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Monday, July 27, 2009

'G-Force' surprisingly upends 'Harry Potter' for top spot, July 24-26, 2009

It was a brief run at the top for Warner's hit sequel Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as the unsuspecting wizard saga was upended by Disney's cute and cuddly G-Force after just one week in No. 1. In third was the debut of the Katherine Heigl-Gerard Butler romantic comedy The Ugly Truth, which bowed strongly despite poor reviews.

Taking advantage of 1,600 3D screens that largely came from rival Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Disney's G-Force found its way to the top spot this weekend with a strong $32.2 million. The PG-rated children's actioner surprisingly knocked off what was expected to be another No. 1 finish for Harry Potter, averaging $8,697 in 3,697 theaters. The live-action release followed successful 3D runs by animated pics Up and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, both of which took advantage of the higher ticket prices for 3D-equipped theaters. However, given the limited available of 3D screens around the country, one movie normally dominates the 3D screen theater count at the expense of another, in this case that film being Fox's Ice Age 3, which fell a steep 53% in its fourth week of release.

Falling a precipitous 62% in its second week of release, Warner's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince slipped to second with $30 million, bringing its 12-day cume to a whopping $221.8 million. Despite the huge drop, Prince is still running 7% ahead of 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix over the same time frame. Budgeted at a monstrous $250 million, the big budget sequel continued to dominate internationally, pulling in another $84.4 million. In 64 markets the film has amassed an overseas total of $405.3 million, bringing its worldwide haul to $627.1 million.

Sony's romantic comedy The Ugly Truth posted a strong $27 million in third, averaging an impressive $9,368 in 2,882 theaters. The R-rated debut bested Katherine Heigl's previous hit comedy 27 Dresses, which opened with $23 million on its way to $76.8 million in January 2008. Despite overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, the film managed to fill a significant vacuum in the marketplace for women and couples now that The Proposal is in its sixth week of release.

Opening mildly in fourth was the new horror pic Orphan, which bowed with $12.8 million in 2,750 theaters. Averaging $4,644 per theater, the R-rated thriller was butchered by critics and fell a steep 10% from Friday to Saturday, indicating soft word of mouth.

Fox's blockbuster computer-animated comedy Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs fell 53% (its largest drop to date) to $8.2 million, bringing its four week cume to $171.3 million. The film saw many of its 3D screens taken away and given to Disney's G-Force. At its current pace, the film looks on target to match or beat the finally domestic tally of its predecessor Ice Age: The Meltdown ($195.3 million). Overseas, the film has been an absolute monster, adding $40.6 million bringing its international cume to $505.4 million. In just four weeks the film has amassed $676.7 million worldwide.

Thanks to a surprisingly huge drop from Harry Potter, the top ten films fell 19% from last year's comparable frame when The Dark Knight held onto the top spot with $75.2 million.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The numbers, July 24-26, 2009

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 G-Force $32,152,000 3,697 $8,697 $32,152,000 -- 1 Buena Vista
2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $30,000,000 4,325 $6,936 $221,800,000 -61.5 2 Warner Bros.
3 The Ugly Truth $27,000,000 2,882 $9,368 $27,000,000 -- 1 Sony
4 Orphan $12,770,000 2,750 $4,644 $12,770,000 -- 1 Warner Bros.
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $8,200,000 3,300 $2,485 $171,291,000 -53.3 4 Fox
6 Transformers: ROTF $8,000,000 3,237 $2,471 $379,090,000 -41.6 5 Paramount
7 The Hangover $6,465,000 2,285 $2,829 $247,100,000 -20.9 8 Warner Bros.
8 The Proposal $6,423,000 2,779 $2,311 $140,086,000 -22.5 6 Buena Vista
9 Public Enemies $4,170,000 2,291 $1,820 $88,096,000 -46.2 4 Universal
10 Brüno $2,719,000 1,895 $1,435 $56,516,000 -67.3 3 Universal

Sunday, July 19, 2009

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' posts $160m five-day bow, biggest worldwide debut in history, July 17-19, 2009

Harry Potter mania shows no signs of abating as Warner's flagship franchise continued its incredible run at the box office, with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince posting the biggest worldwide opening of all-time. Since Wednesday, the sixth film in the Potter saga has amassed a jaw-dropping $396.6 million.

In North America the two-and-a-half hour fantasy pic ranked in $159.7 million over five days, including a record $22.2 million on Wednesday midnight screenings alone. Half-Blood Prince took in $79.5 million from Friday to Sunday, besting its immediate predecessor Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which grossed $77.1 million over its first weekend and $139.7 million over its Wednesday-Sunday frame. The biggest three-day weekend opening in the franchise still belongs to the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which took in $102.6 million in November 2005.

After pushing back the release date for this sixth film from November 2008 until now, Warner Bros.'s high stakes gamble paid off, as the studio's final caretaker for the remaining three films David Yates (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince along with the final two films encompassing the seventh book) has delivered both a critical and financial hit. Critics polled by Rottentomatoes.com gave the film an impressive 84%.

Thanks to that record $22.2 million midnight haul Prince finished with a Wednesday take of $52.8 million. Numbers fell off significantly for the rest of the weekend, falling well-short of the $201 million five-day take of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. But if international totals remain as strong as they were for Order of the Phoenix, where nearly 70% of all ticket sales came from overseas, Prince should wind up out-pacing Transformers 2 globally when all is said and done. Phoenix amassed a whopping $938 million worldwide despite making "only" $292 million domestic. Among international markets, the United Kingdom posted by far the biggest debut, as Potter-mania produced a $32.4 million bow.

Despite Harry Potter dwarfing all other films this weekend, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs slipped just 36% to $17.7 million, bringing its 19-day cume to $152 million. The film is on pace to match or beat its predecessor Ice Age: The Meltdown, which took in $195.3 million domestic back in 2006.

Falling 43% to third was Paramount/DreamWorks' blockbuster Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which took in $13.8 million this weekend. In four weeks the $200 million budgeted robot actioner has grossed $363.9 million, moving past Jurassic Park's $357 million for #13 on the all-time list. At its current pace the film looks likely to break $400 million by the end of its domestic run.

The most interesting number from the weekend but perhaps the least surprising was the disastrous sophomore frame from Sacha Baron Cohen's latest mockumentary Bruno, which tumbled 73% to $8.4 million, falling from first to fourth. His latest shock comedy proves there is a fine line between pushing the boundaries of laughter and making it feel to audiences like the joke's on them. Apparently he crossed that line. Still, the low-budget Universal comedy has grossed $49.6 million in ten days, and should have no problem breaking $60 million domestic.

The numbers, July 17-19, 2009

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $79,475,000 4,325 $18,376 $159,662,000 -- 1 Warner Bros.
2 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $17,700,000 3,817 $4,637 $152,005,000 -35.9 3 Fox
3 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $13,750,000 3,857 $3,565 $363,867,000 -43.2 4 Paramount
4 Brüno $8,374,000 2,759 $3,035 $49,588,000 -72.7 2 Universal
5 The Hangover $8,315,000 2,667 $3,118 $235,882,000 -16.3 7 Warner Bros.
5 The Proposal $8,294,000 3,043 $2,726 $128,087,000 -21.8 5 Buena Vista
7 Public Enemies $7,593,000 3,121 $2,433 $79,484,000 -45.0 3 Universal
8 Up $3,147,000 1,708 $1,843 $279,559,000 -33.3 8 Buena Vista
9 My Sister's Keeper $2,825,000 1,967 $1,436 $41,504,000 -34.2 4 Warner Bros.
10 I Love You, Beth Cooper $2,665,000 1,872 $1,424 $10,261,000 -45.8 2 Fox

Monday, July 13, 2009

'Bruno' dominates über all with $30.4m bow, June 10-12, 2009

Sacha Baron Cohen's latest comedy Bruno out-poshed Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to land in the top spot this weekend, debuting with a strong $30.4 million. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the teen comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper finished weak in seventh with just $5 million. Without a blockbuster opening to headline the weekend, the top ten films slipped 5% from last year's comparable frame, and 21% from the same weekend in 2007.

Thanks to a hilarious and omnipresent marketing campaign from Universal, moviegoers packed in theaters to see everyone's favorite Austrian fashion celebrity Bruno, aka Sacha Baron Cohen, take on America. Debuting in 2,756 theaters, the film amassed $30.4 million, averaging a strong $11,040 per theater.

But despite the strong weekend Universal has reason to be concerned about those shaved legs. After an opening day haul of $14.4 million, early projections had Bruno finishing with $35-40m for the weekend. But a disastrous drop in ticket sales on Saturday by 39% to $8.8 million reset totals to $30.4 million, and potentially lower when final estimates come in on Monday.

Despite solid reviews from critics, audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a C grade, indicating word of mouth may be weak. Featuring shock gags, controversial situations and a healthy dose of full frontal on-screen male genetalia, it seems likely American audiences weren't quite prepared for a full dose of Bruno.

The debut was larger than Cohen's sleeper hit Borat, but not by much considering the 2006 film opened in just 837 theaters for a whopping $26.5 million. That works out to a $31,607 per theater average, and the film finished its domestic run with a phenomenal $128.5 million. Don't expect similar numbers from Bruno though, particularly with internal numbers showing rapidly declining market share. Internationally, Bruno took in a solid $20 million in eight overseas markets.

Maintaining its second place slot was Fox/Bluesky Studios' Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which slipped just 32% from its opening frame to $28.5 million. In 12 days the 3D computer-animated comedy has grossed $120.6 million, nearly matching the performance of its immediate predecessor Ice Age: The Meltdown. Helped by heavy runs in 3D equipped theaters, it will be interesting to see how the film will fare next weekend when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince rampages through the box office. Worldwide the film has taken in $312 million.

Falling 43% to third was last week's champ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which after two consecutive weeks at the top of the charts finished the weekend with $24.2 million. The $200 million budgeted blockbuster has now amassed $339.2 million in 19 days, blowing past the entire domestic gross of its predecessor Transformers, which took in $319.1 million in 2007.

At its current pace, Revenge of the Fallen appears headed towards a $400+ million domestic gross. Overseas, the Michael Bay pic has amassed $364.5 million.

The numbers, July 10-12, 2009

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 Brüno $30,426,000 2,756 $11,040 $30,426,000 -- 1 Universal
2 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $28,500,000 4,102 $6,948 $120,573,000 -31.6 2 Fox
3 Transformers: ROTF $24,200,000 4,293 $5,637 $339,208,000 -42.8 3 Paramount
4 Public Enemies $14,111,000 3,336 $4,230 $66,538,000 -44.2 2 Universal
5 The Proposal $10,507,000 3,158 $3,327 $113,764,000 -18.3 4 Buena Vista
6 The Hangover $9,930,000 3,002 $3,308 $222,442,000 -11.9 6 Warner Bros.
7 I Love You, Beth Cooper $5,000,000 1,858 $2,691 $5,000,000 -- 1 Fox
8 Up $4,656,000 2,201 $2,115 $273,775,000 -28.6 7 Buena Vista
9 My Sister's Keeper $4,180,000 2,444 $1,710 $35,801,000 -27.8 3 Warner Bros.
10 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $1,600,000 1,116 $1,434 $61,494,000 -36.9 5 Sony

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' heading to blowout opening weekend

MovieTickets.com is reporting over 350 sold out performances worldwide for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” including 216 midnight sellouts in the U.S. alone, according to a report Wednesday morning.

According to the site, the film currently accounts for 61 percent of ticket sales at MovieTickets.com, ahead of “Ice Age 3” (10%) and “Transformers 2” (5%).

Online ticket seller Fandango.com has also reported that Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince is outpacing Transformers 2 in advance ticket sales, representing 65% of daily ticket sales at that site. Advance ticket sales are also outpacing sales for Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix at the same point ahead of its release. That film finished its opening weekend with $77.1 and $139.7 for a five-day bow.

Meanwhile, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen just crossed the $300 million mark domestic in its 14th day of release, becoming the second fastest film to ever reach that mark behind The Dark Knight's incredible 10-day record. The $200 million budgeted sequel has amassed $600 million worldwide.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Photo finish as 'Transformers 2' edges 'Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs' with $42.3m weekend, July 3-5, 2009

After the fireworks cleared Sunday, final numbers put Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen just barely ahead of Fox's Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs for the top spot with $42.3 million over the July 4th weekend. Ice Age was a close second with $41.7 million, while Universal's period gangster pic Public Enemies finished solidly in third with $25.2 million.

With July 4th falling on a Saturday (causing Friday-to-Saturday sales to fall 36% across the board), Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen fell a steep 61% to $42.3 million, bringing its 12-day cume to a monstrous $293.5 million. The Michael Bay blockbuster surpassed Pixar's Up to become the highest grossing film of 2009 and now sits at No. 31 on the all-time list, just behind 1999's The Sixth Sense.

Internationally, the $200 million budgeted robot-destruction sequel has amassed $298 million, bringing its worldwide total to $591.4 million. The original Transformers took in $319m domestic and $708m worldwide back in 2007. Look for Revenge to blow past both numbers by the end of the month.

Fox/Bluesky Studios' computer-animated 3D feature Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs hauled in $41.7 million over the weekend and $66.7 million since its opening on Wednesday, tying Transformers 2 for the No. 1 slot. Averaging $10,171 in 4,099 theaters, the film fell short of the debut of its predecessor Ice Age: The Meltdown, which bowed with $68 million (over three days) in March 2006. By comparison, Pixar's Up debuted in May to $68.1 million over three-days.

Internationally, Fox execs were uncorking the champagne as Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs hauled in $148m in 101 markets, posting the sixth biggest international launch and biggest international 3D opening in history. Adding North American totals, the sequel has now grossed an incredible $215 million worldwide. Ice Age: The Meltdown finished with $195.3 million domestic. Pixar's Up has grossed $264.9 million thus far, making the acclaimed pic the second highest grossing in Pixar history, surpassing 2004's The Incredibles with $261.4 million.

Johnny Depp's period gangster drama Public Enemies debuted in third with $25.2 million and $41 million over the five-day Wednesday-Sunday frame, averaging $7,850 in 3,334 theaters. The Universal debut was the biggest of director Michael Mann's career, surpassing both Collateral with $24.7m and Miami Vice with $25.7m.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The numbers, July 3-5, 2009

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $42,500,000 4,234 $10,038 $293,459,000 -61.0 2 Paramount
1 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $42,500,000 4,099 $10,368 $67,506,000 -- 1 Fox
3 Public Enemies $26,172,000 3,334 $7,850 $41,044,000 -- 1 Universal
4 The Proposal $12,779,000 3,099 $4,124 $94,233,000 -31.2 3 Buena Vista
5 The Hangover $10,415,000 3,070 $3,393 $204,197,000 -38.8 5 Warner Bros.
6 Up $6,579,000 2,656 $2,477 $264,873,000 -49.6 6 Buena Vista
7 My Sister's Keeper $5,255,000 2,606 $2,017 $26,964,000 -57.8 2 Warner Bros.
8 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $2,500,000 1,908 $1,310 $58,471,000 -54.1 4 Sony
9 Year One $2,100,000 2,240 $938 $38,088,000 -65.1 3 Sony
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smith. $2,100,000 1,419 $1,480 $167,763,000 -42.4 7 Fox