Tuesday 15 February 2011

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

1. Four Christmases -  $31.6M - $46.7M
2. Bolt - $26.5M - $66.8M
3. Twilight - $26.3M - $119.6M
4. Quantum of Solace - $19.5M - $142M
5. Australia - $14.8M - $20M
6. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - $14.5M - $159.5M
7. The Transporter 3 - $12.3M - $18.5M
8. Role Models - $5.2M - $57.8M
9. The Boy In the Striped Pajamas - $1.6M - $5.1M
10. Milk - $1.3M - $1.8M

With Thanksgiving upon us, five day numbers become a big deal for the new releases, along with some older releases who saw a 'Black Friday' boost that carried over into the weekend.

Four Christmases is the new comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as a couple roped into visiting all of their respective familes over christmas so as not to disappoint/favour any of them. It was a pretty safe bet for this time of year with two fairly likeable stars. The film got off to a decent start, picking up $28M by Friday night and would continue to perform well over the rest of the weekend.Unlike Bolt, Four Christmases is one the worst reviewed movies of the current crop (Transporter 3 reviewed better) so could be seeing a lucky boost as the (older) family choice due to Thanksgiving. It won't be hit too hard by next weekend's Punisher: Warzone and has already performed better than Vaugn's last festive comedy Fred Claus.

Bolt, which had something of a shaky and disappointing start in its first frame sees a hell of a comeback in its second. It's Friday to Friday taking was up by an astonishing 55%, which is pretty much unheard of for a film which hasn't expanded onto a larger number of screens. Furthermore, it's weekend take is actually higher than last weekend's take. With a cinema visit being a Thanksgiving tradition for many, Bolt was the safest choice for those with younger children. Outside of a couple of films in limited release, Bolt is still the best reviewed movie of the current big hitters. Only one wide release next weekend, which is aimed at anything but the family market means that Bolt could have a decent weekend to weekend drop entering its third frame.

After a staggering start, Twilight sees the inevitable second frame drop, a 63% hit from last Friday (62% for the entire weekend). Fans turned out in their droves to catch the film last weekend, with many probably returning within a day or two for a second (or third) viewing, leaving it wanting somewhat this weekend. Bolt performed much better over the Thanksgiving period but given Twilight crossed the $100M on Friday, this weekend drop won't be causing too many headaches. The sequel has already been greenlit and begins shooting in March.

Quantum of Solace holds up much better in its third frame than the 60%+ drop seen in its second. The James Bond thriller earned roughly the same on Friday as it did the previous one, thanks again to the Thanksgiving boost and is off around 27% from last weekend. Competition was mainly in the form of Transporter 3, which didn't cause Quantum too many problems. Globally the film has already grossed $320M ($450M factoring in the US take) and $200M in the US still isn't out of the question.

Baz Luhrmann's first film since the critically acclaimed Moulin Rouge in 2001is the epic Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Set at the start of World War II, Australia sees Kidman as an English aristocrat who inherits a huge cattle station in Darwin, with Jackman being the rough cattle driver who helps her transport hundreds of cattle across the harshest areas of the country. Reviews weren't too kind to the costly epic and with a crowded market, Australia has somewhat lost its way. It'll need strong figures on the global market to save it from being a costly flop. The curse of Kidman strikes again?

Given Bolt's success this holiday, Madagascar 2 held up well considering the age of the CGI sequel in chart terms. The Dreamworks movie has now crossed the $150M mark and recouped its production budget. There's every chance its international take should equal or be in excess of its domestic one by the end of it run. It should also perform well on DVD in a few months time.

Jason Statham returns in The Transporter 3 this Thanksgiving and is already well on the way to surpassing the take of the previous films in the series ($24M and $43M respectively). While theatrically the series hasn't set the world alight, it's gone on to see strong DVD sales and this one will be no different. This time around Statham has to transport a women to Odessa - with a bomb strapped to his arm meaning he can't be more than 75 yards from his car without it going off. Making $10M from the Wed/Thurs/Fri period, Transporter 3 suffered somewhat against the showier Quantum of Solace. On its side is its relatively low budget (somewhere between $25-$35M I'd imagine) which it should have no problem recouping.

Role Models crossed the $50M mark over the holiday period and was down 28% from last weekend. The Paul Rudd comedy was made for $28M and has yet to see any release outside of North America.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is continuing to build on its impressive reviews and strong word of mouth. Like Role Models, it probably wasn't a strong choice for holiday cinemagoers but still managed to hold its own despite its limited location count.

Milk is the latest film from Gus Van Sant about Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn), the first openly gay politician to voted to major public office in America. Despite being at just 43 locations, exceptional reviews (and awards talk) has managed to propel the movie into the top ten. Given its take and location count, it's no surprise it had one of the best screen/takings averages of the entire chart. Expect Milk to expand further in the coming weeks.

Just outside the top ten is Danny Boyle's exceptionally well reviewed Slumdog Millionaire, which has so far made $3.5M.

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