Weekend Preview: 'The Rite' and 'The Mechanic' can't fix this box office rut, but could 'The King's Speech'?

on Friday, January 28, 2011   17 comments

Guess what, everyone? It probably won't come as much of a surprise at this point, but the box office ain't gonna be all that impressive this weekend—it certainly won't top last year's final weekend in January when Avatar topped the chart in its seventh weekend. This frame, two new flicks are hitting theaters—The Rite and The Mechanic (Does 2011 have the worst titles ever, or what?!)—and each might achieve some modest box office success, but nothing spectacular. Can February get here already? The biggest help at the box office will come from Oscar darling The King's Speech, which should provide a nice bump on the chart. Check out box office predictions for those films and the whole top ten after the jump.

The Rite will easily top the box office this weekend. The exorcism picture starring Anthony Hopkins has got a solid trailer, solid promotion, and solid tracking working in its favor—plus, horror is a rather reliable genre, and people's fascination with demonic possession remains strong. I'll give The Rite $20M in its opening weekend, and sure, with poor reviews and a young target audience, it will drop off quickly from there, but these films are cheap to produce, and Warner Brothers doesn't need astronomical numbers. Very typical January release.

The week's other newcomer is Jason Statham's latest actionfest, The Mechanic, and alas, it will perform just like all the rest of them. With kinetic action and over the top dialogue to boot, The Mechanic won't appeal to many outside the hardcore action niche, and fledgling studio CBS Films probably isn't looking at its first smash. Blowing up in 2,703 theater, the film may earn a standard-for-Statham $11.5M this weekend and finish around $30M overall.

Last weekend's number one picture, No Strings Attached, may fall by about 35% to $12.5M in its second frame, giving the romantic comedy about $39M overall. Meanwhile, The King's Speech, on the heels of 12 regal Oscar nominations, is adding 873 theaters to its run, and it may finish with a similar $12.5M—which would be a truly phenomenal figure. It could be a close battle between Mechanic, Speech, and Strings for the second place spot, but if there's one film that may overperform this weekend, it's The King's Speech. Heck, if The Rite flops, we could be looking at a surprise number one!

The Oscar nominations should also provide some nice box office boosts for films like True Grit, Black Swan, 127 Hours (which is adding 847 theaters onto its run and may crack the top ten). The Green Hornet won't enjoy the same benefits, but it may fall by about 40% to $11M.

What do you think will blow up at the box office this weekend?

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International Box Office: 'The Green Hornet' takes first place, crosses $100M worldwide; 'Hereafter' surprisingly solid

on Thursday, January 27, 2011   10 comments

The Green Hornet successfully kicked Tangled out of the top spot at the international box office this week, with the superhero film grossing $18.5M for a $37.5M international total and $102.9M worldwide—not exactly bee-utiful results for the expensive production.  The film still has a long way to go on the road to profitability, but if it can make it to $200M worldwide, which seems attainable, it should be poised for a profitable home market run.

Hereafter, the supernatural Clint Eastwood drama starring Matt Damon, spooked up a surprising second place finish on the international scene. Though the $50M movie only earned $32.8M stateside, it is now kicking its international run into high gear and reaping some nice results. It earned $5.6M in France, $3.8M in Spain, and it debuts in Germany and the U.K. this week. The film has now earned $29M overseas and $61.7M worldwide.

In third place was Black Swan, which began its foreign run with a strong $11.4M. With all its drama  and dancing and artistic cinematography, the film has a rather European sensibility about it, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it has played very well in Europe, grossing $4.4M from the U.K. and $2.7M from Germany. I'm guessing that Black Swan will be very popular in France.

In other news, The Tourist continues to save face internationally as it nears the $150M mark, and The King's Speech has started to really pick up steam, crossing $100M worldwide. Check out the full chart below:

Weekly International Box Office (in millions)
    Film Weekly Gross  Int'l Total  Worldwide
1 The Green Hornet $18.5 $37.5  $102.9
2 Hereafter $13.1 $29  $61.7
3 Black Swan $11.4 $11.4 $95.8
4 The Tourist $11.1 $139  $205.1
5 The King's Speech $9.8 $49.8  $108.8
6 Tangled $9.5 $231.8  $418.5
7 Gulliver's Travels $7.7 $112.4  $152.5
8 Little Fockers $7.5  $146.4  $288.1
9 Qualunquemente $7.2  $7.2  $7.2
10 TRON: Legacy $6.9  $181  $344.7

[Read more at BoxOfficeMojo]

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DVD/Blu-Ray Sales: 'The Social Network' makes a ton of new friends, 'Alpha and Omega', 'Piranha 3D' don't have much bite

on Tuesday, January 25, 2011   15 comments

The Social Network is having quite the week! Not only did the well-reviewed film nab a whopping eight Oscar nominations, it also sold pretty darn well on the home market, moving about 1.96M copies between DVD and Blu-Ray in its first week—a terrific result for a straight-up drama. Also debuting on the chart were kiddie flick Alpha and Omega and gory B-movie Piranha 3D, but neither managed to break out. After the jump, check out a lot more sales info, The-Numbers' full DVD sales chart, and TBOJ's exclusive Blu-Ray sales chart. Lots of impressive/interesting Blu-Ray results this week. If you aren't a believer that the format is growing/taking over, you are simply incorrect.

On DVD, The Social Network moved about 1.1 million copies for an easy first place finish and $14.1M in revenue. The Facebook film earned $95.4M in theaters and generated endless discussion, so that figure might seem low, but we must remember that this is just a normal drama—no crazy special effects sequences or explosions. No talking animals and zingy humor. For most consumers, The Social Network is not a visual feast like Avatar, and its plot and dialogue aren't all that accessible. So the 1.1M figure is actually quite good, especially when you consider the 880,000 Blu-Ray copies it sold.

Alpha and Omega was way back in second with 337,139 copies and $5.8M. The animated film only managed $25.1M in theaters, and its home market run looks like it will be equally unremarkable. Despicable Me, on the other hand, is performing on another level completely. The runaway hit passed 6.5M copies-sold over the frame, and it has joined the ranks of How to Train Your Dragon (5.5M) and Toy Story 3 (9.7M) as major animated smashes. Shrek Forever After, meanwhile, has sold just under 3 million copies. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Rounding out the top five, Machete and Dinner for Schmucks plummeted by 59.7% and 62.7%, respectively. Piranha 3D finished in sixth with first week sales of 204,556 copies and $3.5M. Check out the full chart below.

DVD Sales for the Week Ending January 16, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week% ChangeTotal UnitsSales this WeekTotal SalesWeeks in Release
1 The Social Network 1,082,307 -.-% 1,082,307 $14,059,168 $14,059,168 1
2 Alpha and Omega 337,139 -.-% 337,139 $5,849,362 $5,849,362 1
3 Despicable Me 314,302 -32.3% 6,502,128 $6,372,724 $112,283,548 5
4 Machete 267,438 -59.7% 930,422 $4,276,334 $14,877,448 2
5 Dinner for Schmucks 208,452 -62.7% 767,812 $3,541,599 $13,045,126 2
6 Piranha 204,556 -.-% 204,556 $3,475,406 $3,475,406 1
7 Inception 182,802 -24.6% 3,891,192 $2,528,188 $66,696,549 6
8 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 174,035 -11.8% 7,777,154 $3,478,960 $141,353,825 6
9 The Other Guys 159,207 -9.3% 1,623,839 $2,614,179 $30,327,435 5
10 Salt 156,718 -41.9% 1,478,957 $2,801,742 $24,125,413 4
11 Toy Story 3 151,090 -24.0% 9,693,197 $2,421,278 $170,779,778 11
12 The Town 140,916 -32.3% 1,594,076 $1,910,821 $24,324,335 5
13 Resident Evil: Afterlife 129,227 -56.3% 991,505 $2,389,407 $17,118,842 3
14 The Expendables 118,080 19.7% 2,522,814 $1,548,702 $41,153,952 8
15 The Last Exorcism 111,911 -50.6% 338,320 $1,877,867 $5,692,858 2
16 Easy A 110,179 -33.0% 843,130 $1,982,120 $14,551,743 4
17 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 109,421 -11.2% 790,133 $1,749,642 $12,634,227 4
18 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole 108,904 12.5% 653,271 $2,196,910 $10,587,227 5
19 Shrek Forever After 105,200 -27.3% 2,996,666 $1,731,697 $52,657,170 6
20 The A-Team 97,408 -28.1% 1,490,851 $1,668,599 $23,239,538 5
21 Eat Pray Love 91,003 -33.1% 1,812,944 $1,578,902 $29,928,324 8
22 Fringe: The Complete Second Season 90,158 -.-% 516,529 $1,995,197 $17,633,257 18
23 Family Guy: It's a Trap! 87,775 -37.7% 850,644 $1,152,486 $11,183,371 4
24 Knight and Day 79,152 -50.3% 1,472,507 $1,254,559 $20,020,609 7
25 Beauty and the Beast 73,597 -3.0% - $1,078,064 - 432
26 The American 68,943 -51.6% 416,754 $1,161,690 $6,375,376 3
27 24: Season Eight 57,520 -18.3% 504,870 $2,300,225 $19,291,547 5
28 Step Up 3 56,388 -40.0% 446,283 $1,011,105 $9,354,341 4
29 Nanny McPhee Returns 54,593 -.-% 422,116 $1,001,782 $7,738,505 5
30 How to Train Your Dragon 49,769 -20.2% 5,508,031 $747,929 $107,995,802 14

On the Blu-Ray front, The Social Network's results were perhaps even more impressive than its DVD sales, as the film sold 880,000 copies, which represents a massive 45% of its total sales. The film naturally appeals to the techie crowd, so those numbers make sense, and they continue to illustrate the growth of the format. Inception moved another 245,000 Blu-Rays outdoing its DVD performance by about 63,000 units and pushing its Blu-Ray total to about 4.75M. Wow.

As usual, a bunch of male-appealing/action/sci-fi movies made up the top rungs of the chart, natching some impressive figures. Piranha 3D attacked about 184,000 homes and almost matched its DVD performance. The Other Guys, The Expendables, The Town, and The A-Team all sold more Blu-Rays than DVDs. Check out the Blu-Ray sales estimates below:

Blu-Ray Sales Estimates for Week Ending Jan 16, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week
1 The Social Network 880,000
2 Inception 245,344
3 The Other Guys 193,072
4 Piranha 3D 184,536
5 The Expendables 165,968
6 The Town 163,416
7 The A-Team 159,192
8 Machete 148,104
9 Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition 143,704
10 Despicable Me 139,832
11 Toy Story 3 133,672
12 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 114,664
13 Alpha and Omega 108,768
14 Resident Evil: Afterlife 99,880
15 Salt 95,920
16 Dances with Wolves: 20th Anniversary Extended Cut 85,096
17 The Sorcerer's Apprentice 84,216
18 Avatar 59,224
19 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 52,624
20 Dinner for Schmucks 51,568

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Are studios trying to get men to see romantic comedies this Winter?

on Tuesday, January 25, 2011   16 comments

Remember when the trailer for Tangled came out, and everyone was wondering if Disney was trying to target boys in the marketing? Well, I'm wondering the same thing about this winter's romantic comedy offerings. Are studios trying to get men into the theater? I think so.

Rom-coms seem to be a little bit edgier lately. Typically, these light affairs are filled with fluffy dialouge, gooey sentimentalism, and kissing to boot, but in recent months, that hasn't really been the case. Movies like Love and Other Drugs and No Strings Attached tell sexed up, drugged-up stories that don't necessarily cater to the typically female romantic comedy audience. Upcoming release Just Go With It seems geared more toward men as well. Though it lists Jennifer Aniston as one of the two stars of the film, the trailer would lead you to believe that the only two stars are Brooklyn Decker's breasts. Well, and Adam Sandler. It's definitely aiming for male appeal. (That's not to say that women don't care about sex or drugs or raunchy humor, but those themes are definitely used to target male audiences more frequently.)

I'm not trying to make any sort of statement about gender and Hollywood—just pointing out a trend I've been noticing lately. Do you think studios are making an effort to get men to watch romantic comedies? Do you think it's working?

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MTC Tracking: 'The Rite' and 'The Mechanic'

on Monday, January 24, 2011   6 comments

Tracking reports have come out for this weekend's new releases, The Rite, an exorcism-themed thriller starring Anthony Hopkins, and The Mechanic, Jason Statham's latest actionfest. These typical-for-January releases appear to be headed for some typical-for-January results. That is to say, alright numbers. Check out these early weekend box office predictions:

The Rite – $18 million
This seems about right. The Rite's stylish, creepy trailer has built buzz effectively, and as proved by The Last Exorcism ($41M), The Haunting in Connecticut ($55.4M), and The Unborn ($42.7M), demonic plots have shown surprising resilience in recent years.

The Mechanic – $12 million
One day, Jason Statham. One day you will have a leading role that tons of people will want to go see. Of course, I say that every time you come out with a new movie, and you continue to post Crank-like results, but still...

[via HSX]
MTC Tracking stands for "Major Theater Chain" tracking. These numbers are taken from box office tracking reports that are sent out to theater owners and posted anonymously on HSX.

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'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' sails past $100M: Any hope for a sequel?

on Sunday, January 23, 2011   9 comments

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader passed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office on Saturday, the film's 44th day of release. This third edition of the Narnia franchise cost $150M to produce, and it has weathered stormy seas in its maiden voyage under Fox's distribution. Voyage earned a paltry $24M in its first weekend in November, majorly undercutting the openings of both The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe ($65.6M) and Prince Caspian ($55M). Still, the family-friendly holiday season provided some much needed wind in the Dawn Treader's sails, and though its total still stands far below its predecessors, reaching the century mark after such a poor debut is an impressive feat, and a three-digit number sounds a whole lot better for Fox.

Worldwide, the film has grossed $358.2M, and it should finish right around the $400M mark. Prince Caspian, which cost Disney $225M to make, earned $419M worldwide, a figure that prompted the studio to drop the franchise. Surprisingly, it looks like Dawn Treader will end up the more profitable venture, thanks to its lower production costs, and if Fox could find a way to trim the budget a little bit more, a fourth Narnia film actually seems like a possibility to me.

What do you think? Are you surprised The Voyage of the Dawn Treader earned $100M? Happy? Sad? Hopeful for a sequel? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Weekend Fix: 'No Strings Attached' ropes in viewers, tops 'The Green Hornet'

on Sunday, January 23, 2011   4 comments

Would this finally be the weeked that the box office ticked up over last year? Alas, it would not. Despite a solid debut from romantic comedy No Strings Attached, the Top 12 films could only muster $98.1 million frame, a big 23% drop from the same weekend last year. That's the eleventh weekend in a row that this has occurred. Yikes. The silver lining here is that every film playing had a rather slight drop—the average decline was just 29%, which led to some surprisingly strong numbers for films like The Green Hornet and The King's Speech. But I don't want to string you along any longer—here's how the weekend played out.

Natalie Portman can breathe a sigh of relief—her Oscar chances are still in tact. No Strings Attached not only managed to earn some better-than-awful reviews, but it also earned a strong $20.3 million in its first three days. With Black Swan winning awards left and right and a headline-grabbing pregnancy, Portman's star has never burned brighter, and her heightened profile boosted No Strings Attached at the box office. Credit should be given to Ashton Kutcher, as well, though. The film media doesn't respect Kutcher—his goofy comedies are universally panned by critics—but how many more times must this man prove himself as a box office draw for people to take notice? Sure, he's got a few flops like My Boss' Daughter ($15M) and A Lot Like Love ($21M) on his resumé, but he's also opened Valentine's Day ($110M), What Happens in Vegas ($80M), Guess Who ($69M), Just Married ($56M), Killers ($47M—not great, but respectable), and now No Strings Attached to strong figures. Give the man some respect! He chooses cheaply-produced comedy vehicles that post solid box office results!

Paramount's marketing push also propelled No Strings Attached to success. With a sexed-up premise and an R-rating, the film ran the risk of scaring away tamer audiences, and if we learned anything from Fox's promotional push for Love and Other Drugs, it's that selling in-your-face sex isn't always a good idea. Paramount stuck to cutesy romance in their ads for No Strings Attached, and they earned strong numbers as a result. The film earned a solid $6,726 per theater average, and if it performs anything like 2009's Bride Wars ($58M), it should finish in the $55M range.

The Green Hornet buzzed down to second place with a 46% drop to $18.1 million. The (super)hero film has now earned $63.4 million in ten days, a number that Sony execs are probably pretty happy with, considering how low expectations were for the Seth Rogen vehicle. At this point, it's looking like the film will finish somewhere in the $90M range, but it might break $100M if it can continue to post slight declines. (Vote in the sidebar poll about whether Hornet will break $100M.) Unfortunately, massive reshoots leave The Green Hornet with a $120M pricetag, and it will need more than a mediocre international run to turn a profit.

In third place was The Dilemma, the Ron Howard-directed Vince Vaughn/Kevin James comedy that underwhelmed at the box office last week. In its second frame, the comedy dropped by a fairly soft 45% to $9.7 million, a somewhat promising sign of life for Universal's latest misfire. All told, the comedy has pulled in a mediocre $33.4M in ten days, but it may reach $60M overall if it can keep up the small declines.

The next three spots on the chart are filled by films that have stuck beside each other for weeks now. The King's Speech, True Grit, and Black Swan. As the films each garner major awards attention, their respective box office runs continue impressively. On the heels of a Best Actor win at the Golden Globes, The King's Speech saw no change from last week, pulling in another amazing $9.2M for a stunning $58.6M total. Who'd have thunk that a movie about a stutter could go the distance at the box office?! True Grit, meanwhile, has been pulling even more impressive numbers. The Coen Brothers' Western fell by just 27% in its fifth weekend to $8M, and its total now sits at genre-revitalizing $138.6M. It should hit $150 million within two weeks. Black Swan dropped 26% to $6.2M, pushing its total to $83.6M. The ballet film is dropping a bit faster than expected, but Fox Searchlight will make sure it breaks $100M. Of course, a Best Actress Oscar will make that job easier...

The Fighter has sort of fallen under the radar of the super-buzzy Oscar machine, but it's still done well at the box office. Following Melissa Leo's Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, the film fell just 11% to $4.5M and $73M total.

Moving out of awards territory and into the land of cinematic dreck, Little Fockers and Yogi Bear came in eighth and ninth place, respectively. Fockers stole another $4.4M from moviegoers, while Yogi Bear somehow found another $4M. The 3D flick will pass $90M this week. Ugh.

TRON: Legacy rounded out the top ten with $3.7M, giving it a $163.3M total, and further down the chart, Peter Weir's The Way Back fizzled in its debut with just $1.5M out of 678 theaters, which is a shame—the film tells a pretty incredible survival story, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Top 12 Box Office for January 21-23, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters Weekend Gross   Chg     AVG.   Total
No Strings Attached Paramount 3018 $20,300,000 $6,726 $20,300,000
The Green Hornet Sony 3584 $18,100,000 -46%$5,050 $63,441,000
The Dilemma Universal 2943 $9,726,615 -47%$3,305 $33,363,950
The King's Speech Weinstein 1680 $9,164,299 0%$5,455 $58,622,299
True Grit Paramount 3464 $8,000,000 -27%$2,309 $138,633,000
Black Swan Fox Search 2407 $6,200,000 -26%$2,576 $83,580,631
The Fighter Paramount 2275 $4,515,000 -11%$1,985 $73,031,000
Little Fockers Universal 2979 $4,394,025 -39%$1,475 $141,185,640
Yogi Bear Warner Bros 2510 $4,060,000 -24%$1,618 $88,890,000
TRON: Legacy Disney 2018 $3,708,000 -35%$1,837 $163,268,000
Tangled Disney 1860 $3,006,000 -25%$1,616 $186,281,000
Country Strong Sony 1441 $2,200,000 -40%$1,527 $16,962,000
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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Friday Estimates: 'No Strings Attached' overcomes R-rating, should break $20M

on Saturday, January 22, 2011   8 comments

Friday box office estimates are in, and as predicted, No Strings Attached is headed for a weekend win. The Natalie Portman-led romantic comedy earned a solid $7.3 million on Friday, and it shouldn't have any trouble passing $20M by Sunday. It looks like this is yet another hit from America's least-respected box office draw, Ashton Kutcher! (Of course, Portman's current star power helped quite a bit, but still.) With production costs of just $25M, Paramount should be very happy with a $20M weekend, especially considering how fellow R-rated rom-com Love and Other Drugs underwhelmed last month with just $9.7M in its debut weekend. Definitely a good start. Check out the rest of the top ten after the jump:

The Green Hornet and The Dilemma both fell by about 50% from last Friday to grosses of $5.2M and $3M, respectively, but over the rest of the weekend, those drops should soften a touch. The Green Hornet may pull in $17M, while The Dilemma could be looking at a solid $10M weekend in third place.

The trio of inseparable Oscar-bait films filled up the next three rungs on the chart. The King's Speech and Black Swan both earned a strong $2M on their way to $7M weekends, while True Grit (which I saw last night and LOVED) shot up $1.7M on its way to a $6 million frame. The rest of the chart is filled with unexciting grosses that don't need their own paragraphs, so just check out the top ten:

1. No Strings Attached: $7.3M
2. The Green Hornet: $5.2M
3. The Dilemma: $3M
4. The King's Speech: $2M
5. Black Swan: $2M
6. True Grit: $1.7M
7. Little Fockers: $1.2M
8. The Fighter: $1.2M
9. TRON: Legacy: $975K
10. Yogi Bear: $750K

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Weekend Preview: 'No Strings Attached' should tie up an easy weekend win

on Friday, January 21, 2011   11 comments

Following a slew of Best Actress awards for her peroformance in Black Swan, current it-girl Natalie Portman brings her very first romantic comedy to theaters this weekend. No Strings Attached, a friends-with-benefits comedy co-starring Ashton Kutcher, shouldn't have much trouble dethroning last weekend's victor The Green Hornet from the top spot at the box office.

Portman has been on a good PR blitz for the past two months. She's been doted upon by every critic for her Black Swan role (leading to a Golden Globe win last week) and fawned over by every tabloid for her recent pregnancy announcement. All the publicity has raised her profile substantially, which consequently helps No Strings Attached. But she's not the only draw here. Ashton Kutcher has proven his box office viability in rom-coms like Valentine's Day, Killers, What Happens in Vegas, and Just Married, and those had WAY worse reviews than No Strings Attached. In fact, with an okay 47% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes, this is the best-reviewed movie of Kutcher's career! The sexed-up premise and R rating would normally be a bit too edgy to attract mainstream female audiences, but Paramount's strong promotional push has showcased Portman primarily and made this look like a cutesy episode of Grey's Anatomy. All told, the film should perform in line with 2009's January release Bride Wars, which earned $21 million in its first weekend. I'm expecting an identical $21 million figure from No Strings Attached.

Among holdovers, The Green Hornet will fall by about 50% to $16.5M, though there is a small chance that it could majorly exceed expectations and end up in first place. That would be a fun story, but it's not likely. The Dilemma should see a more comedy-friendly 45% drop to $9.1M and third place.

True Grit, The King's Speech, and Black Swan should continue their soft declines as attention shifts to the Oscars, and they should all finish in the $7-9M range. Check out the full chart below.

Box Office Predictions for January 21-23, 2011
RankMovie Theaters Predicted Gross
1No Strings Attached 3,018 $20 million
2The Green Hornet 3,584 $16.5 million
3The Dilemma 2,944 $9 million
4True Grit 3,464 $8.3 million
5The King's Speech 1,680 $7.7 million
6Black Swan 2,407 $7.3 million
7Yogi Bear 2,510 $4 million
8Little Fockers 2,984 $3.8 million
9The Fighter 2,275 $3.6 million
10TRON: Legacy 2,018 $2.9 million

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Hot Trailer: 'Red Riding Hood'

on Thursday, January 20, 2011   6 comments

Warner Brothers has released a brand new trailer for Red Riding Hood, which opens on March 11th. Catherine Hardwicke's latest directorial effort looks every bit like the next Twilight franchise—a lusty fantasy about about a young woman's forbidden desire—and I'm expecting a huge box office performance from the flick. Plus, it actually looks pretty gorgeous, and it doesn't seem to exploit every male on the screen (or at least not in the trailer). Check it out below.

Related: The Twilight Effect: Three sexed-up, supernatural stories hitting theaters in 2011

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International Box Office: Rapunzel stays atop her tower as 'Tangled' pushes $400M worldwide, 'The Green Hornet' starts in 2nd

on Wednesday, January 19, 2011   0 comments

Tangled stayed atop the international box office this week, brushing up another $15.6 million and crossing the $200M mark internationally. With $395.4M in the worldwide kitty, Tangled should blaze by $400M in the next days, and with big openings in Japan and the UK still on schedule, Rapunzel will likely have lots more gold to match her hair very soon.

In second place, The Green Hornet began its international run with an alright $15.1M. The superhero flick nabbed a $4.1M weekend in Germany, as well as $3M in the UK, and $2.4M in France. Hornet doesn't really have the razzle-dazzle or character-recognizability to break out at the same level as other superhero flicks, so I'm not sure that it will go far, or even break $100M overseas. We'll have to see.

TRON: Legacy came in third place and snagged another $14.6M. The Disney special-effects film has now grossed $170.3M internationally and $329.2M worldwide. Little Fockers and The Tourist round out the top five with grosses of $14.2M and $13.9M, respectively. Check out the full top ten below:

Weekly International Box Office (in millions)
    Film Weekly Gross  Int'l Total  Worldwide
1 Tangled $15.6 $212.5  $395.4
2 The Green Hornet $15.1 $15.1  $57.3
3 TRON: Legacy $14.6  $170.3 $329.2
4 Little Fockers $14.2  $133.5  $269.5
5 The Tourist $13.9  $122.1  $186.8
6 Gulliver's Travels $11.6  $99.7  $138.4
7 Che Bella giornata (Italy) $10.6  $42.1  $42.1
8 The King's Speech $9.4  $33.2  $80.9
9 The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
$9.2  $257.6  $356.6
10 Love and Other Drugs $8.9  $34.1  $66.2

[Read more at BoxOfficeMojo]

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'X-Men: First Class' photo the latest in a long line of high-res superhero pics!

on Wednesday, January 19, 2011   15 comments

X-Men: First Class released its first two official photos today (I've merged them into one, expandable-upon-click picture above) in the midst of what appears to be a tidal wave of superhero pictures hitting the net. It's safe to say that between First Class, Thor, Green Lantern, and Captain America: The First Avenger, superhero movies are going to make up a sizable chunk of 2011's overall box office. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited! I've had fun with all these photo releases, and so, I've included a few high-res photos after the jump. Is anyone else pumped about this superhero summer? Which one are you most excited to see?

Thor – May 6, 2011

X-Men: First Class – June 3, 2011
The costumes look pretty janky in that top pic, don't they? Not sure how I feel about the overall look of that photo. Very B movie-ish, no? Especially Mysitque. She just looks dumb. This photo, however, is muuuuch better.

Green Lantern – June 17, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger – July 22, 2011

Spider-Man – July 4, 2012

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MTC Tracking: Viewers looking to attach themselves to 'No Strings Attached'

on Wednesday, January 19, 2011   17 comments

Tracking reports have come out for this weekend's new releases, No Strings Attached and The Way Back, the latter of which will likely be ignored by most moviegoers. Natalie Portman's career is white-hot right now, thanks to the success of Black Swan and her pregnancy, but will teaming up with reliable rom-com star Ashton Kutcher help lead to even strong box office results? Check out these early weekend box office predictions for the four-day holiday frame:

No Strings Attached – $20 million
Many people were expecting this to be Portman's Norbit, a terrible film that would hurt her chances at a Best Actress Oscar. Reviews are better than expected though, and Kutcher—whether you like him or not—can open a movie decently. This looks like a very solid result to me

The Way Back – $1.5 million
Movies set in deserts don't sell. Period.

[via HSX]
MTC Tracking stands for "Major Theater Chain" tracking. These numbers are taken from box office tracking reports that are sent out to theater owners and posted anonymously on HSX.

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Box Office Headlines: Winning articles about a failing industry in 2010

on Wednesday, January 19, 2011   4 comments

Box office junkies, check out these two box office articles below. They're both great reads!

Hollywood's box office slump continues: Are movies losing their mojo?

Hollywood is marking an unhappy milestone: Box office revenues have now been down from the previous year’s tally for 10 consecutive weeks. After a bruising holiday season littered with high-profile misfires like The Tourist, How Do You Know, and Gulliver’s Travels, the major studios are hopeful that 2011 will bring a reversal of last year’s worrying 5 percent decline in overall movie attendance. 2011 is not off to the most encouraging start. Though final numbers aren’t in yet, this weekend’s total box office haul looks like it will come in 25 percent below last year’s. Yes, last year at this time audiences were still flocking to the 3-D hit Avatar. Still, 10 straight down weeks stings—and not in a good Green Hornet way.
Keep reading at EW.com

'True Grit', 'Inception' impress most in tepid 2010
2010's attendance drought was mostly due to a tepid slate of movies: it's a product-driven industry, and, when the movies are largely unappealing, empty seats proliferate. It's not that most movies were duds, it's that few were break-outs, and the following were the most impressive of the lot...

Alice in Wonderland - A perfect storm of factors yielded a mighty $334.2 million gross, ranking as the second-biggest haul from 2010 and surpassing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as the top Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration. It not only benefitted from Burton and Depp batting in their wheelhouse, but the good will generated by Avatar as the first 3D event of the 2010 and a ubiquitous marketing campaign that balanced the mad fantasy with a relatable story.
Keep reading at Box Office Mojo

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DVD/Blu-Ray Sales: 'Machete' is a cut above 'Dinner for Schmucks', sells 1.2 million combined copies in first week!

on Tuesday, January 18, 2011   8 comments

The-Numbers has posted its weekly DVD sales chart for the week ending January 9th. Danny Trejo's geek-heaven Machete easily topped the chart with sales of 691,317 units and $11.1 million. Considering the action movie earned just $26.6M in theaters, that number is quite a feat. It's equally impressive that Machete managed to move 475,000 Blu-Ray copies as well, which all but guarantees that Machete will outdo its theatrical run on the home market. The buying power of the fanboys is pretty incredible!

Dinner for Schmucks, despite earning almost triple of what Machete earned in theaters, came in second place with 583,264 copies and $9.9M in revenue. Considering how poorly the comedy was received, that's probably a fair start. Despicable Me ended up in third place as it blazed past the 6 million copies-sold mark and broke the $100M plateau—very impressive.

Fellow new releases The Last Exorcism and Case 39 both underwhelmed with sales of 236,085 and 155,131 copies, respectively. Otherwise, things were looking pretty healthy for on the DVD front. Drops were small overall, and while we don't ususally see the astronomical numbers we used to, Blu-Ray sales are more than making up the difference.

Keep reading for the full DVD sales chart, as well as TBOJ's exclusive Blu-Ray sales chart!

DVD Sales for Week Ending January 9, 2011
RankTitleUnits this Week% ChangeTotal UnitsSales this WeekTotal SalesWeeks in Release
1 Machete 691,317 -.-% 691,317 $11,054,159 $11,054,159 1
2 Dinner for Schmucks 583,264 -.-% 583,264 $9,909,655 $9,909,655 1
3 Despicable Me 484,267 -13.0% 6,207,673 $9,645,291 $106,306,122 4
4 Resident Evil: Afterlife 308,258 -45.6% 874,911 $5,237,303 $14,944,069 2
5 Salt 281,089 -31.4% 1,333,759 $4,683,421 $21,515,614 3
6 Inception 252,676 -50.5% 3,718,745 $3,926,332 $64,329,267 5
7 The Last Exorcism 236,085 -.-% 236,085 $3,978,032 $3,978,032 1
8 The Town 216,935 -41.2% 1,462,051 $2,817,986 $22,529,008 4
9 Toy Story 3 207,257 -32.7% 9,550,601 $3,079,963 $168,484,726 10
10 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 205,736 -24.3% 7,611,551 $4,641,404 $138,065,091 5
11 The Other Guys 183,130 -28.0% 1,472,138 $3,373,255 $27,851,517 4
12 Easy A 171,516 -30.8% 739,981 $3,035,833 $12,694,054 3
13 Knight and Day 165,924 6.7% 1,400,155 $2,060,776 $18,850,506 6
14 Glee: The Complete First Season 155,387 -57.6% 1,409,948 $3,993,446 $38,455,606 17
15 Case 39 155,131 -.-% 155,131 $2,790,807 $2,790,807 1
16 Shrek Forever After 150,985 -5.9% 2,897,653 $2,373,228 $51,022,722 5
17 The American 148,426 -27.8% 353,894 $2,224,906 $5,304,871 2
18 Family Guy: It's a Trap! 146,974 -34.4% 768,893 $2,035,590 $10,114,318 3
19 Eat Pray Love 141,902 36.0% 1,727,756 $2,097,312 $28,435,368 7
20 The A-Team 141,236 -55.6% 1,399,231 $1,864,315 $21,647,340 4
21 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 128,447 -26.9% 685,977 $2,053,868 $10,968,772 3
22 The Expendables 102,868 -37.6% 2,408,950 $1,261,347 $39,656,946 7
23 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole 100,932 -21.6% 548,503 $2,085,457 $8,475,775 4
24 Step Up 3 98,051 -4.3% 393,914 $2,124,128 $8,430,302 3
25 The Sorcerer's Apprentice 87,183 -2.5% 1,288,735 $1,300,770 $21,609,680 6
26 Avatar 83,788 -.-% 10,252,697 $1,703,787 $185,184,605 38
27 Beauty and the Beast 79,147 -33.2% - $1,348,293 - 431
28 24: Season Eight 73,454 -.-% 450,360 $2,858,830 $17,108,471 4
29 How to Train Your Dragon 65,070 -.-% 5,460,929 $956,113 $107,287,062 13
30 Grown Ups 63,806 -20.5% 2,370,945 $1,141,113 $40,062,146 9

On the Blu-Ray front, Machete was also on top with 475,000 units. Resident Evil: Afterlife moved down into second place with about 265,000 discs, and it's total Blu-Ray sales are now only about 130,000 copies behind DVD sales. Inception, meanwhile, has already sold more Blu-Ray copies than DVDs. This week, the mind-bender moved around 258,000 copies, and it should pass the 5 million mark some time in the next two weeks. Check out the Blu-Ray sales chart below:

Blu-Ray Sales Estimates for Week Ending Jan 9, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week
1 Machete 475,000
2 Resident Evil: Afterlife 264,623
3 Inception 257,858
4 Despicable Me 214,605
5 Dinner for Schmucks 205,200
6 Salt 165,538
7 The Town 162,213
8 The A-Team 134,900
9 The Last Exorcism 95,855
10 Avatar 85,263
11 The Other Guys 81,368
12 The Dark Knight 81,273
13 The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition 71,298
14 Toy Story 3 70,775
15 Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition 69,588
16 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 66,500
17 Taken 58,093
18 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 57,190
19 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 56,430
20 Laugh it up Fuzzball: The Family
Guy Star Wars Trilogy

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Wait, these movies earned how much?!

on Tuesday, January 18, 2011   6 comments

Film blogs have a tendency to only focus on new movies each week. TBOJ is just as guilty as any other. The reality at the box office is that certain movies break out and make tons of money, while others are just sort of there. They'll open well enough, but then often sit in the lower rungs of the chart for weeks, sometimes months, gathering money (or not) that no one ever notices. Sometimes you'll go over one of BoxOfficeMojo's weekend charts and think, "Whoa! I totally forgot about (insert movie)! It earned that much?!" The grosses aren't always impressive, but they're always interesting. Thus, here are twelve recent movies you may have forgotten about, and how they ended up finishing at the box office.

Red – $90.1 million ($21.8M opening, 24.2% of total gross)
It doesn't matter if I absolutely hated it, Red did very well with audiences. So well, in fact, that a sequel was just greenlit!

Life As We Know It – $53.2 million ($14.5M opening, 27.3% of total)
You may not like her movies, but Katharine Heigl's box office record is still exemplary. Her poorest box office performance came from the too-expensive Killers, which earned "just" $47M. She's the queen of mid-level rom-coms.

Easy A – $58.4 million ($17.7M opening, 30.4% of total)
This film reminds me of Baby Mama—a girl-centered comedy that had a pretty solid box office run, but then goes on to have a nice life on the home market.

Secretariat – $59.3 million ($12.7M opening, 21.4% of total)
It was a cantor, not a gallop, for this horse movie, and though it still didn't earn half of what Seabiscuit made, heads probably aren't rolling at Disney Secretariat.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – $52.5 million ($19M opening, 36.2% of total)
With middling reviews and an unremarkable $52.5M, Oliver Stone's sequel just sort of came and went, and no one thought much about it.

Unstoppable – $80.4 million ($22.7M opening, 28.2% of total)
With a $100M budget, Unstoppable still cost far too much, but at least it stayed on the rails after its mediocre opening. This will be a phenomenal TV movie in a year or two.

Due Date – $99.7 million ($32.7M opening, 32.8% of total)
This comedy has quietly plodded along toward $100M over the past few weeks. It's like the Date Night of late 2010!

You Again – $25.7 million ($8.4M opening, 32.7% of total)
Even Betty White couldn't draw audiences into this generic-looking comedy, but it is somewhat amazing that this managed a 3.1 multiplier after such a poor opening weekend.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole – $55.7 million ($16.1M opening, 29% of total)
With a title so unwieldy and strange, I wasn't surprised when this underperformed on opening weekend. Still, Owls followed a typical animated film trajectory and finished with a 3.6 multiplier. Not that that makes up the $80M budget, though.

Hereafter – $32.7 million ($12M opening, 36.7% of total)
Pretty mediocre for a Matt Damon/Clint Eastwood collab.

For Colored Girls – $37.7 million ($19.5M opening, 51.7% of total)
Tyler Perry movies are always frontloaded, but this is just ridiculous! It couldn't even achieve a 2.0 multiplier. Luckily, it only cost $21M.

Burlesque – $38.2 million ($11.9M opening, 31.2% of total)
On the upside, this ended up outgrossing Fame ($22.4M) and Rent ($29.1M) handily. On the downside, campy musicals are still too niche-y for mainstream success.

Which of these grosses surprise you the most? Let me know in the comments!

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International Box Office: 'Tangled' beats 'The Tourist' by a hair

on Monday, January 17, 2011   6 comments

Though it hasn't even opened in the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, or Japan, Tangled is raking in big bucks around the globe. This week, it topped the international box office chart with a strong $26.3M, pushing its international total to $175.9M—just about equal with its domestic gross, but with much more life left in it! That figure was just barely enough to fend off second place film The Tourist, which earned $26.2M and continues to perform much better overseas than it was able to domestically. This week, the Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie film crossed the $100M mark internationally, and it looks poised to pass $200M worldwide in the next few weeks. Gulliver's Travels, the third place film, is also posting stronger numbers overseas. The Fox film pulled in $20.8M this week for an $80.4M international total and $118M worldwide. Against a $112M budget and loads of promotion, this still has a ways to go before its out of the hole. Check out the international top ten below:

Weekly International Box Office (in millions)
    Film Weekly Gross  Int'l Total  Worldwide
1 Tangled $26.3 $175.9  $360.6
2 The Tourist $26.2 $100.4  $164.6
3 Gulliver's Travels $20.8  $80.4 $118
4 Little Fockers $20.3  $111.2  $245.4
5 The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
$17.8  $242.9  $341
6 TRON: Legacy $17.6  $143.2  $300.1
7 Che Bella giornata (Italy) $15.2  $24.1  $24.1
8 Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows Part 1
$8.8  $639.1  $928.8
9 Unstoppable $8.4  $66.1  $146.5
10 The King's Speech $8.1  $18  $62.6

[Read more at BoxOfficeMojo]

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