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Weekend Wrap-Up: Box Office gets a Little Help

August 16th, 2011

While three of the four wide releases that opened this week missed expectations, the one that beat expectations did so by enough that we can still say the box office was a success pulling in $155 million. That was off by 7% when compared to last weekend, but more importantly it was 8% higher than the same weekend last year. The year-over-year winning streak has hit five weeks, while 2010's lead over 2011 has shrunk to just a hair over $300 million at $7.23 billion to $6.93 billion. Should 2011 continue its recent winning ways, the total box office should reach $10 billion for the year and perhaps show a little growth over 2010 in the end.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes remained on top of the box office, as most expected it to do. However, it did so with a surprisingly robust box office of $27.83 million, giving it $105.21 million after two weeks of release. With a sophomore drop-off of less than 50% and more than $100 million in just ten days, the film should have no trouble hitting $150 million domestically. In fact, with no major competition, it could top than mark by a significant degree and it could break even before it reaches the home market.

Because it opened on Wednesday, most people didn't expect The Help to do particularly well over the weekend. However, it came very close to usurping Rise of the Planet of the Apes's box office crown with $26.04 million over the weekend and $35.92 million since Wednesday. With great reviews and an A+ Cinemascore, this film could have amazing legs and reaching $100 million is certainly not out of the question. In fact, given this start and its target demographic, $100 million is likely.

On the other hand, Final Destination 5 was a flat out disappointment with $18.03 million. This was more than a third less than the opening of The Final Destination, despite earning better reviews. I doubt the film's legs will be enough to make up the difference, but assuming it didn't cost a crazy amount to make and it does well internationally, it should still earn a profit sooner rather than later.

The Smurfs landed in fourth place with $13.73 million over the weekend and $101.78 million after three. By this time next week, it will have topped its production budget domestically, while it has already made more internationally than it has domestically. The only way this won't reach profitability either very early in its home market run, or sooner, is if something really strange happens (lawsuit, act of God, etc.).

On the other hand, unless 30 Minutes Or Less was cheaper than expected or performs really well internationally, it could be in trouble. The film opened with just $13.33 million over the weekend landing in fifth place. Its reviews started out okay, but have since weakened to just 45% positive, the weakest out of the four wide releases. The director's previous film, Zombieland, failed to make much of an impact internationally, and I'm afraid that will be the case here. Maybe it will find an audience on the home market.

The final wide release of the week was Glee Live 3D, which missed the top ten with just $5.96 million. The film's reviews's weren't bad, so it is a little surprising so few Glee fans showed up. Maybe 3D concert films are just no longer a draw. Or maybe this is a portent for the upcoming season's ratings.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we find The Change-Up in tenth place with $6.31 million over the past three days and $25.84 million after ten. It's week-to-week drop-off of 53% wasn't bad, but it's start was so low it doesn't matter.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Smurfs, The Change-Up, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 30 Minutes or Less, The Help, Final Destination 5, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie