Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 23th - 25th May 2008

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $101.1M - $126M
2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $23.3M - $91M
3. Iron Man - $20.1M - $252.3
4. What Happens In Vegas - $9M - $54.2M
5. Speed Racer - $4M - $36.2M
6. Made of Honor - $3.4M - $39M
7. Baby Mama - $3.3M - $52.1M
8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $1.6M - $58.1M
9. Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay - $0.9M - $35.9M
10. The Visitor - $0.7M - $4.4M

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the the Crystal Skull has been a long time coming. Has all the hype paid off? Opening on a few screens on Wednesday night and expanding into over 4000 locations on Thursday the film had a decent, if not record breaking first day tally of around $25M, the fourth biggest Thursday take ever (though a long way off the $50M scored by Revenge of the Sith, but that didn't open on a holiday weekend which Indiana Jones has - which may have prompted people to wait until Saturday or Sunday to visit the cinema knowing they had Monday off work) and would go on to score a further $31M on Friday (placing it at 15th biggest Friday - again, it's worth noting that a number of films above it opened on the Friday as opposed to the Thursday like Indiana Jones). Going into the weekend Indiana Jones was riding high on a $50M+ start so things weren't looking bad.

The film had an even better Saturday with a take of around $37M (10th biggest) before dipping slightly to a still impressive $33M on Sunday. There's still Memorial Day itself to go and while Skull won't be breaking any major records, it's certainly up there amongst the big hitters. The current 4-day Memorial Holiday record is held by Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's End, with $139M which would mean Skull would need to a have Memorial Day take of over $39M, which is unlikely. From that Thursday release it appears the Spielberg and Co weren't that worried about setting any records though there's a chance it'll score a five day record.

How does this reflect on the film? It's really hard to say, the last Indiana Jones film was way back in 1989 and the biggest demographic seeing films today probably weren't even alive at that point. It was always expected to be a huge release (it's actually on about 9,000 screens) but with it not breaking records I can imagine some people already writing the film off. Skulls scored a 79% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty damn good considering the amount of people marking the film down because it didn't live up the hype (what could?!) and many agree that it's nowhere near the disappointment of Star Wars: Episode One. The film cost $185M but it should cover that by the end of the weekend including foreign grosses.

Now it's out, the next big question is where will it go from here? It's got a relatively competition free weekend to come so should retain the top spot. Anything more than a 45-50% drop off could be worrying and show the film has reduced repeat business and shorter 'legs' than anticipated. Obviously the film is incredibly front loaded and being on over 9,000 screens means that anyone who wanted to see it this weekend should have had no problem getting a ticket. Iron Man was equally front-loaded but had a strong second (third and fourth) weekend so there's no reason Indiana Jones couldn't repeat that level of business, with only Kung Fu Panda and Adam Sandler's Don't Mess With The Zohan showing up in two weekends time.

So with Indiana Jones out of the way, how did everyone else figure on the Memorial Day weekend? After a disappointing start last weekend Prince Caspian hasn't had much of a recovery. It's Friday take was down a huge 66% from the same time last week and it's down 58% for the weekend overall. Now a good portion of that is caused by Indiana Jones but even so, the film shouldn't have fallen so hard so quickly. Prince Caspian is now in real danger of not even making $150M before the end of its box office run, which would be pretty of disastrous for the $200M movie. It'll only have a couple more weekends before its location count is reduced to make room for newer movies at which point it'll have much less chance of recovery. While not in the Speed Racer band of flops, Prince Caspian is still nowhere near a success either and will need to rely very heavily on its international grosses to get anywhere near recouping its budget.

Iron Man on the other hand, continues to perform admirably and even in its fourth weekend of release manages a $20M+ take. Like Caspian, it'll have been hit hardest by Indiana but even so, it's still attracting a decent amount of business and may even take more than the aforementioned Caspian over the coming weekends. The film has been a resounding success on so many levels and may yet see $300M in the US alone. It's current global take including its US tally is over $450M.

What Happens in Vegas was off just 29% last weekend as some people sought out a less action packed movie to see. Although there are plenty of comedies in the top ten the film does seem to be working better than all of them as alternative programming, perhaps mainly to the female market who aren't looking for adventure and explosions. The film had already recouped its slim budget last weekend so it was all good from there on out. It's performing even better outside of North America, having already taken over $60M.

Oh poor Speed Racer. Seems that people are going to see practically anything other than you. It's about to have its location count reduced to next to nothing and it still hasn't seen $40M in ticket sales. It's only tiny saving grace is that when you factor in foreign ticket sales it has now crossed the $50M mark. It's like dodging the bullet but getting run over by a bus. There isn't any way to dress this up other than as a total flop. It's $120M budget is still an ocean away and when final numbers are in on Tuesday it might not have even finished in fifth place. Curiously, while Warner's aren't happy about the failure of the film, they're said to be please with how the related merchandise is selling.

The remaining comedies in the top ten are all simply just there thanks to a lack of new releases. A couple might swop places come Tuesday but they've all pretty much had their day in the sun. Of the four, Forgetting Sarah Marshall has done about the best, followed closely by Baby Mama, Made of Honor and Harold & Kumar. Of note, Baby Mama crossed the $50M barrier this weekend while Maid of Honor tries desperately to recoup its $40M budget. Forgetting Sarah Marhsall, the oldest of all comedies in the top ten might end up seeing around $70M by the end of its box office run.

Finally, and on the far end of the box office take spectrum, we have The Visitor. Gaining some good reviews and excellent word of mouth, even with all the flash of summer this movie has managed to stay in the top ten with less than $1M in box office sales.

After that opening will Indy collapse next weekend? Will Sex & The City, an R-rated romantic comedy, open to more than $20M? And will the long delayed 'The Strangers' see a top five position?

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