Box Office Top Heavy With Three Strong Openers
By John Hamann
November 7, 2010
Finishing a closer than expected second is Due Date, the new comedy featuring Robert Downey Jr. (once reported to be the lead in Megamind), as well as Zach Galifinakis and Todd Phillips, one of the stars and the director of The Hangover. Warner Bros. was looking to catch that Hangover magic again ($45 million opening, $277 million finish) with Due Date, and while it didn't match that opening weekend, we have to remember it's November, not early June. Due Date did quite well this weekend, earning $33.5 million from 3,355 venues, giving it a venue average of $9,985. Tracking was looking for $30 million, and improving on that number this early in November has to be considered a win for the studio. Due Date was not a cheap film to make, as some comedies are these days. Due Date cost Warner Bros. $65 million to get to theaters (sans-marketing), a number this one won't begin to see for another weekend.
Why did this one not behave more like a sequel to The Hangover? Because it's not Hangover 2. Seriously, Due Date and The Hangover are very different films, with Due Date using that Dinner for Schmucks/The Office type of "uncomfortable" humor, and The Hangover going for the more straight ahead laughs. Critics weren't impressed, and I imagine word-of-mouth will be similar. Of the 126 reviews counted at RottenTomatoes, only 49 were fresh, giving Due Date a fresh rating of only 39%. That's about a mile away from the 79% fresh rating that The Hangover got. Regardless, the opening is decent – on par with films like Sex and the City 2 ($31 million), The Other Guys ($35.5 million), and Couples Retreat ($34 million).
For Colored Girls opens in third, as Tyler Perry sees another strong opening, his zillionth consecutive hit. For Colored Girls earned $20.1 million this weekend from 2,127 venues, which is a fairly typical screen count for Perry. With the low venue count, the For Colored Girls screen average of $9,450 is competitive with Due Date's average ($9,985). The opening is close to Perry's average (about $25 million), which is somewhat surprising given the topics discussed in this drama (rape, abortion). The cast is a who's who of leading black actresses, including Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton and Macy Gray, which may have helped put butts in seats. Knowing how Perry films play out, it will likely be a $50 million finish for Lionsgate and For Colored Girls, well ahead of the $21 million production cost. Of the openers this weekend, For Colored Girls will see profitability first.
Holdovers also create some interest this weekend. Red, after finishing $12 million behind Saw 3D, and $6 million behind Paranormal Activity 2, passes both horror flicks to finish fourth. The leggy Red took in another $8.9 million this weekend – its fourth – and drops only 17%. The $60 million Summit Entertainment flick has now earned a very respectable $71.9 million, and I'm still looking for this one to make it to $90 million.
After finishing in top spot last weekend with $22.5 million, Saw 3D lands in fifth in its second frame. Saw 3D earned only $8.2 million and dropped a painful 66%, a big drop even for Saw standards. The last Saw film dropped 63%, moving from $14.1 to $5.3 million. Like all post-Halloween weekends over the last seven years, Lionsgate isn't too upset. Already their $20 million film has earned $38.8 million, and it will make a similar amount or more overseas.