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Weekend Wrap-Up for April 13-15, 2007

Paramount and Disturbia Hot at the Box Office

By John Hamann

April 15, 2007

Shia works on his very special Indiana Jones project, complete with glue!

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The post-Easter weekend brought a smattering of new releases, but only one provided any significant impact at the box office. New releases included large movies like Paramount and DreamWorks's Disturbia and Sony's Perfect Stranger; smaller releases included Pathfinder from 20th Century Fox, Redline from Chicago Releasing and Aqua Teen Hunger Force from First Look. Holdovers had to deal with following a holiday Friday (as well as some of them opening on Wednesday and Thursday), which hurt some of them, but not all.

Our number one film is Disturbia from Paramount and DreamWorks. The Shia LaBeouf thriller opened to a surprisingly strong $23 million from 2,925 venues, better than doubling the expectations of most analysts. Disturbia had a venue average of $7,870, and an internal multiplier (weekend gross divided by Friday gross) of 2.64. How did the thriller manage to breakout as much as it did? Disturbia did have a savvy marketing campaign - the TV ad played well, as did the trailer. Having Shia LaBeouf topline the feature helped as well, as the young star has appeared in projects like Holes and Constantine, and has created a following. News broke on Friday that the ShoWest "Male Star of Tomorrow" is set to appear in the upcoming Indiana Jones movie with Harrison Ford. An announcement like that is certain to help your film, as every time that story was mentioned, so was Disturbia (it also helps that Paramount is behind both films).




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Reviews for Disturbia were also better than expected. At RottenTomatoes, 102 reviews were counted and a surprising 68 were fresh. That gives the thriller a fresh rating of 67%, and removes the stench that usually follows these kinds of teen thrillers. Paramount and its recently purchased DreamWorks are certainly on a roll right now. They have the top two films in release, Disturbia and Blades of Glory, with the pair of them pulling in over $35 million this weekend alone. There will be more good news for the studio once summer is upon us, as DreamWorks has Shrek the Third and Transformers set for release (Paramount has very little on its own). For now, Disturbia is a great entry for the studios, as the budget couldn't have been more than $40 million, a figure it should be approaching by the end of its second weekend.

Following up in second is the aforementioned Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. Now in its third weekend, Blades pulled in $14 million this weekend, and earns a not bad drop of 38%. Following a holiday can be tough on weekend-to-weekend percentage drops. Last weekend's Friday holiday made theatres extremely busy, and making up for that this weekend can be very difficult. For example, following last year's Easter weekend, Scary Movie 4 dropped 58% in its second frame. So far the Paramount release has earned $90.2 million, and should see $100 million by the end of next weekend.

Finishing third is Disney's Meet the Robinsons, which had a very good weekend. Over the Easter frame (the film's second weekend), Meet the Robinsons earned $16.7 million. Over its third frame this weekend, The Robinsons earned $12.1 million, which equals a very nice drop of 28%. After not getting off to a great start ($25.1 million open), the Disney flick has seen some excellent holds. Last weekend the drop was only 33%, so to follow that up with a 28% drop is excellent news for all involved. So far, the CG animated film has pulled in $72 million, and it could see $100 million by the time Spiderman 3 opens in early May.


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