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Tangled Snares the Competition

December 6th, 2010

The past weekend brought very little holiday cheer and the box office plummeted more than 50% from last weekend to just $86 million. To be fair, this was a post-holiday weekend, so that decline was expected, if a little more extreme than we would like. However, it was 13% lower than the same weekend last year and there's no way to sugarcoat that. Year-to-date 2010 still has a lead over 2009, but that lead is now under 2% at $9.78 billion to $9.63 billion. This means in less than a month 2010's lead has been cut in half. This is not a good sign going forward.

As expected, Tangled climbed into top spot at the box office with $21.61 million over the weekend for a total of $96.57 million. Depending on how well the film's direct competition does over the next couple weeks, it could last long enough in theaters to get a significant boost at the box office. Regardless, $150 million is a reasonable goal and assuming it does equally well internationally, then it should eventually show a profit. That's not bad for a movie that was partway done before being scrapped and started from scratch. I don't know how much of the film's $260 million production budget is the result of that restart, but it is likely significant.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I fell even faster than expected to $17.02 million over the weekend for a total of $244.52 million after three. I'm no longer sure it will reach $300 million. The last Harry Potter film to open in the fall was The Goblet of Fire. At this point in its run it has made $229.27 million while it finished with $290.01 million. Simply adding $60 million to Deathly Hallows: Part I's running tally, the amount Goblet earned after this point in its run, would give Deathly more than $300 million. However, Goblet earned more during its third weekend of release. Hopefully it will recover from now on and the holidays will give it the boost it will need to reach $300 million, but I think it will fall just short.

Burlesque held on better than expected, climbing a spot to third with $6.13 million over the weekend for a total of $26.99 million after two. At this point, it is becoming a midlevel hit, but it will need to do well internationally before it will show any profit.

Unstoppable also climbed a spot hitting fourth with $5.97 million over the weekend for a running tally of $68.76 million. Unfortunately, its per theater average suggests it will be shedding a lot of theaters very shortly, especially with direct competition opening this Friday. It's going to need to be a hit on the home market to break even.

Love and Other Drugs climbed into the top five over the weekend with $5.65 million for a total of $22.57 million. This is below expectations, but it is closing in on its production budget, so assuming it does respectable business internationally and on the home market, it should break even sooner rather than later.

Not only did The Warrior's Way not reach the top five, it only managed ninth place with $3.05 million in 1622 theaters for an average of $1,880. Since it missed the Mendoza Line, and its theater count isn't very high to begin with, there's a real chance it will be all but gone by Christmas. That's too bad, as its reviews are better than expected. It's not earning overall postive reviews, or even better than 50% positive reviews, but I was worried it would be a disaster in that regard as well.

Looking in on the sophomore class, the only such film to fail to reach the top five was Faster with just $3.93 million over the weekend and $18.22 million in total. Good news, it is closing in on its production budget of $24 million. Bad news, the studio sold some international rights to Sony for half the budget cost, which means it won't have as many opportunities to break even.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Tangled, Burlesque, Faster, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Unstoppable, Love and Other Drugs, The Warrior's Way, The Tourist