Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 4th - 6th February 2011

1. The Roommate - $15.6M - $15.6M
2. Sanctum - $9.2M - $9.2M
3. No Strings Attached - $8.4M - $51.7M
4. The King's Speech - $8.3M - $84.1M
5. The Green Hornet - $6.1M - $87.2M
6. The Rite - $5.5M - $23.6M
7. The Mechanic - $5.3M - $20M
8. True Grit -  $4.7M - 155M
9. The Dilemma -  $3.4M - $45.7M
10. Black Swan - $3.4M - 95.8M

This is expected to be one of the quietest weekends of the year. Not only is it Superbowl weekend but parts of America are being plagued by snow storms. As if sensing this, Hollywood had chosen to release just two minor films, albeit one of them with some serious backing.

The Roommate is all but a remake of Single White Female for the PG-13 generation. When Sara, a college freshman is randomly assigned Rebecca as her roommate, a firm friendship is born. But when Rebecca becomes obsessed with Sara, things take a turn for the deadly. The film had been scheduled for a September 2010 release but was pushed back to this weekend. Screen Gems practically buried the film, stopping any advanced screenings for critics (in fact, there were no reviews for the film until it had already hit screens). The public weren't that fussed either but ultimately chose it over Sanctum, giving it a $6.4M start on Friday. Given that the production budget for The Roommate was just $16M, this one should turn a decent profit for the studio. Whether you'll remember the film in a month's time, is another question.

Our only other new release is Sanctum 3D, a film produced by James Cameron. The plot follows a set of underwater cave explorers who find themselves trapped and forced to look for an escape via an unexplored cave system when a storm cuts them off. The big selling point on this was the 3D (shot with the same cameras that Cameron used on Avatar) but that proved to be little of a draw, even with James Cameron promoting the film this past week (including a Q&A session held underwater). Critics found little to like and the public followed suit, giving the film just $3.6M of business on Friday. By Sunday, expected to be even lower thanks to the Superbowl, Sanctum had made just $9.2M. Like The Roommate, this won't be around for very long and will be lucky to recoup its production budget (rumoured to be $30M) come the end of its box office run.

After being ousted last weekend by The Rite, No Strings Attached performs better in its third frame. The film was down 37% (compared to 62% of The Rite) and has now doubled its production budget. Meanwhile, with the old and the new having a limited impact this weekend, The King's Speech added a further 8.3M to its total, which now stands at a stunning $84M. The jury is still out on whether the Weinstein Company will release a censored version of the film, allowing more people access to it.

The Green Hornet will have lost a number of its 3D screens this weekend to Sanctum. The action comedy has held a lot better than most people anticipated (though those same people would argue that the film has hardly faced tough competition these last weeks) and should cross $150M in total global takings by the end of Sunday.

Supernatural thriller The Rite, which got off to an OK start last frame, witnessed a 64% tumble on Friday. The disappointment continued over the remainder of the weekend leaving the film with a sixth place finish. The Anthony Hopkin's starrer should manage another weekend in the top ten but it'll end up some way short of recouping its $37M production budget.

Having a slightly poorer second frame than The Rite, The Mechanic found itself down 53% on the its opening frame. Unfortunately, the Jason Statham actioner cost more to produce than The Rite and will likely struggle to recover that figure until it opens wider on the global market. Next up for the action star is the animated family comedy Gnomeo & Juliet.

Ture Grit hit $150M at the domestic box office on Thursday evening - an amazing figure for the $38M budgeted film. The even-better news is that the vast majority of the global markets are still awaiting the film's release - a further $150M from those markets certainly isn't out of the question. In ninth is Ron Howard's comedy disappointment, The Dilemma. The film has made just $45M from a production of budget of $70M. Factoring in advertising and prints could push its actual budget over $100M, a figure The Dilemma is unlikely to see even if the film performs better outside of the US.

Another Oscar contender, Black Swan, looks like it'll have to wait until it is outside the top ten before crossing the $100M mark. Produced for just $13M, the film has a running global total (inc. its US take) of over $125M.

In terms of box office battles, next weekend should be an interesting one. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston team up for Just Go With It while the family audience are served with Gnomeo & Juliet and the older audience receive the historic actioner The Eagle. All three will face off against the Justin Bieber biopic/documentary Never Say Never, which may see midnight/single day records shattered.

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