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New Releases go to Town

September 20th, 2010

It was a good news / bad news weekend at the box office. On the one hand, the overall numbers bounced back from last weekend up 23% to $101 million. On the other hand, they were down from the same weekend last year, albeit by less than 1%. Year-to-date, 2010 still has a lead on 2009 at $7.94 billion to $7.64 billion. As long as 2010 can avoid double-digit declines from now till the rest of the year, it should finish with the lead, at least in terms of raw dollars. On the other hand, it is behind in ticket sales by 1.7%, and I don't know if it will be able to turn that around.

I wonder if Ben Affleck is thinking about becoming a director full time? His second directorial effort, The Town, opened in first place with $23.81 million over the weekend, which is more than his first film, Gone, Baby, Gone, made in total. Additionally, its reviews improved over the weekend and it is now one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year and I wouldn't be too surprised if it started earning some Awards Season buzz. As for the film's future, let's hope it has long legs, but it won't need to last long to top its reported $37 million production budget.

Easy A wasn't quite as successful at the box office or with critics, but it's safe to say its a midlevel hit at the box office, while is was a monster hit with critics. It opened in second place with $17.73 million while its Tomatometer Score is an impressive 85% positive. If it has the legs to reach $50 million, which will be tough, but possible, it will be a solid midlevel hit. Regardless, I think the studio should be happy with the first three days.

Devil opened in third place with $12.29 million during the weekend, which is acceptable, especially for this time of year. Likewise, it's Tomatometer Score of 39% positive is hardly going to be a major selling point for most people, but it is well above what some were expecting. With a production budget that was reported at just $10 million, it's hard to think the studio isn't happy with this start, and even with short legs, it will likely show a profit sooner rather than later.

As expected, Resident Evil: Afterlife fell more than 60% landing in fourth place with $10.00 million over the weekend, lifting its total to $43.89 million after two. By this time next week, it will be the biggest hit in the franchise, at least domestically. Worldwide it might already be there. (But more on that on Wednesday.)

Alpha & Omega showed Lionsgate wasn't quite ready to enter the big leagues when it comes to CG films. Weak reviews and a lack of buzz left the film in fifth place with $9.11 million during its opening weekend. Normally, kids movies have strong legs at the box office, but the aforementioned weak reviews, plus the strong competition will probably mean that won't be the case this time around. That said, with a production budget pegged at $20 million, it should still make enough to be profitable some time during its home market run.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Resident Evil: Afterlife, The Town, Alpha and Omega 3D, Devil, Easy A