Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 8th - 10th October 2010

1. The Social Network - $15.5M - $46.1M
2. Life As We Know It - $14.6M - $14.6M
3. Secretariat - $12.6M - $12.6M
4. The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - $7M - $39.4M
5. My Soul to Take - $6.9M - $6.9M
6. The Town - $6.3M - $73.7M
7. Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps - $4.6M - $43.6M
8. Easy A - $4.2M - $48.1M
9. Case 39 - $2.6M - $9.6M
10. You Again - $2.4M - $20.7M

After taking the top spot last weekend, The Social Network built heavily on its exceptional word of mouth and managed to see off two strong new releases. Friday saw the film drop 40% from its opening day take, losing the top spot to Life As We Know It in the process. But as the weekend wore on The Social Network stepped up its game and ended up back in the top spot, leaving it down just 31% from last weekend's total. Even with the revised budget figure of $50M, The Social Network should become a very profitable release for Sony Pictures.

Killers was Katherine Heigl's first misstep after success with Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth and 27 Dresses. This weekend she returns with the romantic comedy 'Life As We Know It' and co-stars with Josh Duhamel as two people who find themselves thrown together when they're named as legal guardians for a newly orphaned toddler. Hijinks with baby poo, vomit and romance follow. Life didn't review too well (though nowhere near as bad as The Ugly Truth) but this kind of film, like the horror genre, is generally review proof. Opening on the lower end of expectations, the film scored pretty much the same as June's Killers did - $14.6M (Killers opened to $15M). The difference this time around is that Life was budgeted at $38M as opposed to Killer's $75M, so with a fair wind this should recoup its budget in a few weeks. It'll face no direct competition next weekend and could pick up some date night business.

Our next new release is Secretariat, a film based on the true life story of the horse that won the 1937 Triple Crown, and the female owner determined to make it in the boy's club that was horse-racing/horse-rearing. Diane Lane takes the lead role, ably backed up by John Malkovich, Scott Glen and James Cromwell. Reviews were above average with the film currently 66% fresh at RottenTomatoes. Opening a little lower than 2003's Seabiscuit, Secretariat was lucky to break out given its distinct lack of hype and a subject matter that doesn't instantly appeal to the masses. Similar to Life As We Know It, Secretariat cost $35M to produce and is just the kind of inspirational story to garner solid word of mouth in the coming weeks (Seabiscuit made over $120M). Whether it'll have the time and space to do so, is another matter entirely.

Still facing no competition, Legend of the Guardian has another decent hold. Unfortunately for the film, it opened well down on expectations. Consequently, its weekend takings are still well below what your average animated film could expect to see. While it's working hard to recoup its $80M budget, Guardian still has a hell of a challenge on its hands. Foreign totals clock in at $11M, but that is expected to rise in the coming weeks.

Wes Craven returns this weekend with My Soul To Take 3D, his foray back into horror since 2005's Red Eye. The film features a serial killer returning to take revenge on seven people who were born on the night of his apparent death. The film didn't review for critics (as is the norm) and it doesn't appear to have caught the public's attention either (to be honest, it appears to have been as hyped as Secretariat). A sharp drop will entail next weekend and it'll almost certainly be gone the weekend after. Even if next weekend's drop isn't the usual horror style 60%+, it will still struggle to recoup its $20M budget. Next up for Craven is a return to the Scream franchise, with Scream 4 due April 2011.

Even with another drama added to the mix this weekend, The Town found itself down just 35%. Now in its fourth frame, the Ben Affleck directed flick crossed the $70M mark, almost doubling its production budget in the process. While it won't trouble $100M, a $90M finish isn't out of the question. Wall St 2: Money Never Sleeps isn't fairing quite as well. After a strong opening the film faltered a little in its second frame and things didn't improve in its third weekend on general release. The good news is the film has started to perform internationally and already has $23M in takings, putting it firmly within reach of that $70M price tag.

Case 39 made little impact last weekend, save for being a thorn in the side of Let Me In. The Renee Zellweger horror-thriller is still a long way short of its $26M budget but given the film is over two years old, chances are Paramount have already written the costs off.

While competition might have pushed it further down the chart, Easy A shows little sign of slowing down. The teen comedy is down just 38% on last week's already impress hold. Easy A should see $50M before leaving the top ten, more than four times it production budget. Our final top ten film this weekend is the comedy You Again, starring Kristen Bell and Jamie Lee Curtis. The Disney comedy has just about recouped its production budget.

Having received some very positive reviews, Let Me In couldn't translate the good word into box office. While relatively low budgeted, the film will now need to look to the international market to cover its production, ads & marketing costs. In only its second weekend on release, Let Me In had to settle for an eleventh place finish.

Opening outside the top ten is the comedy drama 'It's Kind of a Funny Story'. Featuring Zach Galifianakis and Keir Gilchrist, it's the tale of a depressed 16 year old (Gilchrist) who finds a new outlook on life when he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward. Reviews were middling and one assumes only fans of the book turned out. Originally the film had been set to play fewer locations during September but Focus Features decided to go with a later, wider release. Further expansion is unlikely to follow.

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