Sunday, June 07, 2009
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: UP! Stays Up
The forecast did not look good on Friday. Before going into the weekend, prognosticators expected an easy second week win for Pixar’s latest hit, UP! It was then expected that Will Ferrell’s remake, LAND OF THE LOST, would follow in a distant second and R-rated comedy, THE HANGOVER, would post impressive but limited R-rated numbers. Then THE HANGOVER went and captured over $16 million on Friday to win the day and the title of second biggest R-rated comedy opening day in history (behind the $26.8 million one day haul SEX AND THE CITY took in last year). Suddenly the skies were not so clear for another UP! victory.
Ultimately, UP! won the weekend with a slight 35% decline. This marks the shortest second week decline for a Pixar picture since FINDING NEMO, which would eventually go on to become the top grossing G-rated movie of all time with just under $340 million. With no other significant family film or animated feature before the latest ICE AGE installment on July 1, UP! is in a great position to reach similar numbers to FINDING NEMO and will certainly surge past recent hits, WALL-E and RATATOUILLE.
Just because LAND OF THE LOST was being released on more screens, contained a PG-13 rating and starred Will Ferrell, people were expecting it to be the weekend’s big hit. Go figure. I would consider it a testament to a new audience intelligence that they didn’t just go see it because it was big and shiny but then again, they threw a ton of money at THE HANGOVER instead. To be fair, I actually thought THE HANGOVER, directed by Todd Phillips, who directed Ferrell in OLD SCHOOL, would be much better than it was and went to see it opening day as well. I found out very quickly just how sobering an experience it was. Warner Brothers is happy though. The unexpected success of THE HANGOVER affirms that it was the right decision to green light a sequel before the film even hit theatres.
No film came anywhere close to matching the per screen average of this week’s breakout art house success, AWAY WE GO. Directed by Sam Mendes (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD), AWAY WE GO follows John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph around the country as they search for a place to call home and raise their first child together. The simple and touching story received a mixed reaction from critics but audiences were drawn to it as it pulled in $143K on four screens for an average of nearly $36K per screen. The film will continue to unspool slowly in the weeks to come. Other notable limited releases include SERAPHINE, a French film by Martin Provost. The winner of seven Cesar Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscar), including Best Picture, SERAPHINE pulled in nearly $40K on six screens, for an average $6.5K. And proving further that she is box office poison, Mariah Carey starred in TENNESSEE and brought in a grand total of $10K on 15 screens (most of them actually in Tennessee) for a very un-diva like average of under a grand.
NEXT WEEK: Oh joy … Eddie Murphy is back in IMAGINE THAT (2800 screens). In this one, he bonds with his daughter because her imaginary friends have great stock tips. I enjoyed this premise the first time I saw it on “The Simpsons” when Homer was using Lisa for football tips. And aging A-listers, John Travolta and Denzel Washington go head to head in Tony Scott’s remake of THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123. On the smaller side of things, look for documentary, FOOD INC, Sam Rockwell vehicle, MOON and the latest Francis Ford Coppolla attempt to recapture his creditability, TETRO.
Source: Box Office Mojo