Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 27th - 29th March 2009

1. Monsters vs. Aliens - $58.2M - $58.2M
2. The Haunting in Connecticut - $23M - $23M
3. Knowing - $14.7M - $46.2M
4. I Love You, Man - $12.6M - $37M
5. Duplicity - $7.5M - $25.6M
6. Race to Witch Mountain - $5.6M - $53.2M
7. 12 Rounds -  $5.3M - $5.3M
8. Watchmen - $2.7M - $103.2M
9. Taken - $2.7M - $137M
10. Last House on the Left - $2.6M - $28.4M

The latest CGI effort from Dreamworks takes the top spot with considerable ease this weekend. Monsters Vs Aliens features the voice of Reese Witherspoon as a 50ft girl who finds herself working against an alien invasion along side a blue blob and other assorted monsters. Dreamworks animation is riding high on the success of Kung Fu Panda last summer (which out grossed Pixar's Wall-E) and while M v A won't see those same dizzy heights, it proves again that CGI is no longer the sole successful domain of Pixar. M v A is out at a lot of locations, over 4,100, but that $58M weekend is the third best ever for a March release.

Haunting in Connecticut is apparently based on a true story (or there about) and obviously caught someone's eye with a strong opening (especially for a horror) movie. With next to no major names involved, this one should have already recouped its budget. Like most recent genre movies, it didn't review well and no doubt will fall hard next weekend but as we've seen time and time again, one solid weekend is generally all these types of film need to sort out their budget and announce their DVD release to the world.

Curiously Knowing holds a lot better than anyone expected it to, down 40% in its second frame of release. The Nic Cage disaster film is well on the way to recouping its reported $50M budget but probably took a bit more of a knock thanks to Haunting, which may have had some cross over audience. It's unlikely it's third weekend will hold as well but its respectable drop this weekend has given the film some breathing room. It's co-release partner, I Love You, Man, managed an even better weekend to weekend drop of just 29% and shouldn't be too far behind recouping its production budget and then some (no effects work, and Rudd & Segal aren't quite on A-List salaries yet), but will face some competition from Adventureland next weekend.

Duplicity had an ok opening weekend but the star power of Julia Roberts just doesn't attract the crowds like it used to. In the second frame it's down 45% with next to nowhere to go. While it'll see a couple more weekends in the top ten, that's more to do with the lack of new releases than the film attracting further viewers. Clive Owen must be wondering where he's going wrong.

Race to Witch Mountain was probably the film to be hit hardest by the release of Monsters Vs Aliens. Only in its third weekend of release, the film opened lower than expectations had it pegged but managed a mid-forties drop in takings during its second frame. A week later and it's off a much harsher 55%. The writing is one the wall for this one now and Race to Witch Mountain will need to rely on The Rock's appeal overseas to shore up it's costly production budget (estimated around $80M)

Our final new release this weekend is a WWE co-production, featuring wrestler John Cena. This one didn't even open as well as Cena's previous action flick The Marine ($7.1M in 2006) and it's doubtful that the film had much appeal to non-fans. Renny Harlin drifts further and further from the glory days of Die Hard 2 and The Long Kiss Goodnight.

Watchmen crossed the $100M mark on Thursday but is now just treading water. The $150M film has a global total of $163M, but with a high advertising and prints budget, not to mention that three way profit split, it's still got a long way to go to be anywhere near profitable for WB - and sadly the only place it has left to go is DVD. Taken and Last House on the Left round out the top ten, both probably seeing their last weekend in the top ten. Taken should end up close to $150M before leaving theatres while Last House will be happy to see $35M.

Just outside the top ten, at just 167 locations, is the Emily Blunt drama Sunshine Cleaning, about two sisters who operate a crime-scene cleaning business. The little indie flick expands into 500 locations next weekend and may crack the top ten.

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