Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 21st - 23rd January 2011

1. No Strings Attached - $20.3M - $20.3M
2. The Green Hornet - $18.1M - $63.4M
3. The Dilemma - $9.4M - $33M
4. The King's Speech - $9.2M - $58.6M
5. True Grit - $8M - $138.6M
6. Black Swan - $6.2M - $83.5M
7. The Fighter -  $4.5M - $73M
8. Yogi Bear - $4M - $88.8M
9. Little Fockers -  $3.9M - $140.7M
10. Tron: Legacy - $3.7M - $163.2M

Just one major release making anything of a splash this weekend. No Strings Attached stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as two people who decide to have a purely sexual relationship - no commitments, no strings. Complications ensue when they begin to fall for each other but neither wants to admit it. The R-rated romantic comedy also co-stars Kevin Kline and Cary Elwes, and was directed by Ivan Reitman. Reviews were about average, which given how the genre is viewed (and served) these days, isn't that bad. With no direct competition (the similarly themed Love & Other Drugs has come and gone and the near identical Friends with Benefits isn't due until September) the path was open for No Strings Attached to clean up.

Friday saw a $7.3M opening, signalling that unless The Green Hornet saw a Saturday night boost, No Strings Attached would win the weekend. By Sunday the film had a three day total of $20.3M, which is just a few million below what the film cost to produce. Portman is already riding a critical high with Black Swan so another hit will do her career no harm at all - she'll also appear in the summer comedy Your Highness. Kutcher on the other hand misfired last summer opposite Katherine Heigl in Killers, which cost north of $75M to produce and ended up with a $47M return. It'll face no direct competition next weekend so a decent hold should put it well north of $30M.

After a better than expected start in the last frame, The Green Hornet found itself down 53% on a Friday to Friday basis (46% overall). With last Monday being a holiday in the US the film was gifted with around $4M more than an average Monday haul and that contributed to the film breaking the $60M barrier. That said, with a high drop next weekend (which is possible as at least one of the new releases, The Mechanic, will attract the same demographic), The Green Hornet could struggle to see $100M. The international market has just gotten hold of the film which should help cover the $120M budget but it's unlikely to be enough to launch a franchise.

Having been a disappointment last weekend, The Ron Howard directed The Dilemma took a direct hit from No String Attached in its second weekend on general release. Reviews had been fairly unkind to the film though it was still expected to see a solid opening frame. In the end it finished well below expectations. A week later and things haven't improved much and its drop is roughly the same as The Green Hornet. Even at this point it looks like The Dilemma will finish with less than $60M in takings. [As a side note, who thought we'd ever see two Winona Ryder flicks in the top ten again? (The other being Black Swan)]

With a Golden Globes boost for Colin Firth, The Kings Speech makes another $9M from what is still a relatively limited location count (and witnessed almost no percentage drop from its last frame). Made for just $15M the film crossed the $50M threshold on Friday night and is set to go higher if word of mouth and forthcoming awards ceremonies have anything to do with it. Further expansion hasn't yet been ruled out. True Grit fought neck and neck with Black Swan this weekend and narrowly came out on top. The Coen Brothers remake/new adaptation saw $130M on Thursday evening and is heading for a $150M finish. On the international market, the film is just getting started and could easily see a further $100M.

While it might take some time, Black Swan has the potential to see $100M before the end of its theatrical run, especially if the film receives a further boost from the Academy. Last weekend the Darren Aronofsky film actually saw its weekend take rise by 25% on the previous frame. This weekend isn't as strong but a $6.2M take is solid for a film that's in its eighth weekend on general release. With a rare glut of quality films in the top ten, The Fighter is now struggling to get itself seen. It's been on general release a week less than Black Swan and managed two Golden Globes wins last weekend but its subject matter may be holding it back from having a wider appeal. In the grander scheme of things this is irrespective as the film has been a critical and financial hit and while its time in the US charts is now limited, the majority of overseas locations are still awaiting the film.

Yogi Bear 3D is possibly witnessing its last weekend in the top ten. After a lower than expected start the film received a boost over Christmas thanks to being one of the few family films on general release. Neck and neck with its international tally, Little Fockers sits on $140M this weekend. The film is now pretty much done and dusted and only a lack of new releases is keeping it in the top ten. When all is said and done, this third entry into the Meet The Parents series will be a $300M hit.

Released before Christmas, Tron: Legacy has had a bit of a bumpy time of it even though its made over $330M. Some quarters still maintain the film is a failure but the figures and general word of mouth don't reflect this. Rumours are still abound that a sequel is about to be greenlit with some speculation that a teaser trailer is set to debut with the Tron: Legacy Blu-ray release.

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