August 11, 2009

Box Office Update 8/7-8/9

Well, as expected, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra easily won the weekend. While this was expected, it was not expected to do so by such a large margin. I had predicted it to finish in the $45 million range and thought I may be overestimating. It turns out I was short by nearly $10 million. On another note, I offered my pittance to the coffer and took my turn on the "Yo, Joe!" ride prepared to come out spitting venom, or at the least mild annoyance. I exited prepared to eat my words as the movie proved to be quite fun, it embraced the cheese of the source material and that proved to be the turning point, and something Transformers probably should have done.

Coming in a distant second, but still with a respectable take is Julie & Julia, a dual biography of Julie Powell and Julia Child. The connection being Powell spent a year cooking through Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We get a look at that year in Julie's life while we see the formative years Julia had in Paris learning to cook. It is a smile-inducing crowd pleaser that does not dig much beyond the surface, but still proves to be quite enjoyable. It doesn't hurt to have Meryl Streep and Amy Adams as your stars either.

Retaining its third place slot is Disney's talking guinea pig action film, G-Force. It has shown decent legs through its first three weeks of release, although I cannot say I have had much interest. It does have a good number of interesting names in the cast list, but I think I can wait for the budget theater.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is on the verge of becoming the second biggest grossing film of the year, but its performance still strikes me as a being lackluster. The movie was entertaining for sure, but I would have thought it would have reached $300 million by now. I guess it doesn't much matter, it is still making bank and will make a killing again when it arrives on DVD.

Word of mouth has not been kind as Funny People has crashed nearly 65% in its second weekend. It is a shame as the film really is quite good, deftly blending drama and comedy and showing the next step in Judd Apatow's directorial evolution, not to mention one of Adam Sandler's best performances.

Skip to seventh place and you will find A Perfect Getaway. This is the latest from writer/director David Twohy and it is a solid thriller that will keep you guessing and seems familiar and fresh all at the same time. It is definitely one that you will want to check out.

The biggest story of the top ten is not G.I. Joe, but the arrival of (500) Days of Summer, which may just be my favorite movie of the year so far. It is an absolutely beautiful film with great performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt (also in G.I. Joe) and Zooey Deschanel. It is a love story where the love is one way. It draws you in and keeps you there for the duration, simply fantastic.

Next week will see the arrival of Bandslam, a movie I know nothing about, The Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard, featuring Jeremy Piven, District 9, an alien encounter film I expect to be great, The Time Traveler's Wife, which seems a bit creepy, but hope to be another Lake House (which I loved), and finally in a more limited release is Hayao Miyazaki's latest Ponyo, I hope to see this one.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: The Hangover (11), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (12), The Proposal (13) and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NG.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra$54,713,046$54,713,0461
2NJulie & Julia$20,027,956$20,027,9561
42Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$8,928,349$273,848,6334
52Funny People$7,986,435$40,537,7552
64The Ugly Truth$6,750,125$68,838,2573
7NA Perfect Getaway$5,948,555$5,948,5551
85Aliens in the Attic$4,021,478$16,314,3712
912(500) Days of Summer$3,739,702$12,357,2654

Box Office Predictions Recap
I was a little on the low side this week. Surprised by the strong debut of a certain toy-turned-action-flick and the overall slow performance of the rest of the top films. No way did I expect the Joe's to take in nearly $55 million, I actually thought I might have overestimated at $45 million. Still, aside a couple of minor mess-ups, this turned out to be another decent week. Will the trend continue?

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra$54,713,046$45 million
22Julie & Julia$20,027,956$18 million


3Funny People$7,986,435$12.5 million
44Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$8,928,349$11 million

$10 million

76A Perfect Getaway$5,948,555$8.5 million
67The Ugly Truth$6,750,125$6 million
88Aliens in the Attic$4,021,478$4.5 million
109Orphan$3,674,306$4 million
1410Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$2,670,160$3.5 million


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