Iron Man 2 was the #1 film for the second weekend in a row, although audiences are not responding to it as well as the first. Robin Hood had a better than expected opening weekend (reviews were mixed on the film) giving it a powerful #2 debut, while Letters to Juliet did not reach the levels of other romantic films starring Amanda Seyfried. I correctly picked all five films in order at the box office, and had an average week of predictions. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Iron Man 2 was the #1 film for the second week in a row, as it grossed $53 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $55 million). Iron Man 2 had a per theatre average of $12,073 which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release for the second weekend in a row as of this writing. Unfortunately the film dropped a very steep 58.6%, which tells you that up front demand has been met, and word of mouth on the film is not strong. The second weekend drop puts it in the middle of the pack with the list that I used on Friday, but it is much higher than the original Iron Man’s second weekend drop of 48.1%. Here’s the chart for some recent summer blockbusters second weekend drops:
1) X-Men Origins: Wolverine – 69% second weekend drop
2) X-Men: The Last Stand – 66.9% second weekend drop
3) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – 61.5% second weekend drop
4) Spider-Man 3 – 61.5% second weekend drop
5) Iron Man 2 – 58.6% second weekend drop
6) Shrek the Third – 56.4% second weekend drop
7) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – 54% second weekend drop
8) X2: X-Men United – 53.2% second weekend drop
9) The Dark Knight – 52.5% second weekend drop
10) Spider-Man 2 – 48.7% second weekend drop
11) Iron Man – 48.1% second weekend drop
12) Shrek 2 – 33.2% second weekend drop
Iron Man 2 just does not have the same buzz about it as the first film. Expectations were not high for the first one, and the film hit a home-run. The sequel came with very high expectations from the audience, and they just don’t seem to have been met. The original Iron Man grossed $177.8 million after two weekends, and Iron Man 2 has now grossed $212.1 million after two weekends, but if Iron Man 2 continues to have big drops, the film may not surpass the original’s total gross of $318.4 million.
Debuting in 2nd place with a gross of $37.1 million is Robin Hood (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $24 million). Robin Hood had a per theatre average of $10,595, which was the 2nd highest in the top ten. The film did remarkably well considering the negative reviews for the film. In fact, it had the second highest opening weekend in Russell Crowe’s career behind American Gangster’s $43.5 million. While there is something to cheer about in the short term, I would be worried about the film’s long term prospects. The film is catered to an adult audience, and they tend to listen to reviews more than most other audiences, as they don’t want to waste their money on a night out at the theatre on just any film. With the negative reviews, and by all accounts the disappointing word of mouth, I would expect a big drop next weekend, and I wouldn’t expect the film to reach the heights of Gladiator or American Gangster. In my predictions on Friday, I was worried about the gross of the film, and had doubts that it would beat the opening weekend of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from 20 years ago. Those fears were negated today, but an interesting note about the per theatre averages for Robin Hood and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – Robin Hood’s per theatre average was $10,595. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves per theatre average was $10,817. It’s too early to say, but Robin Hood will probably not reach the levels of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Debuting in 3rd place is Letters to Juliet with a gross of $13.7 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $22 million). Letters to Juliet had a per theatre average of $4,633 which is not good news considering the film was released in almost 3,000 theatres. Letters to Juliet also failed to reach the levels of some other recent romance films that I listed on Friday. Here’s the list:
1) Dear John – $30.4 million opening weekend
2) Mamma Mia – $27.7 million opening weekend
3) The Last Song – $16 million opening weekend
4) Letters to Juliet – $13.7 million opening weekend
I do think Amanda Seyfried can become a bankable leading lady someday, but I just feel that she is being rushed to early to headline films. I can’t complain about the release date for Letters to Juliet as Dear John was released close to Valentine’s Day, so you couldn’t have two mainstream films headlined by the same actress in a short period of time. Nevertheless, it’s a disappointing opening weekend for Letters to Juliet.
Debuting in 4th place with a gross of $8.5 million is Just Wright (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $9 million). The per theatre average for the film was $4,642, which is just slightly better than Letter to Juliet’s, but with the low theatre count, and the low opening weekend gross, I expect this film to be on DVD shelves soon. The film’s opening weekend has to be a little disappointing, as it did not meet the $12.5 million opening weekend totals of other Queen Latifah films (Barbershop and Last Holiday), and I think it would’ve done better in a different release date, instead of making it counter-programming for summer blockbuster films. It is what it is, and reviews were mixed, so it should be out of theatres soon.
Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is How to Train Your Dragon with a gross of $5.1 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $4.1 million). The film had yet another amazing hold as it was only down 23.4% from last weekend (which once again gives it the claim of having the lowest percentage drop in the top ten) and had a per theatre average of $2,620. In its 8th weekend of release, How to Train Your Dragon is still DreamWorks Animation 5th highest grossing film of all-time and 2nd highest grossing non-Shrek film of all-time. Here’s the breakdown:
1) Shrek 2 – $441.2 million
2) Shrek The Third – $322.7 million
3) Shrek – $267.6 million
4) Kung Fu Panda – $215.4 million
5) How To Train Your Dragon – $207.7 million
6) Monsters vs. Aliens – $198.3 million
7) Madagascar – $193.5 million
8) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $180 million
9) Shark Tale – $160.8 million
10) Over The Hedge – $155 million
How to Train Your Dragon will try to surpass Kung Fu Panda in the coming weeks, but its days of smooth sailing are over with Shrek Forever After opening next weekend. This means that How to Train Your Dragon is going to lose quite a few screens, so we’ll see how it holds up next weekend. I still say that it is going to surpass Kung Fu Panda, but that’s just me. As stated above, after eight weeks of release, How to Train Your Dragon has grossed $207.7 million.
I was off in my predictions for the 6th and 7th place films. Finishing in 6th place with a gross of $5.1 million is A Nightmare on Elm Street (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $3.2 million). The film ended up only dropping 48.5% from last weekend and had a per theatre average of $1,528. The drop this weekend was much lower than I definitely expected. Finishing in 7th place was Date Night with a gross of $4 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $3.21 million). Date Night dropped 25.7% from last weekend and had a per theatre average of $1,632.
In limited release:
Princess Kaiulani – this film that stars Q’Orianka Kilcher and Barry Pepper and is about the true story of a young woman who fought for the rights of indigenous Hawaiians grossed $185,000 from 33 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $5,606.
The Living Wake – a film about the final day of an artist that stars Jesse Eisenberg grossed $4,500 from one theatre.
Looking for Eric, Daddy Longlegs, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, The Trotsky, Here and There and Deadfall Trail have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
- Iron Man 2 – $55 million
- Robin Hood – $24 million
- Letters To Juliet – $22 million
- Just Wright – $9 million
- How To Train Your Dragon – $4.1 million
And here are the actual numbers:
- Iron Man 2 – $53 million
- Robin Hood – $37.1 million
- Letters To Juliet – $13.7 million
- Just Wright – $8.5 million
- How To Train Your Dragon – $5.1 million
My top five predictions were off by $24.9 million.
Next weekend, Iron Man 2 looks to be the #1 film at the box office for a third weekend in a row against Shrek Forever After and MacGruber. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!