The box office results for the weekend of December 10th-12th brings in the first floppers of the 2010 holiday movie season. Whether it was attractive Tourists and/or eye-catching special effects, audiences were just not buying it this time around. Yet, they did seek out a Black Swan though. Here are the studio estimates:
1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ($24.5 million)
2. The Tourist ($17 million)
3. Tangled ($14.5 million)
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 ($8.5 million)
5. Unstoppable ($3.7 million)
6. Black Swan ($3.3 million)
7. Burlesque ($3.2 million)
8. Love and Other Drugs ($3 million)
9. Due Date ($2.5 million)
10. Megamind ($2.5 million)
Disney must have had a strong hunch about the viability of The Chronicles of Narnia franchise. After selling the rights for the franchise to 20th Century Fox, they’re looking pretty smart for the first time this year. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader brings the franchise the worst opening weekend to date. Domestically, the two previous Narnia flicks opened around the $60 million mark. Having such a lackluster opening for the third installment, strengthens the case that the second installment, Prince Caspian, really turned a lot of people off. 20th Century Fox trimmed the production budget down to $145 million but that will not be enough for this flick to reach a profitable status. There is really no excuse why this franchise is one-step away from having its future sequels go direct-to-DVD after the highly successful first film. It’s the perfect time of year for wholesome family entertainment. Plus, competition in the genre is at a minimum since Tangled has been out for a few weeks now. As part of the famous lyrical saying goes, “No when to fold’em.” Narnia has drifted away.
Another surprise is seeing The Tourist have such a weak opening. One would think by having two very popular box office draws joining forces, this flick would be invincible. Well, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp are mere mortals this time around. The risk of having two huge stars, in what is relatively a simple production, is their salaries inflate the budget. The production budget for this caper was $100 million. Granted, this was shot in multiple locations, but there is no way the production cost should have eclipsed the $50 million mark. It has been reported that Jolie and Depp usually command around $20 million per film. However, they are very bankable stars as recent history shows. That said, the pairing of mega stars in action/rom-coms just aren’t working this year. Perhaps this was just a random weekend where the go-to weapons studios thrive on just missed. Even Justin Timberlake probably had a girl say no to him a time or two.
Due Date and Megamind currently have the longest streak in the top ten with 6 weeks. Due Date is at $95 million for Warner Bros and the animated 3D product from DreamWorks is just over $140 million domestically.
Flop Alert: Burlesque. It’s current gross is up to $32 million and it will not have the stamina to make it past $40 million domestically. Therefore, the $55 million production budget will only be justified after a solid DVD and On-Demand run. Which is not guaranteed to happen. Sleeper Hit: Black Swan. This flick is starting to get its legs under it and is now up to $5.5 million. Thus far, the flick is only playing in 90 locations. Starting next week, a massive expansion will take place in trying to build momentum for the award season. That $13 million production budget attached to this flick will not be a concern for Fox Searchlight Pictures by the end of the year.
Since many are curious, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: Part 1 has reached $267 million on the domestic front. International totals have nearly doubled the domestic total.
This coming weekend, there is truly a genre for everybody. Those wanting a comedy, look no further than How Do You Know. If one needs an adrenaline rush, the 3D, sci-fi/actioner Tron: Legacy is calling you. Fam-friendly crowds will be offered Yogi Bear, also in 3D. The Fighter expands to all markets and few limited releases in Rabbit Hole and Casino Jack open in select cities. Reviews will be right here kids.