The Box Office Report – March 16-18

Last week, in Box Office…

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax holds well (but not quite as well as these films tend to do), winning the weekend with $38.8 million. Many people expected $42-45 million, but the film still held better than 50%. And considering it made its budget back in its first weekend, they’re doing all right here. The biggest news about this film’s win last weekend was…

John Carter falls with a resounding thud. This was coming for a while. We all kind of saw this happening. With a reported budget of $250 million and a rumored budget of closer to $500 million (is that even possible?), there was really no number this could have reasonably opened to that would have been good. So, when I saw that it finished second with only $30.2 million, I wasn’t surprised. There was no way people cared enough about this film to go out and see it more than they did. And with The Hunger Games coming next week — this was a series of poor decisions all around, it seemed. It actually makes more sense to see films like this fail than to see them inexplicably succeed due to saturation marketing or box office bullying. I don’t feel particularly bad about this at all.

Project X finished third with what feels like an expected $11.1 million. They’ve made $40 million off of this so far, which I imagine is more than they paid to make it. So, they got in, they got out, they made some money, and the budget wasn’t that big. Amazing how simple it is.

Act of Valor finished fourth with $7 million. They’ve made almost $60 million on this off a $12 million budget. So, outside of the actual finished product (which I’ve yet to see but am still anticipating that I won’t like), good for them.

Silent House opened to fifth place and $6.7 million. That’s about in line with what these movies make. I seriously can’t imagine they spent more than a couple million on this. So I’m sure they’re not at any risk whatsoever. And if they are, it’s their fault. No one spends more than $20 million on a horror movie anymore (if ever).

A Thousand Words — wow, it made $6 million? $6.2 million. Huh. Still, they’re taking a bath on this anyway, but I bet it was written off two years ago, so it doesn’t matter. Still, who wasn’t expecting this?

Oh, and Safe House also made $5 million. $4.8 million. It’s continuing to pull in business.

New releases…

Pretty much the only film opening this week is 21 Jump Street. The trailer for this film looked bad, and I’m expecting a film that’s “Meh,” bordering on, “Whatever.” And I’m also expecting the public to go apeshit and call it hilarious. Which will in turn completely sour me on the film and make me hate it.

It’s important to anticipate.

Based on the fact that they’ve been marketing the shit out of this movie since like, November, this feels like an easy $30 million weekend. Films like this sell based on lots of marketing, titles, and awareness. People see the title, remember moments in the trailer (like Jonah Hill getting hit by the car), and go, “Oh yeah, I wanted to see that.” So I’m resigned to this making $30 million. If it makes closer to $23 million, then you’ll know the public as able to smell a turd. But considering how bad they are normally at doing that (and how much they usually don’t care that it is one), I’m expecting around $30 million.

Casa De Mi Padre is opening, but in like 400 theaters, so that’s pretty much irrelevant. Nothing else is going wide, so — that’s it. It’s really the calm before the storm, since The Hunger Games is really just gonna destroy everything in its path next week.

So, holdovers…

The Lorax, depending on how 21 Jump Street does, may or may not win the weekend. Now, it’s looking like it won’t, but if 21 Jump Street doesn’t do the business it’s expected to, The Lorax, doing the slow and steady, may take it. I’d expect at most a 40% drop for it, which puts it at around $23 million. If it holds better, closer to $25 million. I’d still assume that it’s gonna be #2 this weekend, regardless.

John Carter — let’s just figure 50% and around $15 million. Because really, I’m just curious to see what happens because of this movie. There’s got to be some sort of fallout, right?

Uhh — Project X — $6 million.

Everything else should be under $5 million. Really easy week this week. 21 Jump Street #1, Lorax #2, Carter #3, Project X #4. And next week, The Hunger Games rapes everybody.

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