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Weekend Wrap-up: First Place for First Class, But Will It Last?

June 6th, 2011

It wasn't exactly a disappointing weekend at the box office, but we did see the overall box office fall closer to the low end of expectations. With $160 million over the weekend, the box office was down 28% from the Friday-through-Sunday portion of the Memorial Day long weekend. However, it was up 24% from this weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 now has pulled in $4.23 billion, compared to $4.55 billion for last year. 2011 is still in a massive hole, but at least there's a chance we can close the gap, while reaching $10 billion in total for the year has become a lot more likely.

X-Men: First Class opened on the low end of expectations with $55.10 million over the weekend, which was the weakest debut for the franchise since the first film. Going by ticket sales, it is the weakest film in the franchise. Granted, its reviews are excellent and that should help with the word-of-mouth; however, it also has to deal with the Fanboy effect, and historically the latter has won that battle. The film might have to wait till the home market to break even, and it will have to rely on better international numbers to get there.

As expected, The Hangover 2 fell fast during its second weekend of release, but it still placed second with $31.38 million over the weekend lifting its running tally to $185.81 million after two. This is less than the first film made during its sophomore stint, so clearly legs will not be this film's strength. That said, but this time next week, it will cross the $200 million mark, and it will become the biggest hit of the year, so far.

Kung Fu Panda 2 matched expectations nearly perfectly with $23.89 million over the weekend and $100.03 million after two. At this pace, crossing $150 million should be pretty easy to do, and while it should have no trouble earning a profit sometime on its home market run, if not sooner, the studio is likely to be at least a little disappointed at the film's performance.

Likewise, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides fell to $17.95 million over the weekend giving the film $190.20 million after three. It's another case of a blockbuster film doing exceptionally well at the box office, but still failing to live up to expectations. Given the results of the top four film, one has to wonder if the industry's reliance on franchises is starting to hurt? They tend to be expensive to make, and if the returns decline, they might not be worth it for long.

Bridesmaids made it to $100 million on Saturday, the tenth film of 2011 to reach that milestone, and now sits at $107.17 million after a $12.04 million weekend haul. Even with the post-holiday market, it still fell just 27.25% and at this pace, $150 million is not out of the question.

Midnight in Paris slipped a spot to eighth, but gave Fast Five a scare with $2.77 million in just 147 theaters. It's total of $6.80 million puts it ahead of Mighty Aphrodite in Wood Allen's career. And given its per theater average, its reviews, and its planned expansion this coming weekend, it should have no trouble overtaking many more films.

Speaking of Fast Five, it became the first film released in 2011 to hit $200 million at the box office and now leads the pack with $201.98 million. By comparison, this time last year, we had three $200 million hits, including Alice in Wonderland, which had already surpassed $300 million.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, La Demoiselle d'honneur, The Hangover Part II, Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five, Midnight in Paris, X-Men: First Class