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Weekend Wrap-Up: Battleship Mothballed

May 21st, 2012

The Avengers continued its monster run and it crushed Battleship, The Dictator, and What to Expect When You're Expecting. In fact, The Avengers made more than the three new releases made combined. This is partially due to the film's strong hold, but in large part due to the newcomers' weaknesses, and this led to a 16% decline from last week to $143 million. Unfortunately, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides didn't show this weakness when it opened and the overall box office was a 15% lower than this weekend last year. 2012 still has a massive 16% lead over 2011 at $4.03 billion to $3.49 billion. Hopefully this is just a momentary blip and 2012 gets back to its winning ways very soon.

As expected, The Avengers earned $55.64 million over the weekend, which lifted its running tally to $457.66 million. This was the second best third weekend of all time, behind Avatar. It was also enough to lift the film into sixth place on the All Time chart, just behind Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope. By the time you read this, it will likely be in fifth place. This time next week, it will be just the fourth film to earn $500 million and on pace to match The Dark Knight domestically. (It is already ahead of that film worldwide.)

I mentioned before the weekend a theory on why Battleship might have done well internationally and why that success might not translate into success domestically. It looks like that theory was correct, as the film only managed $25.53 million. That's weaker than John Carter opened with earlier in the year. That's weaker than Dark Shadows managed last week. For a film that cost more than $200 million, that is just not acceptable. The reviews slipped a little to just 36% positive, which suggests short legs. I think after Candyland comes out, there won't be another movie based on a board game for a while.

The Dictator didn't quite live up to pre-weekend predictions earning $17.44 million over the weekend for a total opening of $24.48 million. This is the weakest of the three Sacha Baron Cohen / Larry Charles collaborations, but not a bad start given its $65 million production budget. Its reviews are good, but not great, while its legs should be rather average. It should come close to matching its production budget domestically, while breaking even sometime on the home market is a reasonable goal at this point.

Dark Shadows fell 58% to just $12.58 million over the weekend for a total of $50.72 million after two. It might get to $75 million domestically, while it is performing better internationally, and could break even sometime early in its home market run.

Ensemble relationship comedies really need to take a break. What to Expect When You're Expecting only managed fifth place with just $10.55 million. This is less than half of what I was expecting at the beginning of the month and unless it cost a lot less to make than expected, it won't make a profit any time soon.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Battleship, The Avengers, John Carter, Dark Shadows, The Dictator, What to Expect When You're Expecting