Weekend Wrap-Up

Jump Street Hides Quiet Box Office

By John Hamann

March 18, 2012

This is going to work out great for them. No, really.

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Finishing second is Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, Universal's very popular Spring Break release. After two weekends at number one, the inevitable happened this weekend, as The Lorax slips to number two. Despite the drop, The Lorax is still rolling, as the $70 million film earned another $22.8 million and slipped 41%. That's a slight improvement over last weekend's 45% drop against John Carter, and follows a series of strong weekdays where every weekday was bigger than the week previous, except for Monday. The Lorax now has a running total of $158.4 million, and may approach $200 million plus in North America. It has earned more in three weeks than Horton Hears A Who did over its entire run ($154.5 million), becoming the second-biggest Dr. Seuss film, behind only The Grinch, which earned $260 million.

Third spot goes to John Carter, the film that is getting hammered in the mainstream press. After opening to $30.2 million last weekend – a result that wasn't all that bad – John Carter really flamed out this weekend, as the Disney release earned only $13.5 million. That gives the $250 million film a scathing drop of 55% - one from which it won't recover. Now, with the writing squarely on the wall for this one, it is looking like an overall $65 million North American take, which means the overseas box office is really going to have to perform. Last weekend, Disney reported that John Carter took in $70.6 million in international venues, and if its able to earn three times that overseas, it would find $210 million, and adding the domestic gross to that makes the overall result for John Carter not all that bad. I would much rather have the rights to a film like that than a film like How Do You Know, which earned $48.7 million worldwide, against a production budget of $120 million. John Carter has a domestic gross of $53.2 million so far.


The box office goes off a cliff as we drop to fourth, as no film beyond number three could muster more than $5 million.

Fourth goes to Project X, the found footage party movie. Project X got hammered by 21 Jump Street, and was only able to earn $4 million from 2,922 theaters. Project X dropped a serious 64% compared to last weekend, but Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips have already made their money. As the film has a found footage concept and stars nobody, production costs came in at only $12 million. As of Sunday, this one has earned $48.1 million in North America alone. While it won't finish huge for Warner Bros., it will be profitable enough to consider a sequel.

Eddie Murphy proves the box office is slow this weekend as A Thousand Words manages a fifth place finish, despite having a 0% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes. After opening to $6.2 million last weekend, Words dropped 39% this weekend on its way to $3.8 million. Please tell your friends that this movie is so bad its been on the shelf for YEARS. Somehow Paramount has turned a $40 million, straight-to-Netflix release, into a gross so far of $12.1 million – more than it ever had any right to earn.

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