April 8, 2008

Box Office Update: 21 Plays a Hot Table

Last week, 21 surprised the pundits by arriving solidly in the top spot. Now, a week later, it was not expected to repeat atop the charts, especially in the face of competition featuring George Clooney, football, Jodie Foster, and family fantasy. Once again, the blackjack-centric movie defied the odds and held onto the top spot. Granted, the weekend was a bit soft, but it still won out. It had a strong audience hold as positive word of mouth spread, despite my personal reservations (for what that's worth). In any case, it did have a good second week showing that will help its legs in the long term. It is an entertaining movie and it will be interesting to see how it fares as we work through what looks to be a slow month leading into a very busy May.

Hot on the heels of 21 is the new family-friendly fantasy outing, Nim's Island. This was the one new wide release that I did not have much interest in. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but it failed to pique my curiosity. It has a good cast, led by Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, and Gerard Butler. Despite my lack of interest, it did succeed in bringing out the families to the theater, and there is nothing like sharing a movie-going experience with one's kids (not that I know what that's like).

Even closer to Nim's is the latest George Clooney outing, the period romantic comedy, Leatherheads. This proved to be considerably better than expected. It was more than just a period romantic comedy with football at its core, it is a throwback in tone and feel to the screwball comedies of the 1930's and 40's. It is a lot of fun and it is very clear that the cast had a lot of fun making it. This came in very close to the second place slot, and deserves to be given a shot.

There was one other new release in the top ten this week, the horror film The Ruins, based on the novel of the same name (and adapted by the novel's author, Scott B. Smith). This little gem is easily the best horror film of this young year, despite the poor advertising campaign surrounding it. If you want some characters, blood, and plenty of surprises, this is the one for you.

Among the rest of the returning films, most suffered moderate drops in the mid 40% range, with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns being the only one north of 50%, a drop that can likely be attributed to it leaving nearly 500 theaters this weekend.

Next week will see new competition from Prom Night, Smart People, and Street Kings.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Stop-Loss (11), College Road Trip (13), and The Bank Job (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
2NNim's Island$13,210,579$13,210,5791
42Horton Hears a Who!$9,115,987$131,076,7684
5NThe Ruins$8,003,421$8,003,4211
63Superhero Movie$5,417,920$16,899,6612
74Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns$3,418,255$37,662,5023
85Drillbit Taylor$3,405,937$25,490,4833
10710,000 B.C.$2,797,409$89,349,9155

Box Office Predictions Recap
I've said it before and I'll say it again, don't bet the Vegas odds based on my guesses, you are bound to lose every time. This past weekend was just another one to chalk up as a loser. When it comes to figuing what the most popular movies will be and just how popular they will be is just not a strong suit of mine, unless I happen to get very, very lucky (which happens only rarely). Anyway, I goofed again and did not come close to guessing the top film, nor what it would take at the box office.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
31Leatherheads$12,682,595$20 million
22Nim's Island$13,210,579$17 million
1321$15,337,418$14 million
44Horton Hears a Who$9,115,987$11 million

The Ruins

$8,003,421$10 million
66Superhero Movie$5,417,920$5 million
77Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns$3,418,255$5 million
88Drillbit Taylor$3,405,937$3 million
119Stop-Loss$2,271,595$2.5 million
910Shutter$2,830,336$2 million


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