Weekend Wrap-Up for August 20-22, 2010

Five Openers No Match For Holdovers

By John Hamann

August 22, 2010

Someone got the wrong hat memo.

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Weird fact #3 about this weekend's box office: Despite Eat Pray Love finishing fourth on Friday, it takes third spot overall for the frame. While Julia Roberts will be happy that Eat Pray Love managed to bounce back from its fourth place finish on Friday, Sony won't be happy that their supposedly leggy chick flick fell almost as much as The Expendables. Eat Pray Love earned $12 million this weekend, well off of the $23.1 million the novel-based film earned last weekend. The drop came in at 48%, much higher than I expected. On the other had, one could look at last year's Julie and Julia and rationalize the result. The eventual $94 million earner opened to $20.1 million last year and dropped 40% in its second weekend to $12.1 million – so if we consider that the first weekend of Eat Pray Love got the extra $3 million due to Julia Roberts or the wildly popular novel it's based on, it could be settling into the Julie and Julia pattern. We will know for sure next weekend, as Julie and Julia fell only 27% in its third frame. For now, the $60 million Eat Pray Love has taken in $47.1 million stateside, as is going to be another film that does quite well overseas.

Weird fact #4 about this weekend's box office: Despite being ranked as one of the lowest of the five openers heading into the weekend, Lottery Ticket is second best, and finished fourth at the overall weekend box office. Lottery Ticket earned $11.1 million despite being our only opener debuting in fewer than 2,000 venues. While this doesn't hold a candle to a Tyler Perry flick, the urban comedy still did okay, especially given its tiny production budget of only $17 million. While African-American comedies do have a tendency to drop off rather quickly, Lottery Ticket is still going to end up as a win for Warner Bros.


Fifth spot goes to Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and The Other Guys, and there just isn't a weird fact about this one. Now in its third weekend, The Other Guys earned another $10.1 million, and after a 51% plunge last weekend, sees things get a little bit better as it falls 42%. After debuting to excellent reviews and $35.5 million in sales, The Other Guys has been trumped by The Expendables, and now has to work to reach $100 million. Due to busy summer weekdays, The Other Guys should still hit the century mark, as it has a total so far of $88.2 million.

Weird fact #5 about this weekend's box office: At the time of this writing, Piranha 3D has the best reviews of all the films in the top ten this weekend, save one - Inception. Still, it's ahead of Eat Pray Love and Nanny McPhee Returns. Who would have thought that a campy 3D film about man-eating piranhas would have such good reviews? Unfortunately, that has yet to show a return on investment, as Piranha 3D finishes sixth with a take of $10 million. I thought Piranha 3D might find the same audience as Snakes on a Plane ($15.2 million) and then add the 15% 3D mark up to that, but alas, it didn't. What it did find was 39 positive reviews out of a possible 47, and with that, an amazing fresh rating of 83% at RottenTomatoes. We now likely have seen the birth of two major cult classics released back to back this August, as Scott Pilgrim should see that same status by the end of its run. Also, Piranha 3D may not be dead yet, as word-of-mouth could prop it up for a couple of weekends. Piranha 3D cost Dimension Films only $24 million to make, so it could still see a profit before it's done.

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