Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 30th Jan - 1st Feb 2009

1. Taken - $24.6M - $24.6M
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop - $14M - $83.3M
3. The Uninvited - $10.5M - $10.5M
4. Hotel for Dogs - $8.7M - $48.2M
5. Gran Torino - $8.6M - $110.5M
6. Slumdog Millionaire - $7.6M - $67.2M
7. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - $7.2M - $32.7M
8. New In Town - $6.7M - $6.7M
9. My Bloody Valentine 3-D - $4.2M - $44.6M
10. Inkheart - $3.7M - $12.7M

A forum favourite, Taken, finally gets its theatrical release in the US, having been delayed from last September. The Liam Neeson thriller got off to a strong start on Friday and continued apace into Saturday, before running foul of the Superbowl (practically every film in the top ten had a lower Sunday take than on a 'normal' Sunday). Taken features Neeson as an ex-secret service man whose daughter has been kidnapped by a sex slave gang - only the gang have no idea what he is capable of and the lengths he will go to, to get her back.

As mentioned, the film has come and gone in Europe and so hopefully some good word of mouth had chance to build before the film's release. With four major releases due next weekend, it won't hold onto that top spot for long but the film has already taken $78M outside of the US. Having an estimated cost of around $30M to produce Fox are more than sorted out with the film's production (and print & Advertising) costs.

While it couldn't hang on to the top spot for a third weekend in row, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is down just one place and 35% this weekend. The Kevin James comedy still appears to be the number one family choice as it edges closer to $100M, and should be the first film released in 2009 to reach that figure (within the next two weekends). Next weekend it'll have to face off against The Pink Panther 2 but like Taken, Mall cop is already well into profit and these last few days have seen talk of a fast-tracked sequel for early next year.

A remake of A Tale of Two Sisters, The Uninvited is the latest in a long line of Asian horror remakes. It was actually heading for second place on Friday but suffered somewhat as we moved further into the weekend. Elizabeth Banks is about the biggest star of this one, with some saying she is woefully miscast. The film isn't helped by being the third horror release this year (after The Unborn & My Bloody Valentine 3D) meaning that even the hardened fans are looking for a breather. It'll tumble next weekend but shouldn't have cost too much, with DVD sales filling up any shortcomings.

Hotel For Dogs is mopping up business from those who've seen Mall Cop and it needs to. The family friendly comedy about two children who set up a sanctuary for dogs in an abandoned house got off to a rough start a few weeks ago but has managed to keep a foothold in the higher numbers of the charts. Like Mall Cop, it'll take a beating from the four wide opening releases but for a film budgeted at $75M, it'll take anything it can get. Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino has now been on release since December 12th and can still manage a place in the top five. This weekend saw it become Eastwood's most successful directing venture, surpassing Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby and his biggest film as an actor, besting Unforgiven and In The Line of Fire and it's not finished yet!

Slumdog Millionaire has been on release in one way or another for over 80 days and is just starting to see some of the biggest weekends of its run so far. Still on a relatively small number of screens (1,633) the film has managed to face off (and see off) some of the bigger showier releases and it's biggest weekend may still be to come - it's nominated for 10 Academy Awards.

Failing to uproot Paul Blart: Mall Cop probably didn't do Underworld 3 any favours. It fell a nasty 69% on a Friday-Friday basis and the Vampire/Werewolf prequel is now looking like being out of the top ten in just three weekends of release. While cheaply made ($35M), you can't help feel that Sony wanted this to hang around a little longer. Expect an unrated DVD version to clean up in a few short months.

Our final new release is Renée Zellweger's fish out of water romantic comedy 'New In Town'. Set up as alternative programming on Superbowl weekend, the film failed to be much of anything. Once final number are released, it might have done better on Sunday than some others in the top ten but it's still nothing to write home about. There's every chance that New in Town will be out of the top ten by next Friday night.

Rounding us off, My Bloody Valentine and Inkheart, only one of which has recouped its production budget. Inkheart failed to have any impact last weekend and hung on to its top ten position by the skin of its teeth. In two weeks time, no one will even remember it was released.

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