Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

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This weekend provided us with a new #1 film with How To Train Your Dragon taking first place at the box office. Hot Tub Time Machine had a disappointing opening weekend, and the holdovers had grosses close to what I expected. I predicted all five films in the top five, and correctly guessed the finishes on three of them. Here’s how the weekend broke down:

Debuting in 1st place was How To Train Your Dragon with a gross of $43.3 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $75 million). The film had a per theatre average of $10,678, which was the 2nd highest out of any film this weekend. Although the first place finish is great, the opening weekend gross has to be considered a big disappointment. I took a look at the opening weekend grosses of other Dreamworks animated films on Friday, and now let’s see how they all rank in terms of opening weekend grosses (with the exception of the Shrek films):

1) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $63.1 million opening weekend

2) Kung-Fu Panda – $60.2 million opening weekend

3) Monsters vs. Aliens – $59.3 million opening weekend

4) Shark Tale – $47.6 million opening weekend

5) Madagascar – $47.2 million opening weekend

6) How To Train You Dragon – $43.3 million opening weekend

7) Over The Hedge – $38.4 million opening weekend

8) Bee Movie – $38 million opening weekend

I really did expect a higher gross, as I thought the 3-D aspect of the film would help its total box office, but as you can see above How To Train Your Dragon’s numbers were not even close to the top end of other Dreamworks animated films. I had an extremely liberal prediction, and I thought that if Alice in Wonderland could gross over $100 million with the help of 3-D, and the fact that the previous Dreamworks animated 3-D film (which was Monsters vs. Aliens) could gross just under $60 million, How To Train Your Dragon could gross over $70 million with ease. I was wrong. Its hold on first place will be short lived, as next weekend brings a strong crop of movies, and it will be interesting to see how How To Train Your Dragon holds up (Side note: I think it takes some skill to use the word “how” back-to-back in the same sentence). On a more positive note, How To Train Your Dragon has the fifth highest all-time opening weekend gross of a film that opened in 3-D. Here’s the list:

1) Alice in Wonderland – $116.1 million opening weekend

2) Avatar – $77 million opening weekend

3) Up – $68.1 million opening weekend

4) Monsters vs. Aliens – $59.3 million opening weekend

5) How To Train Your Dragon – $43.3 million opening weekend

What bothers me is that How To Train Your Dragon is receiving some of the best reviews in Dreamworks animation history, so it should be able to attract adults who would bring their kids to see it. Somewhere along the way, audiences did not seem to be all that interested, so Dreamworks will have some analyzing to do.

Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is Alice in Wonderland with $17.3 million. (I predicted a 3rd place finish and was bang on with my prediction as I also predicted a gross of $17.3 million). The film dropped only 49.4% from last weekend, and had a per theatre average of $5,112. Its total gross now stands at $293.1 million. To show you how rare it is for a film released between January-April to gross over $300 million, I bring you this stat. Only one film in history has grossed over $300 million that was released between January-April, and that film was 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, which has a total gross of $370.7 million (that includes its re-release which hardly accounted for anything). Alice in Wonderland will join that rare club in the next few days.

Debuting in 3rd place with a very disappointing result is Hot Tub Time Machine, with a gross of $13.6 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a weekend gross of $24 million). The film’s per theatre average was a very mediocre $4,956. It’s funny that I mentioned films that have their plots explained by their title on Friday. I referenced Snakes On A Plane as an example, and that film opened with a gross of $13.8 million back in 2006. Maybe Hollywood will rethink how they name movies. I do think the title turned off some people, because it is a so-called “dumb” title. The film did receive positive reviews, so I’m sure the studio was hoping to get some adults in because of that, but it failed to materialize. The opening was in line with other John Cusack headlined films. Here’s the some of the list that I gave on Friday, and how they all fare when it comes to opening weekends:

1) 1408 – $20.6 million opening weekend

2) Identity – $16.2 million opening weekend

3) Hot Tub Time Machine – $13.6 million opening weekend

4) Serendipity – $13.3 million opening weekend

5) Must Love Dogs – $12.8 million opening weekend

I’m sure Hot Tub Time Machine will find a bigger life on DVD, as it does feel like a film that you would rather see at home.

Dropping from 3rd place to 4th place is The Bounty Hunter with a gross of $12.4 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $9.3 million). The Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler action-comedy held up quite well in its second weekend considering the very negative reviews the film has received. The per theatre average for The Bounty Hunter was $4,034, and its gross was down 40.1% from last weekend. I guarantee that this will be the last weekend that The Bounty Hunter is in the top five. After two weekends, the film has grossed $38.8 million, and will make back its budget shortly, as the cost of the film was estimated at $40 million.

Dropping from 2nd place to 5th place is Diary of a Wimpy Kid with a gross of $10 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $8.4 million). Diary of a Wimpy Kid took the largest percentage drop in the top ten as it lost a lot of its audience to How To Train Your Dragon. It was down 54.8% from last weekend, and had a per theatre average of $3,244. The film has more than doubled its budget (estimated at $15 million), so it is a hit for the studio, but the film will definitely fade fast from theatres if it keeps dropping at this rate. After two weekends, Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s total gross is $35.7 million.

In other news, the battle for sixth place is between four films – YES ­– four films.

Currently, here are the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th place films at the box office:

6) She’s Out Of My League – $3.526 million

7) Green Zone – $3.350 million

8) Shutter Island – $3.175 million

9) Repo Men – $3.048 million

So we’ll see if those positions stay the same when final numbers are released on Monday.

In limited release,

Chloe finished in 15th place with a gross $1,002,000 from 350 theatres. It had a terrible per theatre average of $2,863.

Waking Sleeping Beauty had a gross of $33,100 from 5 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $6,620.

Lbs. had a gross of $10,900 from 1 theatre, so it has the same per theatre average.

Ca$h and Dancing Across Borders have yet to report their box office totals for the weekend as of this writing.

So to recap, here were my predictions:

1) How To Train Your Dragon – $75 million

2) Hot Tub Time Machine – $24 million

3) Alice in Wonderland – $17.3 million

4) The Bounty Hunter – $9.3 million

5) Diary of a Wimpy Kid – $8.4 million

And here are the actual numbers:

1) How To Train Your Dragon – $43.3 million

2) Alice in Wonderland – $17.3 million

3) Hot Tub Time Machine – $13.6 million

4) The Bounty Hunter – $12.4 million

5) Diary of a Wimpy Kid – $10 million

My top five predictions were off by $46.8 million.

Next weekend, How To Train Your Dragon will try to be the #1 film for the second weekend in a row against the action adventure film Clash of the Titans, Miley Cyrus’s latest film The Last Song, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too, and Brendan Fraser takes on nature in Furry Vengeance.

Check back next week for my predictions!

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