Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 18th - 20th June 2010

1. Toy Story 3 - $109M - $109M
2. The Karate Kid - $29M - $106.3M
3. The A-Team - $13.8M - $47.9M
4. Get Him to the Greek - $6.1M - $47.9M
5. Shrek Forever After - $5.5M - $223M
6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - $5.2M - $80.5M
7. Killers - $5.1M - $39.3M
8. Jonah Hex - $5.1M - $5.1M
9. Iron Man 2 - $2.6M - $304.7M
10. Marmaduke - $2.6M - $27.8M

After Karate Kid managed to break out last weekend, Hollywood needed a big hitter to keep the momentum going. They don't come much bigger than Pixar and Toy Story 3. The Pixar sequel (their only sequelled film until Cars 2 next year) had something of a patchy trip to theatres that could easily fill up a couple of pages. Suffice to say, when Disney bought Pixar from Apple back in 2006, part of the deal was that Disney would cease production on the second Toy Story sequel and hand the rights back to Lassetter and Co, to do with as they wished.

Toy Story 3 secured Lee Unkrich, the co-director of Pixar's biggest ever hit, Finding Nemo, to take on sole directorial duties. All the main cast would return along with a host of new faces and the film would be a Disney 3D presentation. Last year, Pixar's Up had performed above and beyond expectations, leaving all eyes on how big Toy Story 3 would be - Would the Nemo record fall? Perhaps.

Toy Story 3's hype went into overdrive over the last six weeks and Disney went for the widest release they could muster - over 4,000 locations, with more than half of them being 3D enabled. With Shrek Forever Ever having already seen its best days, Toy Story 3 would face little competition. Reviews didn't disappoint, at the time of writing the film is 99% fresh at RottenTomotoes, with just two critics disliking the film.

Friday saw the film take the largest single day take for an animated film - a stunning $41M. Word of mouth hardly needed to carry the film but by the end of the weekend the film was amongst the biggest three-day openings in cinematic history. With Toy Story 2 opening over 10 years ago it's hard to see how this opening compares. A much better comparison would be the aforementioned Up, which opened to an impressive $68M, a figure that Toy Story 3 still managed to dwarf. One record the film couldn't secure was the biggest opening weekend for animated film, that record still lies with Shrek The Third.

The sky is the limit on this one - there's next to no competition in the coming weeks, strong word of mouth and a family film that works for all ages (and those 3D tickets prices don't hurt the box office total either). Next weekend it'll face off against an Adam Sandler ensemble comedy and the action-comedy Knight and Day - two films that could struggle to stop Toy Story 3 retaining its no.1 spot. [It's worth noting that the naysayers are already classing the film's opening as a disappointment given it didn't take Shrek's record and may finish outside of the top ten all time openers if the actuals figures on Monday are around $40,000 less than the estimates. Not to mention the talk of how much the film would have made had it not been for 3D]

A strong opening greeted The Karate Kid last weekend and it hasn't favoured too badly against Toy Story 3, especially given Kid's $50M+ first frame, and sees a 48% drop. After just ten days on general release the Jaden Smith/Jackie Chan remake crossed the $100M mark sometime Sunday, on its way to tripling its production budget (which it should do by this time next weekend). The film could easily add another $50-60M in the coming weeks and that's before it has begun to expand into any serious foreign locations. A sequel is already being fast-tracked if news this week is to be believed.

The A-Team on the other hand, shared little of The Karate Kid's success last weekend, opening well below expectations (and in second place). In its second frame, The A-Team dropped 46%, which is a respectable hold but still doesn't get the film out of the woods or that much closer to its $110M budget. With this being its last weekend with a double figure take, The A-Team will be no franchise starter unless the film does spectacular business on the international market.

Get Him To The Greek has an even better hold after last weekend's 43% drop, down just 38%. The comedy has now recouped its production budget and probably secured Brand a two-picture deal in the process. Being the only R-rated comedy in top ten gives it a demographic all to itself and the film is doing well to milk it. This should see a $ 65-70M finish.

With its international take now more than doubling its domestic tally, any potential sequel to Prince of Persia is still in very much doubt. The $200M action flick currently has a global total over of $270M, which is still unlikely to cover the additional costs of prints and advertising. The Ashton Kutchner/Katherine Heigl comedy, Killers, isn't performing quite as well as Greek and has a much more substantial budget to recoup too. A further issue arrives on Wednesday with the release of the similarly themed Knight & Day. Curiously enough, Killers actually had a better weekend hold than Get Him To The Greek, but it's all relative given Killers lower second frame take.

Having shed a large number of its 3D screens to Toy Story 3 this weekend, Shrek Forever After didn't completely collapse, but Friday did see the film finish in seventh position and ended the weekend down 65% on its last frame. As the weekend wore on, the film may have benefited from sold out Toy Story 3 screenings to secure a small percentage of the family market. From here on out Shrek's days in the top ten are numbered and it will end up being the lowest grossing of the series - though it's worth noting it could have been much worse given the films underwhelming opening frame.

Our only other new release this weekend is the comic book adaptation Jonah Hex, starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox. The screenplay was written by Crank's Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who at one point were also set to direct until creative difference with the studio put an end to the relationship. At this point no one is saying what went wrong once Ex-Pixar animator Jimmy Hayward took over, but given that the film is just 1 hr and 20 mins long and shows revealing signs of studio tampering/editing, it's safe to say they weren't happy with they saw. Neither were critics, with the vast majority of them trashing the film.

The public stayed away too - even with Toy Story 3 on release, there'd still be enough public for another new release to have a decent weekend - leaving the film with just $2M on Friday and a pretty pathetic $5.1M for the weekend as a whole. Expect Warner Bros to dump this out of theatres as fast as they can and hope an unrated cut on DVD goes some way toward recouping the film's $47M budget.

The film that kicked off the summer, Iron Man 2, is seeing its last weekend in the top ten. Jon Favreau's sequel may have cleared $300M but is still some way short of the $318M made by the first film. Given it's location shedding, the film is going to struggle to make that last few million. Marmaduke manages one more weekend in the top ten. The film posed Shrek Forever After little trouble and concerned Toy Story 3 even less.

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