The Box Office Report – March 4-6

Last week, in Box Office…

Hall Pass wins the weekend with an anemic $13.5 million. I am happy. I guessed around 15, but said I’d laugh if it did less than 14. And oh man, I’m laughing so hard right now my dick hurts. I honestly don’t care what wins the weekend as long as it makes what I deem an acceptable amount of money. $13 million is an acceptable amount of money because, really, this film is going to top out around $30 million. Max. Maybe 35. That’s about it. And for a movie starring the the next best thing to sliced bread in comedic value, Owen Wilson, I find this number appropriate. I feel that Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston should only do movies together from now on. That way, when they pair up, I’ll only have two movies to avoid per year instead of four. Also, with a $36 million budget and all the advertising, this is gonna count as a loss for the studio. And even though that studio is Warner Bros., who I respect for the chances they’ve been taking in years recent, I still want films like this to fail. So, I’m happy. It’s rare that I get the chance to not have to talk about a film I don’t like within two weeks.

Finishing second was, surprise surprise, Gnomeo and Juliet. The movie’s got new legs, Lieutenant Dan. New legs! It made $13.4 million. So, to get this straight, a children’s movie, which I’m now convinced (as I was when I saw the original trailer months ago) is actually probably the best movie to come out this year so far, came within a hundred thousand dollars of winning the weekend two weekends in a row! Niether of which were its opening weekend, mind you. Be prepared for children’s movies, people. Scar hath spoken. Not that I’m entirely upset about this. I’d actually rather watch innocuous kids movies (so long as they’re not horrendously bad) than shitty PG-13 thrillers about exorcisms and bad premises.

Finishing third was Unknown, which, after winning two weekends in a row, fell below the film that’s finished second for three weekends in a row. Scratch that, third the first weekend, and then two twos. Still, Unknown has had a very strong run in theaters, making another $12.6 million to bring its domestic total to a pubic hair under $43 million. I said between 11-12, and “maybe” a bit more. So, close. For a film budgeted at $30 million, this is fucking incredible. Good job, Warner Bros., you just made your money back on Hall Pass. I for one, can get behind these Liam Neeson thrillers because one, he beats the shit out of a lot of people, two, Liam Neeson is awesome, and three, no matter how bad they are they’re not as bad as most of the shit that’s out around it. So, good job, this movie. Can’t wait to see what comes out next year. Allegedly it’s Taken 2. Which, for the record, is not the story of me and the SATs.

Finishing fourth and making me incredibly happy in the process, was I Am Number Four. I’m not even going to joke about it. Good job, #4, finishing #4. You actually did something correctly for once. It made $11 million (more than I thought, less than it needs) to bring its total to $37.7 million after two weeks. For a $60 million movie with the amount of advertising they put into it, that hurts. For a film that was made for the money, I do not feel bad about this. Not one bit.

Finishing fifth was Just Go With It, which, the lower this film finishes the better it is. It made $10.5 million to finish (also better than I thought, son of a bitch) at $78.8 million after 3 weeks. Now I just hope this piece of shit doesn’t crack $100 million. It shouldn’t, but, after three weeks it’s about to hit its $80 million budget. Let us pause to reflect — an Adam Sandler comedy, that features people sitting around on beaches all film, doing nothing but talking, was made for $80 million. And Black Swan, was made for less than $15 million.

Ladies and gentlemen — America.

Finishing fifth was the Bieber, at $9.4 million, bringing its ungodly total to almost $63 million. Jesus Christ, America, how stupid are you?

Big Momma continues her run at the box office, as America continues to not know that it isn’t, in fact, a Tyler Perry movie. It made $7.6 million to finish at $28.6 million for two weeks. I called that, so it must be an acceptable number. With a $32 million budget, that means this will probably end up a success. It will also, however, mean the next movie in this franchise will go straight to DVD. So I guess then everybody wins. I’m actually kind of happy that, even though this movie sucks, it was made for little money, will eke out a small profit, then disappear without having pissed anyone off all that much. This is how shitty movies should operate. I’m looking at you, most of the rest of the top ten.

Oh, and The King’s Speech finished with $7.3 million. I did say it was gonna get a bump, and it did. Go me. Did more money than it did last weekend. What the fuck is it going to do now that it won? And is being released in PG-13? Which, why?

And finally — what a shame this is — Drive Angry, a movie I had such high hopes for, finished with a measly $5.2 million for the weekend. That’s less than half of what it was tracking. I guess there is such a thing as “too much Cage.” No word on whether my father actually went to the theater to see this. However, this does make me even more excited to see this film, and the second it’s online streaming, I will watch it. I’m like most of the Cage fans — we’ll watch it, but we won’t pay for it in the theaters. Which is probably why this movie did so poorly…

Either way, one failure will not stop him from making them, which is really all I needed to know. If there was a danger of Cage not making these kinds of movies anymore, then I’d be quicker to rush out to the theater to see them.

Anyway, that’s last week. Now, onto this week:

The big film opening this week, and as far as I’m concerned the first good film of the year — what a surprise it coincides with March — is Rango. Back when I first heard about Rango, I was sold. It was, as memory serves, first pitched as, “An animated movie, made by the dude who directed all three Pirates of the Caribbean films, starring Johnny Depp, about a glove.” That made me excited. That they’d actually make an animated movie about a glove. Then it was elaborated on that he was a chameleon and not a glove, even though glove sort of fit, and I was still pretty much in. Depp wouldn’t throw in for a movie unless he believed in it (or wanted the money really badly — looking at you Tourist). Then that first trailer came out and didn’t tell you a goddamn thing. Then the second one came out and had a Fear and Loathing reference — which, the whole movie has one, since Rango is wearing the Raoul Duke shirt, essentially — where he hits the windshield of the car that Raoul Duke is driving, which is a nice, weird, Depp moment. But then I found out it’s actually going to be a western — which, I’m sold.

This, to me, looks like it’s going to be at worst a three star movie. And that’s if it’s not good. I’m expecting four. Plus, with the whole kids movie drought, I’m expecting this to be fucking huge. And rightfully so. It deserves to be fucking huge. It won’t be that huge, because it is PG and has a lot of stuff that the really young kids market can’t (or won’t) go see. But, even so, it should get the older ones who like Depp. Or me, who likes westerns. They’re saying this will do around $40 million this weekend. I’m cool with that. In such a high stakes guess as this, especially so early in the year, this is one where your guess is really accurate if you get within $5-10 million. This could do $55 million, this could do $35 million. Personally, I’m thinking like $42-45 million. Though, $38 million seems about right. Alice in Wonderland made over $100 million in its opening weekend, so it’s not unfeasible. That, actually, makes no sense whatsoever. But this, I can see this doing 50. Will it? Who knows? I’d be happy with anything this does as long as it’s over $35 million. I won’t quibble over $34. Anything lower than that is a shame. We need to make up for Bieber, and we’re doing it now.

The other big film opening is The Adjustment Bureau. This seems like a film that should be released around this time of the year, just because it’s kind of science fiction-y. Plus, they think it’s a bit too — something — to make the Matt Damon money. Like Green Zone. That was too political. This is probably too good. So they bumped it from last July to now because they knew it wasn’t going to make the blockbuster money they expected it to. Which must mean a higher quality of film. So, I might actually go pay for this now. This has all the signs of a film that is better than its release date. But, looking at this date, the studio would be ecstatic with a $20-22 million opening. I’d love it if it did $22-25 million, but I expect, just because I have no faith in the American public, that this does $16-18 million. This is a film that can hold really strong with good word of mouth. I’m guessing that it’s aimed at older audiences (ones not looking for explosions and shit), but is hard to market toward them, because they’re making it out to be a hip, cool, young person’s film with sci-fi and shit, and apparently the sci-fi isn’t really a big part of the story at all. But Damon’s films — and by that I mean, those that are his, and not a Coen brothers film or a Clint Eastwood film — have opened poorly the last few years despite being amazing films. I’m speaking mostly of Green Zone and the Informant! here. More so The Informant!. That film is amazing. So, knowing America, I’m going to temper expectations here, but, if they open this above $20 million, they’ll earn some respect. Respect as in, I’ll assume they sometimes have the capability to not fuck up completely. Baby steps.

The next film opening this week is Take Me Home Tonight, aka That 80s Movie. Here’s a comedy that’s been shelved for over a year, and is being dumped onto a heavy weekend in March. Clearly the losses have been paid for and the studio is just looking to see how much they can get out of this. I’m thinking, based purely on that alone, $12 million here would be a dream for them. I’m ambivalent about how I want this film to do. On the one hand, it looks like it sucks, but on the other hand, if the amount of cocaine that I think is possible to be consumed during this film is consumed during this film, then maybe I’ll want it to do better. I may have heard somewhere that there’s so much cocaine consumption in this film that they ran into problems with it. So, if that’s the case, then I’m hoping for $12 million or better. If not, I’m hoping for $10 million or less. Which, is what everyone is predicting. They’re saying like $7-9 million. Plus, it’s got competition for the “raunchy comedy” spot, with —

Hall Pass is still out. God damnit. That made $13 million last week. So, expecting a drop, it should do around $7 million this weekend. $6.5 million for a smooth drop. Maybe it’ll hold, since it’s only one of two comedies targeted at older people, but I feel they’ll go 80s more than they’ll go this. But, I’ve been proven wrong before. People are stupid.

Gnomeo and Juliet is always a force to be reckoned with. It’ll lose audience to Rango, but it’ll still get the young-ins whose parents won’t let them go to a PG movie with “crude humor” and, gasp, “smoking.” So, it should definitely drop under $10 million, but how low can it go is the question? Let’s call it between $8-9 million. If Rango really overperforms, you’re looking around $7 million here. But still, no less than that. Let’s not pretend this things won’t make money regardless of what’s out.

Oh yeah, Beastly is coming out. You know that film? Yeah, no one does. They pushed it from last year. It’s a Beauty and the Beast story starring Vanessa Hudgens and #4. Neil Patrick Harris and Mary Kate Olsen are in it and it’s getting a semi-wide release, mostly to test the waters. They’re saying it does around $5-6 million. Personally, I think it’ll do $4 million or less. But, we’ll see. I really don’t care because this, and the first half of next week’s report are the only times I will ever mention this movie.

And the rest of the holdovers…

The King’s Speech clearly takes the top of this list, having just won Best Picture. It’s $7.3 million take last weekend should almost certainly increase once again. I’m figuring to somewhere between $8-9 million. Which should place it fairly well in the overall numbers. I’m not quite sure, but, since there are so many, I’m going to do what — probably I should have started doing a while ago — and make a list of where I think the many films I’m talking about will finish this weekend. Kind of seems obvious when you think about it.

Unknown is still here and is still making money. I can’t imagine it’ll do amazingly well this weekend, but, having done $12.6 million last weekend, even with a 50% drop this will do $6 million and change this weekend. Which is still really good.

I am Number Four looks to finally fall off the cliff so I won’t have to mention it again after this week. It’s looking at somewhere between $5-6 million this weekend. Anything above 6.5 is amazing. Slightly above 6 is fine, and mid-to-high 5 is what it should do.

Just Go With It is the abortion that would not die, and should do between $5-6 million as well. Fuck. Why do I have a feeling this will do $6.2 million? Please let it be lower.

Are there more? Bieber’s looking at between $4-5 million. If it makes under $5 million I won’t even mention it next week when I recap the numbers. And the last one is Big Momma, which I’m tracking just to make fun of it. This is looking to do around $4 million this week. So, probably no mention whatsoever.

Drive Angry I need to mention again just so I check its numbers. I’m hoping that America smartens up and maybe holds this number to another $5 million this weekend. But with the slate we have, I know that won’t happen. Maybe this makes $3 million. I’m really just hoping for the highest possible number here.

So that’s all the films — here’s what I think the top ten will be (or should be. I go preferential for tiebreakers.)

  1. Rango — $42-46 million (high 30s is also possible, as is 50, but honestly, a shit ton is a shit ton)
  2. The Adjustment Bureau — $20-22 million (expecting 16-28, hoping for 22-25, taking the middle ground. This is a test, America. Don’t fuck up.)
  3. The King’s Speech — $8-9 million + (This goes #3 just because I don’t know how much it’ll really do. It’s between 3 or 4.)
  4. Gnomeo and Juliet — $8-9 million (Shouldn’t hold to 10, but it’s possible. Definitely will hold to around here though.)
  5. Take Me Home Tonight — $7 million or so.
  6. Unknown — $6-7 million. (Tie goes to the film I like better.)
  7. Hall Pass — $6.5 million.
  8. I am Number Four — $5-6 million. (Keeping with the whole “4” theme.)
  9. Just Go With It — $5-6 million. (Almost certain this will go higher than #4. Wishful thinking.)
  10. Beastly — $4-4.5 million.

Big Momma and Bieber are threats to take that 10 spot. Drive Angry, I hope, comes really close to doing so, or does. It won’t. But one hopes…

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