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Monsters Take Down All Competition

March 31st, 2009

It was an amazing weekend at the box office as all six films on this list beat expectations. Granted, some times that was by the smallest of margins, but after two down weeks in a row we will take all the good news we can. Speaking of good news, the overall box office shot up by 39% from last weekend to $146 million. More importantly, that was 38% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has now pulled in $2.38 billion, which is 12% higher than last year's pace. With April of '08 starting slowly, we have a great chance to extend the lead this coming weekend.

Monsters vs. Aliens crushed the competition and beat most analysts expectations with $59.32 million over the weekend, which was the biggest opening of the year so far. Also of note, Media by Numbers reports that the film earned 56% of its box office on the 28% of total screens where it was playing in 3-D. This means the film's per screen average was nearly five times higher on 3-D than 2-D. If that doesn't convince more theater owners to make the jump to 3-D, nothing will. As for the film's long term chances, its reviews are currently 71% positive, which is enough to be considered a selling point, and should help its legs somewhat. Additionally, its internal multiplier was 3.54, which is better than expected and again is a good omen. The next kids movie doesn't come out for a couple of weeks, and this movie could be nearing $200 million by the time it does. And look for it to be a major hit internationally and on the home market as well.

The biggest surprise of the weekend was The Haunting in Connecticut, which beat expectations by a huge margin. In fact, with an opening weekend of $23.00 million, it nearly doubled expectations. There are a couple of warning signs going forward, including its genre, its horrible reviews, and the extreme number of pump and dumps so far this year. However, it likely didn't cost too much to make; in fact, it might have cost less to make than it made in the past three days. No matter what happens from now on, it should show a nice profit before too long.

Surprisingly Knowing held on better than expected, down just over 40% to $14.70 million over the weekend for a total of $46.22 million after two. Even if the production budget was higher than previously reported, it is well on its way to showing a profit.

I Love You, Man topped the high end of expectations with $12.67 million over three days and $37.08 million after ten. With reviews that are among the best of the year so far, it should continue to add to its total while reaching profitability on the home market. (I'm not so sure about the film's international chances, on the other hand.)

Duplicity finished within a rounding error of Thursday's predictions with $7.67 million. $25.75 million after two weekends of release is not a great start, but it is actually better than Clive Owen's average. This is strange, because he usually makes good movies and he should be a bigger box office draw than he is.

Lastly, we come to 12 Rounds, which opened in seventh place with $5.33 million over the weekend, which is almost exactly what was predicted on Thursday. Given its reviews, the film will likely take a big hit next weekend before practically disappearing the weekend after that.

On final note, The Watchmen reached $100 million on Thursday, 21 days into its run. This is actually faster than the two previous films that reached $100 million this year got there, but the film is crashing fast and won't reach any more milestone during its domestic run.


Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, Watchmen, Knowing, I Love You, Man, The Haunting in Connecticut, Duplicity, 12 Rounds