Battle: Los Angeles dethroned Rango from the top of the box office this weekend with an excellent debut. The two other new releases did not fair so well. Red Riding Hood debuted to mixed results while Mars Needs Moms absolutely bombed on its opening weekend. In limited release, three films had excellent debuts and will be looking to build on their success from this weekend in the coming weeks. Overall, I had an amazing weekend of predictions, as I correctly picked all five films in the top five, and I got them all in order. In fact, I predicted all ten films in the top ten, getting 1st place to 7th place in order. The most I was off in any of my predictions was $5 million, which I would say is a strong week. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Battle: Los Angeles debut in 1st place with a gross of $36 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $31 million). Battle: Los Angeles had a per theatre average of $10,536, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in the top ten. Audiences were in the mood for a sc-fi adventure flick where aliens invade Earth and Battle: Los Angeles delivered on the expectations set by the ad campaign. The trailers did a great job of showing alien attacks, but not giving away too much of the plot, as most of the commercials for the film had a Kanye West song playing over images of the film. You could summarize the film in a couple of words, but you didn’t know how it would play out. Although Aaron Eckhart is not someone who most people think is a star, the fact that he was the lead actor in a number one film is definitely a nice boost for him. Sony has to be thrilled with the opening weekend as it has grossed just a little over half its reported budget in three days. Even if it does suffer a substantial drop next weekend, Battle: Los Angeles should have no problem making back its $70 million budget and it continues Sony Pictures hot streak at the box office.
Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is the Johnny Depp animated film Rango with a gross of $23.1 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $23.4 million). The animated adventure had a per theatre average of $5,876 and dropped 39.5% from last weekend. The hold for Rango is a good one as it kept its percentage drop from weekend to weekend below 40% and it still has a per theatre average above $5,000. The film was definitely the counter-programming film of choice to Battle: Los Angeles this weekend so Paramount should be credited for releasing the film when it did last weekend, as its first weekend of release it was the must-see film for audiences, and this weekend it was designed to be the anti-action release for audiences. Rango still has its work cut out for it as the budget is rumoured to be around $135 million and after ten days Rango has grossed $68.6 million.
Debuting in 3rd place is the Amanda Seyfried//Gary Oldman thriller Red Riding Hood with a gross of $14.1 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $17 million). Red Riding Hood had a per theatre average of $4,665. The opening weekend has to be considered a disappointment for the film as the per theatre average is below $5,000 despite getting a high theatre count by Warner Bros. of 3,030. What I find amazing is that Beastly, a film that was going after the same demographic as Red Riding Hood (teenage females), a film that kept changing its release date and eventually opened in around 1,000 less theatres, actually had a better opening weekend per theatre average than that of Red Riding Hood (for the record, Beastly had an opening weekend per theatre average of $5,047). Beastly also cost a lot less to make than Red Riding Hood and maybe the decision by Warner Bros. to release Red Riding Hood the weekend after Beastly hurt its box office chances (I don’t think the bad reviews Red Riding Hood received would have discouraged the target audience from going to see the film). Still, the opening weekend is not a good one, and I doubt that Red Riding Hood makes back its $42 million budget.
Dropping from 2nd place to 4th place is the Matt Damon//Emily Blunt thriller The Adjustment Bureau with a gross of $11.4 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $12.2 million). The Adjustment Bureau had a per theatre average of $4,025 and was down 45.8% from its opening weekend, which is a larger drop than I suspected. The percentage drop shows that word of mouth is not strong on this film, and while audiences liked the premise of the film and supported it on its opening weekend, the people who saw The Adjustment Bureau last weekend didn’t think it lived up to the hype and the word-of-mouth on it hurt it at the box office this weekend. I also think that Battle: Los Angeles took away some of The Adjustment Bureau’s audience, but I must say that the drop The Adjusment Bureau suffered was a big surprise to me when I reviewed the numbers. After ten days, The Adjustment Bureau has grossed $38.4 million which is good, but I’m sure that Universal was hoping for a higher number after ten days.
Debuting in 5th place to terrible results is the animated sci-fi adventure Mars Needs Moms with a gross of $6.8 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $11 million). Mars Needs Moms had a per theatre average $2,182, which is awful considering that the film opened in 3,117 theatres (that’s always a bad sign when your theatre count is higher than your per theatre average). I don’t think audiences cared for the premise of Mars Needs Moms and audiences might also be tired of animated films as Mars Needs Moms was the third animated release in just over a month after Gnomeo & Juliet and Rango. Walt Disney Pictures must be furious at how Mars Needs Moms performed this weekend because it has a reported budget of $150 million (that’s not a typo). From a financial standpoint, Mars Needs Moms could become the biggest bomb of 2011.
Dropping from 4th place to 6th place is the Owen Wilson comedy Hall Pass with a gross of $5.1 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $5.5 million). Hall Pass had a per theatre average of $1,998, and was down 42.4% from last weekend. After three weeks, Hall Pass has grossed $34.9 million from a $36 million budget, so Warner Bros. will be making a profit on this film by next weekend (I said that last weekend, but I really mean it this time).
Dropping from 3rd place to 7th place is the “Beauty and the Beast” update Beastly with a gross of $5 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $4.3 million). Beastly had a per theatre average of $2,598 and was down 48.3% from last weekend. Although the percentage drop from weekend to weekend is not good, CBS Films is happy with Beastly’s box office performance as the film cost only $17 million to make and has grossed $16.9 million in ten days of release, so this is a film that will be making CBS Films a profit by Monday.
Dropping from 7th place to 8th place is the Adam Sandler//Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It with a gross of $4 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $3.8 million). Just Go With It had a per theatre average of $1,668 and was down 37.8% from last weekend, which is the lowest percentage drop of any film in the top ten. After five weeks of release, Just Go with It has grossed $93.9 million from a budget of $80 million.
Dropping from 8th place to 9th place is the Academy Award winning The King’s Speech with a gross of $3.6 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $4.092 million). The King’s Speech had a per theatre average of $2,050 and the film was down 41.8% from last weekend. The percentage drop for The King’s Speech stops its streak of having the best percentage hold in the top ten at six weekends in a row, and the 41.8% drop is the highest the film has suffered in its sixteen weeks of release. As predicted, now that the awards season is over, interest in The King’s Speech will be fading until it comes out on DVD. After sixteen weeks of release, The King’s Speech has grossed $129 million from a budget of only $15 million.
Rounding out the top ten, Gnomeo and Juliet drops from 5th place to 10th place with a gross of $3.5 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $4.032 million). Gnomeo and Juliet had a per theatre average of $1,372 and was down 51% from last weekend. The percentage drop from weekend to weekend and the per theatre average were the worst of any film in the top ten, but that should always be the case when you’re the 10th place film. After five weeks, Gnomeo & Juliet has grossed $89 million.
In limited release:
Jane Eyre – Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender star in this adaptation of the famous Charlotte Bronte novel. Jane Eyre grossed $182,000 from 4 theatres, giving the film an amazing per theatre average of $45,500, which is the highest per theatre average of any film in release.
Kill The Irishman – Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Linda Cardellini, Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken star in this film that is based on a true story about a turf war in Cleveland between the Irish and the Italians. Kill The Irishman grossed $155,500 from 5 theatres, giving the film an excellent per theatre average of $31,100.
Certified Copy – This film stars Juliette Binoche and is about a man and a woman who meet one day at a lecture and are mistaken as a married couple. They keep up the pretense for the day, but is it just for fun or are do they both feel something for one another? Binoche won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance. Certified Copy grossed $84,000 from 5 theatres giving the film a strong per theatre average of $16,800.
3 Backyards – This film stars Edie Falco and is about three people who live in the suburbs and whose lives intersect on a fall day. 3 Backyards grossed $11,000 from one theatre giving it the same per theatre avereage.
Clash (Bay Rong), Bonnie vs. Clyde vs. Dracula, Black Death and Making the Boys have not reported their grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Battle: Los Angeles – $31 million
Rango – $23.4 million
Red Riding Hood – $17 million
The Adjustment Bureau – $12.2 million
Mars Needs Moms – $11 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Battle: Los Angeles – $36 million
Rango – $23.1 million
Red Riding Hood – $14.1 million
The Adjustment Bureau – $11.4 million
Mars Needs Moms – $6.8 million
My predictions were off by $13.2 million.
Next weekend, Battle: Los Angeles looks to be the #1 film for a second weekend in a row against three new films: the Bradley Cooper//Robert De Niro thriller Limitless, the Matthew McConaughey crime drama The Lincoln Lawyer and the Simon Pegg//Nick Frost sci-fi comedy Paul. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!