Friday 11 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 23rd - 25th March 2007

1. TMNT $25.4M - $25.4M
2. 300 $20.5M - $162.3M
3. Shooter $14.5M - $14.5M
4. Wild Hogs $14.3M - $123.8M
5. The Last Mimzy $10.2M - $10.2M
6. Premonition $10.1M - $32.1M
7. The Hills Have Eyes 2 $10M - $10M
8. Reign Over Me $8M - $8M
9. Pride $4M - $4,M
10. Dead Silence $3.4M - $13.2M

The theme for this week's box office report is "Too many movies water down box office potential".

Almost 14 years to the week since their last appearance, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return triumphantly to the top of the charts. After a couple of sizeable hits the live action franchise sank quickly with Turtles 3 back in 1993. This CGI rebirth was up against five new movies including one aimed at the younger market, not to mention the might of Sparta in 300. Curiously, the original movie opened with about the same box office as the 1990 original, though it must be noted that this doesn't mean the 2007 is a failure - Turtle-mania was arguably at its height in the early 90s. This new version came out of nowhere (though it had a strong online awareness) and those fans of the original are now the parents taking their kids. And let's not forget, kids have had nothing but Bridge to Terabithia for the last month.

300 drops just 37% in its third weekend and still has a $20M weekend. Any other week it would have retained the top spot but after two huge weekends and six new films to face off against, it was bound to see a decent dip in takings. Still, it heads onwards towards $200M, which it might just see before ending its domestic run. A resounding success for all concerned.

The Mark Wahlberg action thriller Shooter blasts into third. After critical success with The Departed and some minor hits with Invincible & Four Brothers, Shooter disappoints slightly. This might have less to do with film and more to do with the glut of new and existing releases all vying for attention. This had a pretty high production budget and it's going to struggle to recoup a good portion of that. Though it's on another 600 screens, Wild Hogs drops in just behind Shooter and may actually finish ahead of it when final numbers are released. Wild Hogs is now it's fourth weekend and still has to open in a large number of foreign markets.

For a month the kid market has had just one release to keep its occupied but this week along with TMNT the demographic has The Last Mimzy (Not a documentary on the female sex organ or the last prostitute in the world), a story about two children who develop amazing talents after discovering a mysterious box full of toys. Mimzy had a not bad opening but how much better could it have been had it opened a week earlier or later, thus avoiding the onslaught of TMNT.

Premonition drops 3 places and 42% of business in its second weekend on the chart. The Sandra Bullock thriller is comfortably in profit, costing just $20M to produce.

The quick sequel to last March's Hill Have Eyes remake doesn't perform as well, thanks in part to law of diminishing returns and increased competition for its target market (both 300 and Shooter will have covered a huge portion of Hills 2 potential market). Like lasts years original, this sequel has no stars, was made cheaply and should see a strong DVD release.

Adam Sandler's lastest stab at serious drops in at eight. The movie features Sandler as a widow whos family was killed in the attack on the Twin Towers, and Don Cheadle as an old college friend who tries to rekindle their friendship, hoping to help his friend heal in the process. All bets are off for this one - it's had a relatively limited opening (1600 locations), it's not a Sandler comedy so his built in market will have almost certainly stayed away and (for the 20000th time in this report) it was facing five other new releases and at least two strong hold-overs from previous weeks. This won't hang around long but will score Sandler some points for taking on such a challenging role and playing it well.

Our final new entry is yet another sports underdogs overcoming huge odds to triumph. Pride features Terence Howard as a swimming coach for a team of troubled teenagers coming up against Tom Arnold's racist rival coach & team. Why this movie was released this week I have no idea - on a quieter week it could have easily added another $4M. This will be forgotten come next weekend.

Rounding out the top ten is horror Dead Silence, managing to cling on there as better movies dropped out the chart around it.

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