A pretty good weekend of predictions from me. I correctly guessed the Top 4 in order, but the real story of the weekend is the #5 film, and that is where I’m going to start.
Paranormal Activity was the #5 film at the box office this weekend. What – you’ve never heard of it? Don’t worry – you will. This film is about a couple whose house is haunted. I will not say anymore about the actual plot of the film because the less you know about the film going in, the better the experience will be. Paranormal Activity was made in 2007, and is finally seeing the light of day two years later. The reason for the delay was Paramount going through changes. What makes this film so amazing is that two weeks ago it was being shown in only a couple theatres, mainly in college towns as midnight showings. This weekend, it expanded to 159 theatres, and was also shown as a midnight screening. Here’s the amazing stat – from 159 theatres, the film had a per theatre average of $34,591 (highest of any film in the top ten, and it was the second highest of any film in theatres this weekend. A film called An Education had a per theatre average of $40,000). The film grossed $5.5 million, and became the number five film at the box office this weekend. That was up an astounding 933.4% from the previous weekend. The film recently had a promotion from Paramount that if it got over one million hits on www.eventful.com, it would go into wide release. In only a couple of days, the film reached the mark, so it will go into wider release in the coming weeks. This truly is the big story of the weekend, and I am absolutely amazed at how well the film has done, from the limited amount of screenings it had, as well as the limited amount of theatres it was playing in. My mouth literally dropped to the floor when I saw the box office numbers this morning. Andy Burns and I plan on writing a review of the film, so be on the lookout for that tomorrow. I did not make a prediction on this film, because I really thought there was no way in hell that a film being released in 159 theatres would crack the top five at the box office. It truly shows that word-of-mouth is the best and most effective marketing tool for movies.
The #1 film this weekend was Couples Retreat. Overcoming overwhelmingly negative reviews, Vince Vaughn once again flexed his star-power, and the film grossed an amazing $35 million for a per theatre average of $11,667 (I predicted it to be the #1 film and to gross $31 million). I’m expecting this film to struggle in the weeks ahead, as both reviews and word-of-mouth are terrible, so I would be shocked if the film holds up well over the coming weeks.
The #2 film is Zombieland with a gross of $15.5 million for a per theatre average of $5,120 (I predicted it would be the #2 film, and that it would gross $13.8 million). What makes Zombieland so amazing is the hold that it had in its second weekend. The big debate was whether or not the film would play like a horror and have a big second weekend drop, or if it would play like a comedy, and have a strong hold. Horror-comedies are a very hard genre, and only very few films end up succeeding. I’m happy to say that Zombieland played like a comedy, and had an excellent drop of only 37.3% from its opening weekend. Word-of-mouth and reviews have been glowing, and Zombieland has become a bona-fide hit. Its total gross now stands at $45 million.
The #3 film is Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs with a gross of $13.7 million and a per theatre average of $4,596 (I predicted it would be the #3 film and gross $10.5 million). This really seems to be the weekend of incredible holds, as Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs dropped only 13%. That’s right, in its fourth weekend of release, the film dropped only 13%, and its total gross stands at $95 million. Sony must be ecstatic that the film is doing so well, and that it is holding up very well each weekend. It should crack the $100 million barrier at some point during the week. It’s still being shown in 3-D, which is adding to its gross, but like Zombieland, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is a film that shows what can happen when word-of-mouth plus good reviews go hand in hand, because I don’t think most people would have predicted this to be a $100 million dollar film.
The #4 film is the re-release of Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3-D) with a gross of $8.5 million for a per theatre average of $4,852 (I predicted it would be the #4 film and gross $5.58 million). The film dropped only 32%, which is an excellent hold, and the fact that the film is winding down its limited release, it should do steady business over the coming days. Disney/Pixar must be thrilled that the re-release has grossed $22 million so far. It is being shown in 3-D, which helps the box office, but the fact that it is three hours in length definitely affects the amount of showings it gets per day. I think the film has succeeded in generating buzz for Toy Story 3.
Surrogates was the other film that I made a prediction for, and it was the #6 film with a gross $4.1 million for a per theatre average of $1,375 (I predicted it to be the #5 film and gross $3.22 million). The film is definitely ending its run as it dropped 43.2% from last weekend, and with the per theatre average being around $1,000, you know the film is done. The total gross for Surrogates is $32.5 million.
Here are a couple of other stories.
The Chris Rock documentary Good Hair opened in 186 theatres and grossed $1.1 million for a per theatre average of $6,005. It was the #14 film in theatres this weekend.
The Coen Brothers latest film A Serious Man continues to do well in limited release, grossing $447,000 from 21 theatres for a per theatre average of $21,286. It was the #22 film this weekend.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
1) Couples Retreat – $31 million
2) Zombieland – $13.8 million
3) Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – $10.5 million
4) Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3-D) – $5.58 million
5) Surrogates – $3.22 million
And here are the actual numbers
1) Couples Retreat – $35 million
2) Zombieland – $15.5 million
3) Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – $13.7 million
4) Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3-D) – $8.5 million
5) Paranormal Activity – $5.5 million
Scotty G’s Predictions Were Off By – $13.01 million
Next weekend brings us the horror film The Stepfather, Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler battling in Law Abiding Citizen, the ensemble film New York, I Love You opening in limited release, the blaxploitation film Black Dynamite, and one of the most anticipated films of the year, the long delayed Where The Wild Things Are. Check back next Friday for my predictions.
Until next week.