April 1, 2008

Box Office Recap 3/28-3/30: 21 - Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Another week down, another number one. If I was a gambling man, and I'm not, I never would have picked the gambling movie to finish at the top spot. If you saw my predictions on Friday, or below, you will see exactly what I mean. In short, don't use my guesses if you play the box office odds in Vegas. Anyway, 21 took the top spot by a rather decisive amount, surprising myself and other analysts who were expecting Superhero Movie to fly right to the top of the charts. Under normal circumstances I would be happy for this change of fate, but surprisingly I am not.

Heading into the weekend I cannot say I had high hopes for either of those films, although I was pretty sure that 21 was going to be the better, in terms of entertainment. What caught me off guard was just how much I was going to enjoy Superhero Movie. While the real-life story of the gambling team was entertaining, it was not terribly engrossing or memorable, in fact it was kind of dull and forgettable blended with some good moments. Now, Superhero Movie on the other hand turned out to actually be funny, focused, and fitfully funny.

There was one other new release in the top ten this week, Stop Loss. As I suspected, it did not have a strong opening. It has nothing to do with the perceived quality of the film, but it has everything to do with the topic. Films with themes steeped in the current conflict in the Middle East do not do well, not many people want to see them. I saw the film and thought it was decent, it points to issues that need the exposure. The biggest problem is that the film feels like a refined version of the direct to video movie Home of the Brave.

As for the rest of the top ten? Most of the returning films fared well with relatively small drops. That is all except for Meet the Browns, which fell of by more than 60%. At the other end of the spectrum is the delightful Horton Hears a Who, which slipped just 27% from last weekend. Overall, it was flat across the board. We will have to wait and see how everything fares through April as we build towards the bigger, summer-style releases coming in May.

I should also note that Horton Hears a Who became the first film of 2008 to cross the $100 million barrier. In February it was assumed that mantle would go to Cloverfield following its strong start, but that disappeared as the very mixed word of mouth killed its run.

Next week will see new competition from George Clooney's latest directorial effort Leatherheads, the tween targeted Nim's Island, and the horror entry The Ruins. Also, entering limited release will be Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones concert documentary, Shine a Light.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Never Back Down (11), Vantage Point (13), and Under the Same Moon (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
21Horton Hears a Who$17,740,106$117,589,2543
3NSuperhero Movie$9,510,297$9,510,2971
42Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns$7,481,508$32,549,8252
54Drillbit Taylor$5,713,585$20,487,2262
7510,000 B.C.$4,947,174$84,992,5254
8NStop Loss$4,555,117$4,555,1171
97College Road Trip$3,457,756$38,322,8294
108The Bank Job$2,780,168$24,084,6054

Box Office Predictions Recap
Color me surprised to find my predictions for the number 1 and number 3 movie to be flip-flopped. I was certain the spoof was going to rake it in. Could this signify a shift in the draw of the spoof? Perhaps people just aren't interested in spoofing the superhero genre. Whatever the case, I am still wrong in the end. I wasn't all that good for the rest of the list either, everything was all over the place. My other big gaff was the rock that is Run Fat Boy Run, it sank like a stone, while I thought it would pull in respectable numbers. I guess I was wrong. Fortunately, there is always next week to look forward to.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
31Superhero Movie$9,510,297$25 million
22Horton Hears a Who$17,740,106$16 million
1321$24,105,943$15 million
44Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns$7,481,508$10 million

Run Fat Boy Run

$2,340,743$8 million
56Drillbit Taylor$5,713,585$5.5 million
87Stop Loss$4,555,117$5 million
68Shutter$5,221,016$4 million
7910,000 BC$4,947,174$3.5 million
1010The Bank Job$2,780,168$3 million


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