The box office results for the weekend of January 28th-30th sees “The Rite” winning over a balanced weekend in 2011. Meanwhile, a “Mechanic”, a “King” and a “Hornet” own the top five. Here are the studio estimates:

1. The Rite ($15 million)

2. No Strings Attached ($13.6 million)

3. The Green Hornet ($11.5 million)

4. The Mechanic ($11.5 million)

5. The King’s Speech ($11.1 million)

6. True Grit 2010 ($7.6 million)

7. The Dilemma ($5.4 million)

8. Black Swan ($5.1 million)

9. The Fighter ($4 million)

10. Yogi Bear ($3.1 million)

Analysis

Not only did “The Rite” exorcise the demons, but it may have inadvertently done the same to an audience. As far as exorcism flicks go, this one did not have the power of its predecessors within the subgenre. One can understand why Warner Bros. spent $37 million to produce this tale, for the recent batch of exorcism flicks proved to have strong opening weekends ($20 million and up). The majority of the budget was most likely a combo of on-location shooting (Italy and Hungary) along Sir Anthony Hopkins’ salary. Based on the production qualities seen on-screen, this flick could have been easily made for half the budget. Look for this to barely crack the $30 million mark domestically.

“The Mechanic” was the only other new release from the we-desperately-need-a-hit studio CBS Films. The young studio bought the rights to distribute this flick that is rumored to have a production budget of around $40 million. If that number holds up – and despite the mild reviews and decent opening weekend – let’s just say someone isn’t going to be seeing profits off this one. If CBS Films is only in on the distributing fee, then they should be alright. In fact, with the better than expected opening, CBS Films may have already earned a profit.

“The Fighter” currently holds the longest streak in the top ten with 8 weeks. Domestically, the Oscar nominee is now up to $77 million. It’s hanging in their in these late rounds leading up to the Academy Awards, yet it will fail to achieve the box office glory that “Black Swan” and “The King’s Speech” are earning.

Flop Alert: “The Green Hornet.” It is holding up better than expected, but the $120 million production budget and a lackluster overseas total may see this one breaking even at best during its theatrical run. And to be honest, there really isn’t any other candidate for this section. Sleeper Hit: “No Strings Attached” is showing lots of potential. Dropping just 30% in its second weekend, Paramount can rest assured it will at least double the production budget of $25 million.

It’s thriller time this coming Friday. Both new releases are expected to give the box office a jolt for the first time this year. Universal is releasing James Cameron’s latest 3D creation in “Sanctum.” Which will easily win the crown this weekend. Also entering the arena is “The Roommate,” which will bring out the teen-horror crowd. Reviews will be right here kids.

Report by Joe Belcastro

I command you to see The Rite
I command you to see The Rite

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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