Weekend Wrap-Up

Potter Obliterates Dark Knight Record

By John Hamann

July 17, 2011

Awesomeness defined.

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Third is Horrible Bosses, which should be a very leggy comedy for the folks at Warner Bros. It had a solid debut weekend, strong reviews and good Cinemascores – and is also following a long line of R-rated comedies that have seen low second weekend drops. After debuting to $28.3 million last weekend, Bosses turned in a score of only $17.6 million this weekend, as it falls 38%. The Potter Squeeze has pulled Horrible Bosses out of the big theatres, and likely moved it to smaller venues. Potter may have killed any momentum it had, as next weekend, another R-rated comedy shows up, this time, Friends with Benefits with Justin Timberlake and an emerging Mila Kunis. Nonetheless, Bosses is going to be another huge success for an R-rated comedy, as this one had a production budget of $35 million and has now earned $60 million. Different scheduling might have made it bigger.

Fourth is Zookeeper, Sony's $80 million gamble on Kevin James and talking animals. Sony would have been looking for a leggy family movie, but parking it the weekend before Harry Potter may not have been the best move. Zookeeper earned $12.3 million in its second weekend and dropped 39%. While not disastrous, this is another film suffering more than it had to due to its placement on the schedule. That $80 million budget is now in jeopardy, as the Happy Madison production has now pulled in $42.4 million and looks to top out around $85 million.

Fifth goes to Cars 2, as it gets creamed by Potter, and only continues the lore of the worst Pixar release ever. Cars 2 earned $8.3 million in its fourth weekend and dove 44%. Following its soft $66 million opening, Cars 2 has dropped 60%, 42% (but that was a long weekend), and now 44% - basically the opposite of the usual Pixar release. Cars 2 has now earned $165.3 million on the domestic front, and could be the first Pixar film not to reach $200 million since A Bug's Life earned $163 million in 1998. Talk about breaking a streak. Luckily, the $200 million film will be saved by overseas grosses, as it has already passed the $125 million mark internationally.

Newcomer Winnie the Pooh shows up for the kids that might be a little too young for Harry Potter. The old-school, hand-drawn animation actually worked okay, taking in $8 million over its first weekend. It debuted at 2,405 venues and had a weekend average of $3,326. This is much better than the last Pooh film, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, which opened to $5.8 million in February of 2005. Critics said that this is a better film than the Heffalump, and it performed better. I believe Disney did their film a service by opening it against Potter, one that took a lot of cojones. Disney made Winnie the Pooh for $30 million, and could make that much domestically, but Pooh is a worldwide star, as Heffalump almost doubled the domestic take overseas. Look for Pooh to be a quiet winner at the box office.


Bad Teacher falls to seventh this weekend, and is another in a long line of films with bigger drops this weekend than last. The very successful Bad Teacher earned $5.2 million in its fourth weekend, and dropped 42%. That's really where the bad news ends for this one, as it cost $20 million to make, and has a running total so far of $88.5 million.

Larry Crowne holds onto a top ten spot as it pulls in $2.6 million this weekend. It dropped a woeful 57% - despite being potential counter-programming against Potter. The $30 million Hanks/Roberts film has now earned $31.6 million.

Ninth is Super 8. It earned $1.9 million and fell 60%. The $50 million Spielberg/Abrams production has now earned $122.2 million domestic, and another $50 million overseas. While Super 8 may not be the usual Spielbergian $250 million earner, this one should be considered a huge success, as it had many things working against it.

Finally in tenth is Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's critically and financially successful movie that transports viewers through a fantasy of France. The Owen Wilson starrer earned $1.9 million and falls only 28%. So far, this film has earned $41.8 million and is easily the best box office performer of Allen's long and storied career.

Overall, thanks to the one and only Harry Potter, the box office finally sees a big bounce compared to last year. A year ago, the year's best picture, Inception, was on top with $62 million, and the top 12 films earned $171.4 million, or, a similar amount to what Potter did by itself this weekend. That means that this year's top 12 brought in an amazing $253.7 million. Next weekend, Captain America will try to best the second weekend of Deathly Hallows, and Friends with Benefits will try and squeeze out some success.

Top Weekend Box Office for 7/15/11-7/17/11 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 WARNER BROS. $168,550,000 New $168,550,000
2 Transformers: Dark of the Moon Paramount $21,250,000 -55% $302,800,000
3 Horrible Bosses New Line Cinema $17,630,000 - 38% $60,002,000
4 Zookeeper SONY $12,300,000 -39% $42,352,000
5 Cars 2 Walt Disney Pictures $8,344,000 - 45% $165,326,000
6 Winnie the Pooh WALT DISNEY $8,000,000 New $8,000,000
7 Bad Teacher Sony/Columbia $5,200,000 - 42% $88,500,000
8 Larry Crowne Universal $2,572,875 - 57% $31,627,885
9 Super 8 Paramount $1,925,000 - 60% $122,242,000
10 Midnight in Paris Sony Pictures Classics $1,890,585 - 28% $41,792,695
11 Bridesmaids Universal $1,682,960 - 36.0% $161,290,335
12 Mr. Popper's Penguins Twentieth Century Fox $1,350,000 - 57% $61,454,661
  Also Opening/Notables
  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight $135,619 New $135,619
  Tabloid IFC Films $92,000 New $92,000
  Life Above All Sony Classics $14,328 New $14,328
  Beats, Rhymes & Life: the Travels of a Tribe Called Quest Sony Classics $135,000 +21 $291,000
  Project Nim Roadside Attractions $51,000 +98% $90,000
  Sholem Aleichem Int'l Film Circuit $23,000 +14% $62,000
  Monte Carlo Twentieth Century Fox $1,300,000 - 66% $20,092,023
  Green Lantern Warner Bros. Pictures $1,250,000 - 60.0% $112,680,000
  The Tree of Life FOX SEARCHLIGHT $625,000 -21% $10,088,766
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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