Green Lantern was the #1 film at the box office this weekend with a strong opening, but early feedback from box office analysts suggests that the opening weekend was disappointing (I know it sounds like I’m defeating my own argument, but I’ll explain more further below). Mr. Popper’s Penguins opened as expected and Super 8 posted a strong hold. For the second weekend in a row, I would say that my predictions for the weekend box office were not great and even though I predicted four of the films in the top five, I only placed two of the films in the correct finish. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Debuting in 1st place is the comic book adventure Green Lantern with a gross of $52.6 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $57 million). The film had a per theatre average of $13,806, which was the best per theatre average of any film in the top ten and the second best per theatre average of any film in release. When films have opening weekends that are above $50 million, you tend to think that the film had a successful opening weekend. Unfortunately for Green Lantern, the budget for the film is listed at $200 million, and with negative reviews, it is hoping that word-of-mouth on the film is superb to even have a chance to make back its budget. Of the films that I used in making my prediction for Green Lantern, only two films had worse opening weekends. See below:
2005 – Fantastic Four – $56 million opening weekend
2006 – Superman Returns – $52.5 million opening weekend
2007 – Ghost Rider – $45.3 million opening weekend
2007 – Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – $58 million opening weekend
2008 – Hancock – $62.6 million opening weekend
2011 – Thor – $65.7 million opening weekend
2011 – X-Men: First Class – $55.1 million opening weekend
2011 – Green Lantern – $52.7 million opening weekend
It is also interesting to note that Green Lantern had a lower opening weekend than the last two comic book films that were released, so maybe audiences are getting tired of the “B” list comic book films. Having said that, $52.7 million is still a strong opening weekend, and we’ll see how the film performs in the weeks ahead.
Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is the sci-fi adventure Super 8 with a gross of $21.2 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $16.9 million). Super 8 had a per theatre average of $6,235 and dropped 40.1% from last weekend’s gross. The hold is strong considering the decent competition the film faced this weekend, and it shows that this film will have legs over the coming weeks and should be a solid performer. After ten days, Super 8 has grossed $72.7 million from a budget of $50 million, so it is making money for Paramount.
Debuting in 3rd place is the family comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins with a gross of $18.2 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $21 million). Mr. Popper’s Penguins had a per theatre average of $5,451, which is an average amount for the first weekend of a film in wide release. The Jim Carrey film opened with the exact amount as Carrey’s last mainstream film opened, and nowhere close to his last family oriented film. See below:
2004 – Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – $30 million opening weekend
2008 – Yes Man – $18.2 million opening weekend
2011 – Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $18.2 million opening weekend.
Word of mouth will be the key to this films success, but it will face a huge obstacle next weekend as Cars 2 invades movie theatres. Mr. Popper’s Penguins should be able to make back its budget, which is listed at $55 million, so it should be a slightly profitable film for 20th Century Fox when all is said and done.
Dropping from 2nd place to 4th place is the action-adventure X-Men: First Class with a gross of $11.5 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $11 million). X-Men: First Class had a per theatre average of $3,407 and dropped 52.3% from last weekend’s gross. The latest installment is still the lowest grossing of the franchise and has a ways to go to surpass X-Men for 4th place in the franchise (X-Men grossed $157.2 million). After three weekends, X-Men: First Class has grossed $119.9 million from a budget of $160 million.
Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is the comedy The Hangover II with a gross of $9.6 million (I did not make a prediction for this film). The Hangover II had a per theatre average of $2,785 and dropped 45.5% from last weekend’s gross. The comedy hit still has a ways to go in out grossing the original (which grossed $277.3 million), but it is still doing well. After four weekends, The Hangover II has grossed $232.6 million from a budget of $80 million.
Dropping from 4th place to 6th place is the animated-adventure Kung Fu Panda 2 with a gross of $8.7 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $10.5 million). Kung Fu Panda 2 had a per theatre average of $2,508 and was down 47.4% from last weekend. The sequel will not come close to the original’s domestic gross, which was $215.4 million. After four weekends, Kung Fu Panda 2 has grossed $143.3 million from a budget of $150 million.
In limited release:
Two films opened strong in limited release this weekend.
Jig grossed $65,000 from 5 theatres, giving it a per theatre average of $13,000 and Buck grossed $64,400 from 4 theatres, giving that film a per theatre average of $16,100 (the per theatre average for Buck was the best per theatre average of any film in release as of this writing).
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Green Lantern – $57 million
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $21 million
Super 8 – $16.9 million
X-Men: First Class – $11 million
Kung Fu Panda 2 – $10.5 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Green Lantern – $52.6 million
Super 8 – $21.2 million
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $18.2 million
X-Men: First Class – $11.5 million
The Hangover Part II – $9.6 million
Next weekend, the new films debuting in theatres are: the black comedy Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel and other film is the Disney/Pixar adventure Cars 2. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!