Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 3rd - 5th October 2008

1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua - $29M - $29M
2. Eagle Eye - $17.7M - $54.6M
3. Nick and Nora's Infinite Play list-  $12M - $12M
4. Nights In Rodanthe - $7.3M - $25M
5. Appaloosa - $5M - $5.5M
6. Lakeview Terrace - $4.5M - 32.1M
7. Burn After Reading - $4M - $51.6M
8. Fireproof - $4M - $12.4M
9. An American Carol - $3.8M - $3.8M
10. Religulous - $3.5M - $3.5M

With precious little to entice the whole family to the cinema in recent weeks (Sorry Igor), Beverly Hills Chihuahua easily takes the top spot, knocking off last weekend's big opener Eagle Eye. BHC features the voices of Drew Barrymore and Andy Garcia, amongst others, and tells the tale of the titular dog winding up lost in Mexico while on vacation with her owners. BHC should make a quick profit for Disney and no doubt lead to a string of direct to DVD sequels.

As mentioned, the family market had precious little to shout about in recent weeks so have turned out in their droves and being at a huge number of locations didn't harm the film either with plenty of screenings available for those who were interested. The film had no direct competition this weekend but the sheer number of new and expanded releases might have stopped the film performing even better. Next weekend sees four major releases so there's every chance Beverly Hills Chihuahua will be a one week wonder but for a film like this, that's all it'll need.

Eagle Eye drops a notch and is off an alright 44% from last Friday. The Shia LaBeouf thriller has now earned $54M from a pretty big budget of $80M. This probably won't be LaBeouf's third $100M film in a row (not without international grosses anyway) but proves that he can open a film. Transformers and Indiana Jones weren't really headlining films for him (He was the main star of Transformers but couldn't really be classed as the pull for that picture) but Eagle Eye, along with 2007's Disturbia have helped cement his reputation. He'll be seen next summer in the Transformer's sequel, Revenge of the Fallen.

Nick and Nora's Infinite Play list is our second new entry this weekend. A romantic comedy drama featuring Michael Cera as Nick, Playlist takes place over the course of one evening as Norah attempts to win the heart of Nick, who's still in love with his ex-girlfriend. When Norah shows some interest, The Ex decides she wants Nick back....Nick & Norah reviewed amongst the best of the movies opening this weekend and played well to the 16-22 year old demographic. Competition existed in the form of Nights in Rodanthe but that film is playing better to the older female market. The film opened at over 2,400 location but with no notable stars it had its work cut out for it, especially against a slew of new releases, yet managed to out gross all of them save for one.

Nights in Rodanthe drops 45% but as with other existing releases in the top ten, those other eight new releases have all take a cut of its potential business. That said the film was probably budgeted around the $30M mark so should turn a tidy profit before the end of its theatrical run. Rodanthe marks the third time Richard Gere and Diane Lane have starred together, their first roles being in the 1984 disaster The Cotton Club, followed a number of years later by Unfaithful.

Appaloosa opened in a limited capacity a few weeks ago and expands into 1045 locations this weekend. Ed Harris directs and stars in the western, the tale of two hired guns charged with cleaning up a town being overruled by a vicious rancher. The situation is complicated further by the arrival of an attractive widow. Viggo Mortensen stars as the other half of the hired duo and he'll appear next in the long awaited Cormac McCarthy adaptation The Road. Appaloosa marks Harris' second film as director, his first being the Jackson Pollack biopic in 2000. Word of mouth has helped propel the film into the busy top ten and it should managed at least one more weekend there.

A couple of 'old timers', Burn After Reading and LakeView Terrace both saw their box office hampered somewhat by Eagle Eye and Appaloosa, not to mention the less successful releases this weekend. Both films are already into a profit so its plain sailing from here on out for the two. Lakeview cost just $20M, while Burn After Reading clocked in around $37M (a bargain given the cast).

Last weekend's surprise entry Fireproof might have taken a bit of a hit in the second frame of release but still hasn't seen the total collapse that many analysts predicted (probably the same ones who said the film didn't stand a chance before release). The religion themed film is still playing largely to the church crowd, showing at just 852 locations. Budget details are scarce, though Box Office Mojo reports the film cost just $500,000, a sum the film made within the first morning of release.

An American Carol, like Religulous, just about made the top ten. In a somewhat twisted take on A Christmas Carol, an Anti-American film-maker seeking to abolish Independence Day is visited by three ghosts who attempt to show him the real meaning of being American. The satirical comedy, from director David Zucker, features turns from Kelsey Grammer (as Patton), James Woods and Zucker favourite Leslie Nielsen. Like Religulous, it's seeing its one and only weekend in the top ten.

On the flip side of Fireproof we have Bill Maher's documentary Religulous, which managed a place in the top ten from just a 502 location count. Directed by Larry Clark, of Borat and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame, the film sees Maher take on all forms of religion across the globe. It's unusual for a documentary to make the top ten (at least one that's not been directed by Michael Moore), more so one that takes a somewhat tough look at religion. Curiosity may see it hold up well over the coming weekends, though this will almost certainly be its only one in the top ten.

Outside of the top ten, the Simon Pegg/Kirsten Dunst movie How To Lose Friends and Alienate people failed to have any kind of impact from its 1,750 location count and will almost certainly be on DVD before christmas. Reviews weren't kind and How To... marks Pegg's second disappointment in a row after the equally poorly received Run Fatboy Run. Flash of Genius, a real life story starring Greg Kinear as an inventor taking on the Automotive industry faired little better financially. Reviews were above average but with such a wealth of new and existing movies out there, it was inevitable that the film would get lost or simply forgotten. Finally, Blindness, from director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, Constant Gardener), stalled straight off the starting blocks. The film easily has one of the strongest casts of any in the top 15 films but failed to get itself out there. Early screening reports from Cannes didn't help matters but like Flash of Genius, the film probably would have faired better on a much quieter weekend.

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