Friday 11 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 6th - 8th April 2007

1. Blades of Glory - $23M - $68.3M
2. Meet the Robinsons - $17M - $52.2M
3. Are We Done Yet? - $15M - $19M
4. Grindhouse - $11.5M - $11.5M
5. The Reaping  -$10M - $12M
6. 300 - $8.8M - $193.8M
7. Wild Hogs - $6.8M - $145.4M
8. Shooter - $5.8M - $36.6M
9. TMNT - $4.9M - $46.7M
10. Firehouse Dog - $4M - $5M

Easter weekend and a number of factors will affect both old and new releases. The main one being Easter Sunday, when family related films tend to take a harder drop than any normal Sunday.

Blades of Glory, which was expected to tumble in the face of a slew of new releases goes on to retain the top spot. Dropping just over 30% of business from last weekend the movie has recouped its production budget of $61M. As was stated last weekend, Ferrell didn't really have anything to prove while Jon Heder needed another hit after some recent disappointment. At present rate the movie should finish close to $100M - an impressive figure for an ice skating comedy!

On a weekend to weekend basis Meet The Robinsons has performed slightly poorer than Blades of Glory, dropping around 32%. While TMNT is aimed at kids, Meet The Robinsons also ropes in the lucractive under 7s market and with Easter upon us, this was the perfect family entertainment (and you could drag along the grandparents too). The movie didn't perform as well as Chicken Little (which opened to $40M and ended up with a domestic total of $135M) but this strong second outing should have calmed a few of the initial nerves.

Our first new entry this week is Are We Done Yet? the Ice Cube sequel to 2005's 'Are We There Yet?'. Opening on Wednesday the movie still couldn't top Meet The Robinsons three day total and without factoring in its Wednesday & Thursdays takings Are We Done Yet? hasn't performed as well as its prequel did. All that said, a $19M five day total isn't a huge disappointment, especially with its demographic caught up with Blades of Glory and the aforementioned Meet The Robinsons, not to mention Wild Hogs.

Right about now the Weinstein's are asking themselves why they chose to open a near 3 hour running time exploitation flick during Easter. Most box office analysts are asking themselves why they had Grindhouse pegged for the top spot during an Easter weekend with at least six family friendly movies in the running. (I don't class myself as an analyst, more like someone who makes it up as he goes). Well it went wrong somewhere for the movie that was expected to clear $20M this weekend. Hype for the movie has been running since the inception of the project, a double bill throwback to the exploitation movies of the 60s, 70 & 80s written and directed by Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino (with support from Rob Zombie, Eli Roth & Edgar Wright), and in the weeks running up to its release Grindhouse has had a fair amount spent in conventional advertising channels.

So what did go wrong (because no matter how you spin it, the rival studios will see $11M as a failure)? The running time could easily have harmed the amount of showings a theatre could air each day. The film runs for nearly 3 hours, plus fake trailers and the usual 20 minutes plus of normal trailers and adverts. Easter probably wasn't the greatest time to release a hard 'R' rated movie and perhaps not everyone was as sold on the Grindhouse concept as Tarantino & Rodriguez. The film is also in around 800 locations less than Blades of Glory.

Would another weekend have worked better? Perhaps but with another three movies opening wide next weekend the film is going to have its work cut out for it to retain any decent box office. The questions the Weinsteins are really asking themselves is "Could they have made more money if they're released the movies seperatly?" and is this going to clean up on DVD? Don't expect the rumoured sequels/fake trailers-into-movies to happen any time soon. A real shame that this hasn't performed well, given they were trying something a little off the straight and narrow. (Bring on 'Good Luck Chuck' and 'I Now Pronounce You Larry & Chuck').

The Reaping is the long-delayed biblical horror movie starring Hilary Swank. It had to share a bit of its business with Grindhouse, though with its Thursday release it actually finished the weekend slightly better. The Reaping might actually end up being more profitable than Grindhouse and on a quieter weekend could have seen north of $15M.

300 is now its fifth weekend of release and may actually cross the $200M mark during the coming week. The film may end up as one of the top ten biggest movies of the year. Meanwhile, Wild Hogs edges closer to $150M and is yet to open in a number of foreign markets, which could propel the movie to a worldwide box office of $250M. Regarding John Travolta - Wild Hogs is now the biggest movies he's been in since Grease.

Shooter stills hangs in there but will probably see its last weekend on the chart. The lack of solid success has put paid to any potential sequel and the movie won't even see $50M. TMNT, after a good opening just 2 weekends ago, finds itself fighting for life as well and won't see $50M before leaving the top ten. Rounding out the top ten is the dog-comedy Firehouse Dog. Even with a Wednesday opening into 2,500 locations the film struggled to $4M. We're not going to see any kind of Air Bud style success here.

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