November 16, 2009

Box Office Update 11/13-11/15: 2012 Destroys All Comers

Roland Emmerich's big disaster film made a killing this weekend. $65 million in its opening weekend is a pretty nice open. When you factor in the $170 million it took in internationally, 2012 has already made back its production budget and is headed on its way to a healthy take at the box office. AS for the film itself? Well, Let's just say it has the sizzle but it lacks the steak. That is, the effects are phenomenal, I cannot think of a slicker looking disaster flick. The problem lies with the story and the characters, there is nothing you have not seen before. A little tweaking could have made this a tight disaster flick for the ages rather than a bloated special effects reel.

Coming in a distant second, but still well ahead of the rest of the field is last week's top winner, A Christmas Carol 3D. Here is a film that probably would have benefited from an opening closer to Christmas, but that's what happens when you go 3D and December is already locked up by a highly anticipated blockbuster. That said, the reception has been lukewarm compared to expectations. I suspect it will make a good chunk of its production budget back little by little over the next few years in home video sales. That said, I enjoyed the film. I liked that it did not try to dumb things down, that it used the old English manner of speaking, that Robert Zemeckis continues to experiment with motion capture, and that Jim Carrey remained in control of himself for the most part. It is an enjoyable holiday film that deserves to be seen.

Third place finds an upstart in our midst. Precious has jumped from twelfth to third while only playing at 174 screens. Its opening is reminiscent of Paranormal Activity. I have not yet seen the film, but it looks like a powerful and moving experience. It has been gathering quite a buzz around it and seems poised to become this year's Slumdog Millionaire.

The rest of the top ten does not contain much in the way of big stories, but it is interesting to see how bunched up they all are. I guess the happiest news is seeing Paranormal Activity cross the century mark. Think of it as the little horror film that could. Sure, the films ratings will be right down the middle, but for those who loved it, this has to be seen as something of a victory.

Next week will see the arrival of the Twilght sequel New Moon. That flick will surely dominate next week's box office chart, unless something surprising happens and we all realize the vociferous fans are merely a vocal minority. Elsewhere along the way will be Sandra Bullock's inspirational tale The Blindside, which is based on a true story. Finally, we will also see the animated Planet 51, which features the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long, and Jessica Biel.

Two films dropped off the list this week: Where the Wild Things Are (12) and Astro Boy (13).
This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
21A Christmas Carol 3D$22,308,913$63,272,7572
43The Men Who Stare at Goats$5,861,753$23,038,0502
52Michael Jackson's This Is It$5,078,920$67,190,2963
64The Fourth Kind$4,605,365$20,449,6602
77Couples Retreat$4,164,940$102,045,3306
85Paranormal Activity$4,043,417$103,690,1848
98Law Abiding Citizen$3,796,327$67,190,4525
106The Box$3,158,368$13,179,6222

Box Office Predictions Recap
I have had better rounds of guesstimation, but considering how close I was on both sides down most of the list I am not all that upset. I guess the biggest surprise shouldn't really be a surprise at all. I did not suspect that 2012 would open so big. I know, silly me. I am most amused at how everything seems to bunch up after the top two. There is a little over $2.5 million separating second from tenth. How about that?

Here is how the field matched up:



TitleWknd GrossPrediction
112012$65,237,614$52 million
22A Christmas Carol 3D$22,308,913$21 million


3Michael Jackson's This Is It$5,078,920$7.5 million
44The Men Who Stare at Goats$5,861,753$7 million
65The Fourth Kind$4,605,365

$6 million

36Precious$5,874,628$5 million
87Paranormal Activity$4,043,417$4 million
118Pirate Radio$2,904,380$3.5 million
79Couples Retreat$4,164,940$3 million
910Law Abiding Citizen$3,796,327$2.5 million

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