Sylvester Stallone and the boys of The Expendables were able to repeat as box office champions, leading a lackluster August box office frame. My predictions were back on track this weekend as I correctly predicted four of the films in order at the box office, and I was truthfully not far off in any of my predictions. The five new releases this weekend did not make a major impact with theatergoers and I would expect them all to be on DVD shelves sooner rather than later. Here’s how the box office broke down:
Staying in 1st place for the second weekend in a row is The Expendables with a gross of $16.5 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $14.2 million). The Expendables had a per theatre average of $5,046 and suffered a drop of 52.6%. The hold was pretty decent because I expected that the film had a lot of up front demand on its first weekend, as everyone wanted to see these action stars in the same film together, but I didn’t know if it would be able to draw a lot of new business going forward. Also, with the sheer amount of new releases this weekend, I thought that people might want to see one of the five new films over older entries in theatres, but audiences still wanted to see Sylvester Stallone and the boys. After two weekends, The Expendables has grossed $64.8 million, and with a budget rumoured to be around $80 million, that’s a pretty good gross after 10 days of release.
Debuting in 2nd place is the comedy Vampires Suck with a gross of $12.2 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $14 million). Vampires Suck had a per theatre average of $3,774, which is absolutely atrocious considering the film was released in 3,233 theatres. Anytime a film that debuts in over 2,500 theatres and has a per theatre average of less than $5,000, you know that audiences don’t care about the film. It also shows you how little interest there is by audiences in movies right now if the film was able to finish in 2nd place with those bad numbers. Here’s how the film did compared to the other spoof comedy films from the duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer:
1) Date Movie – $19 million
2) Epic Movie – $18.6 million
3) Meet the Spartans – $18.5 million
4) Vampires Suck – $12.2 million
5) Disaster Movie – $5.8 million
So the opening weekend is an improvement over the duo’s last film Disaster Movie but it is not at the levels they were once used too. The film has a reported budget of $20 million, which means the film will make money as Vampires Suck opened on Wednesday and has so far taken in $18.5 million.
Dropping from 2nd place to 3rd place is the Julia Roberts drama Eat Pray Love with a gross of $12 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $12.7 million). Eat Pray Love had a per theatre average of $3,894 and was down 48.1% from its opening weekend gross. The film did a pretty decent job this weekend in terms of not suffering a big drop at the box office, but the disturbing number is the per theatre average. Eat Pray Love was not quite the Julia Roberts’ comeback film people had hoped it would be, but it has done well. After ten days, the film has grossed $47.1 million, and it should be able to make back its reported $60 million budget.
Debuting in 4th place is the comedy Lottery Ticket with a gross of $11.1 million (I predicted a gross of $8 million and a 7th place finish). The film had a per theatre average of $5,639 which was the highest per theatre average of any film in the top ten. Lottery Ticket had the best debut (in my opinion) by a major release this weekend, and what’s so impressive is that it had the 2nd lowest theatre count of any film in the top ten, yet it has the best per theatre average. It’s pretty much the lone bright spot of any release this weekend, and considering the budget is around $17 million, the film will definitely make back its money.
Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is the action-comedy The Other Guys with a gross of $10.1 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $9.7 million). The Other Guys had a per theatre average of $2,909 and dropped 42% from last weekend. The drop from weekend to weekend is very good, considering that five new releases came out this weekend, but it is not a good sign that The Other Guys already has a per theatre average that is below $3,000, and this is only its third weekend. The film will definitely make more than its budget (rumoured to be around $100 million), as after seventeen days of release, The Other Guys has grossed $88.1 million.
Debuting in 6th place is the horror film Piranha 3-D with a gross of $10 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $9 million). Piranha 3-D had a per theatre average of $4,063. Despite the fact that the film was in 3-D, audiences were not interested in the picture and it should be on DVD shelves soon. With a budget that is rumoured to be around $24 million, it will be interesting to see if the film makes back its money considering that horror films suffer big drops on their second weekends, and the fact that another horror film gets released next weekend.
Debuting in 7th place is the family film Nanny McPhee Returns with a gross of $8.3 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $10.5 million). Nanny McPhee Returns had a per theatre average of 2,985. The film’s debut was nowhere near as strong as the original’s debut of $14.5 million back in 2006. It is never a good sign when a sequel does not have a better opening weekend than the original. With a budget rumoured to be around $35 million, I don’t think the film will be making back its money in North America, and it will be looking to find a bigger audience on DVD shelves.
Debuting in 8th place is the comedy The Switch with a gross of $8.1 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $6 million). The Switch had a per theatre average of $4,026. The debut was almost identical to the Jennifer Aniston film Love Happens so this gross is becoming the standard for Jennifer Aniston romantic films. The per theatre average is pretty good for an 8th place film, but I think that audiences would rather watch this on DVD than pay big bucks to see it in theatres.
Dropping from 4th place to 9th place is Inception with a gross of $7.6 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $7.3 million). The per theatre average for Inception was $3,188, and the film was down 32.2% from last weekend which continues the trend of Inception having its percentage drops being below 40% each weekend of its release. After six weekends, Inception has grossed $261.8 million.
Dropping from 5th place to 10th place is the comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with a gross of $5 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $4.1 million). Scott Pilgrim vs. the World had a per theatre average of $1,785 and was down 52.6% from its opening weekend. It’s a terrible sign that the film has a per theatre average below $2,000 in its second weekend, but as I have stated for the past two weeks, Edgar Wright and Michael Cera films tend to find larger audiences on DVD, and I’m sure this film will continue that trend. The budget on the film is rumoured to be around $60 million, and so far Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has taken in $20.7 million.
In other movie news:
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse became the highest grossing film in the franchise this week, and its overall gross is now at $297.2 million.
In limited release:
A Film Unfinished – This film is about a long lost Nazi propaganda film. The film grossed $37,500 from 4 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $9,375.
The Tillman Story – This documentary is about the life and death of football player/Army Ranger Pat Tillman. The film grossed $52,400 from 4 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $13,100, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release as of this writing.
Army of Crime, Soul Kitchen, Mao’s Last Dancer, Calvin Marshall and Making Plans for Lena have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
strong>The Expendables – $14.2 million
Vampires Suck – $14 million
Eat Pray Love – $12.7 million
Nanny McPhee Returns – $10.5 million
The Other Guys – $9.7 million
And here are the actual numbers:
The Expendables – $16.5 million
Vampires Suck – $12.2 million
Eat Pray Love – $12 million
Lottery Ticket – $11.1 million
The Other Guys – $10.1 million
My predictions compared to the actual top five films were off by $8.3 million.
Next weekend, The Expendables looks to be the #1 film for the 3rd weekend in a row but it will be taking on the horror film The Last Exorcism, the crime thriller Takers and the re-release of Avatar. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!