Thursday 16 June 2011

U.S Box Office Report - th April - 2nd May April 2010

1. Nightmare on Elm Street - $32.2M - $32.2M
2. How To Train Your Dragon - $10.8M - $192.4M
3. Date Night - $7.6M - $73.6M
4. The Back-Up Plan - $7.2M - $23M
5. Furry Vengeance - $6.5M - $6.5M
6. The Losers Friday - $6M - $18.1M
7. Clash Of The Titans Friday - $5.6M - $154M
8. Kick-Ass Friday - $4.4M - $42.1M
9. Death At A Funeral Friday - $4M - $34.7M
10. Oceans- $2.6M - $13.5M

We're now just a week away from the Summer blockbuster season. From next weekend we'll see huge openings and records smashed, but for now we'll have to settle for the reboot of one of the most successful franchises in [horror] history. The Nightmare on Elm St series kicked off way back in 1984 and became something of a hit. Many sequels followed, along with a TV series and a crossover with the Friday The 13th series back in 2003 in the guise of Freddy Vs Jason (the most successful entry in the series to date).

Rather than add another sequel to the list, New Line decided to reboot the entire series - which makes sense given that the vast majority of the horror going demographic weren't around when the series kicked off and were unlikely to pick up on the ever waning quality of the sequels. Roping in Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes to handle the production (and giving them another horror reboot along with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday The 13th to add to their collection), things started well with the casting of Jackie Earle Haley as the child killer Freddy Krueger. Keeping things fairly low key to begin with, including very little footage of Krueger's facial burns, hype stepped up a notch in the last few weeks with clips and further trailers announcing the film to all and sundry.

With little in the way of competition and the horror genre being ill-served of late, Elm Street came out fighting, taking $15M on its opening day (with a few midnight screenings added to the mix) and made a solid $32M from the weekend overall. But by Saturday night there were already signs the film was struggling, and it made just $5.8M on Sunday. Compared to other Platinum Dunes productions, this one sits just behind the Friday the 13th reboot ($40M opening), making it the second most successful of their horror releases. Next weekend, will see the film fall hard, thanks not only to the usual horror front loading (which we've already seen signs of this weekend) but also because of the release of the sure-to-be-huge Iron Man 2. As for re-launching the franchise - that remains to be seen, more so given that the proposed Friday the 13th sequel was recently put on hold, and that film made $91M in total worldwide ticket sales.

Box Office champion How To Train Your Dragon had little trouble with Furry Vengeance and managed another double figure weekend, down just 29% on last weekend's small drop. $200M is now a sure thing, almost certainly by next weekend, at which point it will have taken more money than Monsters Vs Aliens and Madagascar. Expect Kung Fu Panda's $215M finish to be firmly in its sight.

While The Back-Up Plan managed a second place opening last weekend with what must have been a disappointing opening for Lopez and the studio, a week later and things don't look any better. In fact, Date Night, now in its fourth weekend on general release, manages to move ahead of The Back-Up plan. In terms of drops, The Back-Up Plan ended the weekend down 41% on its opening frame, while Date Night held with 40%. The only redeeming features for Lopez' return are its relatively low budget of $35M and the fact that there's only one new release next weekend, giving it a tiny amount of breathing room. Date Night meanwhile has already recouped its $55M budget and is heading towards a $85M finish. Neither film will face direct competition until May 14th's Letters to Juliet and and Just Wright.

Brendan Fraser is no stranger to family films - Journey to the Centre of the Earth, George of the Jungle and Looney Tunes: Back in Action to name just three. This weekend he adds Furry Vengeance to that list. Fraser plays a real estate developer whose latest land acquisition causes a fight-back by the local population of woodland creatures. Reviews weren't pleasant and with a fifth place opening it seems even the family market weren't impressed and went to see How To Train Your Dragon again. This'll be out the top ten in as quick a time as possible and once again makes Summit Entertainment realise that without the Twilight franchise they'd be in some serious trouble.

Last weekend, with a lower opening than Kick Ass' second weekend take, The Losers made something of a lacklustre debut. With the core demographic at A Nightmare on Elm Street, the film falls again (though not as high as expected) and is unlikely to recover up against Iron Man 2. Having cost only $25M to produce, The Losers will turn a profit for Warner Bros. when international figures and DVD sales are factored in, but this is still something of a misfire. A different release date may well have benefited the film and ensured a sequel.

This weekend saw Clash of the Titans cross the $400M mark in global ticket sales. At the same time Warner Bros. announced a sequel would be going into production within the next 18 months. Made for $125M, even with the harsh words regarding its 3D conversion, Clash of the Titans, along with Alice in Wonderland, were the first major blockbuster releases of 2010. Doing better than The Losers but still disappointing somewhat is Kick Ass. Now in its third weekend on release, the well-reviewed comic book adaptation is down a sharp 52% on last weekend's take. Given the film cost $30M to produce and already has a global total of over $70M, Lionsgate won't be too concerned. In fact, if ever a film's theatrical release was a huge advert for its DVD/Blu-Ray release, it is Kick Ass. Expect the unrated version to fly off shelves in a few short months.

Death at a Funeral may yet manage one more weekend in the top ten. Having recouped its $21M production budget the film is looking at around a $40M finish.
Rounding us out is the documentary Oceans. Although it's made over $50M on the international market the film hasn't had quite the same impact in the US, especially when compared to the $32M taken by last year's Earth. More worrying is the film's $80M budget, leaving it to rely on DVD/Blu-Ray sales.

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