The box office results for the weekend of March 4th-6th sees a western lizard taming a beast, a bureau and the ’80s. With four new releases entering the party, the holdovers from last week all find themselves in a tightly-contested battle for a top ten spot. Here are the studio estimates:
1. Rango ($38 million)
2. The Adjustment Bureau ($20.9 million)
3. Beastly ($10.1 million)
4. Hall Pass ($9 million)
5. Gnomeo and Juliet ($6.9 million)
6. Unknown ($6.6 million)
7. The King’s Speech ($6.5 million)
8. Just Go With It ($6.5 million)
9. I Am Number Four ($5.7 million)
10. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($4.3 million)
Let’s start at the bottom. Which means we have to start outside the top ten…
“Take Me Home Tonight’s” horrid debut ($3.5 million) may signal something that Hollywood thought they would never hear, “The ’80s are dead.” Last year the industry started to see how the nostalgia of an ’80s product has begun to tarnish. “Hot Tub Time Machine” ($50 million domestically) struggled to earn every dollar at the box office after a modest debut ($14 million). Still the flick reached profitability. “Take Me Home” has a production budget of just $19 million, but will most likely be out of theaters by the end of the month. The ’80s haven’t flopped this bad since last year’s spoof known as “MacGruber.”
Working our way up the list, “Beastly” was the other new release that was projected not to do anything note-worthy. However, it opened up right around where all CBS Films’ products seem to land lately. CBS Films is still searching for its first breakout hit, but with having this critically-panned flick costing $17 million to produce, they’ll be fortunate just to break-even at the theaters. Having said that, never underestimate the teenage audience, who are apparently enamored with this product, as they may venture to this product for multiple screenings. (Vomit anyone?)
“The Adjustment Bureau” will change the sour tone of this report, as the flick opened right around expectations for Universal Pictures. Who may finally have a legit hit on their hands after dealing with a sub par 2010. With the reviews being kind – some comparing it to “Inception” – this may entice moviegoers to seek this out during the week, thus extending its shelf life in the top ten over the next month. Coming in with a production of $50 million, this will need to clear around $80 million domestically to start seeing the green.
In the top spot, we find the animated “Rango” starring Johnny Depp’s voice. Which is a great combo for attaining box office gold. This flick rang up a bill of about $150 million, so the decent opening weekend will be shortly celebrated by Paramount Pictures. If audiences start paying attention to the reviews – which state that the material may fly over the younger viewers’ heads – this may drop faster than most theatrical animations. Plus, the flick will be dealing with genre competition as early as this Friday (more on that below). In the next week or two, “Rango’s” destiny will become more clear.
By winning the Oscar for Best Picture, “The King’s Speech” maintained its position in the top ten, and after 15 weeks, the flick is now up to $124 million domestically. Worldwide, the total is at royal $280 million. And that’s off a peasant budget of just $15 million.
Sleeper Hit: “Just Go With It.” At this point, it looks like Adam Sandler’s latest is going to just reach $100 million on the domestic front. International totals have provided a nice assist and this could finish with a worldwide total of around $140-$150 million. And that will just be enough to cover the $80 million production budget, with the DVD/On-Demand providing the catalyst to ensure profitability.
Flop Alert: At the moment, there is not a top ten title (besides the ones already covered above) that deserves this vaunted labeling. International totals has been able to keep certain titles (ex. I Am Number Four) afloat.
This Friday, three big ones are releasing in about 3,000 theaters apiece. Sony is going to throw the big-budget-like, sci/fi product “Battle: Los Angeles” at audiences. Disney is counter-acting with the animated “Mars Needs Moms.” And Warner Bros. looks to go the thriller route with “Red Riding Hood.” Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.
Report by Joe Belcastro