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Room Can't Fill the Vacancy at the Box Office

February 7th, 2011

The Super Bowl turned out to be a rather good game and it broke ratings records with 111 million people turning in to watch at least part of it. On the other hand, the box office was anything but record-breaking. Overall the box office was down 20% from last weekend to $87 million. Even worse, that was 24% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is already $310 million behind 2010 with a total of $988 million. 2011 is almost two full weeks behind 2010's pace, and I don't think things will get a whole lot better next weekend.

As expected, The Roommate took top spot at the box office, but its opening was a little weaker than expected at $15.00 million. The film wasn't screened for critics, but now that it has opened I can see why. 8% positive is beyond terrible and in the realm of worst movie of the year contention and will likely result in equally terrible word-of-mouth. Add in a genre that is not noted for long legs, and it could be run out of theaters by the end of the month. On the upside, it's already almost matched its production budget at the box office, while it should play well on the home market.

Likewise, Sanctum is not long for theaters. Its second place opening with just $9.45 million was significantly lower than expected, while its reviews don't suggest its word-of-mouth will be any help next weekend. With a per theater average that is already quite low, a lot of theater owners will be looking to drop it as soon as they are contractually able to do so.

No Strings Attached matched expectations perfectly with $8.00 million over the weekend, giving it a total of $51.39 million after three. It's safe to say the film has covered its production budget, even after taking into account the exhibitioner's share of the box office. If it can do even sluggish business internationally, it will show a profit early in its home market run.

The King's Speech added $7.71 million over the weekend for a total of $83.53 million so far. At this pace, it will reach $100 million, but it might take a few weeks to get there.

On the other hand, getting to the century mark for The Green Hornet is too close to call. After earning $5.97 million over the weekend, the film has $87.09 million after four weeks of release. With its legs so far, this should be enough to get to $100 million, barely. However, its per theater average has fallen below 2000 and with big competition this weekend, it might see its theater count plummet, thus preventing it from getting to that milestone.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find The Rite in sixth place with $5.59 million over the weekend and $23.70 million after two. It fell more than 62%, while plummeting from first to sixth. With four wide releases coming out this weekend, it could fall out of the top ten after just three weeks of release, tying the record for a film with a first place debut. A record currently held by Queen of the Damned. On the other hand, The Mechanic fared much better, especially considering its target audience matched nearly perfectly with the Super Bowl's target audience. It was still down 54% to $5.30 million over the weekend for a total of $20.01 million after two.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Green Hornet, The Roommate, Sanctum, The Rite, The King’s Speech, The Mechanic, No Strings Attached