Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report

Cars 2 dominated the box office this weekend, continuing Disney//Pixar’s run of supremacy at movie theatres, while Bad Teacher had an excellent debut thanks to a very funny marketing campaign. Green Lantern had a disastrous second weekend and you could say the same about my predictions. I predicted all five films that were in the top five, placing three of them in the correct finish, but I was way off on the amounts of a few of my predictions. Here’s how the weekend broke down:

Cars 2 debuted in 1st place with a gross of $68 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $90 million). Cars 2 had a per theatre average of $16,525, which is the 2nd highest per theatre average of any film in release this weekend as of this writing. Although Cars 2 had an opening weekend that was better than the original (which for sequels, should always be expected), the total gross was not that impressive to me. See how Cars 2 fared compared to the other Disney//Pixar films that opened in wide release.

1995 – Toy Story – $29.1 million opening weekend
2001 – Monsters Inc. – $62.1 million opening weekend
2003 – Finding Nemo – $70.2 million opening weekend
2004 – The Incredibles – $70.4 million opening weekend
2006 – Cars – $60.1 million opening weekend
2007 – Ratatouille – $47 million opening weekend
2008 – Wall-E – $63 million opening weekend
2009 – Up – $68.1 million opening weekend
2010 – Toy Story 3 – $110.3 million opening weekend
2011 – Cars 2 – $68 million opening weekend

Cars 2 had the benefit of 3-D and IMAX, which the original Cars did not have (let along Finding Nemo and The Incredibles which had higher opening weekend grosses than Cars 2), and add in the fact that the Cars brand is arguably one of the more popular in the Disney//Pixar catalogue, I thought that Cars 2 should have done a lot better. Some are saying the critical reaction to Cars 2 (which is easily considered the worst reviewed film in Disney//Pixar history) played an impact on the opening weekend. Still, it was the 4th best June opening of all time. See below:

1) Toy Story 3 – $110.3 million opening weekend
2) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – $108.9 million opening weekend
3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – $93.6 million opening weekend
4) Cars 2 – $68 million opening weekend

The budget for the film is unavailable as of this writing, but Pixar films can gross over $200 million with ease and considering the original Cars grossed $244 million, I’m sure Disney//Pixar is hoping that Cars 2 will gross more than that.

Debuting in 2nd place is the Cameron Diaz//Jason Segel comedy Bad Teacher with a gross of $31 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $21 million). Bad Teacher had a per theatre average of $10,167, which is outstanding considering that the film was never really mentioned in summer movie season previews as even having a chance to gross $30 million on its opening weekend. Bad Teacher had a bigger opening weekend than any film I used to help make my prediction for the film. The critical reaction on the film is mixed at best, but we’ll see if word-of-mouth will help give Bad Teacher a strong hold next weekend. Still, this is a great debut for Columbia Pictures.

Dropping from 1st place to 3rd place is the comic book adventure Green Lantern with a gross of $18.3 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $23.9 million). The film had a per theatre average of $4,809 and was down a whopping 65.5% from last weekend’s gross. There are more negatives than positives going for Green Lantern right now. First off – the fact that a major film like Green Lantern has a per theatre average below $5,000 in only its second weekend of release is a terrible sign for the film. Second – the fact that the percentage drop off was not only the highest of any film in the top ten, but above 65% also goes to show that audiences are not liking what they are seeing with the film. Domestically this film will not be making back its budget, so in that regard, it has to be considered a flop for Warner Bros. After ten days of release, Green Lantern has grossed $89.3 million against a budget of $200 million.

Dropping from 2nd place to 4th place is the sci-fi adventure Super 8 with a gross of $12.1 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $13.9 million). Super 8 had a per theatre average of $3,534 and dropped 43.6% from last weekend’s gross. The hold continues to be strong for the film and it once again shows that Super 8 has legs at the box office. After three weeks, Super 8 has grossed $95.1 million from a budget of $50 million, so it is a profitable film for Paramount.

Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is the family comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins with a gross of $10.3 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $9.8 million). Mr. Popper’s Penguins had a per theatre average of $3,082 and dropped 44.2% from its opening weekend gross. The per theatre average is not a good sign for the film, but the fact that it was able to have a percentage drop that was lower than 50% considering the competition of Cars 2 is some consolation to 20th Century Fox (although not much). After ten days, Mr. Popper’s Penguins has grossed $39.4 million against a budget of $55 million.

In limited release:

Two films opened strong in limited release this weekend.

A Better Life grossed $60,000 from 4 theatres, giving it a per theatre average of $15,000 and Passione grossed $17,300 from one theatre, giving Passione the best per theatre average of any film in release as of this writing.

So to recap, here were my predictions:

Cars 2 – $90 million
Green Lantern – $23.9 million
Bad Teacher – $21 million
Super 8 – $13.9 million
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $9.8 million

And here are the actual numbers:

Cars 2 – $68 million
Bad Teacher – $31 million
Green Lantern – $18.4 million
Super 8 – $12.1 million
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $10.3 million

Next weekend, the new films debuting in theatres are: the sci-fi action adventure Transformer: Dark of the Moon starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and John Turturro, the Tom Hanks//Julia Roberts romantic-comedy Larry Crowne and the Selena Gomez teenage mistaken identity comedy Monte Cristo. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!

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