The Box Office Report – June 29-July 1

Last week, in Box Office…

Brave absolutely crushes the competition with a higher-than-expected $66.3 million. Estimates here topped out around $60 million, so to see them go a full $5 million+ above the estimates makes me smile. I’m glad we all realize that, at their very core, Pixar just makes better movies than just about everyone else and has earned our money. I’m glad the public is aware that the worst thing we’re going to get out of them is something like Cars, which, while subpar by Pixar standards, is better than 95% of the animated movies out there. So I’m very happy with this number. I bet Pixar is too.

Madagascar 3 dropped 42%, which is standard for animated movies (and actually quite good, considering the direct competition it had), and made $19.7 million. Don’t feel too badly for them, it’s their third weekend, and they’ve made about $160 million domestically on this so far, which is already above their production budget. This is a big hit for them. (Also, I’d like to point out that I called this one quite well last week. I said to not go higher than $20 million.)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opened to an expected third place, and $16.3 million. This is in line with expectations, and actually quite solid. I said this would do $17 million on a strong weekend. I was expecting $13-15 million. So this is a pretty solid number for a film like this, I feel. This film’s gonna make most of its money on DVD and rentals anyway, so this puts them in a solid position to get most of their budget back in theaters. I think it did all right.

Prometheus dropped another 52% and made $9.9 million. All signs pointed to that being the number, and actually, it almost hit my expectations, which were $10-11 million. So all around, this was pretty good. They’ve pulled in $108 million after three weeks, and I’d imagine, with a (reported) $130 million budget, and another $150 million made worldwide, they’re doing all right here. I can’t see them having expected this to be that much bigger a hit than it is. So good for them. This is already the best movie to come out since January, and to make this kind of a profit on that is a win-win scenario.

Snow White and the Huntsman held really well again. Man, tween girls are stupid. It made $8.1 million, dropping only 40%, and is now at $137 million domestically. Which is still below its budget. But Hollywood only cares about the opening weekend, so I bet they consider this a big hit. Whatever.

Rock of Ages dropped around 50% to $7.7 million. I saw this last weekend. Let’s just say — I understand why it bombed. I’ll leave it at that for now. They’ve made almost $30 million after two weeks, and I’m guessing this will post some hefty losses come year’s end. The budget was only $75 million, which is actually pretty responsible of them, but you know they spent that same amount (at least) to advertise it, so I can’t see how they come out in the black on this. (I doubt they care, though. They have Dark Knight Rises coming in three weeks. That’s where they recap all of their losses.)

That’s My Boy dropped 43% to $7.6 million. Honestly, I don’t care. They’re just below $30 million after two weeks, and their budget was $70 million. So, as long as they don’t make more than like, $40 million in total box office, we’re good. (Though I hope this doesn’t give Sandler the message that he has to stick to PG-13 movies instead of R. I think the message to take out of this is, “STOP MAKING SUCH SHITTY MOVIES.”)

The Avengers — can’t this just go away? — made another $7.2 million. They’re gonna pass $600 million and beat Titanic come the end of the weekend.

Fuck you, America.

Men in Black 3 made another $5.7 million. I’m amazed that this film held as well as it did. Still a failure, financially (at least, domestically-speaking), as they’re about $60 million below budget (though they’ve made that all back overseas, so it doesn’t matter). Hopefully this is the end of this franchise, though something tells me they’re gonna squeeze one more out of it in a few years.

Oh, and Seeking a Friend at the End of the World did not hit $5 million. It didn’t even hit $4 million. $3.8 million. Just above Moonrise Kindgom, which was $3.4 million. Quel dommage. I bet those two are better than at least seven of the top ten movies that are out right now.

New releases…

G.I. Joe 2 was coming out this weekend, but it sucked and they killed Channing Tatum in the first act and made everyone go, “What the fuck are you doing?”, so they bumped it to March and are doing what will probably amount to $50 million in reshoots and retooling the entire film (under the guise of converting it to 3D, naturally. You can tell a film is of really poor quality when their excuse for shelving it for eight months is to convert it to something that people don’t even like in the first place).

So, because of that, Ted has jumped up and taken its place. Which I think is smart. It was originally up against Ice Age whatever the fuck number it is the week before Dark Knight Rises. And while that’s good counter-programming, I think they realized that they have a funny movie on their hands that everyone wants to see, and that those other two movies are such a money suck, the film would have suffered no matter what. So now they get to put it out against very little competition and have a few weeks to build an audience and get some word of mouth going. I think it’s a smart move.

The film looks fucking hysterical, by the way. I can’t wait to see it. Estimates on it are around $25 million. 24, 25, 26, mid-20s. That area. I assume the tracking is pretty reliable, and this is a movie that can only succeed and not fail, so I’d assume you don’t go less than $23 million here, and don’t go higher than like, $28 million. This is a movie that will have legs more than it will make a splash, so look for it in the coming weeks to hold and not jump up $10 million this weekend. This is a movie people need to be told to go see. They won’t randomly go check it out. So, mid-20s here this weekend. Next week is where this gets interesting.

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection also opens this weekend. The good new is — we know this will make money, and we know it will fade quickly. Like all of his movies. Once again — the Tyler Perry Box Office Theorem is going to be tested. My theory is that all Tyler Perry movies end up making almost exactly (within a few million dollars) double their opening weekend gross when all is said and done. (The only real diversion from this tends to be the Madea movies, since they’ve started to gross more on their opening weekends, which distorts the formula slightly. Even so — it’s pretty accurate, I find.)

Estimates on it are around — well, it’s actually a nice little spectrum. I’ve seen as low as $18 million and as high as $26 million. Madea movies tend to do higher business — I think the last one did like, 30-something. But this is June, not April. This is the summer. So, assuming that, and assuming something I’ll be bringing up in a moment, I’m gonna assume no higher than $24 million here, and figure something more like $22 million. He opens no matter what, so don’t be a fool and think less than $20 million. It’s Madea, not I Can Do Bad All By Myself. It’ll open. I don’t think $30 million, though it’s possible. I’m also going to assume mid-20s (though I find it odd to believe that four movies are going to open above $20 million. Or rather, three open above and one hold above. Either way).

Magic Mike is also opening this weekend. This surprised the shit out of me. It’s a $5 million movie about male strippers directed by Steven Soderbergh. I assumed, like almost all Soderbergh’s movies not involving George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, no one would go see it. Not because it’s bad, but because the country is stupid. But apparently women really want to see abs and floppy penises. Estimates seem to almost guarantee a $30 million opening for this. I’m absolutely amazed. I don’t even want to put in a guess. I just want to see if that happens. And if it does, I’ll be happy. Because, between this, Contagion and Haywire (combined budget: $88 million), the man deserves a hit. Contagion did nicely, and Haywire did okay, but this is shaping up to be a bonafide hit. And that makes me happy. So let’s hope this does well.

Also opening is People Like Us. That’s four films with at least 2,000 theaters. This one, though, is going to be the obvious category. It just can’t hang with those other three. This one can actually do anywhere from like $4 million to $10 million. Most people are figuring this somewhere between $6-8 million. Still, I think everyone’s agreed that it won’t do huge business. But — it’s Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut (and I have to support an alum of my school — also, more of that in a minute), he’s helped write some huge moneymakers in both TV and film this past decade — he’s earned this budget. So I hope the studios don’t get upset if this doesn’t open. I only hope it does just because I don’t want to see him be unable to get these smaller projects off the ground because this doesn’t open. Either way — I’m pulling for this. I hope it’s great.

Also opening in a few theaters — Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won Sundance and also won a bunch of awards at Cannes as well, and was directed by another alum of my school. So I’m supportive of it. It’s also shaping up to be the indie darling of the year. So that’s exciting. It won’t make money, of course, but I’m still pulling for it. I’ll probably check this out at the Arclight at some point.

Oh, and Take This Waltz is also opening in a few theaters. I’m excited for this, since Away from Her was amazing, so I want to see what Sarah Polley does next. It won’t make money. Which is a shame.


Brave should fare pretty well this weekend, actually. It’s crowded, and there’s a lot of something for everyone, without much overlap, but kids movies make money regardless. At worst, this drops 50% and makes $33-35 million. 40% is closer to $40 million. Let’s call it $38 million. 42-43% drop feels about right. Don’t go lower than mid 30s here. If it’s a 50% drop, that means people aren’t loving it that much.

Madagascar 3 is probably looking at around — $12-13 million. At worst 40% drop. Low teens. Pretty standard.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will probably fall over 50%. $7-8 million. At best. Things aren’t looking too good for this.

Prometheus isn’t looking good this weekend either. Let’s be positive and say $5 million. I don’t know if that’ll be the case, but, let’s hope.

Snow White and the HuntsmanThat’s My Boy, Rock of Ages and The Avengers — I don’t know. How do any of them pull in $5 million? You have 8 other movies there pulling in money. Maybe they’ll all do $4 million and change, but Moonrise Kingdom will also be in that area, so it’s gonna be tough.

Maybe we’ll figure Snow White for around $5 million, and then I’d expect That’s My Boy and Rock of Ages to do just under $5 million. Avengers — I think they go under $5 million this weekend. Finally. They almost have to. And if they don’t — they’re going to next week, because next week is Spider-Man. Everyone is fucked.

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