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New Releases Can't Rite Sinking Box Office

January 31st, 2011

Twelve. The year-over-year slump has reached twelve weeks, and it won't be long before that story becomes the biggest news in the industry. (Thank goodness for Oscars, otherwise that would already be the case.) The final weekend of January pulled in $109 million, which was 6% higher than last weekend, but it was also 13% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 has managed $872 million, but that pales compared to the $1.15 billion 2010 had earned at this point. 2011 is already nearly $300 million behind last year's pace after just one month. And sadly, I'm not seeing a lot of reason for optimism over the next month either.

The Rite was able to overcome awful reviews, earning first place with $14.79 million. This is a little more than predicted, and assuming it didn't cost too much to make and advertise, it could be enough to show a profit sometime during its home market run. That said, it is still below Anthony Hopkins' wide release average, and it will likely struggle going forward due to its reviews / genre.

No Strings Attached held on better than expected, adding $13.41 million over the weekend for a total of $39.50 million after two. Does this have anything to do with Natalie Portman's Oscar nomination? Possibly. It did hold on better than its reviews would indicate, as a 32% drop-off is very strong, while its reviews were merely mixed. At this pace, $50 million by next weekend is virtually guaranteed, while $60 million to $70 million in total is an easy goal.

The Mechanic wasn't able to match my admittedly optimistic prediction, but third place with $11.42 million was better than the consensus. With better than expected reviews, it might get to $30 million in total. However, it will still need to perform internationally and on the home market if it is to break even.

The same is true of The Green Hornet, which added $11.18 million over the weekend for a total of $78.49 million after three. Granted, it is showing strong legs, and it will likely hit $100 million before its run is over, but the film cost a bundle to make.

The King's Speech grew more than 40% to $11.06 million over the weekend for a total of $72.18 million after two months of release. At this pace, $100 million is quite likely, and it isn't the only Oscar-nominated film that could reach that milestone.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Green Hornet, The Rite, The King’s Speech, The Mechanic, No Strings Attached