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Funny People, Depressed Box Office

August 3rd, 2009

2009 took another hit at the box office over the weekend, bringing in just $125 million. This might seem like a huge amount, but that's 17% lower than last weekend and 18% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date 2009 has earned $6.43 billion, which is 7.0% more than the running tally from this time last year, and if 2009 can just maintain pace with 2008 for the rest of the year, then the total ticket sales will reach $10 billion for the first time ever. However, we haven't matched box office numbers in nearly a month, so things will need to turn around soon.

Funny People became the second film from Judd Apatow to open in first place at the box office out of three directorial efforts. But it was well below expectations at just $22.66 million. Apatow's films do have a reputation for long legs and I don't think the film will disappear from theaters quickly. Its reviews are strong and with a little luck it could match its production budget, which is a good first step to profitability. That said, $100 million is practically out of the question. Looking at these results, it seems clear to me that moviegoers saw this movie as one of Adam Sandler's dramatic turns, and not an R-rated comedy like The Hangover, The Wedding Crashers, etc., which likely hurt the film more than any other single factor. Additionally, the odds are that its box office potential internationally is even weaker, as Sandler does not have a major following outside the United States.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince beat the best case scenario in Thursday's prediction by earning $17.91 million over the weekend for a total of $255.67 million. This has a lot to do with the film's IMAX debut, which brought in more than $3 million over the weekend. Thanks to the film's performance on the really big screen, reaching the level of The Goblet of Fire or The Order of the Phoenix is a lot more likely.

G-Force matched expectations nearly perfectly with $17.52 million over the weekend for a total of $66.92 million after two. At this pace, $100 million isn't out of the question. In fact, without much in the way of strong direct competition, it is quite likely.

The Ugly Truth fell more than 50% to $13.19 million over the weekend, which is a steep decline for a romantic comedy. Even so, the film has $54.67 million after 10 days of release, which is more than enough during this point in its run to make the studio happy.

Aliens in the Attic flopped with just $8.01 million in 3,106 theaters over the weekend. A per theater average of $2,578, as well as just 24% positive reviews, will likely result in a quick exit from theaters. Some reports have the film's production budget at $45 million, which it won't be able to match worldwide, and this means that, unless it is a solid hit on the home market, it might never see a profit.

The Collector had a similar debut, missing the top ten with $3.58 million. Weak reviews and a small per theater average, not to mention its genre, all suggest a short stay in theaters. However, it likely cost very little to make and the studio suggested this could be the beginning of a new franchise.

Moving onto the sophomore class, Orphan slipped to sixth place with $7.53 million over the past three days for a total of $27.07 million after ten. This represents a 41.5% drop-off from its opening weekend, which is excellent. Unless it cost an unreasonable amount to make, it will show a profit during its initial push onto the home market, if not sooner.


Filed under: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, G-Force, The Ugly Truth, Funny People, Orphan, Aliens in the Attic, The Collector