Weekend Wrap-Up

Propaganda Profitable as Valor Rules Oscar Weekend

By John Hamann

February 26, 2012

Go over there and count our money!

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This Means War spends its second weekend of release in seventh, as it is thankful that the other two new releases imploded this weekend. This Means War, which opened last weekend to $17.4 million, dropped a nasty 51% in its second weekend, earning only $8.5 million. Considering the star power here (Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy), 20th Century Fox must be somewhat disappointed that this one is likely not going to match its production budget ($65 million) with its domestic gross. Overseas will likely again save a film like this, but it will be a long slog. Give This Means War $33.6 million on the domestic side so far, but it will likely be out of the top ten come March 9th.

The Paul Rudd/Jennifer Aniston release, Wanderlust, gets buried this weekend, as it finishes eighth. With reviews mixed at best and a marketing campaign that couldn't pick this one up, Wanderlust is lost, earning only $6.6 million. Universal released it to only 2,002 venues, so the writing was on the wall to begin with. The studio paid $32.5 million to produce this one, and it will be lucky to earn $20 million. Even worse, this is Paul Rudd's third consecutive film that failed to open above $7.5 million, as the under-valued Our Idiot Brother failed to get beyond $7 million, and How Do You Know tanked with $7.5 million against that mighty $120 million budget.

Ninth is Gone, which is an apt title for the Amanda Seyfried flick. With little to no marketing and a premise that made it look like Red Riding Hood (without the costumes), this one was destined to fail. Gone earned a disastrous $5 million for Summit Entertainment, and is another film whose fate was sealed with the venue count, as it was released to only 2,186 screens. Made for $28 million, Gone will be lucky to earn $15 million.


Finally in tenth is The Secret World of Arrietty, the Studio Ghibli film that is receiving stellar reviews - the only film in the top ten to do so. Arrietty earned $4.5 million and fell a not-bad 30%, especially considering that its total for last weekend would have been inflated thanks to the holiday. So far, The Secret World of Arrietty has earned $14.7 million domestically, plus more than $125 million overseas.

Overall, numbers are slightly better than they were last year, but the trend moving forward in 2012 is likely not good. A year ago over Oscar weekend, Hall Pass led the way, earning only $13.5 million at number one. That weekend, the top 12 films earned $96.1 million. This year, the top 12 earned $115.8 million, but is filled with titles that are going to plummet next weekend. That's going to leave a lot of room for Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, and Project X, two films that could cash in (for different reasons) next weekend.

Top Weekend Box Office for 2/24/12-2/26/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Act of Valor Relativity $24,700,000 New $24,700,000
2 Good Deeds Lionsgate $16,000,000 New $16,000,000
3 Journey 2: the Mysterious Island WARNER BROS. $13,475,000 - 32% $76,731,000
4 Safe House Universal $11,368,700 - 52% $98,065,260
5 The Vow SONY $10,000,000 - 57% $103,007,000
6 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance SONY $8,800,000 - 60% $37,832,000
7 This Means War 20th Century Fox $8,500,000 - 51% $33,570,636
8 Wanderlust Universal Pictures $6,626,620 New $6,626,620
9 Gone Summit Entertainment $5,000,000 New $5,000,000
10 The Secret World of Arrietty WALT DISNEY $4,503,000 - 30% $14,660,000
11 Chronicle Fox $3,705,000 - 51% $58,004,927
12 Star Wars: Episode 10 the Phantom Menace 3d Fox $3,100,000 - 61% $40,369,630
  Also Opening/Notables
  Goon Alliance $1,250,000 New $1,250,000
  The Forgiveness of Blood IFC Films $28,000 New $28,000
  Tomorrow, When the War Began Freestyle $4,800 New $4,800
  Undefeated Weinstein Co. $20,135 - 39% $71,017
  Bullhead Drafthouse Films $41,300 + 28% $94,631
  In Darkness Sony Classics $91,352 + 11% $280,777
  Chico & Rita G Kids $40,000 + 30% $117,000
  The Woman In Black Cbs Films $2,730,000 - 59% $50,459,000
  The Iron Lady The Weinstein Company $704,000 - 34% $25,730,597
  The Artist The Weinstein Company $3,000,000 + 23% $31,973,799
  The Descendants Fox Searchlight $2,200,000 - 25% $78,526,693
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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