Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 28th - 30th May 2010

1. Shrek Forever After - $43M - $133M
2. Sex and the City 2 - $32.1M - $46.3M
3. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - $30.1M - $30.1M
4. Iron Man 2 - $16M - $274.6M
5. Robin Hood - $10.3M - $83M
6. Letters To Juliet - $5.9M - $36.6M
7. Just Wright - $2.2M - $18.1M
8. Date Night - $1.7M - $93.4M
9. MacGruber - $1.4M - $7.1M
10. How To Train Your Dragon - $1M - $212.5M

Memorial Day weekend in the US should mean a stronger Sunday for most movies. After a disappointing start last weekend (off more than $50M from the third entry in the series), Shrek Forever After recovers somewhat, finishing the weekend down 38%. The film crossed the $100M mark on Friday and will only face minor competition in the guise of Marmaduke next weekend (not to mention three other releases). This certainly won't lose Dreamworks any money, especially once the film hits the global market but it's unlikely to be a half a billion dollar finisher. Shrek needs to act fast too because Toy Story 3 isn't too far away and it'll not only take it a chunk of Shrek's business but a good percentage of its 3D screens too. By this point, Shrek The Third had made $203M, on its way to a $320M finish.

The original Sex & The City movie wasn't expected to be much of anything back in 2008, the TV show had ended a few years earlier and gaining a non-fan audience was set to be something of a task. Then the film opened to $57M and all bets were off. When the film left global theatres it had made over $415M from a budget of just $65M. A fast-tracked sequel was a shoe-in.

Just two years later and the sequel arrives on the scene, though things don't look quite as rosy. Bear in mind that the film actually debuted on Thursday to the tune of $14.2M - had this been a Friday release the gap between first and second would have told quite a different story. A film such as Sex & The City 2 is pretty much review proof and its opening weekend has become something of an event, with female fans turning out in their droves. Chances are this will be a one weekend wonder and fall quite hard in the next frame. In fact, early Saturday figures revealed that the film had something of a minor collapse, leaving Thursday as its biggest day. While the film won't achieve the kind of figures witnessed by the first film, this will again be a sizeable and profitable hit for Warner Bros, who may even stretch to a third film.

Opening not in first or even second place is the big budget epic Prince of Perisa: The Sands of Time, the Jerry Bruckhiemer produced videogame adaptation. Based on a later game in the long running series, Sands of Time stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton as a rogue prince and mysterious princess respectively, who find themselves in possession of a fabled dagger which allows the bearer to turn back time. Trailers were suitably epic and again, like Sex & The City 2, this kind of movie is generally review proof, at least until word of mouth kicks in.

Things didn't begin well for the $200M film, being bested by SATC2 and a returning Shrek Forever After on Friday, finishing with just $10.2M. As the weekend wore on things didn't improve much and while it's final weekend figure isn't an outright disaster, it leaves the film with a hell of a lot of work today as we enter an even bigger and busier release month. Expect Prince of Persia to be hoping for bigger things from the global market.

Iron Man 2 continues to perform well and is already a $600M global concern. By this point in its release the original film had taken $252M on its way to a $318M domestic finish. Expect the sequel to end up around that figure too. This week saw the announcement that no further Iron Man film would go into production until after the release of The Avengers. Universal must be thanking their lucky stars for Robin Hood's international success. After three weekends on release there it's scored over $135M. Factoring in its domestic tally puts Robin Hood within grasping distance of its monumental production budget. Of course, prints and advertising are another thing altogether. Expect Robin Hood to top out at around $100-110M and around $200M internationally, keeping it firmly out of flop territory - a place it was looking like residing two weeks ago.

Letters to Juliet and Just Wright continue to fight it out, with the former coming out on top for the third weekend in a row. Both films will have been hit heavily by Sex & The City 2 this weekend but have already recouped their production budgets. Date Night is now in its eight weekend in the top ten and is going to narrowly miss out on seeing $100M in takings before it leaves the top ten. After a lower than expected start the film built on some solid word of mouth and hung around while bigger films came and went.

After an horrific opening last weekend MacGruber is off 57% and is looking upon its last weekend in the top ten. At one point it looked as though the SNL spin off might not have seen a second weekend in the top ten. Even with a $10M budget, it won't see much of a profit, especially once ads and prints are factored in. After a tough start, How To Train Your Dragon hung on for dear life and was suitably rewarded with $212M. By the end of its run it'll be the most successful non-Shrek related release for Dreamworks' animated division.

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