Transformers: Dark of the Moon ruled the box office for the second weekend in a row, which was expected, but what ended up being the real story was the film that finished in 2nd place. You’ll have to read more below to find out what film it was. In fact, the two major new releases of the weekend both had debuts over $20 million, which was impressive. My predictions were brutal this weekend, as I picked four of the films in the top five, and only had two of them in the correct finish. In terms of estimates, I really wasn’t that close on any of them. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon finished in 1st place for the second weekend in a row with a gross of $47 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $35.2 million). Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a per theatre average of $11,503, which was the highest per theatre average of any of the films in the top ten, and was down 51.9% from last weekend’s debut. The hold was quite impressive, and was much closer to the first film’s second weekend drop than the second film’s second weekend drop. See below:
Transformers – 47.5% second weekend drop
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – 61.2% second weekend drop
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – 51.9% second weekend drop
The hold is shocking to me because sequels have much more upfront demand, so the fact that it was around 50% means that audiences like the latest entry in the franchise. It still has a ways to go to surpass Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as the highest grossing entry in the franchise (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen grossed $402.1 million during its run). Still, it’s an excellent second weekend for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and the film is definitely a money maker for DreamWorks//Paramount as it has grossed $261 million from a budget of $195 million.
Horrible Bosses debuted in 2nd place with a gross of $28.1 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $18 million) with an excellent per theatre average of $9,247. This is a surprising finish in a good way, as I doubt any “box office expert” thought this film would gross more than $25 million on its opening weekend when they were looking at the release schedule of films at the start of the summer. Horrible Bosses benefitted from strong reviews, a great marketing campaign and I’m sure the word-of-mouth on the film will definitely help it in the weeks ahead. The film actually opened in the middle of the other two films that I used to make my prediction for Horrible Bosses. See below:
2011 – Bridesmaids – $26.2 million opening weekend
2011 – Horrible Bosses – $28.1 million opening weekend
2011 – Bad Teacher – $31.6 million opening weekend
What’s funny is that the average gross of Bridesmaids and Bad Teacher was $28.9 million, so I should listen to the numbers and not my gut. Horrible Bosses has a budget of $35 million, so this film will be making money for Warner Bros.//New Line in the coming weeks and should be able to gross over $100 million at the end of its run, as Bridesmaids has already accomplished that feat and Bad Teacher is getting closer to hitting that target.
Zookeeper debuted in 3rd place with a gross of $21 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $25 million). Zookeeper had a per theatre average of $6,031. The opening weekend has to be considered a little disappointing for Kevin James as the opening weekend for Zookeeper is quite a bit below his last headlining film Paul Blart: Mall Cop. In fact, of the three films I used to make my prediction, Zookeeper finished significantly lower than those films in terms of opening weekend gross:
2007 – I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – $34.2 million opening weekend
2009 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $31.8 million opening weekend
2010 – Grown Ups – $40.5 million opening weekend
2011 – Zookeeper – $21 million opening weekend
The poor reviews will not help out Zookeeper in the coming weeks and the family audience won’t be there next weekend as they will all be going to see either Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two or Winnie the Pooh. Zookeeper has a budget of $80 million (which is astounding, as it doesn’t look like a film that should cost $80 million, but the special effects on the animals drove up the cost, I’m sure) and I don’t think it will be a film that will be making its money back for Sony Pictures.
Cars 2 dropped from 2nd place to 4th place with a gross of $15.2 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $12.1 million). Cars 2 had a per theatre average of $3,812 and dropped 42.1% from last weekend’s gross. The film is just not getting the love from audiences that most Disney//Pixar films usually do, and there is no way the Cars 2 out grosses the original Cars (which grossed $244 million). After three weeks of release, has grossed $148.8 million against a budget of $200 million
Dropping from 3rd place to 5th place is the Cameron Diaz//Jason Segel comedy Bad Teacher with a gross of $9 million (I did not make a prediction for this film). Bad Teacher had a per theatre average of $3,028 and dropped 38% from last weekend, which was the best percentage hold of any film in the top ten. What’s impressive about Bad Teacher is how strong the hold was this weekend considering two new comedies came out, with one of them – Horrible Bosses – going directly after its audience. The “R” rated comedy seems to be the story of the summer. After three weeks of release, Bad Teacher has grossed $78.7 million from a budget of only $20 million, so Sony Pictures is very happy with the performance of this film.
Larry Crowne dropped from 4th place to 6th place with a gross of $6.2 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $8 million). Larry Crowne had a per theatre average of $2,105 and dropped 52.2% in its second weekend. The drop is surprisingly high because this is a film geared towards older adults, which usually means strong holds every weekend, and long runs for the films targeting that audience. For whatever reason, the Tom Hanks//Julia Roberts film about a man going back to school after losing his job is just not resonating with audiences, and definitely has to be considered one of the disappointments of the summer. After 10 days of release, Larry Crowne has grossed $26.5 million against a budget of $30 million, so it is definitely not the hit that Universal was hoping it would be.
Two films in limited release did very well this weekend:
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest had a gross of $120,000 from 4 theatres, giving the film a per theatre average of $30,000, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release.
Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness had a gross of $18,400 from one theatre, giving it the same per theatre average. It had the second highest per theatre average of any film in release this weekend.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $35.2 million
- Zookeeper – $25 million
- Horrible Bosses – $18 million
- Cars 2 – $12.1 million
- Larry Crowne – $8 million
And here are the actual numbers:
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $47 million
- Horrible Bosses – $28.1 million
- Zookeeper – $21 million
- Cars 2 – $15.2 million
- Bad Teacher – $9 million
Next weekend, two new films get released and one of them will most certainly be the new box office champion. The two films are the animated-adventure Winnie the Pooh and the highly anticipated adventure finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!