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Fangirls Put Hannah on Top

April 14th, 2009

Records fell over Easter weekend, as the overall box office pulled in $133 million, which was the best ever for an Easter Weekend. It was 14% lower that last weekend when Fast and Furious beat records. On the other hand, it was it was 15% higher that last Easter and 41% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has earned $2.57 billion, which is 14.3% higher than the 2008's pace.

The Fangirls were out in force for Hannah Montana the Movie, which earned a stunning $17.44 million on Friday. Granted, it earned less than that the rest of the weekend for a total of $32.32 million. With an internal multiplier of less than 2.00, the film's chances going forward are not strong, even with reviews that were better than expected. (Over the weekend, its Tomatometer Score climbed from 37% positive to 47% positive, which is good for its target audience.) Matching orignial expectations might be out of the question, as the film will likely plummet next weekend, but it is already a financial hit, and should have little trouble reaching profitability during its initial push into the home market. It will also be interesting to see what this means for Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana going forward.

Fast and Furious couldn't avoid the 60% drop-off over the weekend down 61.6% to $27.24 million over the weekend for a total of $116.50 million after two. It also became the fifth film of 2009 to reach the $100 million milestone, and it did it faster than the other four films managed reaching it in just 9 days. However, it is fading fast, and it likely won't reach the top of the yearly chart, as Monsters vs. Aliens should overcome Paul Blart: Mall Cop first.

Speaking of Monsters vs. Aliens, it showed amazing resiliance this past weekend down a mere 33% to $21.81 million over the weekend for a total of $140.20 million after two. At this pace, the film will wrestle second place for the year from Taken before the weekend starts, and it will become the biggest hit of the year shortly after the weekend starts. Add, depending on how well it holds onto its theaters as the summer blockbusters start opening, it could have a shot at becoming the first $200 million hit of the year.

As we move down the list, the shine starts to come off the weekend and we start finding a few more disappointments. For instance, Observe and Report barely reached the lower end of expectations with $11.02 million over the weekend, which is on the low end for a Seth Rogan film. Black comedies are harder to sell to moviegoers than most genres, and the mixed reviews didn't help. This is inline with original expectations, but that's not much comfort now.

The inexplicably leggy Knowing remained in the top five one last weekend adding $6.43 million over the past three days for a total of $67.77 million after 24. Assuming the $50 million production budget is accurate, it may have made enough worldwide to show a profit already. If not, it is close.

The final wide release of the week was Dragonball Evolution, which missed lowered expectations with $4.76 million in 2181 theaters for an average of $2,181. Freaky. Given its reviews, I don't think the word-of-mouth will be any good, nor will there be a lot of repeat customers. And with a per theater average just a hair over the Mendoza Line, I don't think theater owners will be eager to keep it around any more than contractually obligated.

Moving onto the sophomore class, there was just one such film, Adventureland, that didn't reach the top five. It barely reached the top 10 with $3.35 million over the weekend for a total of $11.37 million after two. Given its production budget, which is thought to be just under $20 million, it still has a shot at profitability sometime during its home market run.


Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, Fast & Furious, Knowing, Hannah Montana the Movie, Observe and Report, Adventureland