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Dragon Is a Winner, New Releases are Not

April 27th, 2010

It was not a particularly strong week at the box office, but that should surprise few people. Four of the top five films reached expectations or at least came within a rounding error of doing so. The overall box office brought in $100 million. This is 17% lower than last weekend and 12% lower than the same weekend last year. That said, 2010 still has a large lead over 2009 at $3.32 billion to $3.06 billion.

How to Train Your Dragon regained the top spot with $15.35 million over the weekend for a total of $178.35 million after a month of release. It will take a little more than a week to reach $200 million, which would make it the second film released this year to reach that milestone. It could match original expectations despite getting off to a slower than expected start.

The Back-up Plan beat expectations by finishing in second place, and this was within a rounding error of Thursday's prediction, but it is weak compared to the career average for Jennifer Lopez. Also, given its reviews, it is unlikely that the film will match original expectations. It will likely not reach its modest production budget. Maybe it will find a bigger audience on the home market.

Date Night came within a rounding error of Thursday's prediction, with $10.46 million. The film now has $63.33 million after 17 days of release. This is already enough to be considered a mid-level hit, while it should add another $20 million to its final figure. It should even overtake Mean Girls as Tina Fey's biggest hit.

It turns out that The Losers lived down to its name. Well, perhaps that's not quite fair. It did place fourth with $9.41 million during its opening weekend, which was lower than expectations. But the film only cost $25 million to make, so this isn't a bad start. Its reviews are acceptable for this type of film and while it might not match its production budget at the box office, it should eventually earn a profit sometime during its home market run.

Kick-Ass fell from first to fifth with $9.34 million over the weekend for a total of $34.71 million after two. The film has likely already surpassed original expectations and there's little doubt that it will show a profit sooner rather than later. The buzz was so high going in that many think it has under-performed, but I think a sequel is still likely. I do find it interesting that Chloe Grace Moretz's previous film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, will outperform this film at the box office.

The final wide release of the week is Oceans, although with a theater count of just 1206, it's not truly wide. It did open well, earning $2.47 million during its first day of release, enough for first place. However, over the weekend it fell to eighth place with $6.06 million, giving it a total of $8.53 million for its opening. Strong reviews and a good per theater average could help it last in theaters for a while, but there's little hope it will match Earth, it's predecessor.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we find Death at a Funeral in seventh place with $8.02 million over the weekend and $28.47 million after two. At this pace it should surpass original expectations by this time next week.


Filed under: Death at a Funeral, Date Night, The Losers, The Back-up Plan, How to Train Your Dragon, Kick-Ass, Oceans