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Island Alone at the Top

March 2nd, 2010

Overall, it was a solid weekend at the box office. While the new releases were not quite able to match expectations, holdovers were able to compensate, helping the overall box office to $119 million. This was down 11% from last weekend, but more importantly it was 6.9% higher than the same weekend last year. Ticket sales are still down by about 0.5%, but thanks to higher prices, 2010 is ahead of 2009 at $1.80 billion to $1.78 billion.

Shutter Island came within a rounding error of expectations, garnering $22.67 million. With a running tally of $75.54 million after ten days of release, the film will have no trouble becoming Martin Scorsese's third $100 million movie of his past four releases. (His only release that didn't reach $100 million was a concert / documentary film, Shine a Light, and those types of film are rarely box office hits.) Shutter Island might reach the $100 million milestone by this time next week, although Oscar night might hurt the box office numbers enough that it will have to wait a day or two more to get there.

According to its Tomatometer score, Cop Out is Kevin Smith's worst film. However, it is also his best opening film, pulling $18.21 million over the weekend for a solid second place debut. It is also one of Bruce Willis's best starts in the past... well... decade. Live Free or Die Hard had a better opening, but that was part of a franchise, so it had a major advantage coming out of the gate. Likewise, Over the Hedge opened better, but Bruce Willis was only supplying his voice, which has little bearing on his box office drawing power. Sin City was an ensemble film, while Ocean's Twelve and Full Throttle were cameos. You have to go all the way back to Unbreakable to find a film that relied on Bruce Willis as the star that opened with more than Cop Out. (As for Tracey Morgan, this is only his second starring role, and it certainly started faster than First Sunday.) Going forward, the movie will need strong international and home market sales to break even in the short term, which I wouldn't be willing to bet on. If it can make more than $50 million domestically, the studio can call it a midlevel hit and leave it at that.

The Crazies also did reasonably well, even if it did not match expectations. With an opening weekend of $16.07 million, it may have already earned more than it cost to make (reports vary) which means it is well on its way to profitability. Its reviews were strong. Very strong compared to most horror remakes. This could help its legs going forward. After all, those burned by bad remakes in the past might be waiting for strong word-of-mouth before buying tickets. That said, $50 million is likely out of the question, but if it can come close, the studio should be more than happy.

It's amazing how often Avatar has been able to beat expectations. It did so again this weekend, down a mere 16% to $13.66 million. Meanwhile, its running tally has topped $700 million and is currently at $706.56 million. It became the first film in history to reach $700 million domestically and with the Oscars happening this weekend, it has a chance of becoming the first to reach $800 million. For that to happen, it will practically need to sweep the nine awards it is up for.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief squeezed out fifth place over Valentine's Day, $9.58 million to $9.06 million. This left the latter less than $100,000 away from $100 million, a milestone it reached on Monday.


Filed under: Cop Out, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Shutter Island, The Crazies, Valentine's Day, Avatar