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Final Starts Out on Top

August 31st, 2009

It was a great weekend at the box office as all but one film in the top five films met or exceeded expectations, some by large margins. This helped the box office pull in a very healthy total of $125 million over the weekend, which was just 1.7% lower than last week. More importantly, it was a stunning 28% higher than the same weekend last year. Wow. Granted, this weekend last year was Labor Day weekend, which is a terrible time at the box office, but this is still a fantastic result. Year-to-date, 2009 has pulled in $7.24 billion, which is 7.4% higher than last year's pace.

3D was a major reason for The Final Destination's success over the weekend, as the horror film easily won the weekend race with $27.41 million. It was reported that 70% of that total was earned on 3D screens, which is better than expected. The film's internal multiplier was also better than expected at an impressive 2.53. That's good, especially for a horror sequel. On the other hand, critics were less receptive, giving the movie a Tomatometer Score of just 29% positive. Given the genre, the film will likely get hit hard next week, but it will earn enough to show a profit, likely before it reaches the home market.

Also beating expectations was Inglourious Basterds, which fell less than 50% to $19.30 million over the weekend and $73.02 million after two. The film should have no trouble reaching $100 million, but it will take more than one more week to get there, meaning it will likely fall out of the top five before then.

Halloween 2 was the only film in the top five to miss expectations, as it opened in third place with $16.35 million over the weekend. This was 38% lower than its predecessor's opening weekend in 2007 and with even weaker reviews, it is unlikely to have better legs. That said, it only cost $15 million to make, so I doubt the studio is too troubled over this result.

As expected, District 9 placed fourth, earning $10.27 million and taking its total to $90.38 million. By this time next week, it will likely have become the 18th film from 2009 to reach $100 million.

Both G.I.Joe and Julie & Julia topped expectations with the former earning $7.72 million and the latter earning $7.04 million. G.I.Joe should end its run with close to $150 million, while Julie & Julia will finish with $90 million, more or less.

The last new release in the top ten was Taking Woodstock, which was a little weaker than expected with $3.48 million. Its small theater count (1,393) and mixed reviews (51% positive) didn't help matters, while there's little hope it will have long legs going forward. There's always the home market.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we find Shorts sitting in eighth place with $4.51 million over the weekend and $13.21 million after two. That was down less than 30%, which would normally indicated strong legs; however, its per theater average is so small that it is hard to believe a lot of theater owners will want to keep it around long enough to matter. Post Grad was even weaker at 15th place with $1.47 million, down 45% from its opening. Its running tally of $5.31 million is terrible, but it is still higher than X Games 3D The Movie will make. That film evaporated from theaters and over the weekend was only playing in 25 of them. It brought in just $7,000 in the process. Its decline of more than 99% was arguably the worst sophomore drop-off, ever. (There are some films that opened in limited release that never earned a sophomore weekend that you could say dropped 100%, but this is practically as close as you can get to a 100% while still playing in theaters.)


Filed under: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Julie & Julia, The Final Destination, Halloween 2, Shorts, Taking Woodstock, Post Grad, X Games 3D: The Movie