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21 Busts at the Box Office, But in a Good Way

April 1st, 2008

A mixed week at the box office, but the overall box office was a little higher than expected. That said, at $107 million the total was down 6% from last weekend. More importantly, it was down 16% from the same weekend last year. 2008 has fallen behind 2007's pace in terms of ticket sales and it up in terms of dollars by less than 1%, $2.12 billion to $2.11 billion. This lead might not hold up until the weekend.

21 had the best opening for gambling movie of all time, pulling in $24.11 million over the weekend. In fact, it has already earned more than Rounders, 2 For The Money, and many other such movies made in total. Its internal multiplier was a respectable 2.79, which shows moviegoers enjoyed the movie more than critics did, and it could match its production budget when all is said and done. Depending on how well it does overseas, it could show a profit before the home market.

Horton Hears a Who also topped expectations, adding $17.74 million over the weekend for a total of $117.59 million. This is the best run for the year so far, even compared to Juno's holdover earnings. At this point, $150 million, and a sequel, is likely.

On the other hand, Superhero Movie missed expectations and earned just $9.51 million during its opening weekend. It seems the better reviews a spoof earns, the weaker it performs at the box office, at least going by the relative performances of this film, Walk Hard, and Meet the Spartans. The poor reviews, the low per theater average, and the target demographic suggest a short stay in theaters. However, it was likely cheap enough that it will show a profit sometime during its home market run, especially with an Unrated DVD.

Meet the Browns collapsed over the weekend, down close to 63% to $7.48 million. Good news, it now has $32.55 million in total, which is very likely more than the film cost to make. Bad news, it appears that Tyler Perry is losing ground in his fight to expand his appeal to the masses. He may have 'typecast' his films beyond the point of no return. But if he can continue to pull in $40 to $50 million each time around, that's not a real issue.

As expected, Drillbit Taylor landed in fifth place with $5.71 million over the weekend for a total of $20.49 million after two.

Stop-Loss also matched expectations, at least the low end of expectations, earning $4.56 million during its opening weekend. Overall positive reviews were not enough to overcome the Iraq War theme and there's little hope most theater owners will keep the film any longer than they are contractually obligated to. Hopefully it will find an audience on the home market.

Ugh. I really wanted Run, Fat Boy, Run to be a surprise hit, but it just wasn't in the cards. Despite earning good reviews for a romantic comedy, it missed lowered expectations and earned just $2.34 million over the weekend, giving it a per theater average just over the Mendoza line. It was not an expensive film to make, and it has earned close to $25 million internationally so far, but this is a disappointing result.

Shutter was the only member of the sophomore class to not reach the top five as it landed in sixth place with $5.22 million for the weekend and $19.00 million in total. This is above expectations.


Filed under: Horton Hears a Who, Meet the Browns, Drillbit Taylor, Shutter, Superhero Movie, Stop-Loss, Run, Fatboy, Run, 21