Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 7th - 9th May 2010

1. Iron Man 2 - $133.6M - $133.6M
2. A Nightmare on Elm Street -  $9.2M - $48.5
3. How to Train Your Dragon - $6.8M - $201.1M
4. Date Night - $5.3M - $80.9M
5. The Back-Up Plan - $4.3M - $29.4M
6. Furry Vengeance - $4M - $11.6M
7. Clash of the Titans - $2.3M - $157.8M
8. Death at a Funeral - $2.1M - $38.3M
9. The Losers - $1.8 - $21.4M
10. Babies - $1.5M - $1.5M

Welcome to Summer Blockbuster Season 2010! While we don't kick off with any major records falling, Iron Man 2 made a hell of a splash. For the next twelve or so weeks we'll be seeing at least one major release on every weekend, sometimes more.

Two years ago on this very weekend Iron Man opened with a bang. Compared to Batman and Spiderman, Iron Man was a relatively little known comic book and while the film reviewed very well and had had a strong showing at Comic-Con the previous year, it was still an unknown quantity with the general public. By the end of that first weekend everyone knew who Iron Man was and the film finished with an impressive $102M. By the end of the summer and indeed 2008, only The Dark Knight had taken more money domestically.

Iron Man 2 should have been a no-brainer for Marvel yet initially the film ran into some major production problems. Director Jon Favreau was concerned about making a May 2010 release date while Marvel let it be known that they felt Iron Man's success could be repeated with any director they chose to hire. This back and forth went on for a while, with Marvel even responding publicly to Favreau's fears of a shortened production time with the idea that all the ground work had been done on the first film. Thankfully, this didn't go on for too long and soon Favreau, Downey Jnr and Gwyneth Paltrow had all signed to return, along side Mickey Rourke (hot off The Wrestler), Sam Rockwell and Scarlet Johanssen. The only casualty was Terence Howard who would be replaced by Don Cheadle.

Initial trailers impressed as did the wealth of clips released online. Reviews, while not as strong as the first film, were still impressive, leaving the film with a RottenTomatoes rating of 74%. Interestingly the film opened across many international territories last weekend, giving the film a $140M kickstart. Factoring in some midnight screenings, Iron Man 2 opened Friday to $52.8M (compared to the $38M Friday of the first film) and would go on to dominate the weekend, though most records would remain in place. Initially the film looked like being the one to take on the Dark Knight's $158M opening frame but it was not to be despite Iron Man 2 being the widest opening film in history. In terms of success, the film has opened within the top five all-time openers. With only Robin Hood to offer it any competition next weekend, the film should be able to manage a solid second frame hold, which will see it at around $200M by this time next week. Factor in that international take and Iron Man 2 is looking at being a near half a billion film in the space of a fortnight. Even with a rumoured $200M production budget, Iron Man 2 has little to worry about, but one question remains - Could it have taken The Dark Knight record had it been in 3D?

A Nightmare on Elm St had started its collapse last Sunday and began its second frame with a shocking 79% Friday-Friday drop. The rest of the weekend had little left for Freddy especially with Iron Man 2 on release, but it's hard to say if the film would have had much more of a second weekend had that film not made an appearance. Even only a week after its release, Elm St is looking at around a $65M finish and will be thankful that blockbuster season generally brings only one or two releases for the next few weeks, giving it a presence in the chart for most of May.

Even the bulletproof How To Train Your Dragon took a hit from Iron Man this weekend, finishing down 36% on last weekend. The Dreamworks animated feature has now taken over $200M on the domestic front ($400M in total global ticket sales) and still has a few weeks before Shrek Forever After appears.

Date Night and The Back-Up Plan continue to spar for the higher place. This weekend, as with last, Date Night emerges triumphant as it crosses the $80M mark. $100M isn't out of the question but if it's to take place, it would be once the film has exited the top ten. The Back-Up Plan isn't looking half as rosy and is unlikely to make more than its $35M production budget. Not quite the return to the big time Jennifer Lopez expected.

The Brendan Fraser comedy Furry Vengeance is down 40% this week which might seem an okay hold but when you consider the film opened to only $6.6M only last weekend, it doesn't paint quite the same positive picture. If How To Train Your Dragon hadn't already seen it off last weekend, expect the Shrek sequel to be the final nail in its coffin. Even its $35M budget is of little solace to Summit Entertainment.

It's a safe bet to say the money made by Clash of the Titans these past few weeks has come from its 3D tickets sales. The film is a little long in the tooth to be harmed by Iron Man 2 and again, probably picked up business (and a place in the top ten) thanks to those 3D showings/ticket sales.

The remaining top ten is filled out by a mixed bag. The Losers is on the verge of recouping its $25M costs but is unlikely to have anything else left to give. Meanwhile having already made back its production costs, Death at a Funeral is simply treading water and looking to its DVD release. Lastly, the documentary Babies manages a last minute top ten place from just 534 locations, and manages to just edge out Kick Ass, which is probably wondering why all the fantastic word of mouth and pre-release hype didn't sustain it for longer.

What are people's thoughts on Robin Hood's opening frame?

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