Friday 3 June 2011

US Box Office - 24th-26th July 2009

1. G-Force - $32.2M - $32.2M
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - $30M - $221.8M
3. The Ugly Truth - $27M - $27M
4. Orphan - $12.7M - $12.7M
5. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - $8.2M - $171.3M
6. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - $8M - $379.1M
7. The Hangover - $6.4M - $247.1M
8. The Proposal - $6.4M - $140.1M
9. Public Enemies - $4.1M - $88.1M
10. Bruno - $2.7M - $56.5M

In something of a surprise result, Harry Potter is not the number one film in its second weekend of release. Instead that honour goes to the Jerry Bruckheimer family comedy G-Force, about a group CGI-Secret agent Guinea Pigs. It almost feels like a repeat of Beverly Hills Chihuahua. G-Force has some pretty big voice talent along with the white-hot Zach 'The Hangover' Galifianakis as one of the few real people in the film. This played very well to the younger family market who have already seen both Up and Ice Age 3, and obviously cut into Harry Potter's market on quite a big scale too. This is Bruckheimer's first foray into the 3D market so that weekend take will be inflated slightly due to the higher cost of 3D presentation tickets. It'll be knocked off the top by next weekend's Funny People but will already be well on its way to $60M by that point.

Harry Potter finds itself in second place, something that the boy wizard couldn't have foreseen given its impressive opening last weekend - further proof if it were needed, of how incredibly front loaded this chapter of the series had been (thanks in part to the seven month delay). Half-Blood Prince dropped a sharp 64% from last Friday, a figure made all the worse thanks to its relatively low key Friday (caused by its huge Wednesday release) and didn't recover enough over the weekend to beat G-Force. It saw $200M sometime Friday but even at this stage may struggle to make $300M on the domestic market - almost certainly finishing up somewhere between Chamber of Secrets ($261M) and Goblet of Fire ($292M). In a curious case of events we may well see The Half Blood Prince being deemed as something of a disappointment, even though it'll end up with a total global box office of $700M+.

Like G-Force did with Ice Age 3, The Ugly Truth slips into the market share previously occupied by The Proposal, opening to a strong $27M. What's even more impressive is that The Ugly Truth made that figure with an R-rating, not the nice safe PG-13 one would expect to see a romantic comedy rated (it's also worth noting that this reviewed very poorly, just 16% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes). This is Katherine Heigl's third hit in a row following Knocked Up and 27 Dresses and cements her reputation as a solid bet for the romantic comedy market (which is good for her career considering her outbursts regarding working on TVs Grey's Anatomy). Gerard Butler, her co-star here, faltered a little with RockNRolla but has seen success with 300, PS I Love you and Nim's Island in the past few years. Butler plays a loud mouth TV show host who gives the public 'The Ugly Truth' about men and women, while Heigl plays a producer put in charge of his show when he joins her station. With some good word of mouth this could easily be our second $100M romantic comedy, but might take a tougher hit next weekend up against the aforementioned Funny People.

Our first horror film in a while, Orphan has quite a respectable opening on the back of little hype. The plot isn't the most original - After losing their child a couple decide to adopt a nine year old who isn't all she seems - but with horror fans having little to write home about since May's Drag Me To Hell, Orphan worked as solid alternate programming to the family and rom-com movies. It's unlikely to hang around the top ten for too long but by next weekend will already be well into a profit - good thing as it'll face the 'Saw in a house' film The Collector.

Ice Age 3 continues to dominate, closing in on half a billion dollars just from its foreign markets. Domestically it looks likely to finish not too far behind the $195M take of the second movie. Internationally expect the film to be amongst the biggest of 2009. The film expected to be the biggest of 2009, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, drops to sixth place this weekend as it crosses $400M on the international market and edges closer to the same figure domestically. This weekend sees the film break into the top ten biggest films of all time, surpassing Spiderman 2 and Return of the King in the process.

The Proposal and The Hangover continue to stun and impress in equal measures. The Proposal was probably hit the harder of the two by The Ugly Truth this weekend, but it'll be seen as a minor blip on the radar of two hugely successful comedies. The Hangover should finish up with around $265M while The Proposal will end its theatrical run with around $160M.

Public Enemies will now look to its international take to ensure its profitability. The Michael Mann film has an estimated production budget of $100M and would need to see around double that figure to cover all costs involved in its production and marketing. Rounding us out is Bruno, the same Bruno that was number one just a fortnight ago. This sort of unbelievably quick drop is usually reserved for low budget horror movies and sees the film behave similar to the Nic Cage film Bangkok Dangerous (debuted at no.1, left the top ten two weeks later). Bruno will no doubt end up making money, but this a fair way short of Borat's performance, both domestically and internationally.

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