Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 19th - 21st March 2010

1. Alice in Wonderland - $34.5M - $265.8M
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid - $21.8M - $21.8M
3. The Bounty Hunter - $21M - $21M
4. Repo Men - $6.2M - $6.2M
5. Green Zone - $5.96M - $24.7M
6. She's Out of My League - $5.9M - $19.9M
7. Shutter Island - $4.8M - $115.7M
8. Avatar - $4.0 - $736.8M
9. Our Family Wedding - $3.8M - $13.6M
10. Remember Me - $3.2M - $13.9M

Alice in Wonderland retains the top spot, finishing the weekend down 45% on last weekend's total. At this point, Alice is in a solid position, having recouped its production budget just from its domestic tally but from next weekend it'll lose some of those lucrative 3D screens to How To Train Your Dragon. Internationally the film is performing just as well and we're almost certainly looking at the first $500M movie of 2010. With Clash of the Titans 3D opening just a week later, Alice should be thankful for its amazing start and solid holds because it's unlikely to command much 3D screen space after the next fortnight.

After starting the weekend in third place, Diary of a Wimpy Kid pulled slightly ahead of The Bounty Hunter to take a second place spot, recouping its low budget in the process. Based on a hugely successful series of books by Jeff Kinney, Wimpy tells the tale of Greg and the life he leads (endures) in the sixth grade. We've seen in the past how popular book success doesn't always translate to cinematic success but that certainly doesn't seem to be the case here. Made for under $15M, Wimpy Kid's target audience turned out in droves which might leave the film quite front-loaded (leading to a bigger drop next weekend) but it's unlikely Fox will care. More to the point, with this kind of opening weekend, further adaptations are assured (there are at least three further books).

A Midnight Run for a new generation, The Bounty Hunter stars Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston as the titular guy and his bounty respectively. What complicates the issue is that they used to be married and Aniston may be in much deeper water than Butler had expected. Reviews matched the terrible trailer and poster but as the only current date movie with demographic appeal to both sexes, The Bounty Hunter managed a strong start opening frame. Going into the weekend it was this film that was expected to give Alice a run for it's money but by early Friday evening that would prove to be a non-event. Budget details peg the film at around $45M but given that Butler opened The Ugly Truth to $27M before seeing an $88M finish, anything is possible (and reviews for The Ugly Truth weren't any better). The film's opening must also be a relief to Aniston after the non-events that were Love Happens and Management.

Our final new release this weekend opens with much less money than the other two new releases. Repo Man stars Forest Whittaker and Jude Law as two guys who work for an organ replacement company - they come in when you can't keep up the payments for your replacement organs. Until about six weeks ago most people didn't even know the film existed but since then Universal have done their best to get the film everywhere they can, releasing green and red band trailers along with a slew of clips and interviews. Alas, it hasn't amounted to much at all with Repo Men opening Friday to just $2.2M. The rest of the weekend things didn't improve either and it's highly unlikely the film will recoup even half of its relatively low ($32M) budget. A misfire for Jude Law, who was coming off the white-hot Sherlock Holmes.

Unlike She's Out of My League (more in a minute), Green Zone stands next to no chance at making the studio any money - costing as it did $100M. After two weekends on general release the Matt Damon thriller has made just $24M, with the failure of the film laid firmly at the feet of the subject matter , that being the hunt for WMDs in Iraq. The film has just begun to expand overseas where the subject matter is less of a taboo for cinema-goers, and may ultimately see more of a return. This is Damon's first misfire in many a film - even The Informant, a film which had little studio push behind it, had great reviews and finished north of $30M.

She's Out of My League had a slightly poorer second frame, but there's little in it really. The Jay Burchel comedy cost $20M to produce and while it won't lose the studio any money, it's probably not the launch film that Burchel (and the studio) had hoped for. The comedian returns next weekend to lend his voice to a character in Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon.

Shutter Island is biding its time now, its biggest days behind it. The Martin Scorsese film is now the second biggest of the director's entire career after The Departed. While the film won't surpass that film's $132M total, Shutter Island is still a solid hit for the revered director. Still quietly taking money, Avatar continues its journey towards $750M. With the film's home release announced for April, time is now against Avatar, not to mention How To Train Your Dragon stealing further 3D enabled screens from the film next weekend. In total, factoring in the international tally as well, Avatar has made over $2.6B.

After seeing mild success from a limited number of locations last weekend, Our Family Wedding doesn't see any further expansion and like Remember Me, is seeing its last weekend in the top ten. Like Jay Burchel, America Ferrara, the star of Our Family Wedding will also be heard in next weekend's How To Train Your Dragon. Proving that fans will by and large only turn out to see Robert Pattison in a Twilight related movie, Remember Me is off 60% in its second frame on general release and is unlikely to be troubling the top ten next weekend. What's more of a concern is Remember Me is at at least 600 more locations than Our Family Wedding, and still ended up behind that film. Luckily Remember Me only cost $16M to produce, and should enjoy a decent home release.

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