For the second weekend in a row, audiences wanted to be scared and made a horror film the #1 film in the land. In a surprising finish, The Roommate with Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly defeated the 3-D adventure Sanctum to rule the box office. I find this surprising as Sanctum had James Cameron as its producer and was a 3-D film, but audiences preferred to see The Roommate because of its two young stars. My predictions were off the mark again, as even though I picked all five films in the top five, I only correctly guessed the finish of one of the films (No Strings Attached) and I was only really close on one of my top five predictions (again, No Strings Attached). The films in limited release didn’t really make a big dent, and the 2011 box office continues to be weak overall. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Debuting in 1st place is the The Roommate with Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly. The film grossed $15.6 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $8.2 million). The Roommate had a per theatre average of $6,156, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in the top ten. People went to see this film because of the marketing campaign and because of the two young stars. Critics did not see the film before its release as it was not screened for them, so that makes the opening that more impressive. The people at Screen Gems have to be thrilled with the opening weekend as the budget for the film is listed at $16 million, so this film is almost a profitable release just from its first weekend alone. It should suffer a big drop next weekend with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. It’s definitely a surprising result for The Roommate, but for all involved on the film, a very happy result.
Debuting in 2nd place is Sanctum with a gross of $9.2 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $14.2 million). Sanctum had a per theatre average of $3,310. The James Cameron produced 3-D film did not have as much going for it as I thought. I liked the commercials and trailers for the film, James Cameron’s name was on it and it was in 3-D which boosts ticket prices, but none of that seemed to matter as the opening weekend is definitely an embarrassment as the per theatre average shows you how little interest there was in the film (Scott’s rule of thumb – most wide releases should be able to open with a per theatre average of at least $5,000. That doesn’t mean that the film is a hit, but it at least shows there is interest in the film). The cast was not well known to mass audiences, but I didn’t think that mattered as much with this type of film when I made my prediction on Friday, but it might have come into play this weekend and was a possible reason why audiences seemed to avoid this film like the plague (I doubt this theory, but just wanted to throw it out there). Sanctum cost $30 million to make and I don’t think Universal will be able to make a profit from its domestic run when all is said and done. A very disappointing debut for Sanctum.
No Strings Attached dropped from 2nd place to 3rd place with a gross of $8.4 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $8.8 million). No Strings Attached had a per theatre average of $2,754 and was down 37.4% from its opening weekend. After three weeks, No Strings Attached has grossed $51.7 million from a budget of only $25 million.
Moving up from 5th place to 4th place is The King’s Speech with a gross of $8.3 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $10.5 million). The King’s Speech had a per theatre average of $3,216 and the film was down only 24.9% from last weekend, which is the lowest percentage drop of any film in the top ten. After eleven weeks, The King’s Speech has grossed $84.1 million from a budget of only $15 million.
The Green Hornet dropped from 4th place to 5th place with a gross of $6.1 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $6.7 million). The Green Hornet had a per theatre average of $2,011, and was down 45.5% from last weekend. After four weeks, The Green Hornet has grossed $87.2 million from a budget of $120 million. If The Green Hornet can finish its run with a final domestic gross above $100 million, I think Sony would be pleased considering all the negativity that originally surrounded the film.
Suffering the biggest position drop of any film in the top ten, The Rite falls from 1st place to 6th place with a gross of $5.5 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $6.3 million). The Rite had a per theatre average of $1,864 and was down 62.4% from last weekend, which was the biggest percentage drop of any film in the top ten. Horror films traditionally suffer big drops on their second weekend and The Rite was no exception. After two weeks, The Rite has grossed $23.6 million from a budget that’s listed at $37 million, so it should finish its run just below its budget, as I can’t see this film being in theatres much longer.
The Mechanic drops from 3rd place to 7th place with a gross of $5.3 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $8 million). The Mechanic had a per theatre average of $1,986 and was down 53% from last weekend. Audiences are just not into this Jason Statham action film and it should be out of theatres very soon. After two weeks, The Mechanic has grossed $20 million from a budget of $40 million, so it will not be a profitable film for CBS Films.
Dropping from 6th place to 8th place is the Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin western True Grit with a gross of $4.7 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $6.75 million). True Grit had a per theatre average of $1,637 and its gross was down 36.8% from last weekend. After seven weeks, True Grit has grossed $155 million from a budget of $38 million.
Dropping from 7th place to 9th place is the Vince Vaughn//Kevin James comedy The Dilemma with a gross of $3.44 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $3.36 million). The Dilemma had a per theatre average of $1,355 and was down 39.1% from last weekend. The per theatre average was the worst per theatre average of any film in the top ten. After four weeks, The Dilemma has grossed $45.7 million from a listed budget of $70 million budget.
Dropping from 8th place to 10th place is the Natalie Portman ballet thriller Black Swan with a gross of $3.4 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $4.1 million). Black Swan had a per theatre average of $1,720 and was down 33.6% percent from last weekend. After ten weeks of release, Black Swan has grossed $95.8 million and its budget is listed at $13 million. Who would have thought that both The King’s Speech and Black Swan will gross over $100 million by the time they finish their runs at the box office.
In limited release:
Waiting for Forever – This film stars Rachel Bilson and is about a boy and a girl who were high school sweethearts. She moves on to follow her dreams, while he never is able to let her go. When fate brings them back together, how will it end? Waiting for Forever grossed $10,200 from 3 theatres giving the film a per theatre average of $3,400.
Cold Weather – This film is about a man who is great at being a detective, even though he works at a dead end job. When his ex-girlfriend goes missing, the man uses his skills to try and solve the kidnapping. Cold Weather grossed $15,100 from 1 theatre giving it the same per theatre average, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release.
What Women Want (Wo Zhi Nu Run Xin), The Other Woman and Dressed did not report their box office grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Sanctum – $14.2 million
The King’s Speech – $10.5 million
No Strings Attached – $8.8 million
The Roommate – $8.2 million
The Mechanic – $8 million
And here are the actual numbers:
The Roommate – $15.6 million
Sanctum – $9.2 million
No Strings Attached – $8.4 million
The King’s Speech – $8.3 million
The Green Hornet – $6.1 million
My predictions were off by $15.6 million.
Next weekend, The Roommate will try to stay in 1st place for a second weekend in a row against the Adam Sandler//Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It, the animated adventure Gnomeo and Juliet, the Channing Tatum//Jamie Bell adventure epic The Eagle and the Justin Bieber concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.
Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!