The box office results for the weekend of February 11th – 13th sees a battle at the top between the old-school versus new-school. Cinematic veteran Adam Sandler edges out the young phenomenon known as Bieber-fever, while two other new releases trail behind. Here are the studio estimates:
1. Just Go With It ($31 million)
2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($30.2 million)
3. Gnomeo and Juliet ($25.5 million)
4. The Eagle ($8.5 million)
5. The Roommate ($8.4 million)
6. The King’s Speech ($7.4 million)
7. No Strings Attached ($5.6 million)
8. Sanctum ($5.1 million)
9. True Grit (2010) ($3.7 million)
10. The Green Hornet ($3.6 million)
If anyone cares, the overall box office received its much needed jolt for 2011 this past weekend. This trend may continue with at least three wide releases on tap for the remaining weekends of February. All of which have at least one popular performer in the lead role. Well, depending on your definition of popular these days.
As for this past weekend, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston combined their powers in “Just Go With It” to hold off the Biebs. The $31 million start bodes well for Columbia Pictures in trying to recoup the $80 million production budget. Although they were able to deal with Bieber and two other new releases, the flick is getting smashed by the majority of critics. Which will probably lead to this flick dropping at least 50% in its second weekend. Obviously with Monday being Valentine’s Day, this could pad the stats as couples take in a movie – so they can avoid talking to each other. Having said that, audiences may let this one go before it can reach a profitable status in theaters.
The only thing shocking about “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” debuting this high, is why he failed to beat out Miley Cyrus’ “Hannah Montana” debut ($31.1). The answer…Bieber doesn’t get the benefit of attracting the perverts. It’s gross, but true. With that said, this flick will reap the benefits of teenager girls everywhere wanting to see this more than once in theaters. In fact, Sunday totals may elevate this flick to the top spot when the final numbers come out on Monday. Add in the 3D ticket pricing, and this could produce a nice profit for Paramount. Plus, the icing on the cake is the majority of critics gave this a positive review. Nice to see some of us can still act like professionals.
Considering the competition it was up against, “Gnomeo and Juliet” had a fine opening weekend. Yet another 3D animation, the true test will be how well this flick holds up over the next couple weeks. Without any exclusive fam-friendly and/or animation on the horizon – and depending on the production budget which has yet to be released – the Shakespeare with gnomes concept could actually work. Despite the critics saying the opposite.
“True Grit (2010)” currently has the longest streak in the top ten with 8 weeks. The flick has amassed $160 million domestically off a production budget of $38 million.
Flop Alert: And this brings us to the last new release in “The Eagle.” Look at the total and then factor in the $24 million production budget. Not horrible, but the usual 50% drop for period pieces will hit this one hard next weekend. Many are saying Channing Tatum is not ready to carry a flick yet. Whether that is true or not doesn’t matter here. What matters is spending only $24 million on a marketed epic product. First off, when depicting an epic, you need to be ready to drop some loot. Also, going with the theory of providing audience with an alternate genre only works for a rom-com when going against a summer-blockbuster such as “Transformers” or “Iron Man.” Not the other way around. (You’re welcome for the education Focus Features).
Sleeper Hit: “The Roommate” is wide-awake. Even though it is the early Razzie-award favorite, this flick only cost $16 million to produce and is now up to $25 million domestically. After next weekend, this sucker will be yielding profits for Screen Gems.
This Friday Martin Lawrence goes to the well one more time with “Big Mommas: Like father, Like son.” Disney tries the Sci-Fi/Adventure genre once again with “I Am Number Four.” Then Liam Neeson tries to replicate the success “Taken” had (released around the same time two years ago) with “Unknown.” Reviews will be right here kids.
Report by Joe Belcastro