Sunday 2 December 2012

U.S Box Office Report - 30th Nov - 2nd Dec 2012

1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - $17.4M - $254.6M
2. Skyfall - $17M - $246M
3. Lincoln - $13.5M - $83.6M
4. Rise of the Guardians - $13.5M - $48.9M
5. Life of Pi -$12M - $48.4M
6. Wreck-It Ralph - $7M - $158.2M
7. Killing Them Softly - $7M - $7M
8. Red Dawn - $6.5M - $31.3M
9. Flight - $4.5M - $81.5M
10. The Collection - $3.4M - $3.4M

A relatively light box office report this weekend with just two new wide releases. Killing Them Softly and horror sequel, The Collection would do battle with a very strong top three that had already managed to see off the big flicks over Thanksgiving. Breaking Dawn 2 and Skyfall would be looking to build upon their success, while Rise of the Guardians hoped for a recovery after last weekend's disappointing debut. Ahead we have comedy Playing For Keeps, followed by The Hobbit a week later.
With Breaking Dawn Part 2 tracking eerily similar to both its predecessor and New Moon, analysts weren't expecting any surprises in its performance in its third weekend on general release. By day 14, the second Twilight feature was on $239.9M while BD 1 had just hit $230M - in comparison, this final film had a gross of $237.1M. On Friday, the finale to the Twilight series added $5.6M, down 68% on the same day last weekend (The previous entry made $5.4M on its third Friday). Through Saturday and into Sunday, it made another $11.8M, bringing its three day total to $17.4M ($256M overall). Once again, BD2 was treading a familiar path (New Moon made $15.4M during its third frame, BD1 saw $16.5M), which is no bad thing really given how successful they ended up being. We're still a long way off from knowing if this final part is going to be the most successful one (It took Eclipse more than three months to become the series' biggest) but even if it ends up falling short, Breaking Dawn Part 2 will still be an incredibly profitable release for Summit. Outside of North America, the film is up to $447.8M and is now the best performing of the series internationally, surpassing BD1's $430M finish in the last few days.

Domestically, Skyfall is now the biggest ever spy movie in history, surpassing the final tally of any of the Mission: Impossible series and every single film in the Bourne series (it overtook biggest grosser, The Bourne Ultimatum on Thursday), not to mention being more successful than any other James Bond film. After a slightly higher than expected second frame drop, the picture recovered last weekend, making $35.5M and dipping a tiny 14%. Skyfall continued to give Breaking Dawn 2 something to worry about throughout this last week, with less than $500K separating their Tuesday takings (there was even a chance it would re-take the no.1 spot this frame). As we rolled upon the weekend, Skyfall was sitting on a stunning $229M, with an outside chance of hitting $250M by the end of play on Sunday. A decent Friday (Killing Them Softly having almost no impact) saw the flick make $4.87M, as it motored towards a fourth weekend total of $17M (a fall of 52% on its last frame). That gives the 23rd Bond film an overall total of $246M and puts it as sixth biggest earner of 2012. Overseas Skyfall is approaching $600M, giving it a global total some way north of $800M.

Acclaimed drama Lincoln continues to impress, even with no further expansion this frame. Last weekend it actually increased its takings on the previous one by a staggering 22% and managed to recoup it $65M production budget on Tuesday, day 19 of its release. Word of mouth remains incredibly strong and that in turn is attracting a wider audience. On Friday, Lincoln held firm in third place, managing $4M, on its way to a strong weekend finish of $13.5M. The film has now grossed $83.6M, making it Spielberg's biggest domestic release since Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. At this point, $100M is a certainty even with the glut of new releases due from mid-December.

It was hard for anyway to deny that Rise of the Guardian's opening wasn't anything but a disappointment. Making less in five days than Puss in Boots and Megamind made in three, Guardians stumbled to a $32.3M total ($23.7M for just the weekend). That put it amongst the lowest opening Dreamworks releases, little better than Flushed Away (which finished domestically below $65M). The fantasy, about Santa, The Tooth Fairy and others protecting the world from The Nightmare King, dropped further down the chart during the week, not clearing $1M on any week day except for Friday. While family films generally do take a hit during the week, it's not usually to this kind of degree - Wreck-It Ralph averaged $2.8M during its first Monday to Thursday on release. With no fresh competition, Guardians should have had the family market all to itself (the aforementioned Ralph aside, which was now in its fifth frame) but could only manage a weak $2.9M on its second Friday, down an incredibly high 68% on the same day last week. While it saw a boost on Saturday, it still finished its second weekend with a disappointing $13.5M. That brings Rise of the Guardians' overall total to a somewhat worrying $48.5M, and leaves it with an incredible amount of work to do over the festive period, not to mention a heavy reliance on its overseas performance.

Last weekend's new releases were something of a mixed bag. While Rise of the Guardians was the ultimate winner, it was Life of Pi that impressed the most. Not an easy sell, Pi got off to a bumpy start on the Wednesday but by Sunday had performed some way beyond expectations, finishing up with a five day total of $30.5M. By Monday it had already pushed ahead of the Dreamworks animated release and saw it's best day on Tuesday, when it made $1.78M. By its second Thursday, Life of Pi was sitting on $36.3M but with another drama (Killing Them Softly) entering the fray, things looked to be getting tougher. On its second Friday, Pi managed $3.6M (a high fall of 63%) and discovered it was Lincoln and not the the Brad Pitt starrer that caused it more trouble. It recovered well to finish with a second weekend figure of $12M (an overall drop of 46%, excluding the Thanksgiving figures), which is probably higher than the studio would have liked but still not bad. After 12 days, Life of Pi has made $48.3M, and should play well over the holiday period, providing it isn't pushed out of theatres by the likes of The Hobbit and Jack Reacher.

Wreck-It Ralph is still going strong even with having to share the market with Rise of the Guardians. This frame it made $7M, bringing its overall total to $158.2M. A finish of around $175M is on the cards, but could rise higher if Ralph remains in a substantial number of theatres over the Christmas period.

Our first new release this weekend is Killing Them Softly, which stars Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins. The plot sees a couple of low-rung criminals deciding to rob a mob-controlled card game, figuring no one will suspect them given that the guy in charge of the game (Liotta) had already robbed one previously. But the mob aren't going to take it lying down and hire ruthless enforcer Jackie Cogan (Pitt) to get to the bottom of the situation and bring about swift retribution. Set against a background of economic turmoil in America, Cogan soon discovers not even he (or the mob) is immune to the cost cutting affecting the country, but that a job still has to be done regardless. The film is based on the 1974 novel, Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins and was adapted for the screen by writer/director Andrew Dominik. Dominik shot to fame thanks to his violent black comedy debut, Chopper (which starred Eric Bana) before teaming up with Pitt and Casey Affleck for the acclaimed Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Work began on what was originally called Cogan's Trade back in 2010, and by November of that year, the film was announced as a go-project, with early rumours suggesting Pitt would re-team with Dominik to take on the lead role. Those stories were confirmed a month later when the actor officially joined the picture (the director stated that Pitt agreed to star during a text message exchange which took just 30 minutes). Further casting was announced in early 2011 with the movie set to commence shooting in March, primarily in  Louisiana.

Having had running time issues with the studio over Jesse James, it looked as though history was set to repeat when the original cut of this new picture clocked in at over two and half hours. However Dominik continued to work on the project, eventually resulting in a very tight 97 minute cut. Cogan's Trade became Killing Them Softly just prior to receiving its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. The Weinstein Company originally had a September release date in place but pushed the flick back to avoid Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (Killing Them Softly has already seen release in Australia, Russia and a number of other territories, including the UK, where it made $4M). Early reviews were very positive and while it continued to collect strong notices over the last week (it is currently 79% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) its marketing campaign was distinctly low key. On Friday, it could manage only a sixth place showing, making a poor $2.5M. Critics may have liked it but the public detested Killing Them Softly, awarding it the near-unheard of 'F' Cinemascore (previous 'F' rated movies include The Devil Inside and Silent House). That meant word of mouth going forward into Saturday was as bad as it could possibly be and combined with competition from the still popular Skyfall and Lincoln, saw the flick earn just $5.5M more, giving it a lowly three day total of $7M. Thankfully, this wasn't an expensive film to bring to screens, with its budget rumoured to be around $15M, but it is no less a disappointment. The only (minor) saving grace for Killing Them Softly is the single release next weekend, which means it should see at least one more frame in the top ten, though how much good that will do the picture, is negligible. [According to Box Office Guru, aside from animation and limited releases, this is Pitt's worst live action opening for 14 years]

Having sat on the shelf for two years, Red Dawn finally opened over Thanksgiving to a half decent $21.6M. Both reviews and subsequent word of mouth had been very poor and takings dipped to just $667K on Thursday. With competition from Skyfall and Killing Them Softly (plus The Collection to a lesser degree), the Chris Hemsworth flick dropped 66% on its second Friday on release, making $2M. By Sunday evening, there was little to write home about, with Red Dawn seeing a second frame total of $6.5M (an overall fall of 54%, which wasn't as bad as it could have been). A domestic finish of around $45M is on the cards, leaving the studio to hope that Chris Hemsworth's appeal abroad will shore up any domestic shortcomings.

Flight manages another weekend in the top ten. The Denzel Washington drama added another $4.5M over the last three days, bringing its cumulative gross to $81.5M. There's still an outside chance it will clear $100M, a task it may have found easier had it been at more locations initially (at its peak, Flight was 2,638 theatres but opened at 1,800) but even if it falls short, this is still a resounding success for all concerned, and a great return to live action for Robert Zemeckis.

The only other major release this weekend was horror sequel, The Collection, a follow up to the July 2009 cult hit The Collector. In the original film, a thief breaks into a house only to discover The Collector, a vicious serial killer, is already there and has set up a number of horrific traps, some of which have already been sprung on the unfortunate residents. The thief faced a race against time to get the family's young daughter to safety without falling foul of the deadly devices and The Collector himself. The picture actually began life as The Midnight Man, and at one point was proposed as a prequel to the Saw series, but that idea was quickly abandoned. Opening in 2009 at 1,325 theatres, the $4M budgeted horror went on to make just under $8M domestically with another million or so dollars coming from its DVD release. With only minor success, writer Patrick Melton (who co-scripted the final four Saw movies) was taken aback when producers approached him to write a follow up. Deals were hammered out and a sequel, The Collection, began shooting in October 2010. Melton and co-writer Marcus Dunstan would return, with the later once again acting as director. The story this time around would see the daughter of a wealthy businessman kidnapped by the Collector and kept in his maze-like hotel full of brutal traps and devices. The father decides to hire a group of mercenaries to rescue her, and blackmails the only man to escape The Collector's deadly grasp to lead them. Curiously for a horror flick, The Collection was screened for critics, with 44% of them finding something they liked about it. On Friday, at 1,403 theatres, the picture managed to just about crack the top ten with $1.1M, about $200K weaker than its predecessor. Over the remainder of the frame The Collection added a further $2.3M, to give it a 3-day total of $3.4M. It's unlikely we'll see the film in the top ten again even with just the one new release next weekend, but there's every chance it will enjoy a decent return on the home market.

Finally this weekend, Argo managed to cross the $100M barrier, becoming the first Affleck-directed feature to achieve such a feat.

No comments: