Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 14th - 16th May 2010

1. Iron Man 2 - $53M - $212.2M
2. Robin Hood - $37.1M - $37.1M
3. Letters to Juliet - $13.8M - $13.8M
4. Just Wright - $8.5M - $8.5M
5. How to Train Your Dragon - $5.1M - $207.7M
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street - $4.7M - $56.1M
7. Date Night -$4M - $86.7M
8. The Back-Up Plan - $2.4M - $34.2M
9. Furry Vengeance - $2.3M - $15.1M
10. Clash of the Titans - $1.2M - $160.1M

After a strong start last Friday, Iron Man 2 is down a not unexpected 65% on a Friday to Friday basis, though recovered somewhat over the rest of the weekend to finish down 59% on last weekend's impressive opening. On only its tenth day of release Iron Man 2 crossed the $200M mark, effectively recouping its production costs from just its domestic tally. Elsewhere the film is performing equally well, with its international take just about exceeding the domestic. Robin Hood looks to have given the film a bit of trouble on Friday but as the weekend wore on, Iron Man increased the gap. Next weekend it'll face off against Shrek Forever After, which won't affect the film directly, but will none the less have some impact. Iron Man 2's biggest problem (if it has one) is that another couple of weeks and anyone who wanted to see the film (or wanted to see it again) would have done so, but by that point it'll be a half a billion dollar concern - no worry at all for Paramount.

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood has had something of a rough ride to the screen. Initially it was quite a different take on the traditional story and had the sheriff of Notthingham as a far more sympathetic character and Hood as being far less virtuous. Star Russell Crowe was to play both the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood at one point, and the film was to be titled Nottingham. The script would go through at least two more major rewrites, emerging as a Robin Hood origin story. Cate Blanchett replaced Sienna Miller as Maid Marion (though conflicting stories exist which state Miller was never cast to begin with) and after much delay, the film began shooting in the UK for what would become a May 2010 release.

Early word from the Cannes Film Festival (which the film opened) was not strong, and this, Scott's fourth film with Crowe, was not another Gladiator. Friday's take, up against the return of Iron Man was quite strong, especially given the demographic crossover but as already mentioned, the gap widened as the weekend wore on. Robin Hood finished the weekend with an ok $36M, Crowe's best opening since American Gangster. The trouble comes in the guise of its production budget, a terrifying $237M - a figure the film is highly unlikely to see, even when you factor in a stronger international opening ($75M and counting). At this point Robin Hood needs to hang on for all its worth and hope word of mouth spreads - but even with that potential help the film faces major competition every weekend for the next ten of them. That budget is going to be the major sting in the tale for all concerned, but especially for Universal, who are said to have put forward $155M of it.

With two male-orientated films dominating the release schedule it seems a smart move to put out some counter-programming. This weekend that comes in the guise of Letters to Juliet and Just Wright. Juliet fares the better of the two but neither seem to have had breakout appeal amongst the female market. The film stars Amanda Seyfried, who saw recent success with Dear John. This time around she plays an American in Italy who finds one of the titular letters and sets off to discover the referenced lovers. Compared to Dear John, which was a surprise hit back in February, Juliet hasn't done too well, but standing on its own it's performed well in line with expectations. Almost certainly made for under $30M, this could turn into quite a decent little hit, albeit a forgettable one.

Just Wright on the other hand stars Queen Latifah as a physical therapist who falls for an injured basketball player she is meant to be treating. Splitting the female demographic across two films probably harmed them both this week. Review wise there was very little in it, with Wright scoring just two percent more at Rotten Tomatoes (46% plays 44%) but for whatever reason the public plumped for Letters to Juliet. Both films will get a small amount of breathing space thanks to the limited number of releases but won't see anywhere near the success of Dear John or Valentine's Day.

How To Train Your Dragon is just treading water now, waiting to tag-in Shrek Forever After next weekend. The $165M production has now made over $400M in total global box office. Meanwhile, only two weekends after its $30M+ opening, A Nightmare on Elm Street is pretty much dead and dusted. Any sequel may now depend on how well the film performs internationally.

Date Night and The Back-Up Plan keep on hanging in there but faced competition not only from the two new romantic comedy releases but from the fact that they're looking a little long in the tooth (especially Date Night, in its sixth weekend on release). Both films should see one more weekend in the top ten.
Even with its low production budget, Furry Vengeance will almost certainly still lose money. After three weekends on general release the family film has made just $15M. Getting ready to give up its last remaining 3D screens to Shrek Forever After, Clash of the Titans has one final hurrah. Even with its much maligned 3D, Clash has made nearly half a billion dollar in global box office terms.

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