The weekend box office has once again crowned a new #1 film and once again we have a close battle with the first, second, and third place films within $1.6 million of each other. Although the battle was close, the box office in total was not very strong, but that is not a surprise considering it is the Labour Day long weekend. All three new releases made the top five this weekend, but I don’t know if the studios are excited about the money they took in. In a surprise to some, The American topped the box office, but its debut was not all that strong. My predictions were just average this weekend, and although I predicted all five films in the top five, I only predicted one in order. So without anymore rambling, here’s how things broke down:
Debuting in 1st place is the George Clooney thriller The American with a gross of $12.9 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $7 million). The American had a per theatre average of $4,594, which shows you how weak the box office was when the #1 film has a per theatre average below $5,000. For Clooney, the opening is slightly above average to the films that I used to make my prediction. See below:
The American – $12.9 million opening weekend
The Men Who Stare at Goats – $12.7 million opening weekend
Syriana – $11.7 million first weekend in wide release
Michael Clayton – $10.3 million first weekend in wide release
Solaris – $6.7 million opening weekend
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind – $5.8 million first weekend in wide release
Good Night, and Good Luck – $3 million first weekend in wide release
Clooney likes picking non-Hollywood films and The American is definitely not a studio film. It’s introspective, takes its time getting to where it wants to go and is not action-packed. The trailers and commercials were a little misleading in this regard and audience reviews that I have read on the internet about the film have been mostly negative, which means The American will have a very short run at the top of the box office. The American opened on Wednesday, and in five days it has taken in $16.1 million.
Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is the heist film Takers with a gross of $11.4 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $10.8 million). The per theatre average for Takers was $5,190, which was the highest per theatre average in the top ten, and Takers was down 44.2% from last weekend. Takers definitely posted a decent hold on what is a slow weekend at the box office, and I would say that the film is performing better than most analysts expected it would. Takers budget is $20 million, and in two weeks of release it has taken in $37.9 million, so it’s a profitable film for Sony.
Debuting in 3rd place is the action film Machete with a gross of $11.3 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $15 million). Machete had a per theatre average of $4,232. I don’t think anyone should be disappointed with how Machete did this weekend. It started life as a fake trailer, its definitely geared towards audiences who like B movies, Danny Trejo is not a name most audiences know so he’s not going to draw in people to the theatre (he’s one of those guys you see in films and recognize, but don’t know his name), and it got released on the Labour Day long weekend. For comparison, when Grindhouse was released, its opening weekend was only $11.5 million, so Machete was on par with that opening. This is definitely a cult film and it will definitely find a much bigger audience on DVD than it will in theatres, as it’s not the type of film that most audiences want to go pay and see in theatres.
Dropping from 2nd place to 4th place is the horror film The Last Exorcism with a gross of $7.6 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $8.9 million). The Last Exorcism had a per theatre average of $2,660, and was down 62.5% from last weekend. The drop is on par with the Halloween franchise drop in its second weekend. See the proof below:
2010 – The Last Exorcism – 62.9% second weekend drop
2009 – The Final Destination – 54.9% second weekend drop
2009 – Halloween II – 64.9% second weekend drop
2007 – Halloween – 63.9% second weekend drop
Horror films do tend to suffer big drops on their second weekend so the decline this weekend is no big surprise, but The Last Exorcism’s budget is a miniscule $1.8 million so the film is a definite moneymaker for Lionsgate. After two weekends, The Last Exorcism has grossed $32.4 million.
Debuting in 5th place is the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Going the Distance with a gross of $6.8 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $11 million). Going the Distance had a per theatre average of $2,272. This is definitely a subpar performance for a Drew Barrymore romantic comedy as the films I used in my prediction for the Going the Distance all grossed double digits on their opening weekend. See below:
2010 – Going the Distance – $6.8 million opening weekend
2007 – Music and Lyrics – $13.6 million opening weekend
2005 – Fever Pitch – $12.4 million opening weekend
2001 – Riding in Cars with Boys – $10.4 million opening weekend
1999 – Never Been Kissed – $11.8 million opening weekend
The studio knew that the film was not going to be a moneymaker so they dumped it on moviegoers this weekend. It will hopefully find a larger audience on DVD, but whenever studios release films on this weekend, it’s hard to be disappointed with what they gross because the expectations are so low.
Dropping from 3rd place to 6th place is The Expendables with a gross of $6.75 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $5.89 million). The Expendables had a per theatre average of $1,940 and suffered a drop of 30.8% from last weekend. After four weekends, The Expendables has grossed $92.1 million, and with a budget rumoured to be around $80 million, it’s making money for Lionsgate.
Dropping from 5th place to 7th place is the action-comedy The Other Guys with a gross of $5.4 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $3.5 million). The Other Guys had a per theatre average of $2,071 and dropped 14.1% from last weekend. The budget for The Other Guys is around $100 million and after five weeks of release, it has taken in $106.8 million.
Dropping from 4th place to 8th place is the Julia Roberts drama Eat Pray Love with a gross of $4.8 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $4 million). Eat Pray Love had a per theatre average of $1,821 and was down 28.8% from last weekend. After four weekends, Eat Pray Love has grossed $68.9 million, and with a reported budget of $60 million, it is making money for Sony.
Dropping from 7th place to 9th place is Inception with a gross of $4.5 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $3.1 million). The per theatre average for Inception was $2,658, and the film was down 7.1% from last weekend which continues the trend of Inception having its percentage drops being below 40% each weekend of its release, and it was also the lowest percentage drop in the top ten for the second weekend in a row. After eight weekends, Inception has grossed $277.1 million.
Dropping from 8th place to 10th place is Nanny McPhee Returns with a gross of $3.5 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $2.6 million). Nanny McPhee Returns had a per theatre average of $1,320 and was down 24.2% from last weekend. The budget for Nanny McPhee Returns is around $35 million and after three weekends, it has grossed $22.4 million.
With the summer movie box office battle ending this weekend, here are the top five grossing films of the summer:
1) Toy Story 3 – $408 million
2) Iron Man 2 – $312.1 million
3) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – $298.6 million
4) Inception – $277.1 million
5) Despicable Me – $240.2 million
In limited release:
A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop – This film is by acclaimed director Zhang Yimou (Hero, Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers) and is a remake of the film Blood Simple grossed $27,700 from five theatres giving it a per theatre average of $5,540.
Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, My Dog Tulip, Max Manus, The Winning Season, Last Train Home, Our Beloved Month of August, Prince of Broadway and White Wedding have not reported their opening weekend grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Machete – $15 million
Going The Distance – $11 million
Takers – $10.8 million
The Last Exorcism – $8.9 million
The American – $7 million
And here are the actual numbers:
The American – $12.9 million
Takers – $11.4 million
Machete – $11.3 million
The Last Exorcism – $7.5 million
Going The Distance – $6.8 million
My predictions compared to the actual top five films were off by $15.8 million.
Next weekend, The American looks to be the #1 film against the Milla Jovovich action-horror film Resident Evil: Afterlife. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!