Friday 11 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 27th - 29th April 2007

1. Disturbia -  $9.1M - $52.1M
2. The Invisible - $7.6M - $7.6M
3. Next - $7.2M - $7.2M
4. Fracture - $7M - $21.3M
5. Blades of Glory - $5.2M - $108M
6. Meet the Robinsons - $4.8M - $88.3M
7. Hot Fuzz - $4.7M - $12.4M
8. Vacancy - $4.2M - $13.8M
9. The Condemned - $4M - $4M
10. Are We Done Yet? - $3.4M - $43.8M

This weeks sees some of the lowest box office of the year. The new films didn't set the world on fire and people have either seen everything else on offer or just aren't too fussed about seeing them. Even with another four new releases this weekend, Disturbia still manages to keep hold of the top spot. This is one of the lowest totals in recent months to have secured the top spot - last March 16 Blocks secured the top spot with $11.8M. The movie crosses the $50M mark this weekend and has really held up well against twelve new releases over its time at the top, at least half of which were in direct competition either by theme or demographic. The movie has now doubled its production budget and launched Shia Labeouf as the next big thing.

Up next is the teen thriller The Invisible, about a guy who is left for dead. He awakens as a spirit and has to somehow make contact with a girl who can help track down his dying body before its too late. Not a great deal was expected of the movie and on a more productive weekend it would have opened much lower. The studios had this already figured out and made sure the film was out of the way before it became lost in summer blockbuster territory (which kicks off next weekend). This won't have anywhere near the staying power of Disturbia but has managed a quiet victory over 'Next', which was predicted to see off both this and Disturbia.

Nicolas Cage's career has been an interesting one that's for sure. Having sat on the edge of stardom for a while making a strong name for himself in a number of small indie & studio movies. Then The Rock happened, then Con Air, Face/Off and before we knew it Cage was an action hero for hire. Except he kept on making those quirky movies too (Adaptation, Matchstick Men etc). The only problem that arose was quality control - The Wicker Man, The Weather Man and more....But the guy makes so many movies a year that if one film doesn't stick he's got another lined up (he currently has 7 movies in various stages of production). Which brings us to 'Next', a movie in which Cage plays a guy with the gift of being able to see a few minutes into the future and thus change its outcome. He's assisted by girlfriend Jessica Biel and Federal agent Julianne Moore.

The film was expected to open much bigger than it has by at least $5M, which makes its take all the more disappointing. Trailers weren't stunning and the poor CGI featured in them certainly didn't help. The only reason it'll still be in the charts in two weeks time is down to a lack of new releases. Cage is still riding high on the success of Ghost Rider and has inevitable hit National Treasure 2 and possibly Bangkok Dangerous still to come this year so Next won't be much of a sticking point for him.

The court room thriller Fracture drops two places this weekend, losing a not-too bad percentage of business. It faced competition from Disturbia both last weekend and this one along with Vacancy. Add this week's new releases into the mix and Fracture actually holds up a bit better than expected. It'll probably finish up around $35M. (it's worth noting that Next & Fracture might swap places once final numbers are released)

Blades of Glory just refuses to go quietly into the night. It's only real competition is from Hot Fuzz and that's on about 2000 less screens. There's been no other out and out comedy in the top ten for a while to offer any serious trouble and Blades looks set to earn close to $130M before the end of its box office run. Similarly Meet The Robinsons has the kid market all to itself and has been able to carve out some decent box office because of it. Though it won't see $100M before leaving the top ten it'll end up being a profitable hit for Disney/Pixar.

Last weekend's big success Hot Fuzz adds another 400 locations to its count bringing it up to 1275 (still some 2000 locations less than a number of films) and loses less than 20% of its business from last weekend. Very strong word of mouth is getting people out to see the movie and if it increases locations again next weekend it should be able to hold firm until the full summer onslaught kicks in.

Vacancy takes a tumble and this almost certainly marks its last weekend in the charts. The film didn't really stand much of a chance - up against two superior thrillers during its opening weekend and attracting neither fans of thrillers or gore filled horror. A small movie without a market. The only saving grace is its small budget of $19M, which it should just about recoup, DVD sales should make up any shortfall.

Our final new entry this weekend is The Condemned, a Running Man/Battle Royale clone featuring wrestler Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones. Both play death row criminals who are thrown onto an island with eight other inmates and told they'll be granted freedom if they're the last man standing. The movie was part financed by the WWE (like The Marine & See No Evil, both of which opened to similarly poor box office) as they try yet again to get a wrestler to successfully crossover into movies. It appears with this weekend's taking even the hardcore fans stayed away. It's extremely doubtful that the movie will be in the top ten next weekend.

Finally, rounding out the top ten is Are We Done Yet? which manages to cross the $40M mark this weekend, its last one on the charts. Kickin It Old Skool opened at 11 with a lowly $2.8M while Grindhouse has its screen total slashed again to just 618 - it started out on 2600, which it kept for two weekends, dropping to just 1400 last week. It's made $23.8M.

Next weekend, only one film matters. Sure, one studio is trying alternate programming with romantic drama Lucky You, but truthfully, it's all about Spiderman 3. Hopefully I can bring you the full report and not just the numbers next weekend but a big part of that is whether my wife goes into labour!

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