Friday 3 June 2011

US Box Office Report - Juy 11th - 13th 2009

1. Bruno - $30.4M - $30.4M
2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - $28.5M - $120.5M
3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - $24.2M - $339.2M
4. Public Enemies - $14.1M - $66.5M
5. The Proposal - $10.5M - $113.7M
6. The Hangover - $9.9M - $222.4M
7. I Love You, Beth Cooper - $5M - $5M
8. Up - $4.6M - $273.7M
9. My Sister's Keeper - $4.1M - $35.8M
10. The Taking of Pelham 123 - $1.5M - $61.5M

Three years after he thrust Borat onto our screens, Sacha Baron Cohen returns with his gay Austrian fashion character Bruno. Opening in over twice as many locations, Bruno also arrives with a lot more of an advance word than the Kazakhstani reporter had in 2006. While Bruno doesn't have that same anonymity, trailers, strong word of mouth and Baron Cohen appearing practically everywhere in the last month have all helped boost the profile of the film. Review-wise, it performed a lot better than the vast number of comedies this year and currently sits on a 70% positive rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. After opening Friday to a solid $14.1M, the film climbed to $30.4M after suffering a collapse in ticket sales for Saturday and Sunday. A disappointment, especially when compared to Borat which opened at just 837 locations and took a fantastic $26.4M (The biggest take from smallest location count - a record that stood until the recent Hannah Montana Concert movie). The kicker for Bruno now is whether it'll retain the no.1 spot once actuals are released on Monday evening.

At this early stage it's difficult to judge where Bruno will go next, there's already word that the film isn't playing well to middle America giving the studio one more reason to not expand the film further. There are also rumours that some cinema chains have taken to enforcing the R-rating for Bruno much stronger than they usually would for an R-rated film. People at Box Office Mojo even speculate as to whether a percentage of people bought tickets for a lower rated film but snuck into Bruno screens. Hard to say if either thing is true enough to seriously affect its box office. Borat was expanded quickly after its break out status was assured and would go on to make $128M from a budget of just $18M. On Borat's side was being released during a relatively sparse November/December. Bruno on the other hand is right in between two major blockbuster releases in the guise of Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter, with plenty of other films also vying for attention. Unless it achieves a fantastic hold next weekend it's unlikely that Bruno will repeat the success seen by Borat but chances are it didn't cost much more than it's already amassed and should perform well overseas.

Ice Age 3 isn't facing a photo finish with Transformers 2 this weekend, it's clearly the better performer of the two. The family comedy crossed the $100M mark on Friday and could have been higher were it not for last Saturday's July 4th causing a dip in all film's takings. This Saturday was much stronger and it's questionable how much competition Harry Potter will provide against the film, being aimed at a much older market. That said almost every film in the top ten will be affected in some way by Harry Potter's release on Wednesday, if not directly, then by Potter sucking up a huge number of locations. Internationally Ice Age 3 is much stronger, having already amassed over $150M.

Transformers is still performing well, surpassing the take of the original movie some time during the latter part of the week. On a weekend take basis, Revenge of the Fallen is tracking slightly better than the original film (that film's third weekend take was $20.5M). Internationally the film is just as strong ($333M+) and needs to amass around another $50M to surpass the total global box office of the first film. Of the films in the top ten, Revenge of the Fallen will probably take the hardest kicking from Harry Potter but with an estimated finish of around $800M expected, it's unlikely Paramount will worry about any kind of competition from here on out. The only question now is which will be the biggest film of 2009.

Public Enemies took a hit of 58% on a Friday to Friday basis and lost a part of its adult audience to Bruno this weekend. The Michael Mann thriller cost $100M to produce and has already recouped well over half of that from its domestic tally. The film should enjoy a few more weekends of solid business, hopefully building on the word of mouth its has already achieved, as it begins to expand into the international market. Sandra Bullock's return to the romantic comedy genre just keeps on giving. The Proposal crossed the $100M barrier on Wednesday and is well on track to be the most successful release of Bullock's career - only Speed back in 1994 made more money. Like Public Enemies, The Proposal has only just begun to expand into the foreign market where it stands every chance of repeating its US success.

Lindsay Lohan must kick herself every time she hears how well The Hangover is performing, given how it was revealed this past week how she turned down a role in the film (which ultimately went to Heather Graham). This last week has seen The Hangover become the most successful R-Rated comedy in box office history, surpassing previous record holder The Wedding Crashers and stands a strong chance of being the third biggest R-rated movie of any genre by the end of its box office run. And in its sixth weekend on general release, the film is still managing impressive box office numbers even up against the similarly R-rated Bruno.

Our only other new release is the 80s throwback I Love You, Beth Cooper, the big screen debut for Hayden Panettiere since her break out role in Heroes. The film tells the tale of a typical high school nerd who confesses his love for the titular character, the most popular girl in school, at their graduation. Instead of ridiculing him she shows up at his door and they embark on the night of his life. You only need to look at that box office figure to realise that Beth Cooper was a film without much of an audience. Bruno and The Hangover had the older market covered for comedy, while The Proposal covered the romantic comedy angle. Reviews for this weren't kind in the slightest (it sits on just 11% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) and director Chris Columbus must be wondering why he didn't choose to direct Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince over this. It'll only get one more weekend in the top ten before being just a distance memory, leaving Panettiere thankful to have a regular gig with Heroes.

Up is pretty much done with the US box office now and will finish up just shy of $300M. Next on its agenda is the rest of the world, with only Russia and a number of central and southern American countries having already received the film. Expect its US take to be equalled or eclipsed come the end of the year. Having opened well a fortnight ago, My Sister's Keeper failed to make much more of a dent in the box office and will leaving the top ten having just about recouped its production budget. Hopefully Jodi Picoult fans around the world will shore up its limited success. Rounding us out is The Taking of Pelham 123, which will end up with a global total of around $120-130M come the end of its theatrical run.

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