Sunday, May 22, 2011

Box-Office Report - Week of 20 May 2011

The week of May 20, 2011, brought back a beloved franchise and its charismatic oddball hero :"Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides" opened up to a big warm welcome from movie-goers in the US. Let's see how warm :

  • Searing hot, that's how warm. Taking #1 with an aggresive $90M cume in just three days, the Disney-Bruckheimer production opened up big, although not as big as previous movies in the franchise. Taking a quick look back we see that the first movie, "The Curse of the Black Pearl" opened with just $46M. That was just the beginning of course. The other two sequels, "Dead Man's Chest" and "At World's End" opened with $135M and $153M, respectively. You can see how this is a step down for the Johnny Depp starrer. Despite having a new director, Rob Marshall ("Memoirs of a Geisha", "Chicago") and a storyline closer to the off-beat swashbuckling spirit of the original, audiences have clearly been disappointed by the last two sequels and passed on seeing this movie on opening day, which is not to say they won't see it eventually. If word-of-mouth helps it (critic reviews have been harsh), there's a chance it can make up for what it lost in its (already impressive) first week-end.

  • More down to earth, at #2, is the Judd Apatow produced comedy, "Bridesmaids". The raunchy comedy scored a very good $21M in its second week in theaters, falling only $3M from its opening week-end. Holding steady, it now holds a total of $57M. Made on a $32M budget, the movie looks to exceed expected projections, and might even reach as far as the $100M mark, if it manages to hold on to this hot streak. Chalk this up as a box-office hit.

  • And talking about "down to Earth", the comic book adaptation "Thor" takes a back-seat at #3, after two consecutive weeks at #1. The sci-fi adventure movie, directed by Kenneth Branagh, earned a weak $15M this past week-end, dropping, once again, by more than half of its previous week's three-day cume ($34M). With a total of $145M, "Thor" has almost recuperated its $150M budget, but it's unlikely that it can make much of a profit on the domestic market before its release on home video. The possibility of it reaching $200M in the next few weeks is still strong, but audience interest in the movie has been sharply declining since it's debut on May 6. Other Marvel comic book adaptations that did not make it to the $200M mark include "The Fantastic Four" - $154M, its sequel - $135M, the 2003 "Hulk" - $135M, and its Edward Norton reboot - $134M. Both "Iron Man" movies, the second and third "X-Men", and all three "Spiderman" flicks have far exceeded that mark. Executives are probably rethinking their strategies right now. It won't hurt the possibility of an "Avengers" movie, but a sequel to "Thor" might be overlooked.

  • At #4 is another fan-favourite, "Fast Five". Lining up a $10.6M gross in the last three days, $9M less than last week-end, the fast and furious action movie has raked in a handsome total of $186M in 24 days, which brings it clsoer to $200M, which it will probably reach within two weeks from now. Though very close to running on fumes, the movie still has some gas left to go as far as $240-250 before exiting the top 10, making this the highest grossing movie in the series (which it already is since last week).

  • At #5, time stands still, because "Rio" is still there, showing off impressive box-office resilience. This marks the animated movie's third consecutive week at #5. It's almost as if someone's manipulating time and space. To be fair, though , it has lost half of last week-end's money, returning with only $4.6M. Still, the total is now at $132M in 37 days, and it may even get as far as $150M before its time in the top 10 eventually runs out. I'm not going to say anything about the movie's steep decline in the near future, because I have a feeling it's going to prove me wrong. A fine performance, even though it hasn't really made that much money overall.

  • At #6 is another one of those movies that bragged about its 3D and then failed to attract audiences. "Priest" takes a nosedive, earning only $4M this week-end, compared to its $14M opening week-end. Its 7-day total now at $23M, on a total investment of $60M, this movie is clearly a flop that should make the big studio heads question their 3D marketing strategies. A better idea instead, would be to produce movies that are actually good, even without any 3D gimmickry attached to them. You know what I'm talking about, movies with actual stories and characters. You know, the good stuff.

  • At #7, the wedding comedy "Jumping the Broom" takes in $3.7M in the last 3-day time frame, which brings its 17-day total to $31M. The end is not far for this movie, but its total cume will probably hit somewhere around $45-50M after all is said and done. Not bad for a comedy made on a $6M budget with a cast of unknowns. I've seen bigger movies do worse (read next paragraph).

  • And here is a bigger movie that did worse. "Something Borrowed" hits #8 with just $3.4M in the bank, which brings its total 17-day gross to a tie with "Jumping the Broom" ($31M). The only problem is that this rom-com starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson was made on a $35M budget, which means it has yet to recuperate its investment. Bad business all the way. This movie also looks to finish at around $45-50M.

  • "Water for Elephants" continues to drag its heavy behind through the top 10, this time falling to #9, with a week-end sum of $2M, and a 31-day total of $52M. It looks to exit the top 10 next week, or the one after that, and finish its domestic run somewhere around $60-65M. Made on a $48M budget, it has managed to at least turn some profit, despite a slow start. Home video sales will most likely cheer up its producers.

  • At #10, "Madea's Big Happy Family" takes one last look at the top 10. Earning just $900,000 this week-end, which is a pretty good indication just how bad the competition has been this week, the movie has reached a total of $51.8M. It will still probably crawl to finish up at $55M, but its days in the top 10 are over. Still, Tyler Perry has doubled the movie's $25M budget, which is not all that bad.

The movies that exited the Top 10 are : Well, just "Soul Surfer" after an exhausting 38+ days in theaters and the top 10 (see previous box-office reports).

Here is the Top 10 for the week of 20 May 2011 :

1. Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides
Weekend : $90M
Total : $90M

2. Bridesmaids
Weekend : $21M
Total : $57.5M

3. Thor
Weekend : $15.5M  
Total : $145M

4. Fast Five
Weekend : $10.6M   
Total : $186M

5. Rio
Weekend : $4.6M  
Total : $132M

6. Priest
Weekend : $4.6M  
Total : $23.7M

7. Jumping the Broom
Weekend : $3.7M    
Total : $31M.3

8. Something Borrowed
Weekend : $3.4M    
Total : $31.4M

9. Water for Elephants
Weekend : $2M
Total : $52M

10. Madea's Big Happy Family
Weekend : $990K  
Total : $51.8M

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