Category: Box Office Reports
The date-night movies “Think Like a Man” and “The Lucky One” finally have knocked “The Hunger Games” off its No. 1 box-office perch.
“Think Like a Man,” based on Steve Harvey’s dating-advice best-seller, debuted as the top weekend draw with $33 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. That’s almost double what studio executives had expected for the Sony ScreenGems ensemble movie, which features Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union.
The Warner Bros. drama “The Lucky One,” starring Zac Efron in an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ romance novel, opened at No. 2 with $22.8 million. It also came in a bit above studio expectations going into the weekend.
“Think Like a Man” was produced for about $13 million and took in nearly that much on opening day Friday alone, with business getting even better on Saturday. Sony executives had figured the movie might pull in about $17 million for the whole weekend.
“It was a wild ride. It just got better and better as the night went on Friday. Then to be up so much on Saturday,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution at Sony.
Lionsgate’s blockbuster “The Hunger Games” took in $14.5 million, slipping to third-place after four weekends at No. 1. The film raised its domestic total to $356.9 million.
“The Hunger Games” added $13 million overseas, where its total now stands at $215.8 million, for a worldwide haul of $573 million. Disney’s nature documentary “Chimpanzee” opened at No. 4 with $10.2 million.
Despite some healthy newcomers, Hollywood’s overall revenues dipped for the second weekend in a row. Domestic receipts totaled $129 million, down 5 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Rio” led with $26.3 million.
Revenues likely will decline again next weekend, with no huge newcomers expected to come close to the $86.2 million debut of “Fast Five” over that same weekend last year.
But business should shoot back up after that as the superhero ensemble “The Avengers” launches one of Hollywood’s biggest summer lineups ever over the first weekend of May.
“‘Fast Five’ basically performed to summer box-office numbers in pre-summer last year,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “We’re not going to have a ‘Fast Five’ in late April this year, but that’s OK, because we’ve got ‘Avengers a week later, and that’ll more than make up for it.”
So far in 2012, domestic revenues are at $3.1 billion, up 16.6 percent from last year’s, according to Hollywood.com.
Paramount’s 3D version of James Cameron’s blockbuster “Titanic” added $5 million to bring its three-week domestic total to $52.8 million. The film’s lifetime domestic haul now stands at $653.6 million.
With $34.3 million more overseas, the 3-D version’s international total rose to $225 million, pushing the lifetime worldwide gross of “Titanic” to $2.1 billion.
Moe, Larry & Curly earned $17.1 million in their big-screen revival, not enough to beat powerhouse The Hunger Games but easily coming in ahead of horror pic The Cabin in the Woods.
Lionsgate’s Hunger Games grossed $21.5 million, becoming the first film since James Cameron’s Avatar to place at No. 1 for four consecutive weekends at the domestic box office and putting its total gross at $337.1 million. It has earned $531.1 globally, though its foreign run has been softer (similar to the first Twilight).
Cabin in the Woods, also from Lionsgate, opened third at the domestic box office with $14.9 million.
In a surprise upset overseas, the 3D rerelease of Cameron’s Titanic grossed a massive $88.2 million for the weekend — including a record-breaking $58 million bow in China — beating the $58 million debut of Universal’s high-profile summer tentpole Battleship.
Titantic 3D, from Paramount and Fox, came in No. 4 domestically, grossing $11.6 million and putting its worldwide total at a stellar $190.5 million in less than two weeks.
Battleship — which is rolling out five weeks early overeas — only debuted this weekend in 26 markets, while Titanic is playing in 69.
Both Cabin and the Farrelly Brothers’ The Three Stooge turned in good opening performances in North America, though it’s too early to say whether Stooges will launch a franchise for 20th Century Fox, which spent a modest $35 million to produce the slapstick comedy.
Despite the entrance of two competitive titles to the marketplace over Easter Weekend, box office phenomenon The Hunger Games had little difficulty taking the top spot for the third-straight frame. American Reunion opened in second place, though its debut doesn’t compare favorably to earlier series entries, while Titanic 3D wound up on the low-end among 3D re-releases. The Top 12 earned around $114 million this weekend, which is up 11 percent from the same period last year but off a bit from Easter 2011 (which was later in the month).
The Hunger Games dropped 43 percent to $33.1 million. That’s the seventh-highest second weekend of all-time, and it’s the best since Alice in Wonderland in March 2010. Based on Lionsgate’s projections, the movie will pass $300 million on Easter Sunday, which is only its 17th day in theaters. That’s the seventh-fastest pace ever, and it ranks third behind Avatar and Titanic among non-sequels. Its $302.5 million total is more than the final tally of all of the Twilight movies and all but two of the Harry Potter flicks. Based on its current trajectory, The Hunger Games should end up with at least $350 million.
Kate Beckinsale’s return nets a nice box-office haul, but a historical drama is a strong No. 2.
Kate Beckinsale is back with a vengeance, with her latest “Underworld” movie opening at No. 1 this weekend. “Underworld Awakening” made an estimated $25.4, distributor Sony Screen Gems reported Sunday.
This is the fourth film in the vampire action saga. Beckinsale starred in the first two movies as the warrior Selene, then bowed out of part three but returned for this latest installment. “Underworld Awakening” was shown for the first time in 3D as well as on IMAX screens, where it made $3.8 million. That’s 15 percent of the film’s weekend gross, which is a record for an IMAX digital-only run.
Sony had hoped the film would end up in the low-$20 million range. But Rory Bruer, the studio’s president of worldwide distribution, says the fact that it did even better — despite a snow storm that hit much of the Midwest and East Coast — primarily has to do with Beckinsale’s return.
“She is such a force. Her character — you just can’t take your eyes off of her. I know the character is very dear to her, as well, and she just kills it,” Bruer said. “The 3D aspect of the film also brings something, makes it a fun, visceral ride.”
Opening in second place was “Red Tails” from executive producer George Lucas, about the Tuskegee Airmen who were the first black fighter pilots to serve in World War II. It made an estimated $19.1 million, according to 20th Century Fox, which was well above expectations; the studio had hoped to reach double digits, said Chris Aronson, executive vice president of domestic distribution.
“I believe what George Lucas has stated all along: This is an important story and a story that must be told. It is a true story of American heroism and valor and audiences have really responded to this message,” Aronson said. “People want to feel good about themselves, they want to be uplifted. We have enough hard crud going on in this country right now. Times are tough, and if we look back and are told a story of some really fantastic deeds, that’s really compelling moviegoing.”
Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian said a grassroots effort to get groups of people into the theaters to see “Red Tails,” along with positive word-of-mouth, helped its strong showing. The film saw an uptick from about $6 million on Friday to $8.65 million on Saturday.
Overall box office is up 31 percent from the same weekend a year ago, Dergarabedian said, thanks to new releases as well as movies like “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” which had limited runs for awards consideration at the end of 2011 and are now expanding nationwide. The Sept. 11 drama from Warner Bros., starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, came in fourth place with $10.5 million.
Last week’s No. 1 film, the Universal smuggling thriller “Contraband” starring Mark Wahlberg, dropped to the No. 3 spot with $12.2 million. It’s now made $46.1 million in two weeks. Meanwhile, Steven Soderbergh’s international action picture “Haywire” from Relativity Media, starring mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano in her first film role, opened in fifth place with $9 million, which was above expectations.
“This is a great, perfect January weekend. You’ve got these holdover films and newcomers creating an overall marketplace that people are really responding to,” Dergarabedian said. “It sounds cliche but this marketplace really has something for everyone.”
As for worldwide box office, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” has now crossed the $700 million mark. The first half of the finale of the girl-vampire-werewolf love triangle franchise has grossed an estimated $701.3 million in global box office receipts since its release last November, according to Lionsgate, which recently acquired Summit Entertainment, which distributes the series.
Tom Cruise’s new mission remains impossible to beat at the box office. Studio estimates Sunday placed “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” in the No. 1 spot for the second-straight weekend with $31.3 million. With a $134.1 million domestic total, it’s the first $100 million hit with Cruise in the lead role since 2006’s “Mission: Impossible III.”
The Paramount release led a solid New Year’s weekend as Hollywood managed fair business to end a sluggish year on a more promising note for 2012. Domestic revenues closed out at $10.22 billion for 2011, down 3.4 percent from 2010’s, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
That was a slight improvement over Hollywood.com’s projections a week earlier, when Hollywood was limping through the normally busy holiday season with a lineup of underachieving movies.
“This week was a pleasant surprise,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “Last week, we were really pretty gloom and doom, but this final push at the end of the year was stronger than expected. It’s a good way to head into 2012, with at least a little bit of momentum at the box office.”
Still, movie admissions were down sharply for the second year in a row. Factoring in higher ticket prices, domestic attendance slipped to 1.28 billion in 2011, off 4.2 percent from 2010 admissions and the smallest audiences Hollywood has had since 1995, according to Hollywood.com.
Hollywood started the year in a deep rut, with domestic revenues trailing 2010’s by 20 percent or more as a weak first quarter fell far short of the previous year’s spectacular results for the sci-fi sensation “Avatar.” Studios nearly dug themselves out from that deficit over the summer, but business lagged through the fall and holidays as audiences had a ho-hum response to most movies.
Some studio executives had predicted record revenues for 2011. The movies themselves may simply have held less appeal to fans than expected, though audiences also could be skipping trips to theaters to watch movies on big-screen home setups or to play with the countless entertainment gadgets now on the market. Viewers can watch films at home or on portable devices for a fraction of the cost of going to theaters.
The rest of this weekend’s top-three remained unchanged. Robert Downey Jr.’s “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” from Warner Bros., finished second again with $22.1 million, raising its domestic total to $132.1 million. The 20th Century Fox family sequel “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” was still at No. 3 with $18.3 million to lift its haul to $94.6 million.
In its first full weekend, Steven Spielberg’s World War I epic “War Horse” came in fourth with $16.9 million, pushing its domestic total to $43 million. At No. 5 was David Fincher’s thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” with $16.3 million. The Sony release, which stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, now stands at $57.1 million domestically.
Cameron Crowe’s family tale “We Bought a Zoo,” featuring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, finished at No. 6 with $14.3 million. Released by 20th Century Fox, the movie raised its total to $41.8 million. Rounding out the top films was Spielberg and producer Jackson’s animated action story “The Adventures of Tintin” at No. 7 with $12 million. The Paramount release lifted its domestic sum to $47.8 million.
Sony Pictures decided to roll out its highly-anticipated adaptation The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo early last night, and it took in a solid $1.6 million.
The adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel, directed by David Fincher, opened in 2,914 theaters last night, getting a head start on the crowded holiday week at the box office. The Adventures of Tintin opens in theaters today, and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol goes wide starting today, after its limited early release in IMAX theaters. We Bought a Zoo also opens on December 23, with War Horse and The Darkest Hour hitting theaters on Christmas Day.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was released December 21st, 2011 and stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson. The film is directed by David Fincher.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures’ three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon. The screenplay is by Steven Zaillian.
While franchise titles did claim the top three spots at the box office this weekend, it wound up being a very mixed frame for sequels. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked both tallied solid grosses, though they were notably down from their predecessors. On the other hand, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol had a robust start in limited release. Even with all of these established brands entering the marketplace, the Top 12 wound up down roughly 13 percent from the same period last year.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows opened to an estimated $40.02 million, which is way down from the original Sherlock Holmes’s $62.3 million over Christmas weekend in 2009. In what could be an even more concerning comparison, the movie wound up lower than Tron Legacy‘s $44 million start at the same time last year. That’s shocking, considering Game of Shadows opened just two years after a well-received original while Tron hit theaters 28 years after a first movie that wasn’t even widely available on DVD or Blu-ray until after Legacy’s release. Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures is reporting that the audience was 59 percent male and 50 percent under the age of 35.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked debuted to an estimated $23.5 million, or less than half of The Squeakquel’s $48.9 million. It was also significantly off from the first Alvin’s $44.3 million. Distributor 20th Century Fox reports that the audience was 54 percent female and 53 percent under the age of 25.
Both Sherlock and Alvin struggled to live up to franchise standards this weekend, albeit for different reasons. The marketing for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows never sufficiently differentiated the movie from its predecessor. While the ads did often briefly mention Holmes’s conflict with Professor Moriarty, the focus was mainly put on the slow-motion action and Holmes-Watson banter that were trademarks of the first movie. While that movie is generally well-liked, it probably doesn’t have the sort of rabid fan base that will eagerly turn out for more of same, which seemed to bear out this weekend.
In comparison, 20th Century Fox did a great job showing that Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked had a unique premise (the Chipmunks get stranded on a desert island) in comparison to the first two movies. Regardless of how interesting the premise is, though, the Alvin and the Chipmunks series probably isn’t looked upon fondly by most adults. While usually this wouldn’t be a huge problem, the generally poor performance of family movies lately indicates that parents are probably being far more judicious in deciding what movies they will take their children to.
The domestic box office suffered through its worst weekend since September 2008, taking in only $78 million from Friday to Sunday, a staggering 20 percent drop from the same weekend last year. And the weekend’s two new releases both significantly underperformed.
New Line’s “New Year’s Eve,” a PG-13-rated ensemble comedy featuring many of the biggest stars in Hollywood, grossed only $13.7 million, according to studio estimates.
Even with that disappointing number — the studio had expected the movie would debut to $20 million — “New Year’s Eve” was No. 1 at the domestic box office.
Fox’s R-rated Jonah Hill comedy “The Sitter” had a similarly weak opening, taking in only about $10 million.
The overall box office was down about 20 percent compared to the same weekend last year — and down about 7 percent compared to last weekend.
It is the worst weekend since Sept. 19-21, 2008, when total domestic box office revenue only came in at $67.8 million, said Chris Aronson, senior VP for domestic distribution at Fox.
Warner Bros. distribution president Dan Fellman added, “It’s just a very difficult box office.”
Compared to last year at this time, overall revenue is down 3.8 percent and attendance is off 4.71 percent, according to Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian.
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” which had propped up the box office since its release Nov. 18, grossed $7.9 million over the weekend. That was enough to put Summit’s PG-13 werewolves and vampires movie at No. 3.
Domestically, it’s made $259.5 million so far. The bright spot was among specialty releases. Focus Features’ “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” grossed $300,737 at four locations, for an impressive per-location average of around $75,000. In all, though, it was a bleak weekend for the movie business.
In its third week of release, the GK Films/Paramount movie “Hugo” expanded to 2,608 locations, but took in just $6.1 million and received a “B-plus” score from the audience survey company Cinemascore. The Martin Scorsese movie, which was shot for around $170 million, has grossed just $33.5 million since debuting over Thanksgiving weekend.
Looking forward, distribution executives believe the market will perk up in the next few weeks as a flurry of big tentpoles hit multiplexes. “It’s a product mix situation that I think is going to be rectified,” Fox’s Aronson said.
Aronson predicted that movies like “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” “We Bought a Zoo,” “War Horse,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Adventures of Tintin” — “are going to hit on all cylinders.”
Fellman agreed. “You just have to hope that these coming weekends, when the big guns open — both ‘Mission Impossible’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ — the box office will spin around.”
The box office is lifeless no more: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” opened to $139.5 million domestically this weekend, according to studio data.
The fourth of Summit’s vampire-and-werewolf movies had the franchise’s second best three-day opening ever, behind 2009’s “New Moon” ($142.8 million in November 2009).
For a box office that’s down about 3.5 percent from last year,”The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” is only the second movie this year, including the summer’s final “Harry Potter” film, to open to more than $100 million. (There were four $100 million openers last year.)
And it had the third-best opening Friday ever, grossing $71.4 million — behind only this year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” and “New Moon.”
“Breaking Dawn’s” international numbers were as strong as its domestic ones. The movie grossed $144 million in 54 territories, giving it a worldwide box office total of $283.5 million in just three days. The movie cost about $110 million to make, after tax rebates.
While “Breaking Dawn” almost exactly matched its pre-release predictions, the animated penguins of Warner Bros. “Happy Feet Two” grossed only $22 million, according to studio estimates — enough to rank the movie No. 2 this weekend, but still a disappointing performance. The movie was projected to open to about $30 million.
Relativity Media’s “Immortals,” meanwhile, grossed $12.2 million in its second weekend of release — a 62 percent drop. It is No. 3 at the box office.
The best per-screen numbers of the weekend belonged to Fox Searchlight’s “The Descendants.” The movie, which stars George Clooney, opened in 29 locations, but was still No. 10 at the box office with $1.3 million. That’s a spectacular per-screen average of $44,800.
“Breaking Dawn,” by comparison, opened at 4,061 locations and averaged $34,245. Summit’s president of domestic distribution, Richie Fay, told TheWrap Sunday that the fourth installment of any franchise can be a little worrisome. “There’s a definite interest in wanting to continue to see the series,” he said. “The fact that our audience is aging up a little bit, the impulse to get out and see it on the first weekend isn’t necessarily there the way it has been. To me, that means that the holdover should be much better.”
“Breaking Dawn’s audience was 80 percent female and 60 percent older than 21. According to moviegoer survey firm CinemaScore, the movie graded out at a so-so “B-plus” among all age and gender groups.
On the strength of “Breaking Dawn,” the box office was up 14 percent this weekend compared to the same weekend last year.
“In a period where it’s been … a down cycle of growth, we’ve got the public interested in a movie again — and in going to movies as we approach Thanksgiving and obviously Christmas,” Fay said.
He said the movie’s strongest performance was in Salt Lake City, followed by New York City.
The weekend’s other major release — also a sequel — had a tougher time at the box office. “Happy Feet Two,” the follow-up to the 2006 Oscar-winning hit, underperformed.
“We obviously came in a little bit under our expectations on ‘Happy Feet,’ but the marketplace is very competitive out there, especially with ‘Twilight’ getting close to 80 percent of the female audience,” Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. president of distribution, told TheWrap Sunday.
The PG-rated animated movie about dancing penguins received a B-plus CinemaScore. And it has some tough competition coming up, with “Hugo,” “The Muppets” and “Arthur Christmas” all opening up for Thanksgiving week.
“The market expands enormously over the holiday,” Fellman said. “By next Monday, we’ll know whether we’re in good shape.”
The first “Happy Feet” opened to $41.5 million and ultimately grossed $198 million domestically and $384.3 million worldwide. Its budget was estimated at $100 million. The second cost an estimated $140 million to make.
“After ‘Twilight’ gets in a couple of hundred million dollars worth of business in the first week, you’ll see some of the female audience move over to ‘Happy Feet,'” Fellman predicted.
Internationally, Steven Spielberg’s motion-capture extravaganza “The Adventures of Tintin” continued to perform well, grossing $21.7 million on 13,040 screens in 53 markets.
The gods of ancient Greece have extended their rule to the weekend box office with a No. 1 debut for the action tale “Immortals.”
The story of Greek hero Theseus took in $32 million domestically, while Adam Sandler’s comedy “Jack and Jill” opened at No. 2 with $26 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The new movies bumped the animated hit “Puss in Boots” to the No. 3 spot after two weekends at the top. “Puss in Boots” earned $25.5 million, raising its domestic total to $108.8 million.
Director Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” a film biography starring Leonardo DiCaprio as longtime FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover, played in narrower release and opened at No. 5 with $11.5 million.
Released by Relativity Media, “Immortals” stars Henry Cavill and Freida Pinto in a tale of human heroes battling an evil king (Mickey Rourke) who aims to bring down the Olympian gods.
With males making up 60 percent of its audience, “Immortals” has a chance to corner much of the action market through late November and beyond, a period likely to be dominated by family movies such as “Happy Feet 2,” ”The Muppets,” ”Hugo” and “Arthur Christmas.”
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” does open Friday, but that blockbuster action fantasy franchise mainly draws female crowds.
“There’s really not another action movie until you approach the Christmas holidays,” said Kyle Davies, head of distribution for Relativity. “Over the next few weeks, there’s no real competition for us.”
Sandler plays dual roles in “Jack and Jill,” as a sturdy family man and his needy sister, who comes to visit for Thanksgiving.
“Jack and Jill” got off to a solid start but came in on the low end for Sandler, whose comedies typically open in the $30 million to $40 million range. Still, it continues Sandler’s virtually unbroken string of strong openings for his broad comedies dating back to the late 1990s.
“A big part of his success is just that sort of Everyman appeal he has, whether it be the guys going out to have a beer or girls thinking he’s just as charming as all hell,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, which released “Jack and Jill.”
“J. Edgar” played in 1,910 theaters, compared with more than 3,000 for the rest of the top-five movies. It was the weekend’s grown-up choice, with 66 percent of viewers over age 50, according to distributor Warner Bros.
Like “Immortals” with action crowds, “J. Edgar” has the prospect to dominate among older viewers through Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 24-27), one of the busiest times of the year for movie theaters.
“We’re the adult choice,” said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner. “We feel we have really good play time ahead of us going into the holiday.”
“J. Edgar” will join a parade of potential Academy Awards contenders arriving before year’s end as Hollywood rolls into its most diverse season, when drama, comedy, action and family films share screen time.
“This was one of the first weekends we’ve seen in a while that had a nice combination of films that gave us a really solid weekend,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “To me, this is what the holiday season is all about, having films like ‘Immortals’ in the mix in the top-five with a drama like ‘J. Edgar.'”
Opening Weekend Results
1. “Immortals,” $32 million ($36 million international).
2. “Jack and Jill,” $26 million ($2.7 million international).
3. “Puss in Boots,” $25.5 million ($4.5 million international).
4. “Tower Heist,” $13.2 million ($7.6 million international).
5. “J. Edgar,” $11.5 million.
6. “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” $5.9 million.
7. “In Time,” $4.2 million ($8.5 million international).
8. “Paranormal Activity 3,” $3.6 million ($7.1 million international).
9. “Footloose,” $2.7 million.
10. “Real Steel,” $2 million ($12 million international).