August 17, 2010

Box Office Update 8/13-8/15: The Expendables Proves Anything But

  It feels like a very long time since I have seen a weekend that had two films that I was exceptionally excited to see. I went into Friday just hoping I was not setting myself up for a fall. I am happy to report that the weekend is a winner. The top film of the weekend was one of those highly anticipated releases, The Expendables. The Sylvester Stallone film proved to be the big money winner and was very entertaining. It had big action, plenty of violence, some humor, and even decent characters. I am curious to see if it will have any legs in the coming weeks. My gut reaction says no and it will drop pretty quickly, but there is always hope, right?

The other movie that was high on my antici-meter did not fare as well on the money front. It came in fifth place and barely crossed the $10.5 million mark. I cannot say I was surprised, but I am disappointed. The Edgar Wright helmed comic adaptation is a wonderfully visual and deeper than it seems film that appears to be destined to become a cult classic. Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead star in a romantic film steeped in indie rock and 8-bit video games. It really is a sight to behold and I hope it finds an audience.

The number two film of the weekend was the Julia Robert starring Eat Pray Love based on the memoirs of Elizabeth Mitchell. It is the story of a woman who goes through a bad divorce and discovers that she does not like anything that she thought she did and heads out to travel the world and find herself. It is not a movie I have much interest in seeing and have heard mixed word on. It seems like the sort of movie that could enjoy a pretty solid run, the next week or two will tell us if this is true.

The Other Guys comes in third place dropping 51% from its debut weekend. The movie is quite funny, but it looks like it will be rather front loaded and drop pretty quickly. Of course, the fact that I typed that likely means it will end up not being the case, it will level off and have a great run. I did enjoy it, so I guess it has that going for it.

Continuing its successful run is Christopher Nolan's latest Inception, which slipped just 39% from last week. This is a fantastic film that offers intellectual and visceral thrills and is being well rewarded at the box office. I doubt it will make as much as Nolan's The Dark Knight, but that's all right.

The bottom half of the chart offers no real surprises as they all seem to bunch up a little bit around the $6 million mark. Expect to see those lower half numbers begin to drop as the end of summer creeps up on us.

On a non top-ten note, Toy Story 3 reached the $400 million barrier and is well ahead of the curve as the biggest moneymaker so far in 2010.

Next weekend will see the highly anticipated (at least by me) Piranha 3D from director Alexandre Aja. Entering the fray early on Wednesday is the spoof Vampires Suck, which I am sure will prove to suck. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston bring their romantic comedy The Switch to the nation and I think it actually looks pretty funny. The busy weekend continues with the family fantasy Nanny McPhee Returns and the comedy Lottery Ticket. Phew, five new nationwide releases!
Three movies dropped off the list this week: Toy Story 3 (11), Charlie St. Cloud (12), and The Kids are All Right (13).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NThe Expendables$34,825,135 $34,825,135 1
2NEat Pray Love$23,104,523 $23,104,523 1
31The Other Guys$17,408,501 $69,951,822 2
42Inception$11,285,051 $248,469,482 5
5NScott Pilgrim vs. The World$10,609,795 $10,609,795 1
66Despicable Me$6,971,355 $222,197,390 6
73Step Up 3D$6,905,201 $29,844,422 2
85Dinner for Schmucks$6,285,179 $58,785,547 3
94Salt$6,219,502 $103,438,273 4
107Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$4,190,426 $35,218,937 3

Box Office Predictions Recap
Well, you win some and you lose some, or in my case lose a lot. This week did not turn out all that well for me. Sure, I got half of the movies in the right places and I was pretty close on three of the grosses, but it feels hollow. It is not like I got them clumped up nicely, most of them are spaced around and it just looks rather messy. I mean, I knew that Scott Pilgrim was not going to have a great opening, but I had hoped for a little more, likewise with The Expendables, I thought it would open a touch weaker on the box office side. Fortunately there is always another weekend on the horizon to take a shot at.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11The Expendables$34,825,135 $30 million
22Eat Pray Love$23,104,523 $22 million
33The Other Guys$17,408,501 $18 million
54Scott Pilgrim vs. The World$10,609,795 $15 million
45Inception$11,285,051 $12 million
76Step Up 3D$6,905,201 $8.5 million
97Salt$6,219,502 $4.5 million
88Dinner for Schmucks$6,285,179 $4 million
69Despicable Me$6,971,355 $3.5 million
1010Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$4,190,426 $3 million

Article first published as Box Office Update 8/13-8/15: The Expendables Proves To Be Anything But on Blogcritics.


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