Weekend Wrap-Up for September 10-12, 2010

Box Office Dead, But There Is Afterlife

By John Hamann

September 12, 2010

The future's so bright, he's got to throw his shades.

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The rest of the top ten makes me want to be sick, as we don't have a returning film grossing more than $6 million (yes, I'm in a mood). Too often I talk about how studios are too dependent on release dates – had some studio released a decent film this weekend – hell if they had RE-released a decent film this weekend, it would have had a chance at a top ten spot, but no, we are left with what are quickly becoming rancid leftovers.

Number two this weekend is either the The American with the D- Cinemascore, or Takers, three-weekends old and carrying its 30% fresh rating. Both of these films NEVER should have opened at number one (they both did) or had a second weekend in the top three (uh-huh), but here we are. This weekend, Takers is listed in second, and again the studio should be commended for turning crap into gold via a smart release strategy over a stupid period on the calendar. Takers earned $6.1 million this weekend and was off 44%, however, Screen Gems has turned what should have been a direct to the Walmart $3.99 bin into a minor (and I emphasize minor) hit. Takers cost Screen Gems $32 million to make and it has earned $48.1 million. Why? Because there was nothing else to see.

The American is currently listed at number three. The George Clooney snoozer earned $5.9 million and dropped 55% from its $13 million win last weekend. This is an adult drama being sold as a thriller and it dropped more than 50% over what will be the slowest weekend of the year. This is a box office paradox, but everything is this weekend. Give The American $28.3 million after two weekends, and give a win to Focus Features, who will have a financial success with this one, despite it being – at best- an expensive arthouse flick.

Our next match-up is between two very different films, Machete and Going the Distance. It's somewhat of a surprise these two are facing off, as Machete beat Distance by about $5 million last weekend. Current estimates have Machete on top with a weekend gross of $4.2 million, good for fourth. The drop was huge, coming in at 63%, but somewhat expected. Grindhouse, which Machete is a child of, also dropped 63% in its second weekend (and 68% in its third). Machete was made for $20 million, and has now earned $20.8 million domestically.

Going the Distance is fifth, as the Drew Barrymore/Justin Long snoozefest has a so-so hold. Distance earned $3.8 million this weekend and drops 44%. The drop won't help much in the long run, as the budget for this Warner Bros. flick came in at $32 million, and it has so far grossed $14 million. We have four new releases next weekend, and three the week after, so this turd is going to get flushed pretty quick.

The Other Guys manages to hang on in the top ten for a sixth weekend, despite there being no real reason for this to happen. The Other Guys earned another $3.6 million this weekend and fell 32%. The $100 million Sony release has now earned $112.7 million.


The Last Exorcism gets filleted this weekend, much like it did last weekend when it dropped 64%. The cheap Lionsgate pickup earned another $3.4 million this weekend, and dropped a loud 53%. Give the $1.8 million film a domestic total of $38.1 million so far.

The Expendables continues to wander toward a $100 million domestic total, but it will have to wait until it's out of the top ten to do it. The Expendables earned $3.2 million this weekend, and dropped 51%. It has earned $98.5 million domestic, and over $125 million overseas.

The nine-weekend-old Inception continues to earn, as it pulled in another $3 million this weekend. The $160 million Warner Bros. film has now earned a remarkable $282.4 million stateside, and $425 million overseas, which means it has crossed the $700 million mark worldwide.

Eat Pray Love manages another top ten weekend. The five-weekend-old Julia Roberts flick earned $2.9 million this weekend and dropped 40%. The $60 million Sony flick has now earned $74.6 million, and hasn't seen a foreign release as of yet.

As discussed above, the top 12 total is abysmal, coming in at $68 million. Its not even worth comparing to last year (but if you want to, those films earned $76.2 million). Let's hope next weekend shakes the dust off the box office. New openers include the horror flick Devil, Easy A, an intelligent looking high school film (is that possible?), The Town, from director and star Ben Affleck, and a Lionsgate film I've never heard of, Alpha and Omega.

Top Weekend Box Office for 9/10/10-9/12/10 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Resident Evil: Afterlife Screen Gems (Sony) $27,700,000 $26,650,264 - 3.8% $26,650,264
2 Takers Screen Gems (Sony) $6,100,000 $5,675,611 - 7.0% $47,680,783
3 The American Focus Features $5,895,806 $5,674,240 New $28,111,358
4 Machete Fox $4,200,000 $4,294,120 New $20,916,709
5 Going the Distance Warner Bros. Pictures $3,835,000 $3,788,222 - 1.2% $13,952,322
6 The Other Guys Columbia Pictures (Sony) $3,600,000 $3,347,995 - 7.0% $112,442,408
7 The Last Exorcism Lionsgate $3,450,000 $3,322,853 - 3.7% $38,062,322
8 The Expendables Lionsgate $3,250,000 $3,223,651 - 0.8% $98,466,264
9 Eat Pray Love Sony/Columbia $2,900,000 $2,928,256 + 1.0% $74,660,964
10 Inception Warner Bros. Pictures $3,015,000 $2,802,390 - 7.1% $282,211,978
11 Nanny McPhee Returns Universal Pictures $2,021,220 $2,080,315 + 2.9% $26,281,045
12 The Switch Miramax $2,028,000 $2,001,103 - 1.3% $25,005,832
  Also Opening/Notables
  Dabangg Eros N/A $628,137 New $628,137
  Legendary Samuel Goldwyn $128,000 $126,964 New $126,964
  I'm Still Here Magnolia $100,000 $100,000 New $100,000
  De Mai Tinh (fool For Love) Variance $52,800 $49,313 New $49,313
  The Romantics Four of a Kind Productions $45,000 $45,527 New $45,527
  Bran Nue Dae Freestyle $26,960 $23,527 New $23,527
  Genius Within: the Inner Life of Glenn Gould Lorber Films N/A $17,034 New $17,034
  Ahead of Time Vitagraph $11,750 $12,790 New $12,790
  Hideaway (le Refuge) Strand N/A $11,124 New $11,124
  The Trial Mountain Top Releasing N/A $8,957 New $8,957
  Who Is Harry Nilsson? Lorber Films N/A $6,078 New $6,078
  Lovely, Still N/A $4,584 New $18,048
  A Woman, a Gun, a Noodle Shop Sony Classics $30,434 $28,501 New $70,577
  The Tillman Story Weinstein Co. $89,630 $83,970 New $422,275
  Get Low $1,006,398 $864,834 - 14.1% $6,912,937
  Flipped Warner Bros. $490,000 $481,438 - 1.7% $1,264,515
  Despicable Me Universal Pictures $1,498,750 $1,657,100 + 10.6% $243,531,970
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
Continued:       1       2



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