Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

Militant guinea pigs were able to defeat the boy wizard this weekend as G-Force edged out a victory over Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. As for me, it was not a strong weekend, as I picked all top 5 films, but only one of them was in the position that I said it would end up in. The battle for the top spot was tight, and positions could change when final numbers come out on Monday

G-Force opened at #1 with a gross of $32.1 million [I predicted a gross of $22 million and for it to be the #2 film]. Even though the film ended up being #1, it did not have the highest per theatre gross of films in the top 5. Its per theatre gross was $8,697. Kids made sure their parents took them out to see this film weekend, and it was pretty close to the gross of the a film I mentioned in Friday’s report – Beverly Hills Chihuahua [that one grossed $29.3 million]. I would expect G-Force to play out similarly, so I don’t think it will hit the magical $100 million plateau. Still, Disney has to be happy with the opening weekend. We’ll see if word of mouth will make G-Force sink or swim.

The #2 film was last week’s #1 in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The film was down 61.5% for a gross of $30.6 million [I predicted a gross of $32.6 million, and that it would be the #1 film]. Its per theatre average was $6,936. Warner Bros. has to be disappointed with the big drop. To prove my point, let’s stack it up to the second weekends of the franchise:

Harry Potter/The Philosopher’s Stone – $57.4 million / Down 36.3%
Harry Potter/The Chamber of Secrets – $42.2 million / Down 52.2%
Harry Potter/The Prisoner of Azkaban – $34.9 million / Down 62.7%
Harry Potter/The Goblet of Fire – $54.7 million / Down 46.7%
Harry Potter/Order of the Phoenix – $32.5 million / Down 57.8%

In the franchise’s second weekend, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince had the second worst gross and percentage drop-off from opening weekend. Considering the solid reviews and the built in fan base, the number is low. Having said that the film is a setup film. People are waiting to see the final two films. Think of the recent Star Wars trilogy. People were waiting for Anakin to become Darth Vader, while in Harry Potter, people are waiting for the climatic battle. Still, it’s hard to be disappointed when you have put $221.8 million in the bank so far.

In third place, with the highest per theatre average in the Top 10, is Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler’s The Ugly Truth with $27 million [I predicted it would be the #3 film, but with a gross of $18 million]. The film had a per theatre average of $9,268. The Ugly Truth definitely played better than I expected it too, but it was a date film, and The Proposal was already out for 6 weeks, so the market wanted a new date film, and they got one. This to me is the biggest surprise at the box office this weekend.

In 4th place was Orphan with an unspectacular gross of $12.7 million [I predicted a gross of $8 million and finish in 5th spot]. Why do I say the gross is unspectacular? Because the per theatre average is only $4,644. If a wide release film has a per theatre average that is less than $5,000 on its opening weekend, then you know the film will hit DVD shelves soon. Orphan will do just that.

In 5th place was Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with a gross of $8.2 million [I predicted it would gross $10.1 million and be the number 4 film]. Down 53.3% from last weekend, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was a victim of an overcrowded market, as audience also had G-Force and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to choose from. It may not be the #5 film come Monday, as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen currently sits in 6th place with a gross of $8 million, so they could swap spots. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs will be out of the top 5 next weekend. Its per theatre average this weekend was a tiny $2,485 and its total gross stands at $171.2 million. Just for fun, here is where the films stand in the franchise in total gross:

1) Ice Age: The Meltdown – $195.3 million

2)Ice Age – $176.3 million

3)Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $171.2 million

In other stories this weekend, both (500) Days of Summer and The Hurt Locker expanded this weekend to varying degrees of success.

(500) Days of Summer expanded to 85 theatres this weekend, and saw its numbers go up 95.3% for a gross of $1.6 million and a per theatre average of $19,176 which is the highest of any film this weekend.

The Hurt Locker also expanded, and raised its theatre count to 238. This made its numbers go up 96.8% for a gross of $1.4 million. However, its per theatre average was only $6,122 which is low considering all the positive buzz about the film.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $32.6 million
2) G-Force – $22 million
3) The Ugly Truth – $18 million
4) Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $10.1 million
5) Orphan – $8 million

And here are the actual numbers:

1) G-Force – $32.1 million
2) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $30.6 million
3) The Ugly Truth – $27 million
4) Orphan – $12.7 million
5) Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $8.2 million

Next weekend brings us Funny People. Until next week!

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