Rio, Scream 4 Fail to Ignite Box Office
By John Hamann
April 17, 2011
Finishing second this weekend is Scream 4, the Weinstein/Wes Craven attempt at rebooting the franchise, and launching another trilogy – I guess if they show repeats on TV, they can do it at theaters as well. I have been curious to see how this one would do, and Scream 4 did about what was expected, opening to $19.3 million from 3,305 venues. It had an average of $5,833. This is the same "not lame enough to be a disappointment, not good enough to be a big success" that we've seen all year, and have seen this weekend with Rio. The debut is well off the low $30 million openings we saw from Scream 2 and 3, but that was more than ten years ago. To me, the long dead Scream franchise is much like the long dead Tron franchise – the sequel is better in my head than it is at the movies, and should have stayed dead.
Scream 4 cost The Weinstein Company only $40 million to make, so with this opening we will likely see more sequels (hurrah). Wes Craven has always been able to keep costs down on the Scream movies – the first earned $103 million domestic against a $15 million budget. The series has also been notorious for sturdy legs – the first earned an opening-to-total multiplier of 16.2 – Avatar's was a little less than 10. Scream 4 will likely not have the same legs as the earlier films – the CinemaScore is reported to be a B-, and the film is 58% fresh at RottenTomatoes.
Finishing third is Hop, which has had its ass handed to it once some different product – aimed at the exact same demographic – showed up. Hop earned only $11.2 million this weekend, after delivering a $21.3 million sophomore frame last weekend. That gives the poorly reviewed rabbit movie a weekend-to-weekend drop of 48%, which follows a 43% plunge last weekend. The nice thing for Universal is that Hop was not expensive, costing the studio only $63 million to make, a figure it reached last weekend. Hop has now earned $82.6 million stateside, and is just getting started overseas. Hop will finish just beyond the $100 million mark on the domestic front.
The faith-based release, Soul Surfer, had decent legs this weekend as it finishes in fourth place. The inspirational surfing movie from Sony and FilmDistrict earned $7.4 million this weekend after debuting last weekend with $10.6 million. It dropped 30%, and in reality could have earned less than it did this weekend over its entire run had it not been for a creative marketing plan aimed at church youth groups. Soul Surfer cost Sony, FilmDistrict and partners $16 million to make, and has earned $20 million so far. It should approach $40 million on the domestic front.
Hanna, after finishing a surprise second last weekend, finishes fifth this weekend. Hanna was supposed to be the cult/leggy holdover, but lags behind somewhat, likely due to the appearance of Scream 4. The Joe Wright film had a sophomore take of $7.3 million. Hanna dipped 41% compared to last weekend, which is on par for an action tale. The $30 million Focus Features release has taken in $23.3 million after 10 days of release.