Hannah Montana Rises Over Easter Weekend
By John Hamann
April 12, 2009
What happens with the character now will likely depend on Miley Cyrus. Obviously, these movies and TV shows are disturbingly cheap to make (a guess puts the budget here at approximately what this one made on Friday), so I would expect Disney to wheelbarrow out a load of cash to the young star to make another Hannah Montana movie. I imagine that if this one opened where it was supposed to (high-teen millions) the Montana character may have perished (Lizzie McGuire never made a sequel, despite success). Over the weekends ahead, I expect calamitous drops for Hannah Montana, but this one should still make $100 million domestic before all is said and done.
That makes Fast & Furious, our expected number one finisher, a distant second. Folks obviously figured out that Paul Walker is back in this one, as Fast & Furious fell furiously, dropping a large 59%, earning $28.8 million. A drop around the 60% mark was expected, as sequel-itis always plays a large part in the second weekend, especially with a franchise like this. Still, the return of Vin Diesel pulled this one past the $100 million mark in only seven days, a feat accomplished by only 30 other films in history who either meet or beat that mark (It took Monsters vs. Aliens ten days to hit $100 million). F&F now has a running total of $118.0 million, but it will surely expire before hitting $200 million.
Monsters vs Aliens drops to third, as Paramount takes a slight hit from Disney and Hannah Montana. MvA earned another $22.6 million and drops another 31%. Last weekend's plunge was 45% after opening the weekend before to just short of $60 million. When combined with foreign grosses, the domestic haul of MvA has now surpassed its budget, as this one has earned $141 million domestically, almost $50 million from overseas, and cost $175 million to make. I'm looking for Monsters vs. Aliens to top out with just short of $200 million.
Seth Rogen's new comedy, Observe and Report, finishes its debut frame in fourth spot this weekend. Observe and Report opened at the low end of expectations, earning $11.1 million from 2,727 venues, giving it an average of $4,085. This one was dark, hard to like and R-rated, which didn't cause audiences to rush out and see it. It opened toward the bottom end of Rogen's resume. Zack and Miri Make a Porno, another tough-to-market movie, remains his lowest opening at $10.1 million. It may be hard to believe, but Rogen's second lowest live action flick was The Pineapple Express, which opened to a quite strong $23 million. Critics were mixed right down the middle on Observe and Report, with RottenTomatoes score coming in at 51%. Just to get something like this made has to be considered a success for Rogen, even if it tops out at $40 million.
It was a close race to see who would close out the top five films this weekend, and the winner is Knowing, the Nic Cage flick that has hung on longer than most expected. In its fourth frame, Knowing earned $6.7 million and fell 18%. The fact that Knowing has not seen a drop above 50% has to make distributor Summit Entertainment happy, even if the domestic gross sits at an only okay $68 million. Combined with the foreign sales, Knowing will eventually be a $100 million film.
I Love You, Man, the now four-weekend-old comedy from Paramount, finishes in sixth place. I Love You, Man earned another $6.4 million and was off a solid 17% compared to last weekend. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel have now turned this small comedy into a $59 million film, with likely another $15-20 million to come.
The Haunting in Conneticut falls from third place last weekend to seventh this weekend. Haunting earned $5.7 million and drops 40%. Still, the Lionsgate release, which must have been made for a song, now has a running total of $46.3 million, which is likely double its budget.
Our last opener this weekend is Dragonball Evolution, which fails badly, finishing eighth. Obviously tween girls were more of force at the box office than tween boys, as Dragonball opened to only $4.6 million from 2,181 venues. That gives this Fox release a brutal venue average of $2,132. This one was 17% fresh and should be bounced out of the top ten by next weekend.
Ninth and tenth go to two movies that never caught on with moviegoers. Ninth is Adventureland, the good movie that everyone missed when it opened last weekend. Adventureland grossed $3.4 million and dropped 40%. It has a disappointing total so far of $11.5 million. Tenth is Duplicity, the Julia Roberts/Clive Owen flick. Duplicity earned $3 million this weekend and was off 28%. Duplicity has now earned $36.8 million against a budget of $60 million.
The total for the top 12 films continues to amaze. A year ago, the box office was mired in the April struggle, with totals just managing to stay above $80 million. Over the same weekend last year, the top 12 at the box office earned $80.8 million, which is significantly less than what the top three films earned this weekend (about $85 million). Overall this weekend, the top 12 earned a powerful $130.2 million, and marks the third consecutive weekend with a breakout box office (the last two weekends were $149 million and $138 million). Next weekend we get Zac Efron in 17 Again, so we could have another big weekend in the next frame.
||Hannah Montana: The Movie
||Walt Disney Pictures
||Fast & Furious
||Monsters vs. Aliens
||Observe and Report
||Warner Bros. Pictures
||I Love You, Man
||The Haunting in Connecticut
||20th Century Fox
||Race to Witch Mountain
||Walt Disney Pictures
||Anvil! the Story of Anvil
||Mysteries of Pittsburgh
||In a Dream
||Int'l Film Circuit
||Twentieth Century Fox
||20th Century Fox
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Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations