Tuesday 15 February 2011

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

1 Meet the Spartans $18.7M - $18.7M
2 Rambo $18.1M - $18.1M
3 27 Dresses $13.6M - $45.3M
4 Cloverfield $12.7M - $64.2M
5 Untraceable $11.2M - $11.2M
6 Juno $10.3M - $100.1M
7 The Bucket List $10.2M - $57.6M
8 There Will Be Blood $4.8M - $14.7M
9 National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets $4.6M - $205.4M
10 Mad Money $4.6M - $15.2M

Will they never learn? The abysmal Meet The Spartans takes the top spot this weekend, opening in the same ballpark as last year's Epic Movie, of which this is an unofficial sequel. The film which spoofs 300 amongst others was expected to finish fourth this weekend but cinema goers looking for a comedy (!) obviously saw differently. Cost wise, this one was $30M, which it should just about recoup before performing well on unrated DVD. Expect another sequel of sorts next year. Who is seeing these films? The only saving grace is that this will fall fast next weekend and be a distant memory shortly after. Epic Movie took almost half its final box office tally in its opening weekend.

Opening just behind (and hopefully when final figures emerge it'll have taken the top spot) is Rambo, Sylvester Stallone's return as the 80s action hero. After the success of Rocky Balboa last year Stallone moved ahead with this sequel that had actually been in the works longer. The initial Cannes investment trailer showed a proper return to the blood and guts action of the 1980s, a time and a genre that had put Stallone firmly on the map. Further trailers weren't as impressive but as with Balboa, nostalgia played a strong part in its success. Furthermore, people were looking for some solid action as opposed to the pg-13 clinical stuff we've been seeing lately and in the hard 'R' rated Rambo they got it. Rocky Balboa opened during Christmas with $21M so an $18M opening in January isn't too shoddy. The reported budget for this one is $50M, which seems a tad high, but certainly a figure that's attainable during its theatrical run. Expect Rambo to perform equally well in the foreign market, a place where Stallone has often seen success in the past, even when the domestic market has failed him.

27 Dresses drops just one place and is off around 40% from last weekend. The Katherine Heigl comedy has now made $45M in just two weekends of release and is benefiting from being the only movie in the top ten that's directly targeted at the huge 17-30 year old female demographic. It will have lost some of its box office to Meet The Spartans but 27 Dresses is still holding up well, possibly thanks to some decent word of mouth and the aforementioned lack of competition. This one has already recouped its production budget and could easily have another couple of decent weekend in it. Expect a final box office total of around $70M.

Cloverfield collapses from first to fourth in the space of one week. After a record breaking weekend the film was off a massive 75% on a Friday to Friday basis. What this means is that the film was even more heavily front loaded than a normal genre film and it now stands a real chance of not reaching $100M in the US. The hype might have worked for the first weekend but it really does appear that anyone who wanted to see the movie did so on that first weekend, if not the day of release. Obviously this makes a lot of sense, Cloverfield has been shrouded in mystery - why wait a week to see the film and risk hearing about all its secrets? (which makes its staggered worldwide release seem a little silly).

The good news for all concerned is that Cloverfield's tiny budget of $25M has already been comfortably surpassed and with a total box office of $64M there's every chance its advertising and prints budget has also been recouped. It might have dropped much quicker than its studio had hoped but this one is in profit all the way now. What does this mean for a sequel? Hard to say at this point, the film was made cheaply enough to warrant one but Cloverfield's selling point was the secrecy of it all - a sequel isn't going to have that weapon in its arsenal. A profitable experiment, what do you think?

Our next new entry is the much maligned internet thriller Untraceable, starring Diane Lane (who should know better) as a detective investigating a website used by a serial killer. The more hits the website receives the quicker the victim on its pages will die. This one has done well to see double figures and on any other week might have opened lower down the charts. Perhaps that box office is made up of people wanting to laugh at the film's depiction of the internet? It'll hang around for a couple of weeks due to the lack of new releases but expect a swift DVD release the moment its out of the top ten. Still, the studio must be happy with that opening - Untraceable reaks of a movie dumped into January rather than released.

Juno continues to perform well and this week passes the $100M barrier. It's been buoyed further this week thanks to its four big Oscar nominations and could even see itself back at more locations should it win. A huge success for all concerned, Juno will soon enter the global market on the back of some stunning word of mouth and some equally impressive box office that could see it earn another $100M. Meanwhile The Bucket List falls a bit harder in its third weekend of wide release. It's now recouped its $45M production budget, something of a consolation considering it was completely ignored by the Oscar committee.

On the other hand, There Will Be Blood was showered with eight nominations (it would possibly have been nine but it's score was refused entry as it wasn't written specifically for the film) as it expands further this weekend and breaks into the top ten for the first time. Still at only 885 locations (compared to the 2,600+ of Meet The Spartans) the film had one of the best taking/location averages of the top twelve. Expect further expansion in the coming weeks, especially if the film is successful at the Oscars. National Treasure 2 passed the $200M on Thursday (as did Alvin & the Chipmunks over the weekend) as it begins to shed a serious number of locations (800+ this weekend). It's now sitting on over $30M more than the final take of the original National Treasure movie. Will the series present not only Cage's first sequel but also his first threequel?

A survivor for a second weekend in the top ten by pure luck, Mad Money fails to have much of a further impact. It'll now have to rely on foreign ticket sales and DVD to recoup its relatively low $22M budget. Our final new release is another entry into the urban dance genre but failed to make the top ten. How She Move didn't see any of the success associated with such films as Step Up or Stomp The Yard and will be just a distant memory by next weekend. A Step Up sequel is due in just two weeks.

Elsewhere I Am Legend hit $250M and big Oscar hopeful No Country for Old Man crossed the $50M level.

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