Monday 6 June 2011

US Box Office - 11th - 13th September 2009

1. I Can Do Bad All By Myself - $24M - $24M
2. 9 - $10.9M - $15.3M
3. Inglourious Basterds - $6.5M - 104.3M
4. All About Steve - $5.8M - $21.8M
5. The Final Destination - $5.5MM - $58.2M
6. Sorority Row - $5.2M - $5.2M
7. Whiteout -  $5.1M - $5.1M
8. District 9 - $3.6M - $108.5M
9. Julie and Julia - $3.3M - $85.3M
10. Gamer - $3.1M - $16.1M

With the anniversary of the September 11th attacks falling on a Friday this year, many analysts predicated a lower than average Friday take for all releases, both new and old. In terms of new releases we're in a kind of netherworld dumping ground again. Anything of note will be unlikely to break out and it's doubtful you'd be able to name more than one of the releases in three weeks time. The one man studio that is Tyler Perry returns yet again, bringing his secret weapon 'Madea' with him. This is Perry's fourth film in two years, another no.1 debut and another film that is probably already in profit. It's safe to assume that Tyler Perry has never lost money on a single film he's produced and is a godsend to Lionsgate, who can always be assured of a quick profit from his work. While his latest doesn't open as big as Madea Goes To Jail did back in February, it's still a solid return from a probable $22-24M budget and a location count of just 2,255.

Expect a sharp fall next weekend as per usual with his films, but this is yet another film that has already achieved what it set out to do, all from its opening three days. Perry is already in pre-production on his next feature, Why Did I Get Married, Too, and will then move on to somewhat unfamiliar territory - directing a film he did not write.

While it's been heavily sold with Tim Burton's name attached, 9 is actually the work of Shane Acker and is expanded from his award winning short film. Unfortunately 9 opens a bit of a way back from 'Bad', even with a two day headstart. The CGI post-apocalyptic movie about a group of nine 'Stitchpunks' opened Wednesday to $3.1M and didn't really improve much from there with Friday coming in with a disappointing $3.3M. Saturday however, saw a slight increase in takings, leaving the weekend looking not quite as bad as expected, especially given the constraints faced by the film - hype on this one has been widespread on the internet but perhaps not backed up with a suitable TV campaign. Its slightly limited location count (1600+) could also show the studio's lack of confidence Furthermore, it's been a difficult sell - with a PG-13 rating it alienated the family market (though it's unlikely that that was who the film was aimed at, but it's that market that brings in the big money). On 9's side is its relatively low production budget of $33M, a figure it should see once the international market gets hold of the film. Who knows if a better release slot would have helped? (9 opened on Wednesday because the date was 9.9.09)

Inglourious Basterds sees $100M this weekend and will surely best Pulp Fiction both domestically and internationally long before the end of its theatrical run. With four news films this weekend, Basterds was bound to take a knock but managed a respectable drop of 43% from last weekend, which was a solid hold from the weekend before. Expect a final domestic total around $130M.

The Final Destination saw a bit a of a dent from the new R-rated movies this weekend but still managed to outperform them both. The fourth entry into the series has this week become the most successful. All About Steve, which got off to a pretty dire start last weekend saw a Friday to Friday drop off of 48%, which for a romantic comedy is already a little on the high side. Combine that with last weekend's figures and it's not looking too bright for Bradley Cooper or Sandra Bullock, at least with this release. With international grosses it'll break even so the only people losing out this time around will be the paying public expecting a combination of The Hangover and The Proposal but ending up with neither.

Sorority Row is a horror remake of the 1983 film 'The House of Sorority Row' about a group of sorority sisters who try to cover up the death of one of their own when a prank goes horribly wrong. Like My Bloody Valentine, the ace up Row's sleeve is its R-rating. Sadly, with competition from Whiteout and The Final Destination, not to mention Inglourious Basterds, Sorority Row failed to find much of an audience (even the horror fans are starting to show signs of apathy). It shouldn't have cost much and should clean up well on DVD but as far as its theatrical release goes, this is about as good as its going to get. Expect 65%+ drops next weekend and a very fast 'Halloween 2' style exit from the top ten.

Kate Beckinsale's Whiteout is our final new entry this weekend and fairs the worst of all our new releases. Based on a 1998 comic book, Whiteout is the tale of a lone U.S Marshall assigned to Antarctica, who has just three short days to solve a murder before winter hits with a vengeance. Signs for this one weren't good at all - filming began in March 2007 and the first footage was displayed at Comic-Con that year. Since then there's been very little seen or heard of the film until it showed up recently on the release schedule. With little fanfare and some of the worst reviews of the year (just 7% at Rotten Tomatoes), Whiteout is possibly the only film in the top ten that'll drop quicker than Sorority Row. Chances are Warner Bros had long ago committed themselves to a decent theatrical roll out for the film, hence it actually seeing the inside of a theatre and not debuting on DVD.

District 9 has begun to shed locations, down over 500 this week, to help make way for the newer releases. The low budget sci-fi epic has now more than tripled its production budget and should continue to do well as it expands around the world. Gamer didn't amount to much last weekend and only sheer luck has kept it in the top ten this weekend. Amazingly, the film was made for just $12M so even with its low box office, Gamer should still be able to provide a decent return on the studio's investment. The four new releases have pushed Julie & Julia down the charts much quicker than it deserved to be given its excellent reviews, strong word of mouth and fantastic weekend to weekend drops in takings. There's still a good chance that it will continue perform well with the older female demographic even when it leaves the top ten.

No comments: