Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 6th - 8th August 2010

1. The Other Guys - $35.6M - $35.6M
2. Inception - $18.6M - $227.2M
3. Step Up 3D - $15.5M - $15.5M
4. Salt - $11.1M - $92M
5. Dinner For Schmucks - $10.5M - $46.7M
6. Despicable Me - $9.4M - $209.4M
7. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - $6.9M - $26.4M
8. Charlie St. Cloud - $4.7M - $23.4M
9. Toy Story 3 - $3M - $396.3M
10. The Kids Are Alright - $2.6M - $14M

Even a year after release, one imagines that Will Ferrell is still smarting over the complete failure of Land of the Lost. While his work doesn't generally win favour with the critics, the public had tended to show up for his movies (Semi-Pro aside), but with the Land of the Lost, the critics hated it and the public went to see The Hangover.

He returns this week with The Other Guys, along side an all-star cast which includes Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnston, Samuel L Jackson and Eva Mendes. The film sees Ferrell and Wahlberg's 'average Joe' cops attempting to out do the 'cops of the week month & year' played by Johnston and Jackson. Of course, things don't quite go to plan for the wannabe heros. The Other Guys won Friday from Inception and managed to keep the film from retaking the top spot as the weekend wore on, finishing up with a solid $35M. That total marks the second best opening for a Will Ferrell film in which he takes a major role, bested only by the $47M opening weekend for Talledega Nights back in 2006. With Dinner For Schmucks a relatively new release, The Other Guys did well to see such a strong opening frame. Next weekend it'll face the double whammy of The Expendables and Scott Pilgrim, both of which will share The Other Guys demographic. With an $85M budget the film needs to hope for some good word of mouth to provide a decent second frame tally.

Having lost the previous two Fridays but won the overall weekends, Inception couldn't make it four weekends at number one. With age and fresh competition the Christopher Nolan epic still managed to secure a second place with a drop of just 32%. The film continues to see some good weekday totals and managed to cross the $200M mark on Tuesday. With foreign grosses also ramping up, Inception will be a $400M property come Monday morning.

A Step Up sequel may not seem inevitable on the surface, especially a 3D one, but one can't argue with the success of those first two films - they made a combined total of nearly $270M from a total budget of around $30M. Plot-wise, the third film in the series carries on in much a similar vein and has the 3D ticket price on its side; though it's hard to say how much difference that has made given that the film has opened as the lowest grossing of the series. It's worth bearing in mind that neither of the two prequels were up against such major competition so Buena Vista shouldn't be too disappointed with that opening figure. The second weekend drop will be harsh but by that time it'll have almost certainly recouped its production budget and be looking toward a similar international gross.

Salt, now in its third weekend, edges closer to $100M and with a good wind, may see it within the next week. The Angelina Jolie thriller has just begun to expand into overseas markets where another $100M is almost guaranteed. As previously mentioned, Dinner for Schmucks got hit squarely by The Other Guys this weekend, ending the frame down a slightly too high 55%. With a budget of $69M, Schmucks still has some way to go to see that figure and like this weekend, next weekend will be just as tough on the film. Expect the Paul Rudd/Steve Carell comedy to top out at around $65-70M.

With no new family competition this weekend, Despicable Me had the market pretty much all to itself. Cats & Dogs 2 flopped while Toy Story 3 is starting to show its age. The surprise sleeper hit for Universal has now made $200M from a budget of just $69M. The only upcoming threat, aside from the sheer volume of new releases set to hit over the next three weekends, is the Nanny McPhee sequel on August 20th.

Even being at the most locations in the top ten hasn't helped Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The costly ($85M!) and, some would say, unwanted sequel to the surprise 2001 hit is looking at its last weekend in the top ten and will end its theatrical run with around $35M. Charlie St. Cloud had an okayish opening frame, but finds itself down a painful 62% this weekend. Zac Efron's escape from the High School Musical stigma is not yet complete - it's arguable his HSM fans were responsible for it's decent start off, but it's certainly a step in the right direction for the teenage star.

Toy Story 3 is now within shouting distance of $400M and looks set to become the first Pixar film to reach that figure within the next seven days. Internationally the film is even stronger ($436M and counting) and stands every chance of joining the illustrious and very exclusive $1B club.

Indie comedy The Kids are Alright expands again and manages to secure a top ten place from its 994 location count. The film cost just $4M to produce and managed to see that figure before any major expansion took place. With three new releases next weekend it's unlikely the film will survive the onslaught, but strong word of mouth should see it continue to pack people in.

So next weekend, what're your prediction? We've got quirky action romance with Scott Pilgrim, a Julia Roberts rom-com in the guise of Eat Pray Love and the all out, old skool 80s action of The Expendables. What's your call?

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