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Competition Retreat from Weekend Race

October 8th, 2009

There is only one wide release coming out this week, but at least it's a saturation level release, so it should be a major player. In fact, it could make more than the two biggest releases this week last year made combined, which could help 2009 end its mini-slump on the year-over-year comparison.

Couples Retreat is opening in 3,000 theaters and there are no other new releases opening in more than 300 theaters, so it has the weekend all to itself as far as new releases go. But it is earning just 8% positive reviews. Ouch. Now granted, I wasn't expecting Oscar-worthy, but I was anticipating 40% to 60% positive reviews. Even the four positive reviews currently on Rotten Tomatoes have a lot of negative things to say about it. The film is predictable, undemanding, unoriginal, pedestrian, etc. It does have an impressive cast and the ads have been in heavy rotation, so it should do reasonably well during its first weekend of release. On the high end, it could earn over $30 million, but $27 million seems a little more likely at this point. Depending on how much the film cost to make, this could be enough to make the studio happy, even if word-of-mouth results is short legs.

Last weekend's winner, Zombieland, has shown good legs this week, and Wednesday's box office was down only 10% from Monday. This bodes well for its sophomore stint. With excellent reviews it should avoid a 50% drop-off and earning as much as $15 million isn't out of the question. Even if it is a little softer at between $13 and $14 million, which is what I'm going with, then it will have earned more than $45 million after just 10 days. This is enough to cover the film's production budget, even after taking into account the exhibitors' share of ticket sales. Depending on the film's P&A Budget, it could show a profit by the end of its run, if it beats expectations over this weekend. If not, it will still be on pace to show a profit sometime during its international run.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs should add another $11 million over the weekend to its running tally of $95 million. At this pace, there's no doubt it will reach $100 million at the box office, but with three wide releases next weekend, it will likely be bumped out of the top five before then.

Toy Story 3D - Double-Feature is halfway through its two-week limited run and so far it has made roughly $15 million. Look for $7 million to $8 million over the next three days and a total of close to $25 million by this time next week when it exits theaters.

After a better than expected opening for The Invention of Lying, Warner Bros. is looking for a better than average hold during it second weekend of release. Given its reviews, which are just below the overall positive level, it might have a little difficulty. That said, it could earn close to $4 million over the weekend for a total of $13 million after two. At this pace, the film will end with around $20 million in total ticket sales, which is hardly a huge number, but more than it cost to make.


Filed under: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Zombieland, Couples Retreat, The Invention of Lying