R-Rated Ultra-Violence Rules Box Office
By John Hamann
August 30, 2009
Critically, The Final Destination series has also come back to the beginning. The first Final Destination flick received a RottenTomatoes score of 29% back in 2000, but then the series actually improved its performance dramatically with the next two films. FD2 raised its rating to 47%, a solid 20-point increase, and FD3 stayed remarkably similar at 45% fresh. This year's entry, The Final Destination, takes the series back to the start with a 28% fresh rating, despite the addition of 3-D. Simply put, Warner Bros. doesn't care. Despite the larger budget for this release, The Final Destination gross will still end up being almost four times the amount of its budget, and this release will enable the studio to put out a box set just in time for Christmas.
Inglourious Basterds slips slightly from number one to number two, as the film holds up pretty well compared to other number one movies on the charts this summer. After opening last weekend to $38.1 million, Inglourious Basterds didn't quite get cut in half this weekend, as the Brad Pitt film earned $20 million from 3,165 venues. Basterds was off a better-than-expected 47%, putting it in the same ballpark as director Kill Bill Vol. 1 (44% drop). Inglourious Basterds has already earned $73.7 million against a production budget of $70 million, with Universal and The Weinstein Company splitting the profits.
Speaking of the Weinsteins, their Halloween II manages a second place finish this weekend, and ends up right where tracking expected it to finish. Rob Zombie's second stab at the John Carpenter franchise was not as successful as the first, but we are talking LOW-BUDGET, so the Weinsteins are going to have a successful film for the second consecutive weekend. Halloween II earned $17.4 million this weekend from 3,025 venues, well off the $26.4 million the original remake made over its initial three-days. This one cost about the same amount as it grossed this weekend - $18 million – so as I mentioned above, Bob and Harvey are having an excellent August. Halloween II opens on the heels of Inglourious Basterds, so these two films will provide some serious cash flow for the cash strapped movie moguls. Next up for the Weinstein's is The Road, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel (he also wrote No Country For Old Men), and starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, and Robert Duvall (October). They also have Youth in Revolt, a comedy starring Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Long. Maybe things are looking up for the brothers.
In fourth place we have our fourth R-Rated film, the three-weekend old Distict 9. The Sony/TriStar sci-fi thriller enjoyed another frame above $10 million, with a gross of $10.7 million. The little film with no stars and a no-name director dropped 41% in weekend three as it continues to propel itself toward $100 million. District 9 is joining other 2009 $100 million surprises like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Taken and The Hangover. The $30 million production has now earned $90.8 million.
G.I. Joe drops to fifth, but the military ad just won't go away fast enough. As the only film in the top five aimed at teens, G.I. Joe basically has the marketplace to itself, and earned an okay $8 million in its fourth weekend, dropping 34%. After its $54.7 million opening, the Paramount release has seen drops of 60%, 45%, and now 34%. The $175 million production has earned $132.4 million on the domestic front, and a similar amount in overseas grosses. I think that like it or not, we're going to see a G.I. Joe 2.