Inception became the fourth film this summer to repeat as the #1 film at the box office (Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3 were number one for two weekends in a row, while Shrek Forever After was number one for four weekends in a row). The buzz that Inception has received is nothing like any of the other summer releases, and audiences want to find out what all the hoopla is about. While Inception ruled the box office, Salt had an excellent opening weekend, having a bigger debut then many of the testosterone powered action flicks released this summer. Ramona and Beezus opened to unspectacular if not expected results. I was four for five in my predictions, placing the four films I got right in order and the most any of my predictions were off was by $6.8 million. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Remaining in 1st place for a second weekend is Inception with a gross of $43.5 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $42.6 million). The per theatre average for Inception was a stellar $11,473, which was the highest per theatre average in the top ten for a second weekend in a row, and was only down 30.7% from its debut. What’s so amazing about that number is that according to Box Office Guru, that is the second lowest drop of a wide release film in its second weekend this year behind The Tooth Fairy which was down only 29% on its second weekend. What makes Inception’s second weekend drop all the more impressive is that it had a very large debut, and films with large debuts tend to suffer big drop-offs in their second weekend, so Inception has definitely connected with audiences. The Christopher Nolan/Leonardo DiCaprio mind-bender continues to intrigue audiences, and is definitely a film that people want to see more than once. There is not much to be critical about, and Inception looks to have a pretty smooth road ahead as no film is going to give it a serious challenge for the rest of the summer. After two weekends, Inception has grossed $143.6 million which is a great total after considering the budget is around $160 million.
Debuting in 2nd place is the Angelina Jolie thriller Salt with a gross of $36.5 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $38 million). Salt had a per theatre average of $10,015. The opening weekend is great for Angelina Jolie as Salt is not based on another material that has a built in fan base, and she has no other major star in the film for support. The film succeeds or fails because of her, and it definitely can be considered a success. Look at the two other major testosterone-filled action films so far this summer and how they did on their opening weekend compared to Salt:
The A-Team – $25.6 million opening weekend
Knight and Day – $20.1 million opening weekend
The opening weekend goes to show that Angelina Jolie is the most bankable actress in films today, and is one of the few females that audiences want to see in action films. Reviews and word-of-mouth have been decent, so we’ll see how well Salt does in the next few weekends, but I don’t think it should have a problem reaching $100 million.
Despicable Me dropped from 2nd place to 3rd place with a gross $24.1 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $17.3 million). Despicable Me had a per theatre average of $6,700 and was down 26.5% from last weekend. The hold for the film is excellent and is impressive considering that Despicable Me still has Toy Story 3 competing against it. The two family films are proving to be a dynamic duo at the box office and Universal has to be happy with the performance of Despicable Me. After three weekends, it has taken in $161.7 million which means Universal is raking in the money as the budget for the film was only $69 million.
Dropping from 3rd place to 4th place is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with a gross of $9.6 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $8.1 million). The per theatre average for the film was a terrible $2,764, and the film was down 45% from last weekend. The film is not resonating with audiences, and as mentioned last week, it is the second disappointment in a row for Jerry Bruckheimer. I have learned not to doubt the Mouse House when it comes to films, as they can make a hit out of a lot of films, but they might scale back on the effects heavy pictures in the foreseeable future as they cost too much money, and are not coming close to equaling their return. After two weekends, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has grossed $42.6 million, and its budget is around $150 million.
Remaining in 5th place for a second weekend in a row is Toy Story 3 with a gross of $9 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $7.14 million). Toy Story 3 had a per theatre average of $3,265 and was down 24.7% from last weekend. Toy Story 3 is now setting personal bests for the Pixar brand, as it is the highest grossing film it has ever released. Here are the numbers:
1) Toy Story 3 – $379.5 million
2) Finding Nemo – $339.7 million
3) Up – $293 million
$400 million is all but assured for Toy Story 3 although it will face some competition next weekend with the release of Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore. As mentioned last week, the rumoured budget for Toy Story 3 is $200 million, so the film is just printing money for Disney/Pixar.
Debuting in 6th place is Ramona and Beezus with a gross of $8 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $8 million). Ramona and Beezus had a per theatre average of $2,942. I don’t think anyone is surprised by this debut, and it opened around where another famous property debuted this year (Marmaduke debuted with $11 million). It will have a short life in theatres, and I expect to see it on DVD shelves in the near future.
Dropping from 6th place to 7th place is Grown Ups with a gross of $7.6 million (I did not make a prediction on the film). The per theatre average for Grown Ups was $2,658 and the film was down only 23.3% from last weekend. The total gross for Grown Ups after five weekends is $142.4 million and its budget is a reported $80 million.
Dropping from 4th place to 8th place is The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with a gross of $7.2 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $6.16 million). The Twilight Saga: Eclipse had a per theatre average of $2,307 and was only down 46.4% from last weekend.
Here is how The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ranks compared to the rest of the series:
1) The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $296.6 million
2) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – $280 million
3) Twilight – $192.7 million
As mentioned last week, the budget on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is rumoured to be around $68 million, so Summit Entertainment has to be extremely happy with how the film has performed.
9th place belongs to The Last Airbender with a gross of $4.1 million (I did not make a prediction on this film). The per theatre average for The Last Airbender was $1,962 and the film was down 46.2% from last weekend. The Last Airbender has grossed $123.2 million after four weekends. The budget for The Last Airbender is reported to be $150 million.
10th place belongs to Predators with a gross of $2.8 million (I did not make a prediction on this film). The per theatre average for Predators was $1,544 and the film was down 59.4% from last weekend. Predators has grossed $46.5 million after three weekends, and the budget for Predators is reported to be $40 million.
Also worth noting – The Kids Are All Right was the #11 film at the box office this weekend. Its theatre count was up to 201 theatres and this resulted in a gross of $2.648 million, which was up 148.8% from last weekend’s gross and gave the film a per theatre average of $13,174 which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release. After three weekends, The Kids Are All Right has grossed $4.9 million.
In limited release:
Life During Wartime, Spoken Word, Mugabe and the White African, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, Farewell, Countdown to Zero, and Tirador have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Inception – $42.6 million
Salt – $38 million
Despicable Me – $17.3 million
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – $8.1 million
Ramona and Beezus – $8 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Inception – $43.5 million
Salt – $36.5 million
Despicable Me – $24.1 million
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – $9.7 million
Toy Story 3 – $9 million
My predictions compared to the actual top five films were off by $12.66 million.
Next weekend, Inception looks to be the #1 film for a third weekend in a row, but it will be battling Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in Dinner for Schmucks, the kid-pic Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore, and the Zac Efron drama Charlie St. Cloud. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!