Follow us on

Weekend Wrap-Up: Tale Tall During Sophomore Stint

October 3rd, 2011

It was a good news / bad news weekend and the box office. First the bad news. Only one of the four new wide releases made any real impact and this led to a 16% drop-off from last weekend to just $99 million. The good news is that's still 4% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010 by 3% at $7.99 billion to $8.27 billion, but at least there's a little hope left that we can turn things around, if October beats expectations.

Thanks to an excellent hold, Dolphin Tale has already matched its production budget after just ten days in release. It was down just 27% to $13.91 million over the weekend for a total $37.18 million after two. With excellent reviews and a target audience that's clearly drawn to the movie, it will have no trouble breaking even early in its home market run, and that's if it doesn't do well internationally. Its first big test internationally comes next weekend when it opens in the U.K. If it is a hit there, then it could show a profit even sooner.

Moneyball was down just 38% to $12.03 million over the weekend and $38.00 million after two. By this time next weekend, it should match its $50 million production budget at the box office, and while its international prospects are more limited, it is still well on its way to reaching profitability.

The Lion King fell 52% over the weekend to $10.62 million. Given this decline, it is likely that the target audience is no longer families but adult animation aficionados. While the decline makes reaching $100 million during the film's re-release a lot more difficult, it has already reached $400 million in total and currently sits tenth on the all-time chart.

The first new release of the weekend was Courageous, which was a surprise entrant in the top five with an opening weekend of $9.06 million, which is a lot more than the $2 million it cost to make. Its reviews are bad, but the target audience likely won't care. On the other hand, it could behave like a niche market film and collapse next weekend. I don't think this is likely, as Fireproof had good legs, and it's not like there's another film for the target audience to jump to.

50/50 grabbed fifth place with $8.64 million. One can always hope its award-worthy reviews will help the film's legs, but realistically, its $3,517 per theater average suggests the film won't last in theaters long enough for that to happen. It's always disappointing when a film can't live up to its Tomatometer Score at the box office, but hopefully it will find an audience on the home market.

On the other hand, Dream House did live down to its Tomatometer Score with an opening of $8.13 million. Granted, it wasn't the worse wide release of the month, but at just 7% positive, its reviews certainly won't be a selling point. Add in a weak per theater average, and theater owners will be looking to drop the film very fast.

Anna Faris is talented enough to be the star of a hit comedy, but What's Your Number? isn't it. In fact, the film opened below the Mendoza line with just $5.42 million in 3,002 theaters for an average of just $1,806. Granted, its reviews are weak, but not that weak.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we find Abduction in seventh place down 49% to $5.61 million. Its total after ten days is just $19.10 million, but it should at least come close to the $35 million it cost to make. The Killer Elite fell to ninth place down 47% to $4.92 million. With just $17.50 million so far, there is no chance it will match the $70 million it cost to make, but at least the distributor only had to cover P&A for the domestic rights.

One final note, Bad Teacher crossed the $100 million milestone over the weekend, making it the 22nd film of the year to do so. It might not be the last summer blockbuster to reach the century mark, as Cowboys & Aliens is less than half a million dollars away.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Lion King, Dolphin Tale, Bad Teacher, Abduction, Dream House, What's Your Number?, Moneyball, Killer Elite, Courageous, 50/50