Monday 6 June 2011

US Box Office - 4th - 6th September 2009

1. The Final Destination - $12.4M - $47.6M
2. All About Steve - $11.2M - $11.2M
3. Inglourious Basterds - $10.8M - $91M
4. Gamer - $9M - $9M
5. District 9 - $7.1M - $101.3M
6. Halloween II - $5.6M - $25.6M
7. Julie and Julia - $5.2M - $78.8M
8. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - $5.1M - $139.4M
9. The Time Traveller's Wife - $4.2M - $54.5M
10. Extract - $4.1M - $4.1M

Labour Day in the US normally signals the end of summer and blockbuster season and while it's still something of a dumping ground, the recent success of the first Halloween reboot in 2007 showed there were still people out there who hadn't quite had their fill of movies over the summer. Being Labour Day on Monday can mean a slightly higher than normal take for that day, but some smaller Sunday numbers. This year brings us a little hyped Sandra Bullock movie, the return of Mike Judge and a release for the long delayed Gamer.

The Final Destination was off a completely unsurprising 66% on a Friday to Friday basis (which just shows you how much a non-starter All About Steve was if it couldn't even win Friday). The fourth film opened last weekend with the biggest take of the series and managed to recoup its production budget of $40M some time during its second Saturday night on release. In fact, the film might have performed even better were it not for Gamer opening, which would share its audience directly with Destination. While the film has opened internationally, figures have not yet been made available but there's every chance it will performed equally well, making this a solid profitable release for New Line. The inflated 3D ticket prices in the US helped to boost its take a little quicker than a conventional horror movie too, leaving the film down 54% for the weekend overall. It's unlikely we're actually seeing the final Final Destination with those sorts of figures.

After summer hits for both Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper (The Proposal and The Hangover respectively), Fox probably couldn't believe their luck - they had a comedy on the shelf which starred both of them. All About Steve feature Bullock as a crossword designer who, after a date with Cooper's weatherman, decides they're soul mates and follows him across the country to prove it. The studio tailored the poster to remind the public of The Hangover, even managing to get Hangover co-star Ken Jeong on there. Any chances of that kind of repeat success were in tatters by Friday night, with the film losing out to the week old The Final Destination. But as the weekend wore on the films were neck and neck, with many giving the edge to Final Destination (and it seems they were right to). This one will be lucky to see any where near $40M, reminding Fox that lightning rarely strikes the same place twice.

Inglourious Basterds had a pretty decent second weekend, with a sub 50% drop. Its third weekend on the charts sees an even better fall (43%) leading one to believe that it's continuing to build on its great reviews and positive word of mouth. It's a little less touch and go as to whether it'll best Pulp Fiction's $107M final tally and a few more solid weekend drops should help that situation. Internationally the film's not playing quite as strong but is still making decent money and should finish up with a $200M+ final global total.

Our second new release is the somewhat delayed Gamer, from the directorial team that brought us the Crank series. Gerard Butler stars as a prisoner controlled by a player in a huge virtual reality battle. Michael C. Hall plays the billionaire inventor of said game but when Butler convinces his controller to let him off the hook and help prove his innocence, all hell breaks lose. This was actually shot before Crank 2 (which was released in April of this year) so that started alarm bells ringing. While a movie like this is generally review proof, its 21% rating at Rotten Tomatoes was unlikely to bring in the casual viewer and opening to a fourth place spot against a romantic comedy and two older films tells you everything else you needed to know about the film - even the action fans gave it a wide berth. The only thing on Gamer's side is its probable low budget but right about now, Butler's probably glad of the $80M success of The Ugly Truth.

Halloween 2 was last weekend's horror loser but still managed to recoup it production budget if those figures were correct. If we thought The Final Destination Friday to Friday drop was bad, it was nothing to compared to the 78% drop off endured by Halloween 2 (66% for the entire weekend). With four wide releases next weekend and four more the weekend after, Halloween 2 is unlikely to see another one in the top ten but should still make a profit, albeit a small one.

Sci-Fi sleeper District 9 see $100M in its fourth weekend of release - all from that much bandied $30M budget. While its remaining time in the top ten is limited due to the glut of upcoming releases, expect the film to be one of the more talked about ones come the end of the year. There's every chance, given its exceptional word of mouth coming out of the US, that District 9 will see another $100M internationally. Experiencing another very small drop, Julie & Julia probably lost some of its potential audience to All About Steve, though may end being in the top ten longer than that film in the long run. The Meryl Streep drama has now made more than $75M from a budget of $40M and still has the rest of the world awaiting its release.

Stephen Sommers might still be waiting on that final green light for a G.I Joe sequel regardless of what we've already heard. While it's bordering on a $275M global tally, its costly production and advertising budget have already wiped out a good chunk of that figure. While the film has performed far better than anyone expected, it may need to wait until DVD sales to see some real profit (and that sequel green light). A figure of around $60M is what the Time Traveller's will end its theatrical run with, probably lower than the studio had hoped for but higher than they expected once reviews and word of mouth got out.

Our final new entry is Mike Judge's Extract, a film starring Jason Bateman as a put upon factory manager juggling a lawsuit and an attractive new employee. You'd forgive Judge for never returning to film making after the Idiocracy debacle a couple of years ago (left to languish on the shelf, re-edited and shoved onto about 10 screens for one weekend) but a change of studio certainly seems to have helped in that regard. Given its relatively low location count, it seems Miramax are taking a wait and see approach to whether to expand the film any further (unlikely one would assume). Reviews were above average but little to write home about, and along with the film not being a straight sell to the public, this could be about as good as it gets for the film.

No comments: