Tuesday, 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 28th - 30th March 2008

1. 21 - $23.7M - $23.7M
2. Horton Hears a Who - $17.4M - $117.3M
3. Superhero Movie - $9.5M - $9.5M
4. Meet the Browns - $7.8M - $32.8M
5. Drillbit Taylor - $5.6M - $20.5M
6. Shutter - $5.6M - $19.1M
7. 10,000 B.C. - $4.8M - $84.9M
8. Stop-Loss - $4.5M - $4.5M
9. College Road Trip - $3.4M - $38.3M
10. The Bank Job - $2.8M - $24.1M

After a couple of weekends in the top spot, Horton has met his match in a group of MIT students. 21 is our number one movie this week and is based on the successful book Bringing Down the House (a title already taken by the Steve Martin vehicle) about a group of students who can 'count cards', enabling them to take a Las Vegas casino for millions of dollars. Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne stars as the student's mentor and the Casino's head of security respectably, with the rest of the cast being rounded out by relative newcomers.

That opening take is pretty impressive for a mostly action free movie (one that's in just over 2,600 locations) and there's every chance that 21 skewed a slightly older demographic. With Horton in its third weekend and the other releases being of questionable quality, 21 was able to clean up handsomely. It's doubtful that the film cost more than $45M so will be well on the way to recouping its budget by Monday afternoon, when final numbers are issued.

Horton, though relinquishing the top spot, still sees another decent weekend haul. Horton Hears a Who crossed the $100M mark on Friday, the first movie to do so this year, and is heading for $200M on the global market (which includes the US take) and was off just 29% from last weekend's domestic take. It won't reach the heights of The Grinch, which ended up with $260M, but could easily see $150M on the domestic market. Horton was produced from a budget of $85M and marks a return to form for Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell.

Have the public finally caught on to Hollywood's game? If that low take for the latest in a long line of spoof films is anything to go by then perhaps they have. Superhero Movie's trailers were depressing, its poster even more so, yet it was expected to win the weekend. It did have tiny bit more pedigree than Epic Movie and last month's Meet The Spartans in the shape of Leslie Nielsen and director David Zucker. That doesn't appear to have worked though and one has to wonder if Superhero Movie just wasn't dumb enough to cater for the Spartans crowd (coincidentally, Spartans topped out at $38M in the US) or that the public are simply tiring of movies made up of nothing more than sketches hung around the loosest of frameworks. Given its poor start, don't expect Superhero to be around for long, with a final take of around $30M and a quick DVD release already on the cards.

Meet The Browns dropped a huge 73% on Friday as the second weekend blues hit Tyler Perry's latest, as they always seem to do. Like horror movies, Tyler's movies seem to be very heavily front loaded - the fans turn out the first weekend and only the curious show up for the second. The majority of his previous work has followed the same trajectory and like those films, Meet The Browns was made cheaply and was already in profit by last Sunday. Expect another week or two in the top ten before finding a lucrative home on DVD. Tyler Perry is already lining up Madea Goes to Prison and The Family That Prays Together for release this year. (Madea Goes to Prison is actually set during the same time frame as Meet The Browns).

Drillbit Taylor flopped pretty hard last weekend and showed no sign of changing its path this week with another disappointing take (barely beating Shutter, which won over it last weekend). Excluding the barely released 'The Big Bounce' and limited release movies, this is the first Owen Wilson movie to open with less than $10.5M. Wilson will be seen next in neurotic canine comedy Marley & Me. 10,000BC on the other hand saw $200M on the global market on Saturday. You can bet Warners will be playing up that angle as opposed to the slightly disappointing domestic take of $81M.

With some limited success last weekend, Shutter is off around 50% in its second frame and is already dead in the water. While these films continue to be made cheaply and make a decent profit, Hollywood will continue to pick up cheap remake rights to foreign movies. Only The Ring and The Grudge have made any kind of serious money, with The Eye, Pulse, Grudge 2 and Dark Water all failing to have more than one decent weekend. If only films like The Orphanage could get the kind of release granted to rubbish like Shutter.... 10,000BC on the other hand saw $200M on the global market by Saturday. You can bet Warners will be playing up that angle as opposed to the slightly disappointing domestic take of $84M.

Our final new entry this week is the latest in the line of Iraq war movies, though this one does at least try a different angle. Stop-Loss stars Ryan Phillipe as an Iraq war veteran returning home and hoping to get back to his small town life - only to find himself called upon for another tour of duty. Like other recent Iraq movies Stop-Loss hasn't performed too well (though it must be noted the film is at less than 1300 locations). It appears to have suffered the same problem as the other recent films on the subject - who wants to go and see a movie about the war & its problems when they can just watch the news? Phillipe has been singled out for praise in a few reviews but it's doubtful that the film will make another weekend in the top ten. Stop-Loss marks the first directorial effort for Kimberly Peirce since Boys Don't Cry in 1999.

College Road Trip and The Bank Job are both seeing their final weekends on the charts, both seeing moderate success given their budgets and release pattern. Elsewhere, the Simon Pegg movie Run Fatboy Run, at 1,133 locations, made $2.3M.

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