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Dragon Tops Mixed Box Office

March 30th, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon became the third 3D film to top the box office this year, but its opening didn't match my lofty expectations. Additionally, the rest of the box office wasn't able to compensate and that left the overall box office a little on the soft side. On a positive note, it did rise 1.7% from last weekend to $129 million. On the negative side, that represents a 12% decline from the same weekend last year, ending 2010's winning streak at four weeks. Year-to-date, 2010 has pulled in $2.59 billion at the box office. This figure is still 8.9% higher than the same point last year, which is fantastic.

How to Train Your Dragon opened in first place with $43.73 million, which was on the low end of expectations and about $16 million behind Monsters vs. Aliens' opening from last year. This decline happened despite more 3D screens (and thus higher average ticket prices) and Oscar-worthy reviews. Amazingly, the reviews actually improved over the weekend and they are now 97% positive. Hopefully the word-of-mouth helps the film last a long time in theaters. Even so, I don't think it will reach $200 million. $150 million might be out of reach. On the other hand, next February this movie could get a boost on the home market thanks to an Oscar win. If it doesn't at least earn an Oscar nomination, I will be absolutely stunned.

Despite losing many of its 3D screens to How to Train Your Dragon, Alice in Wonderland held on well, adding $17.71 million over the weekend for a total of $293.53 million after four. Granted, that was a 48% decline from last weekend, but it could have been worse. By this time next week it will be the first film from 2010 to reach $300 million.

Hot Tub Time Machine opened in third place with $14.02 million, which was on the low end of expectations. It still had a solid start, while "solid" is an apt term to describe the film's reviews, its per theater average, its internal multiplier, etc. This won't be a major hit, but it should be able to top its production budget domestically and earn a profit sometime on the home market.

Despite earning the weakest reviews in the top ten, The Bounty Hunter held on better than expected, adding $12.01 million over the weekend for a total of $38.42 million after two. It should finish with between $60 million and $70 million, which would make it a midlevel hit. Given the movie's star power, it should have performed better. But given its reviews, it should have done a lot worse.

Rounding out the top five was Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Direct competition was too much for the movie, as it was down over 50% to $10.12 million over the weekend for a total of $35.90 million after two. This is a faster decline than its reviews and target demographic would suggest. However, it has already made roughly twice what it cost to make, so it is well on its way to profitability.

Moving onto the sophomore class we find Repo Men sitting in ninth place with $3.01 million over the weekend and $11.30 million after two. Given its week-to-week decline and its anemic per theater average, it could lose half of its theaters this Friday.


Filed under: Repo Men, Hot Tub Time Machine, Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Bounty Hunter