It’s fitting that a movie called Valentine’s Day was the #1 film on the Valentine’s Day weekend. In fact, the box office was on fire, with three films grossing over $30 million. My predictions were not very close, but I did guess what films would make the top five, and that counts for something! Here’s how the weekend broke down.
Valentine’s Day opened at #1 with a remarkable gross of $52.4 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $42 million). The all-star film led the trio of new releases at the box office, and overcame absolutely terrible reviews to claim the #1 spot. Valentine’s Day had a per theatre average of $14,300. The opening was the 3rd largest February opening weekend of all time. For the curious, they are:
1) The Passion of the Christ – $83.8 million
2) Hannibal – $58 million
3) Valentine’s Day – $52.4 million
I don’t know how the film will hold up long term, but for right now, it is tops in the land.
The gap between 2nd place and 3rd place is less than a million dollars, so the positions of the #2 and #3 films could change when final numbers come out. Opening in 2nd place is Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief with a gross of $31.1 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $24 million). It had a per theatre average of $9,267. I questioned how popular the book series was, and I underestimated it. It definitely was not as popular as the Twilight and Harry Potter franchises, but the name of the game is longevity, and time will tell if Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief will be able to hold up to the standards set by the other franchises listed above.
Opening in 3rd place was The Wolfman with a gross of $30.6 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $27 million). It had a per theatre average of $9,506. The Wolfman had to overcome an amazing amount of negative buzz leading up to its release and mostly negative reviews on its release, but people were looking to an alternative to romance films, and wanted to see some good ole fashioned horror. The rumoured budget of the film is around $150 million, so I cannot see the film making back its money domestically, but only time will tell.
In 4th place, in a surprise to me (I’ll explain why shortly), is Avatar with a gross of $22 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $18.2 million). Avatar had a per theatre average of $8,194 (which is ridiculous, considering that the film is in its 9th week), and was also down a ridiculously small 3.7%. The Avatar juggernaut just rolls along. I doubt the film’s performance some weekends, and every weekend I do, I get burned. After nine weekends, Avatar has grossed $659.6 million.
Dropping to 5th place was Dear John with a gross of $15.3 million (I predicted a 4th place finish of $22.8 million). Dear John had a per theatre average of $5,143, and shockingly, the film was down 49.8%. I mentioned in my analysis of Avatar that I was surprised Avatar finished in 4th place, because Dear John should have had a much stronger second weekend. It’s a romance film on Valentine’s Day, and audiences should have been out in much stronger force, which tells me that the long term prospects of this film are dim to say the least. On paper, 4th place should have been a lock for Dear John, but that’s why you wait to see the Sunday box office totals. After two weekends, Dear John has grossed $53.1 million.
In limited release, My Name is Khan opened in 13th place with a gross of $1.86 million. It was released in 120 theatres and had a per theatre average of $15,500, which was the highest of any film this weekend.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
1) Valentine’s Day – $42 million
2) The Wolfman – $27 million
3) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief – $24 million
4) Dear John – $22.8 million
5) Avatar – $18.2 million
And here are the actual numbers:
1) Valentine’s Day – $52.4 million
2) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief – $31.1 million
3) The Wolfman – $30.6 million
4) Avatar – $22 million
5) Dear John – $15.3 million
My top five predictions were off by $32.4 million.
Next weekend, Valentine’s Day will continue to look to be the #1 film against one of the most anticipated films of 2010, Shutter Island directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Also coming out next weekend is the Ewan McGregor/Roman Polanski film The Ghost Writer.
Check back next week for my predictions!