Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

Tron: Legacy opened with a bang this weekend to become the new #1 film in the land, while Yogi Bear had an unspectacular 2nd place debut. Unfortunately for How Do You Know, the film opened outside the top five and it looks to be a film that will be on DVD shelves a lot sooner than you would think. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is also in a lot of trouble as the big budget film is going to get lost in the shuffle of new releases very soon. The story of the weekend was that the smaller films that expanded did reasonably well at the box office. Here’s how it all broke down:

Tron: Legacy debuted in 1st place with a gross of $43.6 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a $55 million gross). The sci-fi epic had a per theatre average of $12,634, which was the best per theatre average in the top ten. The film is not an easy sell because it is a sequel to a cult film and getting the majority of people to be interested in science-fiction is never an easy thing. The film has to be thought of as being both a success and failure in my opinion. A 40+ million opening weekend is nothing to sneeze at, but considering all the hype that surrounded this film courtesy the Disney marketing machine (think Comic-Con), and the fact that the film is being shown in 3-D and IMAX 3-D, I would have thought the film would have had no problem cracking $50 million on its opening weekend. Tron: Legacy is in for a tough run, as the budget is reported at $170 million, and I just do not see the film making its money back. Still, it finished in 1st place, which is an accomplishment, but I think it will get knocked off its perch next weekend when some high profile Christmas releases come out.

Yogi Bear debuted in 2nd place with a gross of $16.7 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $22 million). The film had a disappointing per theatre average of $4,752. If you can’t have a per theatre average above $5,000 when you are in over 3,500 theatres, no one should be surprised if Yogi Bear has a short run in theatres. Considering that the film is in the second most theatres of any film currently in release and the fact that the running time is only 1h22m, which gives it a lot more screenings over the course of a day, I thought the gross would be higher, but that did not happen. The film was not really in the same ballpark as my comparisons of the Alvin and the Chipmunks and Garfield franchises. See below:

2004 – Garfield: The Movie – $21.7 million
2006 – Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties – $7.2 million
2007 – Alvin and the Chipmunks – $44.3 million
2009 – Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $48.8 million
2010 – Yogi Bear – $16.7 million opening weekend

This is not good news if Warner Bros. was hoping to make Yogi Bear into a franchise. The budget for Yogi Bear is a reported $80 million, and I don’t think it will make back its money domestically.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader dropped from 1st place to 3rd place with a gross of $12.4 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $12.7 million). The film had a per theatre average of $3,488 and was down 48.3% from last weekend. The film posted a franchise best with the 48.3% second weekend drop, but a franchise worst second weekend gross. Here’s the franchise breakdown:

2005 – The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – $31.8 million second weekend//51.4% second weekend drop
2008 – Prince Caspian – $22.7 million second weekend//58.6% second weekend drop
2010 – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $12.4 million second weekend//48.3% second weekend drop

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has to be considered a bomb. Audiences have just not responded the way they did to the first two installments. After ten days, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has grossed $42.7 million and it definitely will not make back its gross domestically as the budget for the film is listed at $155 million.

Moving from 19th place to 4th place is the Mark Wahlberg/Christian Bale drama The Fighter with a gross of $12.2 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $12 million). The Fighter had a per theatre average of $4,874 and the gross was up 3,966.5% from last weekend (that was not a typo). The decision to do a rapid expansion from limited release to wide release seems to have paid off for Paramount as The Fighter performed extremely well for a film only being shown in 2,503 theatres. There is a chance that The Fighter might be the #3 film when final numbers come out on Monday, and that has to be considered a victory. The Fighter should stick around for awhile considering the Oscar buzz that surrounds the film and the performance of Christian Bale. In ten days, The Fighter has grossed $12.6 million and is just over halfway to making back its budget of $25 million.

Dropping from 2nd place to 5th place is the Angelina Jolie/Johnny Depp thriller The Tourist with a gross of $8.7 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $7.5 million). The Tourist had a per theatre average of $3,157 and was down 47.2%. The Tourist does not seem to be registering with theatergoers and the per theatre average is very disturbing sign for a film like The Tourist that has bankable stars in the lead. After ten days, The Tourist has grossed $30.7 million and there is no way it makes back its budget of $100 million.

Tangled drops from 3rd place to 6th place with a gross of $8.6 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $8.1 million). Tangled had a per theatre average of $2,710 and was down 39.5% from last weekend. The hold is a decent one, and the film has been performing well, but it just doesn’t seem to be a film that audiences are talking about. The budget for the film is listed at $240 million, so it is yet another film in release that will not be making back its budget from its domestic gross as Tangled has only made $127.8 million after four weeks.

Dropping from 6th place to 7th place is the Natalie Portman ballet thriller Black Swan with a gross of $8.3 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $8.5 million). Black Swan added 869 more theatres this weekend to up its theatre count to 959 and with the additional theatres the film improved 151.1% from last weekend’s gross and had a per theatre average of $8,655. The film continues to rake in the awards and Natalie Portman seems to be a lock to win Best Actress at the Oscars this year. The film has now made back its budget, which is listed at $13 million, as after three weeks of being in fairly limited release, Black Swan has grossed $15.7 million.

Debuting in 8th place is the Reese Witherspoon/Paul Rudd comedy How Do You Know with a gross of $7.6 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $10 million). How Do You Know had a very disappointing per theatre average of $3,061. This film could be considered to be an even bigger bomb than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader because it has a reported budget of $120 million. I have absolutely no idea how the film cost this much to make, unless Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson and Owen Wilson all got massive paydays from this film. The fact that the per theatre average is so low is a real testament to how little audiences cared about this one. Reviews have been mixed and because of that there is no mention of this film on people’s best of lists (which adult audiences care about this time of year), so the film is essentially dead on arrival. Just an extremely disappointing debut for How Do You Know.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One dropped down from 4th place to 9th place with a gross of $4.8 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $4.5 million). The per theatre average for the film was $1,694, and the film was down 42.9% from last weekend. As I said last weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One continues to set franchise worst’s with every passing weekend. This weekend the fifth weekend gross of $4.8 million set the record for worst fifth weekend gross in franchise history. See below for how franchise stacks up on their fifth weekends:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – $9.9 million / Down 32.7%
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – $6.3 million / Down 37.3%
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – $5.9 million / Down 47.2%
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – $5.9 million / Down 42%
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $5.4 million / Down 43%
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $5.1 million / Down 42.4%
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One – $4.8 million / Down 42.9%

On a positive note, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One became the 5th highest grossing title in franchise history. See below:

1) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – $317.5 million
2) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $301.9 million
3) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $292 million
4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – $290 million
5) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One – $265.5 million
6) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – $261.9 million
7) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – $249.5 million

I still don’t think that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One will gross $300 million, as I think it will be lucky to get to $290 million, but we’ll see if it gets a boost over the next few weeks because of the holidays.

Unstoppable rounds out the top ten as it drops from 5th place to 10th place with a gross of $1.8 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $2 million). Unstoppable had a per theatre average of $961 and was down only 51.4% from last weekend, which gave it the distinction of having the largest percentage drop off of any film in the top ten. After six weeks, Unstoppable has grossed $77.3 million and will come up short of making back its budget, which is listed at $100 million.

In limited release:

Rabbit Hole – This film stars Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and is about a couple dealing with the death of their young son. The film grossed $55,000 from 5 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $11,000.

Casino Jack – Kevin Spacey stars in a film about the rise and fall of lobbyist Jack Abramoff back in 2006. The film grossed $35,000 from 7 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $5,000.

The film that had the highest per theatre average of the weekend was The King’s Speech. The Colin Firth/Geoffrey Rush/Helena Bonham Carter period piece about a king overcoming his speech impediment grossed $1.075 million to give it a 13th place finish and a scorching per theatre average of $25,000, which is amazing considering this is the film’s fourth week of being in limited release. It has grossed $2.9 million so far, and it should be a constant in the top ten going forward, as the film is receiving a ton of Oscar buzz.

So to recap, here were my predictions:

Tron: Legacy – $55 million
Yogi Bear – $22 million
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $12.7 million
The Fighter – $12 million
How Do You Know – $10 million

And here are the actual numbers:

: Legacy – $43.6 million
Yogi Bear – $16.7 million
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $12.4 million
The Fighter – $12.2 million
The Tourist – $8.7 million

My predictions were off by $18.4 million.

Next weekend, Tron: Legacy looks to be the #1 film for a second weekend in a row against the Jack Black comedy Gulliver’s Travels, the sequel Little Fockers starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller and the remake of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!

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