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Weekend Wrap-Up: Box Office was Beyond Help

August 29th, 2011

Hurricane Irene battered the east coast, which may have had a bigger impact at the box office than some were expecting, but at least it wasn't worst case scenario levels. The overall box office plummeted 25% to just $93 million. That wasn't the worst weekend of the year, but it came uncomfortably close. Compared to last year, the box office was down down 19%, meaning the year-to-date decline worsened. With 2011 down by 4.3% at $7.28 billion to $7.60 billion, the year is running out of time to make up the difference. If we go into the holiday season down by $320 million, it might be impossible to make up the ground, no matter how strong the Christmas releases are.

The Help is very close to $100 million after earning $14.54 million over the weekend for a total of $96.83 million after three. It should get to the century mark by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Colombiana was the best of the new releases and the only one to come within a rounding error of predictions. It pulled in $10.41 million, which is low given the film's $40 million production budget. And with reviews that were soft, even for the genre average, it likely won't get better from here. However, it might still find an audience on the home market and it could break even there.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes slipped a spot to third with $8.87 million over the weekend for a total of $148.67 million after four. There's little doubt the film has broken even at this point, if you take into account its international numbers.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark only cost $25 million to make, so it has that going for it. On the other hand, it could place no better than fourth with $8.53 million. Having Guillermo del Toro's name on the script and overall positive reviews wasn't enough to save the film. Perhaps it will find a more receptive audience internationally and on the home market, which could be enough to show a profit sooner rather than later.

Our Idiot Brother barely managed fifth place with $7.01 million. Even with the best reviews of the weekend, there's little hope this film will have any legs, as theater owners will be looking to drop it A.S.A.P. At least the film was very inexpensive to make compared to most wide releases (and many limited releases) and this might help it earn a profit sometime on the home market.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World in sixth place with $6.01 million over the weekend for a total of $21.99 million after two. It had the best week-to-week hold of the four wide releases from last weekend, but it could still make less in total than the previous Spy Kid movie made during its opening weekend. Conan the Barbarian fell 68% to just $3.19 million over the past three days for a total of $16.66 million after ten. At this rate, Lionsgate might rethink their plans to release more high budget films. Fright Night's excellent reviews couldn't help it as it fell 62% to just $3.10 million over the weekend and $14.28 million after two. Its per theater average dropped below $1000 and by next weekend it could be all but gone from theaters. One Day fell out of the top ten with just $2.52 million over the weekend for a total of $9.79 million. It might last long enough to match its $15 million production budget, but if it does so, it will be close.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Conan the Barbarian, One Day, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Colombiana, Fright Night, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, The Help, Our Idiot Brother