Box Office Lame as Hall Pass, Drive Angry Fail
By John Hamann
February 27, 2011
The other problem Hall Pass had was that it just isn't funny. You know you're in trouble when a Nic Cage 3D flick gets better reviews than yours, and that's exactly what happened with Hall Pass. Of the 93 reviews listed at RottenTomatoes, only 32 were of the decent variety, leaving Hall Pass with a rotten rating of 34% (top critics liked it even less, at 29%). Slate called it misogynistic, while the Washington Post called it “phlegmatically paced” - and these comments are the trend. I expect this one to fold quicker than The Heartbreak Kid, which opened to $14 million and finished with about $37 million. Note to Owen Wilson: Call Wes Anderson, get him moving on his next film – and make it something other than Darjeeling 2.
Finishing in third this is Unknown, Liam Neeson's latest. Before we get into it, let's remember that last weekend was a four-day holiday frame, which means Unknown had no chance to have the second weekend legs that Taken had in 2007. Unknown earned $12.4 million this weekend, and drops 43% from Unknown's #1 $22 million finish last weekend. Taken fell only 17% in its second weekend. Regardless of Taken's success, the drop here for Unknown should still be considered a win. This is an action film, and often following a long weekend, a film like Unknown is going to fall 50% or more, so this should really be viewed as a success. Unknown has already earned a very strong $42.8 million against a budget of only $30 million.
Fourth goes to Just Go With It, the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston comedy. Just Go With It earned another $11.1 million and dropped a not bad 41% compared to last weekend. With Hall Pass now on-site, the Sandler comedy should have suffered more than it did; however, Hall Pass may have lost viewers to Just Go With It. The $80 million Just Go With It has now earned $79.4 million, and could be another contender for $100 million. Someone should thank Brooklyn Decker for this success – no, I will.
I Am Number Four is next up in fifth place. It earned $11 million in its second weekend after debuting last weekend to $19.5 million. It fell 43%, and is now facing the fact that it likely won't earn enough to match its $60 million budget. Alex Pettyfer had better hope than Beastly opens well next weekend, and folks aren't going to remember Number Four, let alone turn it into a franchise. Give the DJ Caruso flick $37.7 million after two weekends of release.
Bieber Fever is alive again (at least it was on Friday) as Paramount has already released a director's cut of the Never Say Never concert film. That must be a record for a release of a director's cut, as the original was only in theaters for 14 days. The cash grab worked, as Never Say Never earned $9.2 million this weekend, off a not bad 31% compared to the long weekend. It's also showing much better legs than the Hannah Montana concert film ever did. The Hannah film fell from $10 million in weekend two to $3 million in weekend three, so Paramount should be ecstatic about the hold. Give Bieber a running total of $62.8 million against a budget of only $13 million.
Oscar finally rears it head in seventh this weekend, as The King's Speech continues its remarkable run. After dropping only 10% in the last frame, the Colin Firth film does even better this weekend, earning $7.6 million and increasing 17%. Oscar night should prove extremely eventful for this one, so expect the current total of $114.5 million to increase further next week and weekend.
Big Momma: Like Stupid and Stupid finishes eighth. It earned $7.5 million and fell a not nearly enough 54%. Give the $30 million Fox film $28.6 million so far. 20th Century Fox should be fined for releasing this trash.
Drive Angry backfires this weekend, as it is quickly becoming apparent to audiences that Nic Cage makes many more bad movies than he makes good ones. Drive Angry actually improves on the norm as far as reviews o, but after Season of the Witch, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, G-Force and Bangkok Dangerous, who is really going to support this guy? Drive Angry was tracking to open in the mid-teens, but instead earns a laughable $5.1 million. Drive Angry was 47% fresh at RottenTomatoes (which should be considered very good for Cage lately), but it didn't compel his audience to pay for a 3D movie ticket. IMDb lists a budget of $50 million – If Drive Angry makes $10 million in theaters, how many $2.99 DVDs will it have to sell at WalMart to be profitable?
Finally in tenth is The Roommate, our number one film four weekends ago. The Roommate earned $2 million this weekend and dropped 49%. The Screen Gems release has now earned $35.9 million.
After an uptick last weekend, the box office goes back to its struggles in this frame. The top 12 earned $97.2 million this weekend, which is pretty awful in comparison to last year's $122.1 during the same frame - a 20% decline. Next weekend should improve things as we have the animated Rango, the Matt Damon sci-fi The Adjustment Bureau, Beastly for teen twilight freaks, and Take Me Home Tonight, an '80s comedy.
||Gnomeo and Juliet
||I Am Number Four
||Walt Disney Pictures
||Just Go With It
||Columbia Pictures (Sony)
||Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
||Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
||Twentieth Century Fox
||The King's Speech
||The Weinstein Company
||The Grace Card
||Of Gods And Men
||Diary of a Country Priest
||Even the Rain
||No Strings Attached
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations