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Seventeen + $24 Million = Number One

April 21st, 2009

As spring draws to a close, and studios sweep out the potential misfires, the overall box office numbers slip in anticipation of Wolverine. Actually, the overall box office was better than expected at $108 million over the weekend, but that was still 18.8% lower than last weekend. More importantly, thanks to 17 Again's stronger than expected start, it was 15.8% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has earned $2.91 billion, which is 17.2% higher than last year's pace. I'm not sure it will be able to maintain this pace over the summer. In fact, I'm nearly 100% sure it won't. That said, the year has built up a sizable lead, and as long as the summer is merely average, we should go into the fall with higher ticket sales.

Zac Efron took one step closer to becoming a legitimate leading man after helping 17 Again open in first place. The film was a surprising success with an impressive $23.72 million in 3,255 theaters, easily topping the competition. Given the film's reviews, which have softened but are still better than expected, and the lack of direct competition next weekend, the film could have strong legs. ... Or the Fangirl Effect will come by and crush it. I suspect the latter. However, I also suspect it earned more during the weekend than it cost to make. Add in a better than expected international run so far, and the film could be just over a week away from profitability.

State of Play finished on the high end of Thursday's expectations, as it earned second place with $14.07 million. With some of the best reviews of the year, and a better than average internal multiplier, the film could show legs and remain in theaters even after the Summer Season gets into high gear. Assuming its reported budget of $60 million is reasonably accurate, it should be able to show a nice profit by the time it hits the home market.

Hannah Montana the Movie avoided a sophomore stint drop-off of more than 60%, barely, earning $13.41 million over the weekend for a total of $56.87 million after two. Even with the sharp decline, it should match original expectations, while profitability is assured at this point.

Monsters vs. Aliens matched expectations (nearly) perfectly with $13.24 million over the weekend and $163.06 million in total. The film is still on pace to reach $200 million, and could be the first such hit of the year. (It depends on how fast Wolverine opens. If that film blows away expectations, it could reach that milestone in 10 days. Maybe less.)

Fast and Furious fell a little faster than expected, down to $11.77 million for the weekend, but it already has $136.21 million in total, which is second best in the franchise. Assuming Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are willing to stick around, I assume there will be yet another installment in the franchise.

The only real disappointment of the weekend was Crank 2 - High Voltage, which only managed sixth place with $6.96 million. This is lower than the original by a substantial margin, despite earning better reviews. In fact, this is arguably the weakest opening for a Jason Stratham film ever. (The Bank Job opened in substantially fewer theaters, while In the Name of the King doesn't count as a real movie.)

Moving on to the sophomore class, both films struggled, falling more than 60% during their second weekends of release. Observe and Report was down 62% to just $4.17 million over the weekend and $18.81 million after two. This is quite disappointing compared to Seth Rogan's average. Dragonball Evolution was even weaker, pulling in just $1.68 million over three days for a total of $7.93 million after 10. It will be all but gone by Friday.


Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, Fast & Furious, Hannah Montana the Movie, 17 Again, State of Play, Observe and Report, Crank 2: High Voltage, Dragonball Evolution