Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

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Avatar fought off archangels and tooth fairies to remain in the #1 spot for the sixth straight weekend.  I was again surprised at how one of the new releases did, but was off in my predictions on the other new releases.  I predicted four of the five films in the top five, and got three in their correct position.  Here’s my wrap-up report.

Avatar led the way once again in its sixth weekend at the box office with a gross of $36 million (I predicted a gross of $33.7 million, and for it to be the #1 film).  The James Cameron blockbuster had a per theatre average of $11,461, which was once again the highest per theatre average in the top ten.  Avatar was down only 15.9% from last weekend, and set a record for the highest sixth weekend gross of all-time.  With this weekend’s gross, Avatar is the #2 film all-time in domestic gross and worldwide gross.  It is already the #1 international film of all-time.  Here are the numbers:

DOMESTIC GROSS

1) Titanic – $600.7 million

2) Avatar – $552.7 million

INTERNATIONAL GROSS

1) Avatar – $1.283 billion

2) Titanic – $1.242 billion

WORLDWIDE GROSS

1) Titanic – $1.842 billion

2) Avatar – $1.836 billion

It’s an incredible achievement for James Cameron to have the two highest grossing films of all time worldwide.  There was a recent article that I read saying that Avatar has not sold as many tickets as blockbusters from the past, and that the 3-D showings are helping its gross because of the higher cost.  Say what you want, we haven’t seen a phenomenon like Avatar since Titanic.  Not even The Dark Knight was #1 for six straight weekends.

In a surprise to me, 2nd place belonged to Legion with a gross of $18.2 million (I predicted a 7th place opening with a gross of $6 million).  The film overcame awful reviews to become a minor hit at the box office this weekend.  It had a per theatre average of $7,351, which is pretty decent.  I don’t see this film having a long future, as I just get the feeling that the core audience turned out this weekend, and that word-of-mouth will not carry the film.

Dropping one spot from last weekend to third place is The Book of Eli with a gross of $17 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $13.7 million).  Down 48.2%, the film held up better than I had predicted, as The Book of Eli had a per theatre average of $5,464 in its second weekend.  In two weeks, the Denzel Washington apocalypse tale has taken in $62 million.

Debuting in a disappointing 4th place is The Tooth Fairy with $14.5 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $17 million).  The Dwayne Johnson comedy also had problems with negative reviews and ended up with a per theatre average of $4,336.  Anytime a new film that is in wide release, has a per theatre average that is less than $5,000, long term prospects are dim.  This is definitely a disappointing first week for The Tooth Fairy.

Rounding out the top five is The Lovely Bones with a gross of $8.8 million (I was bang on with my prediction of it being in 5th place and grossing $8.8 million).  The film was down 48.3% from last weekend, and had a per theatre average of $3,423.  The film had a great pedigree going into awards season with Peter Jackson directing a very well received book.  Besides Jackson being an Oscar winner, the film also stars Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon, who had won Oscar’s previously.  Then when the film was put into limited released, reviews were average at best, and the hopes for this to be a contender in awards season faded away.  Expect this film to be on DVD soon. In its seven week run (five in limited, 2 in wide), The Lovely Bones has grossed $31.6 million.

The other major new release that debuted this weekend was Extraordinary Measures, and it had a very weak debut of $7 million to give it a 7th place finish (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $12 million).  Yet another new release that had to overcome terrible reviews, and audiences seemed to listen to the critics in this case.  The film had a per theatre average of $2,746, which assures us all that the film will be on DVD in the very near future.  The trailers did have a feel of a Made-for-TV movie, and I think the only reason it was in theatres was because of the cast involved.  The producer’s could have saved some money hiring lesser known talent, and not put it into theatres, especially since the studio was CBS films.  CBS should have just aired it on TV.

In limited release, To Save A Life grossed $1.5 million from 441 theatres for a per theatre average of $3,401, Creation grossed $52,000 from 7 theatres for a per theatre average of $7,429 and The Girl On The Train grossed $20,000 from two theatres for a per theatre average of $10,000.

Once again, here were my predictions:

1) Avatar – $33.7 million

2) The Tooth Fairy – $17 million

3) The Book of Eli – $13.7 million

4) Extraordinary Measures – $12 million

5) The Lovely Bones – $8.8 million

And here are the actual numbers:

1)  Avatar – $36 million

2)  Legion – $18.2 million

3)  The Book of Eli – $17 million

4)  The Tooth Fairy – $14.5 million

5)  The Lovely Bones – $8.8 million

My predictions of what ended up being the top five films were off by $20.3 million.

Next weekend Avatar will continue to look to be the #1 film against Mel Gibson as a dad seeking vengeance in Edge of Darkness, and Kristen Bell looking for love in the romantic comedy When In Rome. Opening in limited release are North Face and Saint John of Las Vegas.

Check back next week for my predictions!

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