Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 12th - 14th March 2010

1. Alice in Wonderland - $62M - $208.6M
2. Green Zone - $14.5M - $14.5M
3. She's Out of My League - $9.6M - $9.6M
4. Remember Me - $8.2M - $8.2M
5. Shutter Island - $8.1M - $108M
6. Our Family Wedding - $7.6M - $7.6M
7. Avatar - $6.6M - $730.3M
8. Brooklyn's Finest - $4.2M - $21.3M
9. Cop Out - $4.2M - $39.4M
10. The Crazies - $3.6M - $33.3M

After a record breaking start last weekend (including seeing off a serious Oscar related drop), Alice in Wonderland experienced a 58% drop in takings on a Friday to Friday basis. Perhaps a little high but then Alice opened above and beyond expectations so large front loading was expected - recovery occurred Saturday leaving the film down 47% on last weekend. Even against four new films, Alice had little to no problem retaining the top spot and crossed $200M domestically sometime Sunday. When you add in the fact that the film will have a total global box office of over $350M by tonight, the larger than expected drop doesn't seem too much to worry about. But unlike Avatar, Alice In Wonderland's domination of 3D screens won't last long, it's due to lose a large number of them to Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon in just two weeks time. This strong second frame should be repeated next weekend as no major release has the same kind of family appeal (Diary of a Wimpy Kid is unlikely to pull viewers away from Alice in any large numbers) and sets the film on the right track to potentially be the first $300M film of 2010.

The re-teaming of Bourne Franchise stalwarts Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass in an action thriller should have been a no-brainer but when you introduce the Iraq war into the equation it suddenly becomes a different situation. Iraq war movies are still a difficult topic for US audiences (even multi-award winner The Hurt Locker only made $14.7M and was refused screens by many chains when a re-release was mentioned) and that could be one of reasons why The Green Zone opened on the disappointing side. Based loosely (very some would say) on the book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, the film sees Matt Damon going rogue as he hunts for weapons of mass destruction when army intelligence proves less than accurate.

Trailers were keen to play up the Bourne-style action sequences but reviews didn't match, being just below average. Before Alice opened strong last weekend, it was expected that The Green Zone stood a good chance at the top spot in its opening frame but the writing was on the wall after a $5M opening on Friday. Direct competition was somewhat limited so one has to turn back to subject matter for reasons why the film didn't manage to break out. Overseas the film should perform stronger but it's $100M production budget must seem a mighty task to achieve at this point.

Jay Baruchel came to most people's attention in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up. A few films later and he's managed to score a starring role in the comedy She's Out of My League, as an average guy who some how ends up with the perfect woman as his girlfriend. Friends and family however, seem hell-bent on undermining the relationship figuring that 'She's out of his league'. Lacklustre trailers didn't help the situation but reviews slightly above par with The Green Zone helped propel the film further up the top ten. The fact that it's an R-rated comedy and that Cop-Out has pretty much come and gone helped boost the film too. It's unlikely this cost more than $15M to produce so should begin to see a return by next Friday if not before. Baruchel will be seen next in the big budget fantasy The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Unfortunately Robert Pattison's Twilight fan-base decided to give Remember Me a wide berth, proving that they'll gladly pay to see him as Edward Cullen but anyone else - not nearly as interested. Pattison stars opposite Lost's Emilie de Ravin as a guy getting over his parent's divorce and his brother's suicide while de Ravin's a girl living every day like it's her last, since the murder of her mother. Reviews were well below average with many finding the ending of the film to be particularly offensive. Budget details weren't available at the time of writing but like She's Out of My League, it shouldn't have cost more than $15-20M, which is a figure the film should recoup before leaving the top ten.

Green Zone would have intrigued a good portion of Shutter Island's audience this weekend but the film still managed to break the $100M mark, only the third Scorcese film to do so. At this point it looks as though The Departed will remain his biggest film but having already recouped its production budget, Shutter Island shouldn't be a disappointment for the studio.

Our final new entry this weekend manages to break into the top ten from a 1,500+ location count. Our Family Wedding covers a period in the life of a couple who are about to wed, and the stresses and hijinks that ensue, especially given that the prospective father-in-laws are trying to put an end to their feud. This looks and sounds a lot like a Tyler Perry movie, and had his name (and alter ego Madea) been attached, it would have opened much stronger even from its somewhat limited location count. Sadly that wasn't the case here and Our Family Wedding struggles against the bigger/wider releases this weekend but let's not forget that location count. Would another 500-750 locations have propelled it higher?

Having seen the biggest drop of its entire box office run last weekend, Avatar managed to recover somewhat in its thirteenth weekend on general release. Having taken home only technical awards at last weekend's Oscars hasn't boosted or harmed the film in any way. Avatar will soon be looking to DVD/Blu-Ray records.

After opening above expectations last weekend, the cop drama Brooklyn's Finest tumbles to the other end of the chart. The Antoine Fuqua directed movie recouped its production budget on Friday but it's unlikely to see much more in the coming days. Rounding us out are two bed fellows which opened on the same weekend and have stuck together ever since. Cop Out should top out around $45-50M, easily director Kevin Smith's biggest ever release (a feat it actually achieved last weekend) and see decent success on DVD (Smith has often claimed his films perform much strong on the home market). The Crazies, while not performing quite as well, has actually made more money than Cop Out thanks to costing about $10M less to produce.

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