The Box Office Report – July 29-31

Last week, in Box Office…

Oh, I feel really good about this. People estimated way low on Captain America, saying it would make $55 million, and I said “Nay.” I said it would go higher. If this were the Price is Right, I’d be the one up there, walking on a light-up numbers floor, trying to win that dinette set.

Captain America makes $65.1 million. Rightfully so, too. It was really the second best Marvel movie since the first Iron Man. The first Iron Man is just a legitimately good movie on its own. But this one, taking into account that it is a superhero movie and isn’t that great outside of that, it is a pretty good movie. I’m not the biggest Marvel movies fan. I feel like they’re trying too hard to tie this universe together for that Avengers movie. But, putting all that aside, this is the second best film they’ve done. (They’ve never gonna top that first Iron Man though.)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II falls huge to a 72% drop. That’s just a Tom Petty free fall right there. It made $47.4 million. Which is still enough to put its domestic total to $273.5 million after only two weeks (which, considering I think they spent $250 million on the pair of final films combined, is okay that they lost so much in the second weekend). The film is looking to cross a billion dollars worldwide within the next two weeks. I think they’re okay.

Friends with Benefits did not open very strongly at all. Which probably bodes well for it. It made $18.6 million. Which, if I remember correctly, is slightly less than the shitty Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher version of this film that came out back in January. Now — knowing how badly America likes going to shitty films and largely ignores the really good ones, can’t we deduce from this number that this is actually a halfway decent film? Is that not a fair assumption to make? I’m assuming this will be at least watchable. It had only a $35 million budget, so they’re fine. They’ll make that back in theaters. I don’t think they have anything to worry about past their stupidity (i.e., how much they spent to market this film. You know they spent more than they needed to).

Transformers: Dark of the Moon added another $12.1 million in fourth place, which, was actually higher than most people predicted. That’s surprising. But, I mean, a million dollars, that’s not really that much in the grand (box office) scheme of things. This total is up to $325.8 million domestically. That’s $130 million above its budget, before we even look at worldwide grosses (which, we won’t, because, you know it’s a ridiculous amount of money). They made bank. The end.

Fifth was Horrible Bosses, with $11.9 million. You know, the more I see this movie, the more I want to not like it. I think it needs to stop making money so I can keep the moderate, “Oh, that wasn’t so bad,” idea of this film I have in my head, rather than turn against it and want to not like it. Anyway, it’s made $82.6 million in three weeks, offa $35 million budget. So, that’s good. Original concept, too. So that’s another plus. More $35 million films, Hollywood! Notice how you’re turning out a profit on these more than the blockbusters? Perhaps it’s because — people are going to the movies anyway! They don’t all need to be big budget action films. But I guess we’ll have to wait another two years to see if they even care. (They don’t.)

Zookeeper made $8.7 million. Does anyone care? Anyone? Didn’t think so.

It’s made $59 million after three weeks. Its budget was $80 million. They spent a lot to market it. It’s a big flop. We’re all happy, because the movie blew. Things like this deserve to fail.

Cars 2 made another $5.7 million. More than expected. Still, good for them. $176.4 million domestically. The closer they get to that $200 million budget, the better. Still, they made their money back here, so it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

Winnie the Pooh — this is my favorite development of the week (even more so than Cap — apparently that’s his nickname. Saying that instead of Captain America made me look cooler to the comics crowd.) — made $5.2 million, when most indications were that it would fall to $4 million or less. It’s made $17.6 million domestically, plus another $6.5 million worldwide, giving it $24.1 million, off a $30 million budget, meaning, they will make their money back here. And I for one cannot be happier. This film was just fucking magical. More of this, Disney, please. Hand-drawn animation is the most beautiful animation there is. I don’t know why you’d bother with a computer when you could do it that way.

Anyway, that’s it for the figures. Everything else was under $3 million, let alone $5 million.

Onto the new releases…

There are three big films opening this week. Which makes me happy. Because you know at least one of them is going to tank. (It should be pretty easy to guess which.)

The first film opening is Cowboys and Aliens. Obviously, this is not going to be the film that tanks. Estimates are actually pretty tame. People seemed to be wrapped up in past performances. I’m seeing the names Wild Wild West and Jonah Hex thrown around like dollar bills at a strip club. Is this seriously how industry people think? Do they think people go, “Well, it reminds me of that shitty western that came out last year, and that one from eleven years ago,” or are they actually smart enough to go, “It looks nothing like those movies,” and do those films not even cross their mind until they’re brought up in reviews and shit? I don’t get it. I never once thought of this as anything except a western action movie with the director of Iron Man, the writers of Star Trek, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and the rest of the cast, based on a graphic novel. Clearly this will be better than both of those films, just by looking at the fucking trailer. Not once do those comparisons even cross my mind. Wow, this is a jaded business…

Anyway, estimates on the weekend for this put it at around $40 million. That feels low, but I guess people are really figuring the genre is gonna hinder this. So you know what? I’m gonna do what I didn’t do last week and say — this film will make $50 million! And this is before I’ve even seen it. It’s possible this could blow. But I figure at worst, it’ll be watchable (see: Iron Man 2) and work because of some fundamental reason (Robert Downey Jr., the western genre), and all the failings will be the same failings of every big budget movie. Plus, if Wild Wild West and Jonah Hex are the only reason they’re tepid on how much money this will make, I refuse to give in to that and will always spitefully guess higher. Fuck that.

The other big release opening is Crazy, Stupid, Love. This film shouldn’t tank. I can’t imagine it was made on a budget greater than $50 million (and that’s really aiming high, just because they put it in the summer. So they must have spent more on it), so their expectations for it shouldn’t be more than a $15-20 million opening.

And — look at that. $17-18 million. That sounds about right. Why not? This is a film that’ll have legs. It doesn’t need to make bank opening weekend. 15-20 sounds exactly like what it’ll do.

The third film opening this week is The Smurfs. I think we all know which of the three films is most likely to tank. I can’t imagine this film making more than $13 million, at best. And yet, all estimates are at $20 million. What the fuck? Are they serious? They’re saying this will finish second (of the new releases)? I guess — if everyone is saying that…

Actually, fuck it. No. I say this bombs. How can this be interesting to anyone? Even the young kids? But, then again, I’ve been proven wrong before. So, maybe this does $20 million? They’re saying it’ll do that kind of business since all the other comparable shitty animated films managed to make money (ie Yogi and Alvin). I guess

I really don’t care what this makes. I say though, under. Under $20 million. I say it’ll be lower than they expect. That’s what my gut tells me.

And now, for the holdovers…

Captain America — clearly gonna finish second for the weekend. You’re looking at a 55% drop at most (I refuse to believe this doesn’t have a little bit of legs. So, even at a 55% drop, this makes $30 million. So, let’s call it $31-32 million. That feels right. I wouldn’t go above 33, or under 29. Yeah. That’s what I’d do there.

Harry Potter — ehh. If it fell that big (not that it mattered, it’s crossed $900 million worldwide already) in its second weekend, you have to figure, with direct competition, another huge drop. But even if you cut that number in half, you’re still at $24 million. Which, okay. Still a hefty figure. Enough for third place. I think they’ll take that. Go between $20-24 million here. Depending on how bad you think the drop is gonna be. I, honestly don’t care where exactly this ends up. It’s made its money, and, while I love guessing weeks like this, those numbers for Cowboys and Aliens disheartened me so much, I just don’t care anymore. Sometimes the negativity in this business astounds me.

Friends With Benefits — direct competition from Crazy, Stupid, Love in a way. But still, it should do fine. I’d go between $10-12 million here. $11 million feels like a cool number, so why not go with that?

Transformers — A lot of competition. Go for $6-7 million here. Almost exactly.

Horrible Bosses — a lot of competition as well. $6-7 million. Possibly even more than Transformers.

Zookeeper — Uhh, $5 million? Maybe? (Hopefully not.)

That’s it, really. Everything else will definitely go under $5 million. So, I guess that’s it.

Wow, those numbers really harshed my buzz. We need more optimistic people in Hollywood. (This includes the assholes writing about Hollywood.)

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