy' Witless Protection, starring Larry The Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy. It failed to even have the impact of Larry's Delta Farce, which opened to $3.4M in July 2007. Comedy drama Charlie Bartlett opened on 1,122 and made just $1.8M. Elsewhere, U2-3D expanded into the Hannah Montana locations and took $1M.

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