The Box Office Report – August 3-5

Last week, in Box Office…

The Dark Knight Rises, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, wins again. The assumed figure was somewhere between $60-65 million, and it did not disappoint. $62.1 million. A 61% drop, sure, but when you make $160 million in one weekend, that’s bound to happen. The film has grossed $300 million by now, domestically, so they’re doing just fine.

Finishing second, dropping only 35% (wow) was Ice Age: Continental Drift, with $13.4 million That’s actually a better hold than was expected, but was still well within expectations. Which can only mean one thing — we got some bombs this weekend. Oh yeah.

The Watch, a film I can’t wait to see, because it’s gotta be that bad if America was like, “Oh, no, that’s too stupid for even us to go see,” finished third with a paltry $12.8 million. Let me say, from the bottom of my heart, HA HA HA HA!! I don’t like to root for films to fail, but this just seemed like a horrible, studio-manufactured piece of garbage from the start. It had the stink of “studio” all over it. I do not feel bad about this opening at all.

And while we’re at it — Step Up Revolution (They really should have called it “4ever.” I bet that would have sold more tickets than trying to tie it into a video game title), a film from a franchise that overstayed its welcome before the first one came out (oh yes, it’s possible), hopefully reached its death knell, opening to only $11.7 million. Actually, this was only slightly worse than expectations, but still — please let this be the end of it.

Fifth was Ted, which only dropped 26% (isn’t it weird that the only things that are holding are things of relative quality and kids stuff? You’d think they’d get the fucking hint eventually) and made $7.4 million. This might end up being a $200 million movie. I’m already on the record about being okay with a cash grab sequel, as it’s already been acknowledged that they’d only be doing it for the money, which I respect more than if they pretended like, “No, this story is worth continuing.”

The Amazing Spider-Man was sixth, dropping less than 40% and making $6.7 million. So when faced with studio garbage this past weekend, what did people do? Went back to the good movies. WHY CAN’T YOU DO THIS MORE OFTEN, AMERICA???!!

Nothing else made over $5 million. Not shocking at all.

New releases…

Oh, this weekend’s gonna be fucking fun.

The big film opening, budget-wise, is Total Recall. This has looked like a disaster from the outset. I’ve seen and heard nothing good about this since they announced it. Colin Farrell’s casting intrigued me, since he’s been doing good stuff the past few years, but the more stuff that’s come out from it (that trailer was — ughh), it seems like he’s doing it for the paycheck. His castmates aren’t — well, I’ll just leave it at that. Their track records with films isn’t stellar. Beckinsale gets a pass because her husband directed it. I can’t fault that at all.

But yeah — not expecting great things, and the release date just screams of, “We’re prepared to lose a lot of money here.” Estimates are actually pretty strong…. to the point where I’m suspicious. The baseline figure here is $25 million. I’ve seen people go higher, and closer to $30 million (but not 30. No one’s really saying 30), and I’ve seen people go lower, and closer to 20. $25 million seems like a reasonable figure, but also one that’s too easy. Just because they spent a lot on this, are advertising the shit out of it and want to make money doesn’t mean they will. Look at last week. Shit, look at the summer. Things are failing. Would you be surprised if this only made $18 million this weekend? So 25 seems like too easy a number. Then again, nothing would surprise me here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this somehow made $32 million. So, let’s call it …  oh, $21 million. I don’t know why. Either way, I think we can say that this won’t make its money back domestically.

The other wide release is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, which makes perfect sense here, since, well, the title, and also — this franchise is solid. Solid like a Tyler Perry movie. They’ll get people. And August is notorious for being slow in that, there’s always your July film that holds over the first week or two, and then they pretty much rely on some film surprising and making lots of money into Labor Day. They seem to be trying to counteract that idea of August being the dumping ground for shitty movies (presumably. We’ll see how it actually plays out) with Bourne and Expendables coming out.

But I like this positioning. This pretty much has a built-in $20 million opening. Easy. The real question is whether or not it’ll take down Recall. Estimates say around $20 million. I always figure low $20 million for this franchise, with the easy potential to do closer to $25 million. Didn’t the previous entry do somewhere between $20-25 million? Either they’re really short-sighted, and believe the previous one was a fluke, or they think the release date will hinder it. I don’t really see either. I still say $20 million should be the lowest estimate for this. Kids like this franchise.

That’s it for new releases that will matter, box office-wise. Holdovers…

The Dark Knight Rises — well, a 50% decline puts it around $30 million. I don’t know if it’ll do that. So, let’s call it $34 million. It’ll win the weekend no matter what it does. I do not buy the Total Recall competition at all. Look at the reviews. Quality does seem to matter somewhat this year. (Thank God.)

Ice Age is probably gonna drop to around, oh… $7-8 million. Easy 40% slide. Standard fare.

The Watch might have trouble hitting $6 million, which would be hilarious. But, $6-7 million here.

Step Up — same. But less. So, $5-6 million.

And then, you know — it’s quite possible Ted hits $5 million. It’s been holding like a motherfucker these past weeks. And if it does (and probably even if it doesn’t), it’ll pass $200 million. And at this point, I’m rooting for it.

But that’s it. Nothing else makes money here. It’s August. It’s all just treading water for the September/October reset.

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