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Weekend Wrap-Up: Box Office Sends out an S.O.S.

August 22nd, 2011

Yuck. That's really all that needs to be said about the weekend box office. Outside of The Help, there are practically no positive stories to report. All four wide releases that opened this week missed expectations, some by significant margins, which led to a 20% collapse from last weekend. There was also a decline from last year, albeit by just 3%, which is actually an improvement on 2011's average. Year-to-date, 2011 is behind 2010 by just over 4% at $7.13 billion to $7.43 billion. There's little hope things will turn around next weekend.

The Help is quickly racing toward $100 million after dipping just 23% to $20.02 million over the weekend. It now has $71.34 million after just 12 days of release, while by the end of Labor Day long weekend, it should reach the century mark. Considering the film only cost $25 million to make, that will be enough to show a profit and it is very rare for a film to earn a profit just on its domestic theatrical run.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is also a financial success earning $16.12 million over the weekend for a total of $133.58 million after three. It cost just under $100 million to make and it is likely very close to topping its combined budget theatrically. It is very close to topping its domestic total internationally, so it is practically guaranteed to show a profit before it reaches the home market.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World was the best of the new limited releases, but it barely topped the low end of expectations with $11.64 million. It has no direct competition for a while, plus it only cost $27 million to make, so it won't need to stick around too long to top its production budget theatrically. On the other hand, the film has only managed 22% positive reviews, while its per theater average is low enough that it could see its theater count drop pretty quickly.

Conan the Barbarian was practically an unmitigated disaster opening in fourth place with just $10.02 million. Bad reviews and a low per theater average mean it will likely fade from theaters quickly. The film cost between $80 million and $90 million to make, and unless it is a surprising hit internationally, it might not match that figure worldwide. There's little reason to celebrate here.

Despite earning the best reviews of the weekend, Fright Night only managed fifth place with $8.11 million. It did cost just $30 million to make, but this was still a very weak opening. Given its reviews and its box office struggles, it is not hard to conclude this was a failure in marketing.

The final wide release of the week is One Day, but it barely grabbed a spot in the top ten with $5.08 million. (In fact, by Sunday it had fallen out of the top ten on the daily chart.) Its reviews won't help going forward and by Labor Day it could lose most of its theater count.

The sophomore class was quite crowded this weekend with Final Destination 5 in seventh place with $7.70 million over the weekend and $32.33 million after two. It is performing weaker than the franchise average, but not by so much that it is a disaster. 30 Minutes Or Less held on a little better down 52%, but it started slower, so it only managed $6.40 million over the weekend and $25.86 million after two. It is going to miss original expectations, but unless it was a lot more expensive to make that estimated, it still has a shot at breaking even. Glee Live 3D collapsed, down just a hair shy of 70% during its sophomore stint with $1.80 million over the past three days and $10.44 million after ten.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Conan the Barbarian, One Day, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 30 Minutes or Less, Fright Night, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, The Help, Final Destination 5, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie