Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 30th July - 1st August 2010

1. Inception -  $27.5M - $193.3M
2. Dinner for Schmucks - $23.3M - $23.3M
3. Salt - $19.3M - $70.8M
4. Despicable Me - $15.5M - $190.3M
5. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - $12.5M - $12.5M
6. Charlie St. Cloud - $12.1M - $12.1M
7. Toy Story 3 - $5M - $389.6M
8. Grown Ups - $4.5M - $150.7M
9. Sorcerer's Apprentice - $4.3M - $51.1M
10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - $3.9M - $288.2M

With three new releases this weekend, could Inception keep the top spot one more time? Not many films manage three weeks at the top spot but the strength of Inception's word of mouth combined with its repeat business meant not even the broad comedy Dinner for Schmucks or the family friendly Cats & Dogs sequel got a look in come Sunday night.

Inception is rapidly heading for $200M and this week's releases could only knock the film down by 35% on last weekend's take. Thursday saw the film recoup its estimated $160M production budget while at the same time crossing the $250M barrier in total global takings. By next weekend the film will be four weeks old so age, more than competition, will become its main worry - if the film has one. Inception is expanding around the world and should easily see another $200M from the global market.

A remake of Le diner de cons, Dinner For Schmucks stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell, ably backed up by Zack Galifianakis. The plot sees Rudd being offered a step up the corporate ladder by his bosses - on the proviso that he can bring the biggest idiot around to their weekly 'dinner game' - the winner being granted promotion to the big leagues. Carrell plays Rudd's idiot and Galifianakis a rival's idiot. Directing duties fell to Jay Roach, who one assumes passed on Little Fockers to take on Schmucks.

Friday saw the film narrowly beat Inception with $8.4M but it couldn't keep the momentum going and as Saturday moved into Sunday, Inception pulled ahead. Paul Rudd has been on something of a hot streak recently, with success in I Love you, Man and Role Models, along with smaller roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Year One. Carrell meanwhile already has another film in the top ten (Despicable Me), along with a decent return on Date Night back in April. Schmucks is budgeted at $62M and now needs to dig its heels in and hope for a decent holdover next weekend. Unfortunately it'll face the Will Ferrel/Mark Wahlberg comedy 'The Other Guys'.

Salt was off 52% on last Friday (47% on the opening weekend as a whole) and surpassed $50M sometime on Thursday evening. The action flick still has some way to go and one imagines that Sony would have been looking for a slightly better hold. At this point the film has recouped about two thirds of its $110M production budget but is still no shoe in for $100M domestically. To see a profit on Salt, the studio may end up looking toward Jolie's global fan base.

Faced with competition from Cats & Dogs 2, Despicable Me found itself off 36% on last weekend, which still isn't too shoddy. With a fair wind the film stands a good chance of seeing $200M before the end of next weekend, easily giving Universal their most successful release for some time.

Even if the public had demanded a sequel to 2001's Cat's & Dogs, you'd have thought that WB would have supplied it a little quicker than the nine years it has taken. This time around Better Midler supplies the voice for the titular Kitty Galore. She's backed up by Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Applegate and Roger Moore, to name just three of many. Even with the film being a 3D presentation it struggled to find a foothold in the market, especially with the still strong Despicable Me wooing the family market. Budget details weren't available at the time of writing but $50M wouldn't be bad an estimate, considering the bigger first film cost $60M to produce. While it'll be no 'Furry Vengeance' ($17M finish), Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore won't be a 'G-Force' ($119M finish) either.

Our final new release is the drama Charlie St. Cloud, starring Zack Efron as he continues his quest to distance himself from his High School Musical persona. The film sees Efron mourning the passing of his brother, becoming so overcome with grief that he begins to see his brother's ghost while tending the cemetery in which he is buried. Whie Efron wants to forget the films that put him on the map in the first place, his fan base still seem quite happy to see him in anything and managed to propel the small drama to a solid $12M opening. It'll have tumbled by next weekend but it's unlikely to lose money.

Even after losing more of its 3D locations to Cats & Dogs 2, Toy Story finds itself down just 44% from last weekend. The Pixar sequel is now eyeing $400M and whether it'll have to wait until it leaves the top ten to see that figure. This weekend saw Grown Ups become the fourth Adam Sandler film to cross $150M. It joins The Waterboy, Big Daddy and The Longest Yard. Next up for the comedy star is 'Just Go With It', opposite Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice could be looking at its last weekend in the top ten. The Disney/Bruckheimer film has just about made $50M, with another $25M coming from overseas locations - which equates to roughly half the film's production budget. The jury is still out on what went wrong with this one. It's looking likely that Eclipse will just about beat New Moon's $296M finish, but will have left the top ten before doing so. The film has a global total in excess of $615M

After operating on a limited release capacity, the well reviewed comedy 'The Kids are Alright' expanded into 857 locations. So far, the Julianne Moore/Annette Bening film has made over $6M

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