Thursday, 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 23rd - 25th April 2010

1. How To Train Your Dragon Friday - $15M - $178M
2. The Back-Up Plan - $12.3M - $12.3M
3. Date Night Friday - $10.6M - $63.5M
4. The Losers - $9.6M - $9.6M
5. Kick-Ass - $9.5M - $34.9M
6. Clash Of The Titans - $9M - $145.6M
7. Death At A Funeral - $8M - $$28.4M
8. Oceans -- $6M - $8.5M
9. The Last Song - $3.7M - $55.4M
10. Alice In Wonderland - $2.2M - $327.5M

This weekend marks the calm before the storm. Next weekend sees the return of a major horror franchise and the weekend after is Iron Man 2. But this weekend, we get a returning star hoping for a second chance and another comic book adaptation.

But neither of those new releases managed to secure the top spot. That honour goes once again to How To Train Your Dragon. Dragon ended up losing last weekend by just $200,000 once actuals were issued on Monday but the film made the headlines before that by stealing Kick Ass' thunder. How To Train Your Dragon recouped its production budget on Friday, a feat that many thought impossible during its opening weekends. A few weekends later and there's a good chance that the film will see $200M, putting it within the top five earners of Dreamwork's animated releases. Facing Furry Vengeance next weekend should cause few problems.

Jennifer Lopez hasn't had a hit movie since 2005's Monster-in-Law. In the meantime she's given birth to twins and pretty much vanished from music and film. The Back-Up Plan marks her return to the big screen major release arena and features Lopez as a woman who can't meet the right guy & get pregnant, but on the day she has artificial insemination she ends up meeting the man of her dreams. Reviews weren't strong, putting the film on the same level as recent romantic films Leap Year and Dear John (20% and 28% respectively) but like horror films, reviews are largely ignored by the rom-com fans.

Getting trounced by a five week old film probably wasn't part of Lopez's plan on opening weekend. The Back-Up Plan almost certainly opened at the lower end of expectation but the studio are probably happy with what they've got and it keeps the film some way out of flop territory. Chances are it only did as well this weekend thanks to a complete lack of competition and precious little for the female demographic to write home about. Budget details weren't available at the time of writing but chances are this cost around $30-40M, a figure the film will only manage to recoup when it is released into the international market, leaving it more Angel Eyes ($24M) than Maid In Manhattan ($82M).

Date Night got hit by The Back-Up Plan this weekend but still held well, down 36% on its last frame. The Steve Carell/Tina Fey film has now recouped its production budget and has just begun to expand overseas. Expect Date Night to top out at around $85M domestically.

A week after comic book adaptation Kick Ass comes The Losers, based on a DC comics/Vertigo comic book series of the same name. The Losers features a group of CIA agents who are betrayed and left for dead, only to survive, regroup and strike against CIA interests worldwide. Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan is coming off the back of Watchmen while Zoe Saldana is coming off the biggest movie of all time, Avatar. Unfortunately The Losers couldn't muster much help at the box office - thanks in part to Kick Ass one assumes, whose R-rated violence would have kicked The Losers PG-13 into touch. Little pre-release hype did the film no favours either but with only three new releases in the next fortnight, The Losers could make a little more money than it would in a busier schedule.

After a slightly disappointing d├ębut frame, in which it was initially bested by How To Train Your Dragon, Kick Ass reveals its front loaded-genre specific roots in its second frame, which left the film down a worryingly high 62% on last Friday's take (a better 52% for the weekend as a whole). What this means is the film has failed to have the major breakout success it needed to hold off the new releases this weekend and will undoubtedly take a hit from A Nightmare on Elm St next weekend (not to mention the direct competition from The Losers in this frame). The good news for the film is that even at this point, it has recouped its production budget and combined with its international take has covered the costs that Lionsgate put into the film to get it to screens. It almost goes without saying that this will be huge on DVD.

By the end of this weekend, Clash of the Titans will be close on making $350M at the worldwide box office, thanks in no small part to its performance overseas. This marks the third film in a row for Sam Worthington that's made over $350M (Avatar and Termintor: Salvation being the other two). The Death at a Funeral remake didn't make much of splash last weekend but has a slightly better hold than release partner Kick Ass, ending the weekend down 50%. Funeral was made for $21M, a figure it made by Friday night. From here on out, anything it makes is a bonus.

Our final new entry, Oceans, actually opened on Wednesday, which was Earth Day. The drama/documentary was released by DisneyNature and is the follow up to last years 'Earth', which was constructed from a series of BBC shows. The film has already seen a wide release internationally, where it's made $54M. Wednesday saw an impressive return from its 1200+ location count and while it lost out to the wider weekend releases, Oceans still ended up with a strong five day tally of $8.5M.

Rounding us out and seeing their last weekends in the top ten are Alice in Wonderland, which has taken over $325M domestically and another half a billion internationally, and the Miley Cyrus movie The Last Song, which has almost tripled its production budget.

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