Trivia Question – What film stopped Avatar from being the #1 film for the 8th weekend in a row? Answer – Dear John. Audiences were in the mood for romance and because of that, many analysts were way off in their predictions (including me). Here’s how the weekend unfolded.
Dear John opened at #1 with a gross of $32.4 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $16 million). The Nicholas Sparks adaptation had a per theatre average of $10,913, which was highest amongst any film in the top ten. Even though Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum are rising stars, I doubted that they would be able to open a film this strongly. Credit also has to go to the built in audience established by the book. It’s a very strong opening, and it should hold up well next weekend against the other new releases, because next weekend is Valentine’s Day weekend.
After seven weeks sitting atop the box office, Avatar fell to #2 with a gross of $23.6 million (I predicted a gross of $25.6 million, and for it to be the #1 film). Avatar had a per theatre average of $7,867, and was down 24.6% from last weekend. The film can now claim to be the highest grossing film of all time, both domestically and internationally. Here are the numbers:
1) Avatar – $630 million
2) Titanic – $600.7 million
1) Avatar – $1.574 billion
2) Titanic – $1.242 billion
1) Avatar – $2.204 billion
2) Titanic – $1.842 billion
Debuting in 3rd place, with extremely disappointing results is From Paris With Love with a gross of $8.1 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $11 million). John Travolta’s days as a leading man might be coming to an end. Based on the performance of this film and Old Dogs, his days of reigning at the box office should be coming to an end, and hopefully he will continue his career doing more supporting roles. They tried to generate interest, and the marketing made sure that audiences knew that the director of Taken made this film, but it is safe to say that this strategy failed. From Paris With Love had a per theatre average of $2,983, and it will be on your DVD shelves in the near future.
Dropping to 4th place is the Mel Gibson thriller Edge of Darkness with a gross off $7 million. (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $7.6 million). The film had a per theatre average of $2,285, and was down a very steep 59.3% from its opening weekend (That was also the highest percentage drop of any film in the top ten). Audiences are just not interested in Mel’s return to acting when the drop is that big and the per theatre average is that small. Like I mentioned above with John Travolta, Mel might have to take supporting roles if he wants to continue to be a viable actor in Hollywood. It is definitely a disappointing return to the silver screen for Mel Gibson. The budget for Edge of Darkness is rumoured to be $80 million, and after two weekends it has only grossed $29 million.
Rounding out the top five, in an absolute shocker to me is The Tooth Fairy. Last weekend, I thought it would disappear from the top five, and it ended up in 4th place. This weekend I thought it would disappear from the top five, and it finished in 5th place with a gross of $6.5 million (Just like last weekend, I did not make a prediction on this film as I did not think it would be in the top five this weekend). The Tooth Fairy was down 35% from last weekend. It’s per theatre average of $2,020 is definitely not that strong, and shows that for families, this is really the only film out there, as you’ll either see this, or stay at home. The total gross after three weeks stands at $34.3 million.
The mistake I made in my predictions was When In Rome, which was the #6 film with a gross of $5.5 million, down 55.4% from its opening weekend. I thought it would be the #5 film with a predicted gross of $5.6 million.
In limited release, Red Riding Trilogy opened in one theatre with a gross and per theatre average of $15,500.
The numbers for the film Frozen have not yet become available as of this writing.
The only other piece of film news that I have is that after seven weeks of release, Sherlock Holmes finished in 10th place with a gross of $2.6 million. That gave its total domestic box office a grand total of $201.5 million, making it the 10th film that was released in 2009 to gross more than $200 million.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
1) Avatar – $25.6 million
2) Dear John – $16 million
3) From Paris With Love – $11 million
4) Edge of Darkness – $7.6 million
5) When In Rome – $5.6 million
And here are the actual numbers:
1) Dear John – $32.4 million
2) Avatar – $23.6 million
3) From Paris With Love – $8.1 million
4) Edge of Darkness – $7 million
5) The Tooth Fairy – $6.5 million
My top five predictions (please note that these were my predictions, and not the actual top five, as I didn’t make a prediction on The Tooth Fairy ) were off by $22 million.
Next weekend Dear John will continue to look to be the #1 film against the all-star cast of Valentine’s Day, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Emily Blunt in The Wolfman, and the adventure film Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Check back next week for my predictions!