Hop ruled the box office for the second weekend in a row, easily dispatching all four new releases to keep the title. None of the new releases lit the box office on fire this weekend and the new release with the best per theatre average was actually Soul Surfer, which I’m sure surprised most experts. My predictions were not strong this weekend as I predicted three of the films that were in the top five, but only got two of those in the correct finish. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Staying in 1st place for the second weekend in a row is the live action//animated adventure Hop with a gross of $21.6 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $23.7 million). Hop had a per theatre average of $6,000 and dropped 42.2% from last weekend, which is a decent hold. For the second weekend in a row, Hop had the best per theatre average in the top ten. As I said last weekend, Hop will be the film of choice for the rest of April for younger audiences (I say this knowing that Rio will finish higher than Hop next weekend, but I would expect Hop to post an excellent hold on the Easter long weekend). Once Easter ends, so does the box office run of the film. Hop cost $63 million to make and after ten days, it has grossed $68.1 million for Universal.
Debuting in 2nd place is another Russell Brand film. This one is the comedy remake Arthur which grossed $12.6 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $14 million). Arthur had a per theatre average of $3,848, which is awful for a film that debuted in 3,276 theatres. The long term prospects for Arthur are not good at all and I still don’t think Russell Brand is someone to headline a film, but is still useful in a supporting role, and this opening weekend justifies my thought. Expect Arthur to be out of theatres by the end of the month.
Debuting in 3rd place is the thriller Hanna with a gross of $12.3 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $8 million). Hanna had a per theatre average of $4,861 which is also not a good sign that the film will play well in the long term. Even though critics like the film, the subject matter of a young girl who is an assassin is likely a turn off to most audiences. This is too bad considering the talent involved on the film. Hanna should not have a lengthy theatrical run, but will find an audience on DVD.
Debuting in 4th place is the drama Soul Surfer with a gross of $11.1 million (I predicted an opening outside of the top five and a gross of $6 million). Soul Surfer had a per theatre average of $5,014, which was the best per theatre average of the four new releases. People were in the mood for a feel-good story and this film provided it. The per theatre average is not amazing, and the opening weekend is only average at best, but the opening weekend of Soul Surfer is the surprise story of the weekend for me.
Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is the horror film Insidious with a gross of $9.7 million (I did not make a prediction for this film). Insidious had a per theatre average of $4,026 and dropped a staggering low 26.6% from last weekend, which was the best hold of any film in the top ten. What makes the hold even more impressive is that this is a horror film, which usually guarantees a drop above 50% on its second weekend, so the film is definitely resonating with audiences. The studio Film District is really happy for Insidious as after ten days it has grossed $27 million from a budget of only $1.5 million. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Insidious is Film District’s first ever release. A strong start for both the studio and the film.
Debuting to disappointing results in 6th place is the comedy Your Highness with a gross of $9.52 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $13 million). Your Highness had a per theatre average of $3,438 which was the lowest of any of the four new releases. The medieval comedy just did not resonate with audiences and didn’t have the broad appeal or critical love that Universal Pictures was hoping for. What also hurts is that Your Highness cost $49.9 million to make, so there is no way the film makes a profit from its domestic release.
In limited release:
Meek’s Cutoff and Blank City were the two films that made the most noise in limited release at the box office. Blank City grossed $12,000 from one theatre, which also gave it the best per theatre average of any film in release, while Meek’s Cutoff grossed $22,300 from 2 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $11,150.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Hop – $23.7 million
Arthur – $14 million
Your Highness – $13 million
Source Code – $8.3 million
Hanna – $8 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Hop – $21.6 million
Arthur – $12.6 million
Hanna – $12.3 million
Soul Surfer – $11.1 million
Insidious – $9.7 million
Next weekend, Hop looks to be the #1 film for a third weekend in a row against two new films: the animated adventure Rio and the horror sequel Scream 4. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!