Thursday, 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 9th - 11th April 2010

1. Date Night - $27.1M - $27.1M
2. Clash of the Titans - $26.9M - $110M
3. How to Train Your Dragon - $25.3M - $133M
4. Why Did I Get Married Too? - $11M - $48.5M
5. The Last Song - $10M - $42.4M
6. Alice in Wonderland - $5.6M - $319.3M
7. Hot Tub Time Machine - $5.4M - $36.9M
8. The Bounty Hunter - $4.3M - $56M
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid - $4.1M - $53.7M
10. Letters To God - $1.25M - $1.25M

We're now approaching the calm before the storm. Iron Man 2 opens in just a few short weeks and this weekend sees just one wide new release. A couple of returning movies face off against it in one of the closest challenges for the top spot in recent months. Any of the top three could be subject to a position change once actuals are released on Monday.

Date Night is the dream comedy teaming of The Office's Steve Carell and 30 Rock/SNL's Tina Fey as a couple who finally get a night on the town without the kids. Taking someone else's table at a restaurant leads to a case of mistaken identity, leaving their quiet night out to be anything but. Hype on this one has been relatively low key until recent weeks and only one main trailer was released for the film. Reviews were above average and going into the weekend it was suspected Date Night would have an easy win.

But then something went a bit wrong for the film. Friday's take was an ok $9.5M but Saturday and Sunday were much softer than expected, with Clash of the Titans or How to Train Your Dragon looking like they might take the top spot. While the film did end up keeping hold of the top spot it's almost certainly at the lower end of the studio's expectations (and still subject to change). While the film faced competition from Hot Tub Time Machine and The Bounty Hunter, neither should have posed much of a threat given their age. Next weekend will be telling for Date Night and will prove if word of mouth has helped or hindered the film - it'll also face off against Kick Ass and the comedy Death at a Funeral.

After a record breaking opening, Clash of the Titans fell a harsh 71% on a Friday - Friday basis (57% overall). The good news for the film is that it is within shouting distance of recouping its production budget but given the drop this weekend (and Kick Ass' release next weekend) Clash of the Titans could be looking at single figure box office in seven days. For the studio it'll end up being a decent hit but could be a lesson to others in eleventh hour tampering, especially where 3D is concerned.

How To Train Your Dragon is showing some decent legs - last weekend it was down just 28% on its opening frame and this, its third weekend on general release saw an excellent drop of just 12%. Having seen $100M in takings some time last weekend the film is now hoping its nerve (and audience) hold as it pushes towards its high production budget of $165M. Of the top three, Dragon should be least affected by next weekends releases but may take a hit the week after with the release of Furry Vengeance. Internationally the film is even stronger, having taken over $135M since its release.

As predictable as his $20M+ openings are Tyler Perry's second weekend falls. Why Did I Get Married Too is no different, having fallen 71% on a Friday to Friday basis and 63% for the weekend as a whole. Given that it cost $20M to produce, a figure it has already seen by last Sunday afternoon, Lionsgate won't be too concerned. Expect the film to have one, possibly two more weekends in the top ten, finishing up with a total that's not too far from that of the prequel. Meanwhile, Perry's next film, 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf' is being prepped for a January 2011 release.

The Miley Cyrus release The Last Song actually sees a stronger second weekend that one could have predicted, especially given how the film seemed quite front loaded upon its Wednesday release. Its drop of just 37% has allowed the film to more than double its production budget and should top out around $65-70M. While its not a mile away from her Hannah Montana character it does prove that she can carry a movie without the Montana hook involved. With Alice giving up 3D screens for Clash and Dragon, its time in the top ten is now limited. The film is fast approaching $450M internationally and could still finish up with around $335M domestically, pushing it further up the worldwide all time chart (it's currently in 33rd position).

Hot Tub Time Machine and The Bounty Hunter were both hit by Date Night this weekend. Bounty Hunter is probably in the better shape of the two movies but Hot Tub had a much better hold in this, its third weekend on release. Both films have now recouped their production budgets and will continue to fight for business while they're still at 2,700+ locations. Possibly seeing its last weekend in the top ten is the successful adaptation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Made for just $15M the film has now almost quadrupled that figure and should prove a success on DVD.

Our final new entry this weekend is the limited release Letters To God, a low budget Christian drama. Playing (and hyped to) church groups and similar, Letters To God is the true story of a young boy suffering from cancer who begins to write letters to God, inspiring his neighbours in the process. Made for just $3M, the film will see just a single weekend in the top ten but shouldn't have too much trouble making its money back. There's every chance its 895 locations are found mainly in the bible belt of the US, allowing it to remain in circulation for far longer than such a small film usually would.

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