Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

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Ben Affleck had his first #1 film as a director this weekend with The Town, and all four of the new releases made the top five.  My predictions were not bad this week, as I predicted all five films in the top five, but only had two in order.  I was close in the monetary predictions on 4 of them, but was way off on Easy A.  Here’s how the weekend broke down:

Debuting in 1st place is the Ben Affleck bank heist thriller The Town with a gross of $23.8 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $19 million).  The Town had a per theatre average of $8,319, which was easily the highest per theatre average in the top ten.  Strong reviews and the fact that there really has not been a good adult film in theatres since Salt helped drive The Town to a powerful debut.  Although no one in the cast is really a bankable actor at the box office, they all had enough clout as an ensemble to bring people into the theatres.  The Town has made more money in one weekend then the other Ben Affleck directed film Gone Baby Gone did in its entire run (which was a gross of $20.3 million).  The Town has a budget reportedly around $37 million, so it should easily be able to make back its money.  I expect The Town to stay in the top five for a quite a few weekends.

With a surprisingly strong debut is the #2 film Easy A which grossed $18.2 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $9.2 million).  Easy A had a per theatre average of $6,373 and teenagers definitely powered this film.  Like The Town, Easy A benefitted from strong reviews and an excellent marketing campaign.  The film had a higher opening weekend gross than any of the films that I used in making my prediction for the film on Friday.  See below:

1995 – Clueless – $10.6 million opening weekend

1999 – 10 Things I Hate About You – $8.3 million opening weekend

2004 – The Girl Next Door – $6 million opening weekend

2006 – She’s The Man – $10.7 million opening weekend

2010 – Easy A – $18.2 million opening weekend

The big winner out of this is Emma Stone, who will definitely see her star power rise because of this weekend’s performance of the film.  Like The Town, teenagers have not really had a film to get excited for in quite some time, so Easy A capitalized on that.  With the budget for Easy A being a miniscule $8 million, Screen Gems has to be thrilled with this weekend’s gross. We should see this film hang around the top five for a little while as well.

Debuting in 3rd place is the trapped in an elevator film Devil with a gross of $12.5 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $13 million).  Devil had a per theatre average of $4,480 which is a disappointing number considering the film was in 2,809 theatres.  You always want to see a per theatre average of $5,000 or higher on the first weekend of a film in wide release.  Reviews were not a factor for this film, as it wasn’t screened for critics, so it was solely up to the marketing campaign to get people to see this film as there are no stars in it.  The question now to be asked is did M. Night Shyamalan’s name help or hurt the film?  I don’t think we can have a true answer on that just yet, but the opening was below the opening weekend grosses of the films that I used to make my predictions.  See below:

2006 – The Omen – $16 million opening weekend

2009 – The Unborn – $19.8 million opening weekend

2009 – The Orphan – $12.8 million opening weekend

2010 – Devil – $12.5 million opening weekend

I don’t think the long term prospects for the film are good, as I expect to see a very high drop at the box office next weekend.  Until that second weekend gross comes out, the debate about M. Night Shyamalan’s being attached to the film will be a topic of conversation among cinephiles.  Devil did not release its budget as of this writing, so it’s hard to say how profitable or in the red the film is.

Dropping from 1st place to 4th place is Resident Evil:  Afterlife with a gross of $10.1 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $11.4 million).  Resident Evil:  Afterlife had a per theatre average of $3,147 and dropped 62.1% from last weekend, which was the highest percentage drop of any film in the top ten.  Believe it or not, the second weekend drop ties it for the lowest in the franchise:

2002 – Resident Evil – 62.1% second weekend drop 

2004 – Resident Evil:  Apocalypse – 62.4% second weekend drop 

2007 – Resident Evil:  Extinction – 66.1% second weekend drop

2010 – Resident Evil:  Afterlife – 62.1% second weekend drop

The film is consistent with the rest of the franchise in terms of being a front loaded film.  Even the 3-D screenings of the film could not generate interest from moviegoers to go and see it.  I think the question to be asked about 3-D is if the novelty is wearing off, and people only want to see “good” films in 3-D, and not poorly reviewed ones?  Time will tell about that.  After 10 days, Resident Evil:  Afterlife has grossed $43.9 million, and still has some work to do to get to its $60 million budget.

Debuting in 5th place is the animated film Alpha and Omega with a gross of $9.2 million (I predicted a 5th place finish of $6.7 million).  Alpha and Omega had a per theatre average of $3,505 which is nothing to write home about.  The film did better than I expected, but the long term prospects are not good with such a low per theatre average.  The film definitely suffered from not being a part of a brand (Disney, DreamWorks), because the quality of the animation on the screen was not as strong as the higher end studios.  It’s hard to say if the film is profitable or not because as of this writing Alpha and Omega has not released the budget for the film.  I doubt the film will last long in theatres.

Dropping from 2nd place to 6th place is Takers with a gross of $3 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $3.4 million).  Takers had a per theatre average of $1,403 and was down 47.1% from last weekend.  After four weekends, Takers has grossed $52.3 million and is a very profitable film for Screen Gems as the budget for the film is only $32 million.

Dropping from 3rd place to 7th place is The American with a gross of $2.7 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $2.5 million).  The American had a per theatre average of $1,122 and was down 51.4% from last weekend.  After three weekends, The American has grossed $32.8 million and is a profitable film for Focus Features as the budget for the film is only $20 million.

Moving up from 10th place to 8th place is Inception with a gross of $2.015 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $1.8 million).  Inception had a per theatre average of $1,544 and was down 28.1% from last weekend, giving it the lowest percentage drop in the top ten.  The percentage drop continues the trend of Inception having its percentage drops being below 40% each weekend of its release, which is a really incredible accomplishment.  Here’s the breakdown to prove my point:

Inception’s Weekend Drops

2nd weekend – 32% drop

3rd weekend – 35.7% drop

4th weekend – 32.7% drop

5th weekend – 39% drop

6th weekend – 30.5% drop

7th weekend – 37.8% drop

8th weekend – 6.2% drop

9th weekend – 34.1% drop

10th weekend – 28.1% drop

After ten weekends, Inception has grossed $285.1 million and has made quite a lot of money for Warner Bros. as the budget for the film is $160 million.

Dropping from 6th place to 9th place is the action-comedy The Other Guys with a gross of $2 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $2.3 million).  The Other Guys had a per theatre average of $1,095 and dropped 40.3% from last weekend. The budget for The Other Guys is around $100 million and after seven weeks of release, it has taken in $115.4 million.

In 10th place, we have a tie:

Rising from 11th place to 10th place is Eat Pray Love with a gross of $1.7 million (I predicted a 12th place finish and a gross of $1.6 million).  Eat Pray Love had a per theatre average of $1,019 and was down 41.9% from last weekend.  After six weekends, Eat Pray Love has grossed $77.6 million, and with a reported budget of $60 million, it is making money for Sony.

Dropping from 4th place to 10th place is Machete with a gross of $1.7 million (I predicted an 11th place finish and a gross of $1.7 million).  Machete had a per theatre average of $998 and was down 60.4% from last weekend.  After three weekends, Machete has grossed $24.3 million, and with a reported budget of $20 million, Machete is making a little money for 20th Century Fox.

In other box office news:

The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse did something that the franchise has never done before, and that is to pass the $300 million mark.  Its total gross after 12 weeks of release is $300,099,000.

In limited release: 

Leaves of Grass – This film stars Edward Norton in a duel role and is about brothers who try and take down a local drug kingpin. The film grossed $25,000 from 3 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $8,333.

Catfish – This documentary (or is it) about a man who meets a women through Facebook, and goes on a quest to find out more about her grossed $255,000 from 12 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $21,250.

The Freebie – This film stars Dax Shepard and is about a couple who allow themselves to be with someone else for one night, with no strings attached.  The film grossed $4,500 from one theatre.

Jack Goes Boating – This film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and is about a man who is starting a new relationship.  The film grossed $30,000 from 4 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $7,500.

Never Let Me Go – This film stars Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley and is a sci-fi romance set in a boarding school in Britain.  The film grossed $121,000 from 4 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $30,250, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release.

Kings of Pastry has not reported its opening weekend grosses as of this writing.

So to recap, here were my predictions:

  1. The Town – $19 million 
  2. Devil – $13 million
  3. Resident Evil:  Afterlife – $11.4 million
  4. Easy A – $9.2 million 
  5. Alpha and Omega – $6.7 million

And here are the actual numbers:

  1. The Town – $23.8 million 
  2. Easy A – $18.2 million
  3. Devil – $12.5 million
  4. Resident Evil:  Afterlife – $10.1 million 
  5. Alpha and Omega – $9.2 million

My predictions were off by = $18.1 million. 

Next weekend, The Town looks to be the #1 film for the second weekend in a row against the animated feature Legend of the Guardians:  The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Michael Douglas’ return as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps and the Kristen Bell//Jamie Lee Curtis comedy You Again.  Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!

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