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Hall Passes, But Barely

February 28th, 2011

February ended in the same position it has been for nearly the entire year, on the losing end of the comparison to 2010. The post-holiday drop-off was steep at 25% leaving the weekend box office at just $109 million. This was 9% lower than the same weekend last year. Normally, a 9% drop-off year-over-year would be devastating, but that's actually better than 2011 has averaged so far. Year-to-date it is now 21% lower than 2010's pace at $1.53 billion to $1.93 billion.

Hall Pass won the race for top spot at the box office, but it was very, very close with just $13.54 million. This was lower than Thursday's predictions and below the Farrelly Brothers's career average. With review that are only mediocre, its legs likely won't be enough to save the film and it will be another miss for the pair.

Gnomeo and Juliet just missed out on first place with $13.40 million, but while Hall Pass won the weekend, Gnomeo and Juliet will be able to console itself with its running tally of $74.33 million. At this pace, $100 million is practically guaranteed, which could make it the first film of 2011 to get to that milestone. Not bad for a film that was expected to make less than half that.

Unknown finished within a rounding error of expectations with $12.57 million over the weekend for a total of $42.98 million after two. The film earned better than average reviews and a sophomore drop-off of about 42% is encouraging. It's not going to match Taken, but it could hits $75 million, which should be enough to make the studio happy.

I Am Number Four held on better than expected adding $11.02 million over the weekend for a total of $37.72 million after two. However, this is a case of too little, too late. Granted, it will match its $50 million production budget relatively soon and if it does as well internationally as it has done domestically, it will show a profit sometime on the home market, but that's probably not enough to convince the studio to turn the film into a franchise.

Just Go With It remained in the top five for one more weekend with $10.53 million. With a running tally of $78.79 million after seventeen days of release, the film is on pace to reach $100 million, barely, which would make it Adam Sandlers' twelfth such film in his career and the ninth film of his to reach the century mark out of the last twelve he's made. It's hard to argue with that record at the box office and he might be the most reliable star out there.

On the other hand, there's Nicolas Cage, whose box office record is about as erratic as they get. Drive Angry was his latest starring role, but it bombed and bombed hard, opening in ninth place with $5.19 million in 2290 theaters for an average of just $2,265. Theater owners will be looking to drop this film as soon as they are contractually obligated. This result is hard to explain, as the reviews were not that bad. Perhaps people burned by Season of the Witch decided to stay away this time.

Moving on to the sophomore class, we find Big Momma's: Like Father Like Son in seventh place with $7.62 million over the past three days for a total of $28.65 million after ten. With the worst drop-off in the top ten, there's little hope for the film's chances going forward, while the franchise is surely dead.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Gnomeo and Juliet, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Drive Angry, I am Number Four, Just Go With It, Unknown, Hall Pass