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New Releases were Hardly Working

September 7th, 2010

There was some good news and some bad news this weekend. On the one hand, none of the new releases were able to live up to expectations, which resulted in a 6% drop-off from last weekend to $106 million. On the other hand, that was over 7% more than the same weekend last year. Throw in Monday's numbers and Labor Day 2010 earned $133 million, 6% ahead of 2009. Year-to-date, 2010 extended its lead over 2009 to 4.2% at $7.71 billion to $7.37 billion.

Of the three wide releases, The American came the closest to matching expectations and that helped it earn first place with $13.18 million from Friday through Sunday, $16.66 million including Monday, and $19.81 million since Wednesday. With reviews that are good, especially for this time of year, it could have respectable legs and become a solid midlevel hit. With its international setting, it should do well in Europe, while as long as it didn't cost a stupid amount of money to make, it will show a profit sooner rather than later.

Machete again showed internet buzz and excellent reviews in no way guarantee a film will succeed. Granted, it wasn't a total failure earning second place with $11.42 million over three days and $14.10 million over four. With a reported production budget of $25 million, it should be able to show a profit sometime during its home market run, especially if it comes out on an Unrated DVD / Blu-ray. Additionally, it is on par with the opening of Grindhouse, so the studio shouldn't be surprised by this result.

Takers was down 47% during the three-day portion of the weekend adding $10.88 million from Friday to Sunday and $13.54 million adding in Monday. After 11 days of release, the movie has made $39.99 million, which could be twice what it cost to make. Even with little international drawing power, profitability is all but assured.

The Last Exorcism saw its weekend numbers plummet 64% to just $7.34 million from Friday to Sunday. However, With $8.75 million from Friday through Monday, the film already has $33.52 million after just 11 days of release on a production budget of just under $2 million. Even with its P&A budget, it is very close to profitability already. Assuming it hits the home market just in time for Halloween and its reviews translate into sales, it will be a huge boon for the studio.

The final film in the top five was Going the Distance, bombed with just $6.88 million / $8.51 million. Its per theater average over the three-day weekend was barely above the Mendoza Line. Strangely, while its box office numbers were much weaker than expected, its reviews recovered and it nearly managed more positive reviews than negative ones. That said, word-of-mouth will likely not matter, as theater owners will want to drop this films as soon as they are contractually allowed.

One last note at the box office, The Other Guys reached $100 million just before the weekend, while it likely won't be the last summer film to do so, as The Expendables is showing much better legs than expected and should get there eventually.


Filed under: Going the Distance, Takers, The Other Guys, The American, The Last Exorcism