Thursday, 16 June 2011

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

1. Inception - $43.5M - $143.7M
2. Salt - $37M - $37M
3. Despicable Me - $24.1M - $161.7M
4. The Sorcerer's Apprentice - $9.7M - $42.6M
5. Toy Story 3 - $9M - $379.5M
6. Ramona and Beezus - $8M - $8M
7. Grown Ups - $7.6M - $142.4M
8. The Twlight Sage: Eclipse - $7.2M - $280M
9. The Last Airbender - $4.1M - $123.2M
10. Predators - $2.8M - $46.5M

Only one major release this weekend but it's a big one.

After a strong start, especially for a complex, non-sequel, original movie, Inception found itself down 39% on a Friday to Friday basis (and an amazing 31% for the weekend as a whole). During the week the film had a higher than usual take proving that word of mouth is working well on this one. Add into the fact that the film stands up well on repeat viewing and we see why the film crossed the $100M barrier in just seven days. Even with Salt factored into the mix the film still managed to win Friday by around a million dollars and quickly widened the gap as the weekend wore on.

Can Inception make it three weeks at the top spot? With a drama, a comedy and a family movie due next weekend it'll be interesting to see how Inception holds up. On paper, only the comedy (Dinner for Schmucks) looks capable of taking the film down, but being out at only 2,500 locations could restrict the film's potential take. Internationally Inception has taken $16.5M but that's from just three global locations. Expect that figure to rises rapidly in the coming weeks.

After a dip into drama with The Changeling, Angelina Jolie returns to the action thriller in the guise of Salt. Jolie plays a CIA operative accused of being a double agent by a captured Russian spy. Forced to go on the run to clear her name, Salt employs all the skills her years of training and covert work have afforded her. Philip Noyce took the director's chair on this one, having worked with Jolie before on The Bone Collector. Reviews were only just above average but with some action packed trailers and plenty of hype the film was set to win the weekend.

While Salt had to ultimately settle for second place, it ran Inception a close game. Opening Friday to $12M, the film only began to falter as we went into Saturday evening/Sunday morning, before ending up with a three day estimate of $37M, which, while not a patch on the $50M opening of 2008's Wanted, is still a strong start- especially given the current competition. With a decent second weekend hold Salt could provide Sony with a mid-summer hit. The only sting in the tale is its $130M budget, which might see the film having to rely quite heavily on its international take.

With no competition until next weekend's Cats & Dogs sequel, Despicable Me finds itself off just 26% from last weekend, which itself saw the film score a good hold from a spectacular opening weekend. Having left its production budget in the dust after its first four days, the film quickly raced to $100M. This week it broke through the $150M barrier and with a good wind should finish up around $200M, providing Kitty Galore doesn't cause it too many headaches. With a sequel now fast-tracked, Universal are wasting no time in capitalizing on their surprise hit.

After an horrific start for a $150M budgeted film, Sorcerer's Apprentice finds itself down an okayish 45%. Sadly, it's only an okayish drop because the film's opening frame was so poor. At this point the film will be lucky to see $50M before the end of its theatrical run. Buena Vista will need to get the film out to the international market as fast as possible before its bad US performance dooms the film before it has chance to reach foreign shores.

Toy Story 3 sheds 400 locations this weekend as it continues its slow descent out of the top ten. Like Despicable Me, it'll face competition in the guise of Cats & Dogs 2 but at this point it'll be of little concernt to Pixar - Toy Story 3 is already the biggest domestic film of 2010. With a similar performance almost guranteed in the global market, chances are it'll be the biggest worldwide film of 2010 too.

Our only other new release is the family comedy Ramona & Beezus, based on a successful book series about the misadventures of a young grade school girl. Opening with little hype, the film relied heavily on fans of the book who helped push the film into the top five from a location count of around 2,700. This'll be a one weekend 'wonder', acting as a big advertisement for the inevitable quick DVD release (and potentially launch a string of straight to DVD sequels in the process). Still, a mid char placing in a busy summer is nothing to be sniffed at.

Big Daddy's $163M finish appears to be out of reach for Grown Ups but the film stands every chance of clearing $150M before the end of its theatrical run. Made for $80M, this could end up being a $250M concern once the global market gets its hands on it.

Eclipse too, has begun to shed its location count in this, its fourth weekend on general release. The jury is still out on whether it'll be the biggest film of the series but it's already a $550M concern for Summit Entertainment. Eclipse will see one, possibly two, more weekends in top ten before the film heads out for a huge home market debut.

Meanwhile, M Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender is seeing its last weekend on the top ten. It's been quite a ride for the cartoon adaptation, after some shocking reviews and word of mouth it managed a good opening weekend and the days that followed helped the film to quickly reach $100M. Since then it's hobbled to its present position. It should top out at around $135M but isn't the successful birth of a franchise that Paramount had hoped for.

While Robert Rodriguez has been talking up a Predators sequel at Comic-Con these past few days, the film is yet to be enough of a success to warrant one. While it has just about recouped its production budget, the film has already slashed its location count and it seeing its last weekend in the top ten after just three weekends on general release

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