Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekend Box Office

Numbers mean absolutely nothing, but it's notable that the summer season, nearly two months before the actual calendar change is nearly underway.  And for the first time in 2011, there's a bit of relief.  This sad movie year thus far, both critically, but especially commercially finally has it's first blockbuster, and it came from a ten-year-old drag racing series in it's fifth time at the bat.

  1. Fast Five- grossed $83 million dollars this past weekend, making it the highest debut of any film in 2011, easily doubling the second place victor, Rio, which grossed $39.2 million in its first weekend.  The highest grossing Fast and Furious starter ever, and biggest weekend opening in history (money wise, not attendance wise) for distributor Universal Pictures.  Strangely enough, it's also the most highly reviewed film in the venerable (and now, never-ending, I'm sure) franchise.  Yeah for movies; but I'm ready for some substance...who's with me?  Anyone...
  2. Rio- came in second with $14 million, raising its gross to $103 million-- it's now the third highest grossing film of 2011, just behind Rango and Hop, and only the fourth film so far this year to cross the $100 million barrier...the February Adam Sandler vehicle Just Go With It is the fourth film this year to do so.  An interesting fact pertaining to both Fast Five and Rio is that both films opened in international markets before opening in North America, and both have exceeded in grosses abroad, making it more apparent and crucial how worldwide box office is in today's climate-- next weekend's likely champion, Thor opened this weekend in both Great Britain and Australia, and has already made nearly $100 million internationally.  The times have changed...America is not the top anymore, and Hollywood has realized it!
  3. Tyler Perry's Medea's Big Happy Family- in it's second weekend, the four-thousandth Medea movie in a decade made $10 million for a $41 million total gross so far.  Anyone else have allusions that Tyler Perry swims around in a money vault a la Scrooge McDuck in Duck Tales...not at all comparing him to the cartoon billionaire, just a thought.
  4. Water for Elephants- the soapy Depression-era circus epic starring Elle Woods and the Twilight boy dropped nearly 45% in its second weekend out, but the beautiful looking, if oddly subdued romantic tale will make it out just fine.  With a production budget of only $38 million (which is hard to believe, considering how finely calibrated the production values are) the film has already made $32 million.  The elephant is very charming however, so fans of the book will likely embrace it.
  5. Prom- the Disney flick about the most important social event of any high schooler made only $5 million in its first weekend-- I guess people are more interested in actually going to prom, than watching a movie about it, and the people out of school (like myself) likely don't to revisit those days.
  6. Hookwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil- calling it right now...worst title of any film in 2011.  Apparently six years was too long for anyone to care about a sequel to the modestly profitable Shrek rip-off Hookwinked, as it only made $4 million opening weekend.
  7. Soul Surfer- too modest to really be called the sleeper hit of the spring, but in it's fourth weekend the Christian-themed inspirational surfer story has held up fairly well.  Easing only 39% percent, it has earned $33 million, off a production budget of only $18 million.
  8. Insidious- for a film that only cost $1.8 million to make, this Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne haunted house film may be the true sleeper hit of the spring.  Opening very modestly ($13 million), the film has made $48 million in five weeks, losing very little each weekend, atypical for a horror film, and it's already well ahead of it's competition-- that already forgotten fourth chapter known as Scream 4.  I guess I should actually go see it.
  9. Hop- Easter is over, and so is Hop, as it fell 79% this weekend, but all is well as it has made $105 million so far.
  10. Source Code- dropping 50% in its fifth weekend, my favorite film of 2011 (so far, and really only by default...but it's still good so go see it if you haven't already) has made a respectable $48 million, as it makes it slow exit from theaters near you.
Out of the top ten this weekend are African Cats ($10.6 total gross), Hanna (35.9 total gross), Scream 4 ($35.4 total gross), Limitless ($76 total gross) and Arthur ($31.6 total gross), you are all gone, but not forgotten...

In limited release new, nothing was particularly eventful...both small time spring success stories Jane Eyre and Win Win continued their reach to modest commercial returns, as they rapidly lose theaters, while Meek's Cutoff continued performing reasonably well for the type of movie ain't going to cross over, and I say that with love as a firm supporter of the film.  The biggest new release was Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, the first documentary shot in 3-D, which opening wonderfully-- playing on 5 screens the picture earned $127,000 for a per-screen average of $25,000.  Not too shabby for a documentary, and one of the best averages so far this year.

What did you see this weekend?

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