Follow us on

Better than Normal

October 25th, 2010

I'm not willing to say the slump is over after just one weekend, but we did finally see some real positive signs over the weekend. Not only did the number one film top expectations, but no film in the top five really flopped. In fact, only one film in the top ten fell more than 33.6%. Overall the box office was down 2% from last week earning $129 million; however, it was up by 12% over the same weekend last year, which is far more important. A double-digit increase in the year-over-year comparison was pretty commonplace earlier in the year, so hopefully this is a portent of things to come, and not just a momentary blip. Year-to-date 2010 has now earned $8.65 billion giving it a 3.4% lead over 2009's running tally of $8.37 billion.

As expected, Paranormal Activity 2 opened in first place, but it was unexpectedly strong with an opening of $40.68 million, making it just the fifth October release to open with more than $40 million at the box office. It also earned more in three days than Paranormal Activity earned in four weeks. On the other hand, while its reviews are quite good for the genre, they are significantly weaker than the original's reviews were. Add in Sequelitis, and there's almost no chance it will have the same legs, so reaching $100 million might be out of reach. We will have a much better idea of the film's long term chances by this time next week.

The only film in the top ten to see its weekend numbers plummet was Jackass 3D, which fell 58% to $21.31 million over the weekend. However, that still lifted its running tally to $86.86 million after ten days, meaning that by this time next weekend it should be the first film in the franchise to reach $100 million. Assuming it didn't cost too much more to make / distribute than the previous films, then it has likely already showed a profit.

Red held on extremely well down a mere 31% to $15.03 million over the weekend and $43.52 million after two. By this time next week, it will top originally expectations, while in the end it will very likely top even the high end of production budget estimates. Assuming it does respectable business internationally, it is well on its way to profitability.

Judging Hereafter's performance so far is a little tough. On the one hand, earning $12.02 million during its first weekend in wide release isn't great. On the other hand, it was playing in just 2,181 theaters, which is barely enough to be considered a truly wide release. It also earned more than Invictus did during its opening weekend, while it is almost as much as Million Dollar Baby managed during its peak. On the other hand, the reviews are split almost perfectly down the middle, so it is unlikely to have great legs, which makes original expectations much more difficult to reach.

The Social Network added $7.28 million over the past three days for a total of $72.91 million. With a sub-30% drop-off over the weekend, $100 million in total remains a possibility, especially once Awards Season starts in earnest.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Paranormal Activity 2, The Social Network, Red, Hereafter, Jackass 3D