Weekend Wrap-Up

Long Weekend Openers No Help For Box Office

By John Hamann

September 4, 2011

Let's have a conversation about the definition of 'demure'.

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Fourth goes to Shark Night 3D from Relativity Media. Shark Night 3D splits the Labor Day horror demographic in two, as this one and Apollo 18 are almost two of a kind, except where it counts – budget. Shark Night 3D grossed only $8.6 million against a $30 million budget, and is going to cost its studio where Apollo 18 won't. Also embargoed against critics (it wouldn't be Labor Day weekend without a good old fashioned embargo), it is equally as bad as Apollo 18, but audiences like it a little bit better, given its C Cinemascore. After Piranha 3D opened to $10.1 million and finished with $25 million stateside, one might think studios would think twice; however, Piranha 3D earned almost $60 milllion overseas, which means we are stuck with this crap forever. If there is good news, it's that both Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D will be out of the top ten in milliseconds.

Next is the battle between holdovers for fifth and sixth, as Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Colombiana duke it out. 20th Century Fox's Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes out on top as it falls to fifth. Rise earned another $7.8 million and dropped only 12%. Rise has become one of the good news stories of the summer, as along with The Help, it has dominated the month of August. It's very rare for two good films to roll like this through the summer months. The $93 million Apes has now earned $160 million stateside, and slightly more than that overseas.

Columbiana places sixth with $7.4 million, off a not bad 29% compared to last weekend. A few factors affect the percentage drop, much like The Help, including the fact that some folks weren't able to get out and check out the lovely Zoe Saldana serving up some uber-violence last weekend. Also, this one gets a leg up from the long weekend, which help the percentage drop stay well above 50%. After 10 days of release, Colombiana has earned $22 million against a $40 million budget for Sony.

Sadly, Our Idiot Brother drops to seventh, as the Paul Rudd comedy fails to find any traction. After debuting last weekend to only $7 million, Idiot held fine, but still earned just $5.2 million while dropping 26%. Like Apollo 18, this one cost the Weinsteins $5 million, but they are stuck paying a fairly hefty marketing bill. Give Idiot Brother $15.9 million so far.


Don't Be Afraid of the Dark gets dropped on its head, as despite the long weekend and the storm in the last session, this one still falls hard. Afraid earned $4.9 million this weekend and dropped 42%. The $25 million FilmDistrict pick up has now pulled in only $16.4 million.

Ninth and tenth are kids' films, and not particularly good ones. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World earned $4.6 million and dropped 23%. It has a cume of $29 million against a $27 million budget. The best news is in tenth, as this is likely the last time I will write about those freaking Smurfs. That film earned $4 million and dropped 16%. The Smurfs have earned more than they have any right to. Really. Way more.

Overall this weekend, the box office is in a dark place, but we will hopefully be saved next weekend by Contagion. The top 12 films could muster only $80.8 million, which is identical to the number that last year's films made. Next weekend, things look up. We have Contagion with Matt Damon, Gwyneth, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Bryan Cranston, and Warrior, the extremely well reviewed MMA flick from Lionsgate.

Top Weekend Box Office for 9/2/11-9/4/11 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Help DreamWorks $14,209,000 -2% $118,600,000
2 The Debt Focus Features $9,677,278 New $11,500,000
3 Apollo 18 Weinstein Co. $8,700,000 New $8,700,000
4 Shark Night 3d Relativity $8,640,000 New $8,640,000
5 Rise of the Planet of the Apes Twentieth Century Fox $7,800,000 -12% $160,024,693
6 Colombiana Sony/Columbia $7,400,000 -29% $22,000,000
7 Our Idiot Brother Weinstein Co. $5,182,000 -26% $15,917,000
8 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Miramax $4,941,355 -42% $16,381,544
9 Spy Kids: All the Time In the World Weinstein Co. $4,637,000 -23% $29,036,000
10 The Smurfs Paramount $4,000,000 -16% $131,953,000
11 Crazy, Stupid, Love Warner Bros. $3,220,000 +4% $74,428,000
12 Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part 2 WARNER BROS. $2,425,000 -5% $374,580,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Saving Private Perez Lionsgate $670,000 New $670,000
  A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Sony Pictures Classics $115,000 New $115,000
  Insight Check Entertainment $9,200 New $9,200
  Higher Ground Sony Pictures Classics $97,645 +354% $141,229
  Conan the Barbarian Warner Bros. $1,400,000 -56% $19,617,590
  Fright Night DreamWorks $1,214,000 -61% $16,976,000
  30 Minutes or Less Sony/Columbia $1,700,000 -37% $34,898,000
  Cowboys & Aliens Universal $1,819,271 -23% $96,200,426
  Captain America: The First Avenger Paramount Pictures $1,810,000 -19% $171,500,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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