The Box Office Report – August 19-21

Last week, in Box Office…

Rise of the Planet of the Apes wins the weekend, to nobody’s surprise, making $27.8 million, to a pretty strong 49% drop. Maybe a bit stronger than expected, but with such a shitty crop of films it was up against, competition-wise, it was always gonna happen. They’ve crossed $100 million after two weekends, and have made $186 million worldwide, so it’s looking like they’re gonna make profit here (though who knows how much they spent on marketing. They might not have yet). Good for them.

The Help shocked the shit out of everyone, which pretty much goes to show you — just make whatever book housewives like and release it at the end of August. They’ll go. (See also: Julie and Julia, Eat, Pray, Love) It made $26 million over the weekend and $35.9 million total Wednesday through Sunday, so basically this week in August is now officially the Eat, Pray, Love weekend (kind of like how Cinco de Mayo weekend is now Marvel weekend). Great. I needed another reason to not go to the movies in August. (Note: The film wasn’t that bad. But come the fuck on — people are talking Oscar nominations here. Bitch, don’t make me laugh.)

Final Destination 5 finished third. Did anybody notice? Did anybody care? It made $18 million. Nobody noticed, nobody cared. The end.

The Smurfs finished with $13.7 million, which is exactly what it was expected to do. It’s amazing how uninteresting the meeting of meaningless expectations can be. Once again, I give you August.

The Smurfs also will end up making their $110 million budget back domestically, which means, minus marketing, the $141 million they’ve made worldwide on top of that is pure profit. That’s nice. I can stand one of these every few years. Just stop with those fucking Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.

30 Minutes or Less made $13.3 million. And here I’d said 13 and 15 felt like the numbers. Amazing how gut feelings just turn out to be right as often as they do. Also, that’s good — just so we’re clear. The budget was under $30 million. Meaning this could turn out bad and it won’t matter because the budget was so low.

Cowboys & Aliens made $7.8 million. Its domestic total after three weeks is $81.7 million, which, coincidentally is half its production budget. So, you know, $80 million loss plus marketing (which is at least $60 million), and them only making $10 million worldwide — yeah, we call that taking a bath where I come from. (Note: I come from the hood.)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II made another $7.3 million. And thank god too. I was worried this film wasn’t gonna make its money back.

Captain America made another $7.2 million. It’s made $15 million above its budget and a nice chunk of change more worldwide. I’ll recap all that stuff next week. Now we check out the way Hollywood has checked out for August, going on vacation, waiting for the next big season to start — Oscars.

Crazy, Stupid, Love., that fucking movie, made another $7.1 million. It’s made its budget back. Which, I guess isn’t so bad. It’s an “original” concept, right? That counts for something?

The Change-Up made another $6.3 million. It’s at $25.8 million after two weeks. That’s not very good. Its budget was $52 million. (How?)

Glee — jesus fucking christ — the movie made $6 million. I don’t care. Moving on.

Now for the new releases (god, we need to get some new shit in here. I fucking hate the August 10th through September 10th month)…

This is going to be an interesting week. They’re saying that nothing is going to make $20 million. Which — that’s the August/September month for you.

Conan the Barbarian is the big film this week, at least budget-wise. This is a film that is budgeted for June, with a quality (probably) of March. You know this isn’t a great film. It might be fun, but — I love the original. This is a tough sell for me. I can’t see this being good. This is like the Clash of the Titans remake — first, why? And second, you know it’s gonna be boring and action-heavy, with monosyllabic dialogue and actresses saying, “It’s such an empowering, kick-ass role,” meanwhile they’re on screen for like ten minutes total and it’s not even remotely empowering in any way. You know how it is. The male-driven action film. Does anybody like these anymore?

They’re saying this will open to around $15-16 million, which sounds about right. It had an $80 million budget. I honestly don’t care what this does as long as it doesn’t do insanely well. It doesn’t deserve to have a huge opening. Whether its good or not. These films are still what’s wrong with the industry. Not happening. I can live with $15 million.

Fright Night is the other big film. The one I’m most interested in, anyway. It looks like it’s going to be successful. I probably won’t love it, but I think it’ll be effective in what it wants to be. Not substantial, but entertaining. And that’s all I want out of this. I think it’ll be pretty good.

However — they’re still not saying this will amount to much, box office wise. However, if IMDB is to be trusted, they’re saying this film’s budget was $17 million. I don’t buy that. It must have been at least 20. Either way, if this film makes what they’re saying it’ll make — around $13-14 million — that’s a fucking great weekend. So good job on them all around. They’ll probably be excited with a weekend that big (if that budget is legit), and that will actually be a really successful weekend for them. So, here’s hoping. $13 million sounds about right.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World is the small film of the weekend, but is also the big film, and the one of the new releases that will probably earn the most money. Kids films tend to surprise, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one overperformed and did do over $20 million and won the weekend. It wouldn’t shock me in the least. These things tend to happen. You have a franchise oriented toward children (or almost any franchise, really. Look at Fast and the Furious) that’s been away for a while — they just seem to make a shit ton of money and no one realizes why. So I’m expecting this to make a nice chunk for no reason at all. Not that it’ll be bad — these films are always entertaining (though they do dip a bit in quality from the first one. But even so, they’re fun films) — it just doesn’t make sense that it’ll open as strong as it will. I love that phenomenon.

Most estimates have this making around $15-16 million. But — I don’t know — I see this somehow making $17-19 million. I wouldn’t bet on it — but then again, who gives a shit about the end of August? So, it really doesn’t matter. I’m fascinated by the fact that the first five films will all be within the $13-18 million range. That, to me, is going to be the best part about the weekend. Who cares what the specifics are?

Also, can we just pause to point out the significance of that subtitle. I feel we ought to. All the Time in the World — despite being a play on what the movie is about (Jeremy Piven plays a timekeeper who is the baddie of the film and, does some shit involving time), was also the theme song (unofficial. I’ll get to that in a second) to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the 1969 Bond film (#6 in the series, first non-Connery Bond and only George Lazenby Bond. One of the strongest entries in the franchise with the weakest of the Bond actors. This film with Connery would have been awesome).

The official song for that film is the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service credits theme (which is pretty memorable and actually really good), but, like From Russia with Love, the main song is not featured in the credits. This one is “We Have All the Time in the World,” sung by Louis Armstrong. The significance of that song is that it’s what Bond says at the very end of the film. I’ll explain to you what happens…

The film is about Bond falling in love. Basically. There’s a whole bit about him going to a resort in the Swiss Alps where Blofeld is brainwashing some women into being assassins, and Bond wears a kilt for a long time, but, mostly the film is about Bond falling in love (I’m sparing you all the details because ruining good films is a terrible thing. I’m not of the opinion that simply knowing what’s going to happen diminishes from simply watching it, especially 40 years after the fact). And the end of the movie is him quitting MI-6 and going off with his wife, when all of a sudden, they’re attacked by Blofeld, who does a drive-by. And Bond gets out of the way and you think it’s one of those Bond things, like, “Oh, he’s fine, he’ll say something witty about having to postpone the honeymoon and drive after them and it’ll end,” but, you realize, as he looks up to his wife — she got shot in the head. And the reason “We have all the time in the world” is important is because that’s what Bond says as they find him afterward. A police officer shows up and is like, “We should call for help,” and he’s sitting there, holding his wife’s corpse, and says, “No worries. We have all the time in the world.” It’s a very important moment because you’d seen Bond finally find emotion over a woman, and grow as a person, and you really think things will end happily for him, but most importantly, I think, the thing to take out of this is:


Spy Kids, a franchise built on kids doing the darndest things, with gadgets, has as its subtitle, something that has to do with a woman being shot in the head!

…and yet it’s a pretty good pun. I don’t know how to feel about this, but I felt you should all know the significance of that subtitle.

Automatic top ten status if this film ends similar to that of its namesake.

One Day is also coming out this weekend. Clearly the smallest of the releases. Most people aren’t expecting this to make more than $5-6 million. So — you know, meh. $5-8 million. Let’s hope for more. You like to see things do well, especially when they’re not unholy (see: The Hangover Part II). So we’ll hope for more than 6, but, honestly, it won’t make much. Shame, but, there it is.

Okay, that’s all the new releases. Now, for the holdovers…

The Help is expected to win the weekend. This should come as no surprise. Eat, Pray, Love, Julie and Julia — these are films that hold because women tell other women to go, and these middle-aged women go out during the following weekends and see this stuff. It’s expected to do like $18-19 million. Some estimates have it over 20. I’m not going that far. It wasn’t that good. But, who knows? It might. I’m hoping it doesn’t, because who wouldn’t want to see 5 films separated by less than $3 million? That’s the ultimate photo finish. That’s awesome. So, high teens, should win the weekend, hope it doesn’t go over 20, because then that’s not as fun.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes will fall another 50%, which should put it at around $14-15 million. Which is awesome. Another film in the range. Love it. Love it. Maybe I will try to guess the order. Not numbers, but, the order. That could be fun.

Final Destination 5 is still here. It’ll probably fall to about $9-10 million. Though estimates have it falling to $7-8 million, which, honestly, would be even better. So let’s go with what they say. The less, the better. That means I won’t have to mention it after next week.

The Smurfs is still here. That should be the film that does in the $6-8 million range. Some estimates have it falling a cool 50% and doing $6.5-7 million. Others have it as high as $9 million. Kids films hold, so, who knows? All I know is — less than 10, more than 6.

30 Minutes or Less is still here, too. This, they’re saying should do more than The Smurfs, simply because it’s newer. It should drop to about $6-7 million, closer to 7. Either way, small potatoes, and small budget, so the film is fine.

Everything else — Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter, Captain America — should all fall below $5 million. Maybe they’ll crack it barely, but, I doubt it. But, with everything so small this weekend, it’s possible a few make it. But, we won’t speculate. Let’s just sit back and watch (without actually watching. Because it seems like no one will be at the theaters this weekend).

Now, based on what I’m seeing, here’s the oder I think things will finish this weekend (no numbers):

1. The Help

2. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World

3. Conan the Barbarian

4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

5. Fright Night

6. Final Destination

7. 30 Minutes or Less (could be 6th)

8. The Smurfs

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