The weekend box office has a new #1 film, but it has also given us one of the closest battles of the year, which makes it hard to give a definitive answer about what is truly the number one film. Only $0.3 million separates the #1 and #2 films. Currently The Last Exorcism is in 1st place with Takers placing second. I doubt that most people thought that both films could gross over $20 million, but that’s exactly what happened. My predictions were just average this weekend, so without anymore rambling, here’s how things broke down:
Debuting in 1st place is the horror film The Last Exorcism with a gross of $21.3 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $15 million). The Last Exorcism had a per theatre average of $7,411. The opening weekend for the film continues the trend of horror films debuting well in late August. It didn’t do as well as some of the elite horror franchises that debuted this time of year, but it was still a very strong debut for a film with no built in audience. See below:
2010 – The Last Exorcism – $21.3 million opening weekend
2009 – The Final Destination – $27.4 million opening weekend
2009 – Halloween II – $16.3 million opening weekend
2007 – Halloween – $26.3 million opening weekend
Horror films do tend to suffer big drops on their second weekend, but The Last Exorcism is receiving some great reviews, so we’ll see if that trend continues or stops. The film reportedly cost around $1.8 million to make, so Lionsgate has to be thrilled with how well the film has done in three days. We’ll see if it can keep it up next weekend.
Debuting in 2nd place is the heist film Takers with a gross of $21 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $7 million). The per theatre average was $9,519, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release. What’s so impressive about this debut is that I don’t think Sony had any expectations for the film. They only put it in 2,206 theatres, which is pretty low for a release, and I didn’t think they did a great job in promoting the film, but audiences who did see the advertising liked what they saw. Critics didn’t think much about the film, but it didn’t seem to matter because Takers is truly a surprise hit. Even considering the films that I used to compare Takers with, I barely thought $10 million was reasonable, let alone $20 million. It also could be the #1 film when final numbers come out on Monday. Takers has a budget of $20 million, so everything that the film makes going forward is profit for Sony.
Dropping from 1st place to 3rd place is former box office champion The Expendables with a gross of $9.5 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $8.6 million). The Expendables had a per theatre average of $2,796 and suffered a drop of 44%. The hold was once again pretty decent, but the film definitely lost some business because of the surprise debut of Takers. Still, the film is finding an audience because audiences want to see these big name action stars together in one film. There is a definite curiosity factor. After three weekends, The Expendables has grossed $82 million, and with a budget rumoured to be around $80 million, the film can be considered profitable.
Dropping from 3rd place to 4th place is the Julia Roberts drama Eat Pray Love with a gross of $7 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $6.7 million). Eat Pray Love had a per theatre average of $2,252 and was down 42.2% from last weekend. Eat Pray Love had another decent hold at the box office, but because its opening weekend was not as strong as some people hoped, the film is not doing as well as some people thought it would. After three weekends, Eat Pray Love has grossed $60.6 million, and has now made back its reported $60 million budget.
Staying in 5th place for the second weekend in a row is the action-comedy The Other Guys with a gross of $6.6 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $6.3 million). The Other Guys had a per theatre average of $2,075 and dropped 35.1% from last weekend. The budget for The Other Guys is around $100 million and after four weeks of release, it has taken in $99.3 million.
Dropping from 2nd place to 6th place is the comedy Vampires Suck with a gross of $5.3 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $4.5 million). Vampires Suck had a per theatre average of $1,639 and was down 56.6% from last weekend. The drop was one of the higher drops for the Friedberg//Seltzer films as per the list below:
Meet The Spartans – 60.4% second weekend drop
Vampires Suck – 56.6% second weekend drop
Epic Movie – 54.8% second weekend drop
Date Movie – 52.2% second weekend drop
Disaster Movie – 48.1% second weekend drop
The drop is not a great sign, and the film is definitely headed for DVD shelves soon. The film has a reported budget of $20 million, and after 2 weeks of release Vampires Suck has grossed $27.9 million.
Moving up from 9th place to 7th place (that’s not a typo) is Inception with a gross of $5.1 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $5.3 million). The per theatre average for Inception was $2,466, and the film was down 34.9% from last weekend which continues the trend of having its percentage drops being below 40% each weekend of its release, and it was also the lowest percentage drop in the top ten. After seven weekends, Inception has grossed $270.7 million.
Staying in 8th place for the second weekend in a row is Nanny McPhee Returns with a gross of $4.7 million (I predicted an 11th place finish and a gross of $4.4 million). Nanny McPhee Returns had a per theatre average of $1,695 and was down 43.6% from last weekend. The budget for Nanny McPhee Returns is around $35 million and after 10 days, it has grossed $17 million.
Dropping from 7th place to 9th place is the comedy The Switch with a gross of $4.6 million (I also predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $4.66 million). The Switch had a per theatre average of $2,309 and was down 44.8% from its opening weekend. After 10 days, the film has grossed $16.4 million.
Dropping from 6th place to 10th place is the horror film Piranha 3-D with a gross of $4.3 million (I predicted a 12th place finish and a gross of $4.2 million). Piranha 3-D had a per theatre average of $1,729 and suffered a drop of 57.4% from its opening weekend. The percentage drop was the highest in the top ten, and I also think that The Last Exorcism took some of Piranha 3D’s potential audience. After two weekends, the film has grossed $18.2 million, so the film is not going to be a money maker for The Weinstein Company as the budget for the film is around $24 million.
Suffering the biggest drop of any film is the comedy Lottery Ticket which fell from 4th place to 11th place with a gross of $4.01 million (I predicted a gross of $5.9 million and a 6th place finish). The film had a per theatre average of $2,031 and suffered a 62.4% from last weekend, which was the highest percentage drop of any film in release as of this writing. It is quite the reversal of fortune for the film which last weekend was widely considered to be the surprise hit of the weekend, and now I think most people would say that it has faded out in its second weekend. The budget for Lottery Ticket is around $17 million, and after 10 days of release the film has grossed $17.4 million.
Debuting in 12th place is Avatar: Special Edition with a gross of $4 million (I predicted a gross of $4.8 million and an 8th place finish). The per theatre average for the film was $4,926 and the film performed about how most re-releases do, especially considering that there was not that much new footage to be shown, and the film has been on DVD for quite awhile now.
In limited release:
Mesrine: Killer Instinct– This film is part one of a two-part biopic that stars Vincent Cassel and is about a legendary French gangster. The film grossed $150,000 from 28 theatres for a per theatre average of $5,357.
Centurion, The Milk of Sorrow, Change of Plans, and Aashayein (Wishes) have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
The Last Exorcism – $15 million
The Expendables – $8.6 million
Takers – $7 million
Eat Pray Love – $6.7 million
The Other Guys – $6.3 million
And here are the actual numbers:
The Last Exorcism – $21.3 million
Takers – $21 million
The Expendables – $9.5 million
Eat Pray Love – $7 million
The Other Guys – $6.6 million
My predictions compared to the actual top five films were off by $21.8 million.
Next weekend, The Last Exorcism looks to be the #1 film against the George Clooney thriller The American, the Drew Barrymore/Justin Long romantic-comedy Going the Distance and the action flick Machete starring Danny Trejo. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!