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21 on a Winning Streak

April 8th, 2008

It was a softer than expected weekend at the box office, and expectations were no strong to begin with. Overall the box office brought in $95 million, which was down 11% from last year. More importantly, it was down a staggering 23% from the same weekend last year. Even worse, 2008 is now behind 2007's pace $2.24 billion to $2.28 billion.

Weaker than expected competition helped 21 hold stronger than expected and this combination lead to it repeating as box office champion. Over the weekend the film added $15.34 million and now has a running tally of $46.77 million, which is good news for a film with a reported production budget that was higher than expected. The film should get to $75 million before the end of its run, which would make it a solid midlevel hit, while it should earn a profit sometime during its initial push into the home market.

Nim's Island finished within a rounding error of Thursday's predictions pulling in $13.21 million in 3513 theaters. That was the best of the three wide releases, but it was also the widest release so this is not a good reason to brag. Also, the low per theater average will likely result in shorter legs than average for a film with the same target audience, while the reviews are more or less average and will not have a major effect either way. I expect the film to finish with $40 million, more or less, which is still a disappointing result, but at least it was not an outright bomb.

Speaking of disappointing, Leatherheads earned the best reviews of the three wide releases, and top 50% positive which is rare for a romantic comedy. Combined with George Clooney on both sides of the camera and many people had high hopes for the film. However, it started out weaker than expected on Friday and slipped during the weekend ending in third place with $12.68 million. At this point, the best is can hope for is finding an audience on the home market, because even with good legs, it is unlikely that the movie will match original expectations.

Horton Hears a Who placed fourth, as expected, but earned just $9.12 million, which was lower than expected. That said, overall the film has already made $131.08 million at the box office, which is $40 million more than the second best 2008 release and $15 million more than the second best earner of the year.

The Ruins was expected to earn $8 million over the weekend and it earned $8.00 million. Talk about accuracy! The reviews were better than expected given the to lack of reviews on Thursday; however, it still has to deal with a genre that has not been known to produce long legs. Additionally, its per theater average is south of $3000, so there's little hope it will last in theaters long and $20 million could be out of the question.

The final wide release of the week wasn't a wide release at all, however, there were more than a few analysts that thought Shine a Light could reach the top ten. In reality, it fell short of lower expectations earning $1.49 million, but that was in only 276 theaters for a per theater average of over $5000. This is not enough to expect expansion, but more than enough to make theater owners happy. Add in some of the best reviews of the week, and it could last long enough to make the studio happy.

Continuing onto the sophomore class, Superhero! landed in sixth place with $5.42 million, which was down only 43% from its opening while its total rose to $16.90 million. On the other hand, Stop-Loss was down just over 50% to $2.27 million for the weekend and $8.17 million in total. Run, Fat Boy, Run had the best hold of the weekend down just 42%, but that was a case of way too little, way too late as it only managed $1.37 million over the weekend for a 10-day total of $4.43 million.


Filed under: Horton Hears a Who, Nim's Island, Leatherheads, Superhero Movie, The Ruins, Stop-Loss, Run, Fatboy, Run, Shine a Light, 21