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Greed is Good, But Not Great

September 27th, 2010

While none of the three new releases were able to live up to expectations, the holdovers did more than just hold their own, which helped the overall box office pull in $101 million over the weekend. This was nearly identical to last week, while it was higher than the same weekend last year by 4.5% and that helped 2010 maintain its lead over 2009. Currently 2010 is ahead of 2009 by a nearly 4% margin at $8.07 billion to $7.76 billion. Losing a $300 million lead in just three months would be impressive in its ineptitude, but we can't be too quick to claim victory. After all, Avatar made almost as much during the last two weeks of 2009 and there's nothing opening for the rest of 2010 that can compensate for that much at the box office.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps wasn't able to live up to Thursday's prediction, but it still grabbed top spot with $19.01 million over the weekend. By comparison, the original took about three weeks to get that far. Obviously 23 years of inflation helped the sequel immensely, so much so that the comparison is mostly just a point of interest. The reviews stabilized at 55% positive, which is enough to assume it won't collapse over the coming weeks, but not enough that word-of-mouth will be a major selling point. That said, for this time of year, this is a strong start and any amount of legs push the film to a midlevel hit, while matching original expectations is still a reasonable goal.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole was also softer than expected with an opening of $16.11 million, which was barely enough for second place. Mixed reviews will neither help nor hurt the film, but the lack of direct competition likely will be a big help. (There isn't another kids movie opening wide till Megamind debuts in November.) On the other hand, the film was an expensive one to make and there is little to no chance it will match its production budget domestically. Maybe if it shows strong internationally, as well as on the home market, it will show a profit, eventually.

Amazing, The Town held on even better than expected down just 34.45% adding $15.61 million during its second weekend of release for a total of $48.69 million. At this point, one can not rule out a long run in theaters and serious Awards Season contention. If it does start winning awards, look for a re-release at the beginning of next year to coincide with the Oscars, which would make $100 million a lot more likely. If Ben Affleck can direct another movie like this, we'll forgive him for Gigli.

Easy A didn't quite open as well as predicted last weekend, but this weekend it held on a lot better down almost exactly 40% to $10.60 million over the past three days for a ten-day total of $32.71 million. This was a film that cost a tiny amount to make, so it likely already made more domestically than it cost to make, advertise, and distribute. With impressive reviews, it could continue to show strong legs for many more weeks, and since it has already made more than original expectations, the studio has to be very happy.

On the other hand, Disney continues its feast or famine year with yet another dud. You Again debuted in fifth place with a mere $8.41 million. For Kristen Bell it was her weakest live-action wide opening since Pulse. And with devastating reviews, it's not going to get any better going forward.

There were two sophomore films that failed to reach the top five, but both held on relatively well. Devil was down just 46% to $6.61 million over the weekend for a total of $21.86 million after two. Given the film's genre and its reviews, I was expecting worse. Alpha & Omega had the worst week-to-week performance of the sophomore films, but it was down just 48% to $4.74 million over the weekend for a total of $15.16 million after two. Direct competition clearly hurt, but its reviews didn't help.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, You Again, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, The Town, Alpha and Omega 3D, Devil, Easy A