The box office results for the weekend of April 1st – 3rd has Easter season arriving early and often with moviegoers. Hop came out of nowhere to thump all the competition in attaining the top spot. Meanwhile, Diary and Sucker Punch experience a major sophomore slump (as did I in college). Here are the studio estimates:
1. Hop ($38.1 million)
2. Source Code ($15 million)
3. Insidious ($13.4 million)
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules ($10.2 million)
5. Limitless ($9.4 million)
6. The Lincoln Lawyer ($7 million)
7. Sucker Punch ($6 million)
8. Rango ($4.5 million)
9. Paul ($4.3 million)
10. Battle: Los Angeles ($3.5 million)
Universal Pictures was just hoping that the timely release of an Easter flick, in conjunction with a marketing plan that went with the typical “From the creators of…” – in this case the 2010 success Despicable Me – would enable the fam-friendly Hop to be somewhat profitable. Well, it worked way better than expected. But it can it go the distance? The majority of reputable critics are slamming this uninspired Easter tale. And exit polls show audiences aren’t fawning over it. Yet with a lack of kid oriented products at the box office, everything just fell into place for the studio. So as long as this avoids a major drop, this should leap past the $100 million barrier on the domestic front, leaving Universal worry free about the relatively cheap $63 million production budget.
The forecasted winner also received a shock (no pun intended) this weekend. Source Code was supposed to follow the pattern that all the recent alternate-action flicks have. The debut isn’t terrible when considering this piece only rang up a production bill of $32 million. But Summit Entertainment has to be concerned that this did not make the intended splash many thought. At least the reviews are great.
Irony leads us to our next two flicks. Since both of them danced with the theme of getting or giving a beat down, moviegoers dealt both of these flicks a death blow. Sucker Punch dropped 68% from its opening weekend, and that will not help Warner Bros recover that $82 million budget. Also, this marks another March failing from director Zack Snyder (Watchmen was considered a bust in some respects). Diary on the other hand experienced a 57% drop. But it was only dancing with a production budget of $21 million. And its domestic total is already up to $38 million. 20th Century Fox has a legit franchise on its hands.
Flop Alert: See Sucker Punch above. It’s rare that Warner Bros. bombs this badly.
Sleeper Hit: Insidious. The final new release this past weekend, is living a horror product’s dream scenario. It only cost $1.5 million to make (I have a feeling that number should be higher), and after opening day, profits are being realized. The icing on the cake, critics actually like this horror movie. Little known studio, FilmDistrict, is now on the radar.
This Friday has a full slate for audiences to dissect. It’s been a few weeks since a remake has entered the arena, and the comedy Arthur will be filling that void. If one is looking for more femme violence, Hanna is your choice. Anyone who needs inspiration, the comeback story found in Soul Surfer is worth while. And those who want mindless fun, the fantasy spoof Your Highness is just for you. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.
Report by Joe Belcastro