Weekend Wrap-Up for April 16-18, 2010

Dragons Roast Fake Hero Wannabes

By John Hamann

April 18, 2010

They were very surprised to hear the results of the weekend box office.

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Fourth place goes to Death at a Funeral, the ambush-marketed comedy starring Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan and a bevy of others. Death earned a respectable $17 million from 2,459 venues. It had a venue average of $,913. This version of Death at a Funeral is a remake of a recent, 2007 British film that was directed by Frank Oz (Bowfinger, What About Bob?). Oz's Death was a small hit in the US, earning $9 million, and another $38 million overseas, against a production budget of about $9 million. Bring on the remake with much bigger names, and an African-American slant. Big names at this funeral include Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, James Marsden, Danny Glover, Zoe Saldana (sigh), Martin Lawrence and Luke Wilson. Despite the big names, Screen Gems says they spent only $21 million making this one, so this will end up as another low budget win for the Screen Gems group.

Oddly enough, Death at a Funeral is directed by Neil LaBute, who has made some very different films in his career. LaBute broke onto the scene with 1997's In the Company of Men, a disturbing tale that won him much love from critics and a Sundance Film Award. A year later he made Your Friends and Neighbors, another oddly disturbing tale that failed to earn much cash. Then he made Nurse Betty, another odd film, this time with Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock and Renee Zellweger. He made some small films in the early 2000s before making a very odd turn into wider features with The Wicker Man, the incomprehensible Nicolas Cage feature that earned only $24 million. He then made the middling Lakeview Terrace, which had a solid opening ($15 million in mid-September), before moving on to Death at a Funeral, which, at the very least, will make some money.


Clash of the Titans falls to fifth after finishing in top spot the last two weekends. After recovering the number one spot thanks to a bad estimate last Sunday, Clash earned another $15.8 million this weekend. It was off 41%, which is an improvement on its 57% dip last weekend. Clash of the Titans is turning into a solid money-maker for Warner Bros., as it's earned $133 million stateside and a similar amount overseas, against a budget of $125 million.

Miley Cyrus and Nicolas Sparks fall only one spot to sixth this weekend, but the drop is bigger than the slight demotion would indicate. The movie is The Last Song, and in its third weekend of thievery, conned patrons out of another $5.8 million. It fell 41% from its $9.8 million showing last weekend. Like most Nicolas Sparks titles, this one is making a lot of hay at the box office, as it cost only $20 million to make and has earned $50 million at domestic theatres alone. The Last Song won't outgross The Hannah Montana Movie, but it will likely keep Miley in theaters for a few more years.

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? finishes seventh this weekend, as Lionsgate actually has two films in the top ten. Married Too earned $4.2 million and dropped 62%, after dropping an identical 62% last weekend and earning $11 million. Like usual with Tyler Perry, despite the huge drops, he has another big winner for Lionsgate. Married Too cost only $20 million to make, has earned $54.9 million so far, and will be big again on home video. Tyler Perry has become the king of the $50 million film.

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