Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

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In a big surprise (again), Shrek Forever After is the #1 film for the third weekend in a row out grossing four new releases.  I took a big gamble on my prediction for what the #1 film would be this weekend, and I was not even close to being accurate.  I predicted four of the films in the top five, and two of them in order, but I would not say that I had a strong weekend of predictions with the new releases (the evidence below will substantiate that claim).  Here’s how the weekend broke down:

Shrek Forever After is the number one film for the third weekend in a row with a gross of $25.3 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $22.5 million).  Shrek Forever After had a per theatre average of $5,768 (which for the first time during Shrek Forever After’s release was not the highest per theatre average in the top ten), and was down 41.6% from last weekend.  This is the first time that a Shrek film has been the #1 film for three weekends in a row, but it’s not something I would be cheering about.  The third weekend gross was the lowest third weekend gross in the franchise, and the only reason that the film has been #1 for three weekends in a row, is because the films being released against Shrek Forever After do not excite audiences.  I would also say that the 3-D screenings definitely help the bottom line, as it is the only major 3-D film in release.  Here’s how the Shrek films stack up on their third weekend:

2001 – Shrek – $28.1 million third weekend gross – Down 33.7%

2004 – Shrek 2 – $37.9 million third weekend gross – Down 47.4%

2007 – Shrek the Third – $28 million third weekend gross – Down 47.2%

2010 – Shrek Forever After – $25.3 million third weekend gross – Down 41.6%

Unfortunately, the film is not on pace to surpass any of the other sequels in the franchise, as here are the total grosses of the Shrek franchise after their third weekend:

2001 – Shrek – $111.7 million gross

2004 – Shrek 2 – $314.5 million gross

2007 – Shrek the Third – $255.9 million gross

2010 – Shrek Forever After – $183 million gross

Like I said last weekend, Shrek Forever After has grossed more in its third weekend than the original Shrek did back in 2001, but Shrek Forever After is declining at a much faster rate, so I don’t think it will surpass the original Shrek’s total gross of $267.6 million, and if it does, it will not be by very much.  I absolutely promise you that Shrek Forever’s After run at the top of the box office will come to an end next weekend. 

Debuting in 2nd place is the comedy Get Him to the Greek with a gross of $17.4 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $19 million).  Get Him to the Greek had a per theatre average of $6,460 which was the highest in the top ten.  The film opened pretty close to the films that I used in making my predictions.  To recap, they were:

2009 – Funny People – $22.6 million opening weekend

2009 – I Love You, Man – $17.8 million opening weekend

2008 – Role Models – $19.1 million opening weekend

2008 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall – $17.7 million opening weekend

As you can see, the opening weekend gross is almost identical to that of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I’m sure the people involved with Get Him to the Greek are hoping that it has as good a run as Forgetting Sarah Marshall did.  Arguably, of the four major new releases this weekend, Get Him to the Greek had the least star power.  I don’t think that Russell Brand and Jonah Hill are the most well known actors (that doesn’t mean that I don’t like them, as I’m a big fan of Jonah Hill’s, and in the few films that I have seen Russell Brand in, I do find him funny).  The advertising campaign was excellent, as people liked the premise of the film, and it didn’t have to use star power to get people in the theatres.  I think you will see Get Him to the Greek have a similar run to Forgetting Sarah Marshall so it should do all right in the coming weeks.

Debuting in 3rd place is Killers with a gross of $16.1 million (I predicted a gross of $8 million and an 8th place finish).  Killers had a per theatre average of $5,631.  I admit that I underestimated the star power of Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.  I thought that Killers had so much going against it:  it was not screened for critics (which is not good as the film was targeted towards adults) and the ad campaign was not funny, although it did its job of promoting the film, as I saw enough trailers, TV commercials, and posters for Killers.  People wanted an action comedy, and this film is the only major release in the market place that can deliver that need.  I really don’t think that Killers will have a long run at the box office, but it does say that Kutcher and Heigl can open a film.

Dropping from 3rd place to 4th place is Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time with a gross of $13.9 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $13.2 million).  The film had a per theatre average of $3,812 and was down 53.8% from last weekend.  The drop in its second weekend is not good news for Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time.  Audiences are clearly not interested, and the per theatre average is already below $5,000 in its second weekend.  The video game curse could be blamed on the poor box office results for the film, as even though Rotten Tomatoes has listed this film as the best reviewed film based on a video game of all time (even though the reviews for Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time are mixed at best), audiences could care less about the film itself.  There is no way Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time comes close to making back its reported $200 million budget domestically, but luckily, the foreign gross for the film is excellent as it has taken in $156.4 million overseas.  After two weekends, Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time has grossed $59.4 million. 

Dropping from 2nd place to 5th place is Sex and the City 2 with a gross of $12.6 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $12.4 million).  The film had a per theatre average of $3,672 and was down 59.2% from last weekend.  I have to stress what I said last week:  If the franchise is to continue telling stories, it should go back to television, as the numbers say that the interest is not that strong anymore.

Like I did last weekend, let’s compare second weekend grosses for the two films:

Sex and the City – $21.1 million second weekend – Down 62.8%

Sex and the City 2 – $12.4 million second weekend – Down 59.2%   

Now let’s compare the per theatre averages for both films on their second weekends:

Sex and the City – $6.381 per theatre average

Sex and the City 2 – $3,672 per theatre average

And finally, let’s compare the total box office after two weekends for both films:

Sex and the City – $99.1 million after two weekends

Sex and the City 2 – $73.4 million after two weekends

Like Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time, the per theatre average is below $5,000 on its second weekend, which is never a good sign.  While Sex and the City 2’s second weekend drop was not as big as the originals, I think the gross between the two films is so big that there is just no hope of Sex and the City 2 catching it.  If the sequel had the $65 million budget of the original, we would say that there is still interest in the franchise, and that the series is still profitable.  Unfortunately the sequel cost around $100 million, which is around what I think Sex and the City 2 will gross domestically.  The foreign box office was big for the original, so the sequel will need a similar performance.  Still, I say the series should go back to TV.

With Get Him to the Greek and Killers making it to the top five, Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood both got knocked out.  We also have two other new major releases that I haven’t mentioned yet.  Here’s how 6th place through 10th place looked:

Debuting in 6th place is Marmaduke with a gross of $11.3 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $26 million).  Marmaduke had a per theatre average of $3,517, which is not good for its opening weekend.  As we all know, my rule is if a film with a high theatre count (Marmaduke had a theatre count of 3,213, the highest of any new release this weekend) does not have a per theatre average of over $5,000, then it is going to have a very short run at the box office, and I think this is what will happen to Marmaduke.  Reviews were terrible, and families wanted to see a film about a green ogre over a film with talking animals.  Marmaduke was also not able to translate its popularity as a comic strip into success at the box office.  I made an absolutely terrible prediction on this film.  I really did think that family films would rule the box office this summer (I still do), and I thought audiences would tire of Shrek Forever After and want to give Marmaduke a try, but I made a huge miscalculation.  I expect Marmaduke to have trouble in the long run, as Toy Story 3 will be out in two weeks, and that should signal the end for Marmaduke.

Iron Man 2 dropped from 4th place to 7th place with a gross of $7.7 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $9.8 million).  Iron Man 2 had a per theatre average of $2,588 and dropped 52.7% from last weekend.  Continuing what I did last weekend, I wanted to compare both films in the franchise.  Here are the numbers for the two Iron Man films on their 5th weekend:

2008 – Iron Man – $13.5 million fifth weekend gross // 33.8% drop from previous weekend.  Total gross in its fifth weekend – $276.1 million.

2010 – Iron Man 2 – $7.7 million fifth weekend gross // 52.7% drop from previous weekend.  Total gross in its fifth weekend – $291.2 million.

It is interesting to note that Iron Man has now out grossed Iron Man 2 on its third, fourth and fifth weekends.  Like I said last weekend, the rapid decline on the sequel is not a good sign for Marvel, and I’m sure they are noting that.  However, the franchise is still healthy and Iron Man 2 should be able to pass the original Iron Man’s gross of $318.4 million, but not by very much.

Debuting in 8th place is the horror film Splice with a gross of $7.4 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $10 million).  Splice had a per theatre average of $3,041.  The film was acquired at Sundance by Warner Bros., and I give the studio credit for releasing the film, as it is definitely a film that would usually get a smaller run.  I’m sure the film will find more of an audience on DVD, as I never think that summertime is when a horror film should be released.

Dropping from 5th place to 9th place is Robin Hood with a gross of $5.1 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $6.8 million).  Robin Hood had a per theatre average of $1,975 and dropped 50.7% from last weekend.  After four weekends Robin Hood has grossed $94.2 million.

Rounding out the top ten is Letters to Juliet with a gross of $3 million (I did not make a prediction for the film).  Letters to Juliet had a per theatre average of $1,529 and was down 48.6% from last weekend.  After four weekends, Letters to Juliet has grossed $43.3 million.

In other box office news:

For the third weekend in a row, MacGruber is a major story for all the wrong reasons.  MacGruber grossed $96,000 in its third weekend, and suffered a drop of 93.9%.  The per theatre average was $542, which was almost as good as last week’s, which was $615.  The reason for the 93.9% drop in its third weekend was because its theatre count dropped from 2,546 to 177.  The total gross for MacGruber is now $8.4 million and there’s no way it gets to $10 million in its hope to make back its budget.

Here’s the How to Train Your Dragon report for the weekend to see if it can succeed in its quest to become the highest grossing non-Shrek film in DreamWorks animation history.  This weekend How to Train Your Dragon finished with a gross of $460,000.  Its total gross stands at $213.8 million, and it is now less than $2 million away from surpassing Kung Fu Panda for the title of highest grossing non-Shrek film in DreamWorks animation history.  Here’s the list:

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 – $213.8 million

In limited release: 

Raajneeti – This film grossed $917,000 to finish in 11th place.  It had a per theatre average of $7,395 from 124 theatres.

Living in Emergency:  Stories of Doctors Without Borders, Whiz Kids, Cropsey, Double Take, Ondine, Finding Bliss, Boyband and Convention have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.

So to recap, here were my predictions:

  1. Marmaduke – $26 million 
  2. Shrek Forever After – $22.5 million
  3. Get Him To The Greek – $19 million
  4. Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time – $13.2 million
  5. Sex and the City 2 – $12.4 million

And here are the actual numbers:

  1. Shrek Forever After – $25.3 million
  2. Get Him to the Greek – $17.4 million 
  3. Killers – $16.1 million
  4. Prince of Persia:  The Sands of Time – $13.9 million
  5. Sex and the City 2 – $12.6 million

My predictions were off by $13.4 million. 

Next weekend, Shrek Forever After looks to be the #1 film at the box office for a fourth weekend in a row against The Karate Kid and The A-Team.  Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!

One Reply to “Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report”

  1. I thought Marmaduke was a crazy “Top” pick this week, Scotty…but no crazier than all the faith I put behind Speed Racer a year or so ago. I thought it was gonna make “Matrix” money. Instead, it nearly bankrupted me on the Hollywood Stock Exchange!

    Ask Andy B. I still can't live that one down…

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