Thursday, 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 15th - 17th October 2010

1. Jackass 3D - $50M - $50M
2. Red - $22.5M - $22.5M
3. The Social Network - $11M - $63.1M
4. Secretariat - $9.5M - $27.5M
5. Life As We Know It - $9.2M - $28.8M
6. Legends of the Guardians - $4.2M - $46M
7. The Town - $4M - $80.5M
8. My Soul to Take - $3.1M - $11.9M
9. Easy A - $2.6M- $52.3M
10. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - $2.3M - $47.8M

It might be four years since the last Jackass movie but audiences were more than ready for the third part this weekend. Having started out as an MTV TV show, Jackass quickly gained notoriety for its dangerous stunts and gross-out sketches. The year the show finished the gang moved onto the big screen with Jackass The Movie. Made for just $5M, the film would gross $21M during its opening weekend and end up making over $60M. Four years later Jackass 2 opened even better and finished up with over $70M. You have to give the Jackass crew and Paramount credit for not milking the franchise every year, Saw-style. The third Jackass was announced last December and would be shot in 3D rather than converted later, the 3D allowing for some truly sickening (and funny) moments. But would the public still be interested?

Jackass 3D made an amazing $21M on its opening day alone, and even with the increase in 3D tickets, it was still a very strong debut. This meant that by Friday night the film had already recouped its $20M production budget. Things didn't really slow down over the rest of the weekend and even with Red sharing some of Jackass' demographic, the comedy finished with more than double the weekend take of the Bruce Willis starrer. The $50M the film took represents the biggest ever opening for an October release. As an aside, the 2D/3D tickets sold ratio is said to be 10%/90% and according to one speculator on Box Office Mojo, without 3D prices the film would have opened on par, or slighly lower, than Jackass 2.

Next weekend doesn't even matter, the film is already knee deep in profit so anything it makes is a bonus. MTV & Paramount aren't even bothered about the release window, with talk already of a mid-December home release (though this is more likely a 'Jackass 3.5', made up of unused/extended/making of footage from the film's theatrical release, as opposed to being the film itself).

Men on a mission films seem to have been a running theme this year. We had The Losers in April, the A-Team in July and The Expendables in August. October brings us Red, arguably the most star-studded of this year's action flicks. Bruce Willis is joined by John Malcovich, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Morgan Freeman and Mary Louise Parker, with support from Richard Dreyfuss and Karl Urban. Red (or RED - Retired Extremely Dangerous) features Willis as a retired black-op who suddenly finds himself targeted for assassination. Roping in Parker, playing a call centre operator he's fallen for, and his old cohorts, they set out to find out why they're being hunted and what they can do about it.

Red reviewed well above average (given the cast, something would have had to have gone seriously wrong had it not reviewed well) but it struggled somewhat against Jackass 3D and perhaps an apathetic audience. While trailers were as good as the reviews, the film opened to a slightly disappointing $7.2M on Friday night. Over Saturday and Sunday the film managed another $15M, giving it an easy second place but trailing Jackass by some considerable margin. The good news is that its takings across the weekend showed a bump on Saturday and a solid Sunday, meaning the film hasn't begun to tail off. Red cost Summit at least $60M to produce (Wikipedia lists the film's budget at $60M after tax credits) so needs a really good hold in its second frame to stand a chance of making more than two thirds of that budget back domestically. Internationally the film should be much stronger.

Having had an impressive second frame, The Social Network finds itself down just 28% on last weekend's excellent hold. The 'Facebook' film has now recouped its production budget just from its domestic haul and still has pretty much the rest of the world awaiting its release. It's unlikely the film will see $100M domestically but $85-90M isn't out of the question, with a similar or better figure internationally.

Given the opening weekend Secretariat had, no one was quite sure how its second frame would work out. Word of mouth looks to have secured the film a decent hold, with its Friday to Friday fall being around 30% (25% overall). While it looks to be well on the way to recouping its $35M budget, it was revealed last last Sunday that Buena Vista had spent an immense $52M marketing the film. When you factor in prints, Secretariat will need to make around $90M to break even.

Life As We Know It had something of a middling start, taking just under $15M during its first three days. In its second frame the film had a Friday to Friday drop of 42% (36% overall), picking up couples/date business one assumes, as counter programming to Jackass and Red. This one should just about recoup its production budget domestically but leaves Katherine Heigl with work to do on her next film, One For The Money, in which stars and also takes on producing duties.

Sounding like a broken record, Legend of the Guardian is still the only family friendly film in the top ten. Now in its fourth weekend, it looks like the owl's time is just about up as Warner Bros. has begun to seriously reduce its location count (off 350 last weekend, over 720 this one, with a number of 3D ones going to Jackass no doubt). Internationally the film has made $26M and while it won't end up losing anyone any money, it is unlikely to launch a franchise. Meanwhile The Town continues to perform well even with another weekend of competition. It should see at least another fortnight in the top ten and top out at around $95M.

With its opening frame being nothing to write home about, only a lack of new releases have given My Soul To Take another weekend in the top ten. Many theatrically released horror movies end up making money but given that 'Soul' is already dead in the water, even a lowly budget of $25M seems a long way off. Paranormal Activity 2, which opens next weekend, will be the final nail in its coffin.

Like Legend of the Guardian, Wall Street 2 has begun to shed its location count in large numbers (down 784 this weekend). Internationally the film has made $35M and that'll help shore up its slightly disappointing domestic tally. Seeing its last weekend in the top ten, Easy A has been both a critical and financial success and looks to have been the catalyst in securing star Emma Stone a major role in the new Spiderman film. Easy A was made for just $8M and has so far made over $50M.

Outside the top ten, Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort, Hereafter, made $231K from six locations. Hilary Swank's Conviction made $110K from 29 locations.

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