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Zero to Seventy is Three Days

April 7th, 2009

Fast and Furious broke records over the weekend and helped take the overall box office to $155 million. That's 6% more than last weekend, and 62% than the same weekend last year. Stunning. Overall, 2009 has managed $2.57 billion, which is 14% ahead of last year's pace.

Fast & Furious earned $70.95 million and beat almost all expectations while setting records for biggest April weekend and biggest April day. Granted, the reviews were weak, and by Sunday the film had lost nearly 50% of its daily box office, which doesn't bode well for its future. That said, the studio is likely already working on a fifth film for the franchise, and possible a sixth one as well.

While Fast & Furious embarrassed most analysts, Monsters vs. Aliens matched expectations nearly perfectly with $32.61 million over the weekend for a total of $104.80 million. The film became the fourth film of 2009 to reach the century mark, doing so in just ten days, which is half as long as the previous three films that managed that feat. With strong reviews and a younger target demographic, it should last in theaters longer than most film have managed this year, and it could become the biggest hit of the year so far.

The Haunting in Connecticut also matched expectations nearly perfectly with $9.48 million over the past three days and $37.17 million after ten. The film managed to avoid a 60% drop-off, which sadly feels like a victory given how fast some other major releases have fallen during their sophomore stint this year. I think it will start shedding theaters this weekend and by the end of April will be a distant memory, but it has already made enough to guarantee a profit, and it is only a matter of when it does so.

Knowing placed fourth with $8.15 million, which was a hair over Thursday's prediction. Meanwhile its total of $58.22 million makes it a solid mid-level hit. Depending on how much it cost to make, it is well on its way to being profitable.

Likewise with I Love You, Man, which added $7.72 million over the weekend for a total of $49.16 million after three. You would have a hard time convincing me this film cost more than $50 million to make, and even with limited prospects internationally, profitability is assured.

There was only one film that disappointed over the weekend, and it was Adventureland. Despite earning some of the best reviews of the year, the film struggled to reach the lower end of expectations and finished in sixth place with $5.72 million. The only good news is the film's budget, which is estimated at $20 million. It won't match that theatrically, but the film should have a easier time attracting viewers on the home market.

Moving on to the sophomore class, there was only one film that didn't reach the top five, which was 12 Rounds. This film fell nearly 58% to $2.26 million over the weekend for a total of $8.98 million after two. With a sub-$1,000 per theater average, I expect a huge drop-off in theaters on Friday, but this is still not as bad as it could have been. And given its target audience, I suspect it will perform better on the home market.

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Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, Fast & Furious, Knowing, I Love You, Man, The Haunting in Connecticut, Adventureland, 12 Rounds