Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Box Office

It's the second semi-official week of the summer movie season, and the sluggish 2011 returns are starting to form, as Thor hammered its way to the top spot for the second weekend in a row, with a sizable, but relatively healthy drop in ticket sales.  The first surprise of the year may be unfolding in the runner-up slot, as the Kristen Wiig vehicle Bridesmaids, opened to strong numbers as well as surprisingly nimble critical response.  I haven't seen the film yet, but whatever good will can be centered to the singularly talented eclectic comedy of Wiig, I truly support.

  1. Thor- In its second weekend, it retreated 47% for a cumulative North American take of $119 million, which for summer blockbuster delusions of grandeur may not be what Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios wanted, but it's rather healthy for a film like this, especially based on a relatively minor comic book character, and a film that's decent, but far from spectacular.  It's international sales have already surpassed $200 million, further proving the point the American box office returns are starting to mean less and less. 
  2. Bridesmaids- Advertised as a female version of The Hangover, the publicly noted as the first Judd Apatow-endorsed comedy written and starring women, Universal should be very pleased with the $26 million haul it made over its first weekend.  Positive reviews and it's female audience will likely keep word of mouth fairly strong for the next couple of weeks, hopefully The Hangover: Part 2 won't totally squash it out.  That the film only cost $32 million to produce proves what motion picture studios should already know by now-- modestly priced movies can reap huge dividends-- just saying, not every movie needs to be pricey to be seen.
  3. Fast Five- The fifth, but likely not final film in the epic drag racing series dropped a stable 37% in it's third weekend, bringing its total gross to $169 million.  Internationally the film has taken in $277 million, making it the highest grossing film in the series; get ready for "Fast Six: Cruise Control".
  4. Priest- The first summer casualty failed to register anything other than bad reviews and a lukewarm $14 million opening weekend, and that's including ridiculous 3-D inflation.  I feel sorry for Paul Bettany.
  5. Rio- Dropping a scant 2.7% in fifth week of release, the family favorite bird feature has now grossed $125 million.
  6. Jumping the Broom- Surely taking a huge hit due to Bridesmaids, the ethnic-spiced romantic comedy dropped 53% for a total gross of $25 million.
  7. Something Borrowed- Ditto-- dropped 50% and has earned $25 million...poor Kate Hudson.
  8. Water for Elephants- The soapy circus tale may have failed to truly capitalize on its Twilight leading man, but has been doing respectable business, easing 30% in its fourth weekend, proving yet again that female-driven films tend to play out well in the long end, even if they're openings are modest.  It's made $48 million in it's first month of release.
  9. Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family- Perry's latest has made $50 million, easing 47% in it's fourth week of release.
  10. Soul Surfer- This springs "Little Engine That Could" dropped 20% for a total gross of $39 million.
Further down, Will Ferrell's latest attempt at serious movies, Everything Must Go earned nearly $800,000 on 200 screens, perhaps suggesting an ominousness to it's films title.  Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams crossed the $1 million mark, a rare feat for such a specialized documentary, the Joseph Gordon Levitt-headlined Hesher, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival was greeted with a sigh, earning $125,000 on 42 screens, while critical-favorite, and James-approved Meek's Cutoff continues to do respectable art house business; its earned $344,000 so far, which is good for a film that is accessible to nearly no one.

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