Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Lion Roars in 3-D

I feel like I'm ten years old again...only in the context that The Lion King topped the box office for the second week in the row.  Doing the actual math, and recounting my actual age kind of makes me a bit bitter, but that's besides the point.  The nostalgic factor of the one of the most beloved animated features (or features of any kind) topping the charts is fairly miraculous.  Converted to 3-D, Disney has achieved something quite special with its limited run, even more telling in an age as the 3-D craze is starting to underwhelm general audience tastes.  Aside from that, this was a fairly stellar weekend all around:

  1. The Lion King 3-D- $22 million\ -26% \ cum gross: $61 million-- The Lion King as a whole as made a whopping $390 million, making it the highest grossing traditionally animated feature ever, and the second highest animated feature ever (just after Toy Story 3.)
  2. Moneyball- $20 million-- The wonderfully reviewed Brad Pitt, baseball\math drama scored well for a drama and should hold up, considering it's awards potential and the fact that most seem to really, really like it-- I see it tomorrow!  Go smart people!
  3. Dolphin Tale- $20 million-- The sad animal family fable did pretty well too, bolstered by surprisingly good notices, and 3-D inflation.
  4. Abduction- $11 million-- Taylor Lautner's bid to outgrow Team Jacob was greeted with a shrug, and terrible reviews...He'll be fine, Breaking Dawn opens in November.
  5. Killer Elite- $9 million-- The randomly casted (Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen) action whatever will be on DVD soon, so no need to catch in theaters...remember when Clive Owen did good movies...sigh!
  6. Contagion-- Steven Soderbergh's scary viral\movie star killing opus is still holding strong in its third week.  Down an ok 41%, the film made just over $8 million for a total of $57 million so far.  It's one of the best major studio offerings so far this year, and great for non-fans of Gwyneth Paltrow!
  7. Drive-- The majorly awesome Ryan Gosling neo-noir dropped a sad 49% in week number two, but this was always going to a polarizing film, I assume, and thankfully was made for a scant $15 million; it's already made $21 million, and I'm hopeful it may stabilize in the next few weeks.
  8. The Help-- In week number seven, the sensation has broken the $150 million barrier, and dropped a nice 32% from last week-- I feel really ballsy saying this, but I'm thinking Best Picture is almost a sure thing.
  9. Straw Dogs-- Down 59% in its second week, the poorly reviewed remake has earned just over $8 million.
  10. I Don't Know How She Does It-- Down 53% in its second week, the Sarah Jessica Parker dramedy has earned $8 million.
Other box office notes:

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes has finally escaped the top ten after a nice roll, earning $173 million in eight weeks...Hail Caesar!
  • Warrior, despite good reviews, and a small, but fervent loyalty has still failed at the box office-- in its third weekend, the pugilist drama has earned a paltry $12 million.  I was a bit unkind to the movie, but still think it deserves better...the acting is stellar, and the finale is emotionally stirring.  I expect a huge fan resurgence when the film hits DVD.
  • Pearl Jam Twenty, Cameron Crowe's documentary performed fairly well in limited engagements, earning $369,00 on 7 screens, for a per-screen average of $12,700.
  • Machine Gun Preacher, the poorly reviewed Marc Forster (The Kite Runner, Monster's Ball) drama starring Gerard Butler, earned $44,000 on 4 screens, for an alright per-screen average of $11,000.
  • Weekend, the wonderfully reviewed new gay romantic drama earned $25,000 on 1 screen (it selfishly on played in New York), and received the highest per-screen average of any film this weekend.  YAY!

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