Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 25th - 27th April 2008

1. Baby Mama - $18.3M - $18.3M
2. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - $14.6M - $14.6M
3. Forbidden Kingdom - $11.2M - $38.3M
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $11.1M - $35M
5. Nim's Island $4.5M - $38.9M
6. Prom Night $4.4M - $38.1M
7. 21 - $4M - $75.7M
8. 88 Minutes - $3.6M - $12.6M
9. Horton Hears A Who - $2.4M - $147M
10. Deception $2.2M - $2.2M

Sorry about the lack of report last weekend!

Our no.1 movie this weekend is the comedy Baby Mama, starring two Saturday Night Live stalwarts (at one time or another), Amy Poehler and Tiny Fey. The film features Fey as a successful business woman who finds out she is infertile and decides to ask Poehler, a south Philadelphia working class girl to be her surrogate after a chance meeting throws them together. The female demographic have had to little to shout about of late but Baby Mama seems to have fitted the bill perfectly. What's more it kept Harold & Kumar off the top spot - no mean task given most box office analysts had them easily winning the weekend. Baby Mama should have been made fairly cheaply and should see a good profit by the end of its run. It's worth noting that while both of the leads originate from SNL, the film in no way ties back to any characters they play on the show, unlike most SNL related films.

So Harold & Kumar have to settle for second, and not that close a second either. It's been four years since the duo went to White Castle and became a pretty sizable cult hit, especially on DVD. That film cost just $9M to make and reaped in $18M before the end of its domestic run. A sequel wasn't inevitable but with those impressive DVD sales figures it certainly couldn't hurt to try one on. Second place with that figure isn't too disappointing as this H&K movie probably cost little more than the first one - it's also taken three quarters of its prequels total box office in just three days. It wass also facing competition from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (more soon) and the aforementioned Baby Mama in the comedy stakes so has done well to perform as well as it has. Expect it to fall quickly but remain in the top ten for a few weeks thanks to a limited number of new releases (limited but huge, it should be noted) in the coming weeks.

Forbidden Kingdom appears to have been quite front loaded - the majority of those who wanted to see it did so last weekend. The fans of Chan & Li and martial arts films in general turned out in their droves and gave it a sizable opening. In its second week of release it's dropped three places and drops around 50% of business. Like Harold & Kumar it might find some repeat business thanks to the limited number of releases in the coming weekend but Forbidden Kingdom will now be looking to its foreign gross to shore up its take. The film should do exceptionally in the east, particularly Asia, where Jackie Chan especially, can still generate huge business.

Expected to comfortably take the top spot last week, Forgetting Sarah Marshall had to settle for runner up again the Chan/Li epic Forbidden Kingdom. New weekend, same story. As was mentioned, Marshall faced competition from the two new comedic release but strong word of mouth has helped it stay its ground somewhat. It's doubtful that the film will go on to be another Superbad but it's looking a brighter picture than last weekend, when half the analysts had the film opening exactly where it should and the other half sounding the death knell for Judd Apatow, who produced and co-wrote the film. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has so far made $35M from a budget of $30M.

Nim's Island recoups its production budget this weekend and has certainly stayed the course better than its release rival Leatherheads. Nim has been able to pick up on some family business thanks to being the only family friendly film in the top ten outside of Horton, which was the family choice a good few weeks ago. For some godforsaken reason Prom Night continues to take money. It's now made over $38M, practically doubling its production budget. As mentioned when the film was released, this kind of success just sends out the wrong message to Hollywood who will continue to remake cult 80s horror into nice, safe PG-13 tat and make a packet doing it. Future remakes include Friday The 13th and The Last House on the Left (though how either could receive a PG-13 is beyond me but then....)

21 crosses the $75M barrier this weekend and could possibly see a mid nineties take at the end of its box office run. Expected to come and go quickly the film has belayed expectations, with last weekend being its biggest percentage drop of its release (and 47% isn't too shoddy for a film, at that point, in its third weekend of release). On a global release scale, including its US take, 21 has taken over $100M.

Widely regarded as his worst film, Al Pacino's 88 Minutes takes a tumble in only its second weekend of release. Even with only two new releases next weekend its doubtful the film will see another place in our top ten. A cinematic release for a film that's already seen DVD release over a year ago in some territories reaks of a theatrical release commitment. Pacino will next be seen in Righteous Kill alongside Robert De Niro. Horton Hears a Who edges closer to $150M in the domestic market and $250M on the global scene. When all is done and dusted the film may even see $300M in total ticket sales.

Our final new release has been on the shelf almost as long as 88 Minutes and had at least one title change. Deception (aka The List) has quite a pedigree of stars - Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Maggie Q but even they couldn't save this barely hyped thriller (the only trailer for the film appeared just over a month ago) from failing right out of the gate. Deception will be on DVD by July.

And so we come to Summer. Next weekend sees the release of the first of the potential summer blockbusters, Iron Man, alongside some alternative programming in the guise of rom-com Made of Honour. How big will the film be? Some sites are already reporting a $100M three day take but could the release of Grand Theft Auto 4 throw a spanner in the works?

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