April 21, 2010

Box Office Update 4/16-4/18: Kick Ass Squeaks Past Dragon

 It was an absolute dogfight this past weekend with both Lionsgate and Paramount both claiming victory as the weekend predictions began appearing late Sunday. Initially it appeared that How to Train Your Dragon was going to ultimately come out on top, but when the official numbers were released on Monday it lost out to Kick Ass by a margin of less than $200,000. Of course, the win was not without its controversy.

Controversy? It was just a close finish, right? No, not really. You see, Lionsgate was looking to get a little early buzz by opening Kick Ass with 10PM screenings on Thursday night. You know, to help drum up some word of mouth among the comic loving community. Those Thursday night dollars were rolled into the traditional Friday to Sunday weekend frame, and likely resulted in its victorious weekend.

Personally, I do not think it should count as it is not in the time frame being accounted for. At the same time, anyone who went to see it on Thursday was assuredly ging to see it during opening weekend were it not for the Thursday screening, so you could argue that those dollars were timeshifted weekend dollars. Either way, not exactly a clear cut issue. On the other hand, you can say the ploy backfired as the film came in under expectations even with those early word of mouth building screenings.

However you want to look at it, when you look at official weekend rankings Kick Ass will be found at the top. I wish it had opened stronger, but in the end all that matters is that I saw it and I enjoyed it. The movie is an amoral blast of bloody action and very little conscience. On the other hand, it is also an interesting deconstruction of the superhero genre. Whichever way you want to read it, you will find yourself cheering for an 11-year-old killing machine with a sarcastic and vulgar mouth (Chloe Grace Moretz).

Coming in right on its tail is a wonderful family film with a solid 3D presentation in How to Train Your Dragon. It had a bit of a slow start, but it is having itself a really nice run and I am very happy for it. It really is a fun film that makes a familiar story fresh with good characters.

Date Night enjoyed a strong second weekend. I am also happy to see this. I see this movie as one that can go either way, audiences will either go along with it or just react with indifference. It is not a true standout film, but it is fun and has a couple of strong lead comedians. It looks like people are liking it and are going to see it. Very good.

Fourth place sees the debut of Death at a Funeral. I have to believe this opening is a disappointment considering the cast and how many commercials I have seen for it. While I am sure it is funny, I had little interest in seeing it, having seen the Frank Oz directed original in the theater not all that long ago. I enjoyed it and will likely see this at some point. Also makes me wonder if anyone else feels the same way?

The remainder of the top ten does not offer all that much of not. It is just all of last week's films shifted down a little.

Next weekend will see Disney's Oceans in theaters nationwide, opening on Earth Day. When the weekend proper comes we will have Jennifer Lopez's romantic comedy The Back Up Plan, which I have no interest in, and the A-Team-esque The Losers, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, and Zoe Saldanna and based on a comic book that originated in the 1970s.

Two movies dropped off the list this week: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (11) and Letters to God (15).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NKick Ass$19,828,687 $19,828,687 1
23How to Train Your Dragon$19,633,320 $158,251,066 4
32Date Night (2010)$16,720,038 $48,666,799 2
4NDeath at a Funeral (2010)$16,217,540 $16,217,540 1
51Clash of the Titans (2010)$15,385,491 $132,600,220 3
65The Last Song$5,962,916 $50,187,855 3
74Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too$4,098,898 $54,801,812 3
87Alice in Wonderland (2010)$3,656,442 $324,131,301 7
96Hot Tub Time Machine$3,490,471 $42,449,935 4
108The Bounty Hunter$3,084,020 $60,261,888 5

Box Office Predictions Recap
Aside from my overestimation of Death at a Funeral and underestimation of Kick Ass, I feel pretty good about this week's guesstimations and how they look next to the actual numbers. There are a few where I was just about exact. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself, and I do. I was so close to getting the placements right, although I should have suspected a stronger finish for How to Train Your Dragon, paired with a lower guess for Death. Oh well, live and learn and try better next week!

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Kick Ass$19,828,687 $28 million
42Death at a Funeral (2010)$16,217,540 $21 million
23How to Train Your Dragon$19,633,320 $18 million
34Date Night (2010)$16,720,038 $15 million
55Clash of the Titans (2010)$15,385,491 $14 million
66The Last Song$5,962,916 $6 million
77Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too$4,098,898 $5 million
98Hot Tub Time Machine$3,490,471 $3.5 million
89Alice in Wonderland (2010)$3,656,442 $3 million
1010The Bounty Hunter$3,084,020 $2.5 million

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