Sunday, April 12, 2009

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Fast Hannah, Furious Diesel

The first time I was ever asked to write a box office report was around this same time last year. I had to report how Miley Cyrus and her alter ego, Hannah Montana, had broken new ground for 3D pictures and concert flicks alike when the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS concert took in over $31 million in what was supposed to be a limited engagement. Taking advantage of the Easter weekend, Disney has unleashed the Cyrus’s first big screen adventure, HANNAH MONTANA THE MOVIE, and proved that you don’t need to lie about limited runs to get people out on opening weekend.

Box office prognosticators debated all week whether HANNAH MONTANA THE MOVIE would be able to topple last week’s unexpected juggernaut, FAST AND FURIOUS. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker may appeal to the ladies out there but the ladies are no match for tween girls. FAST AND FURIOUS managed an almost respectable 60% drop this weekend but its fate was officially sealed when HANNAH MONTANA debuted to $17 million, the biggest opening day ever for a G-rated non-animated film. That one day accounted for 50% of the final weekend gross and allowed America’s newest underage sweetheart to easily slide past F&F’s $28 million. In other holdover news, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS performed strongly in its third week, thanks surely to many kids having Friday off.

Audiences and critics were essentially split on whether OBSERVE AND REPORT was horrifically offensive or hilarious. Either way, this latest Seth Rogen vehicle is his weakest opening besides last fall’s disappointment, ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO. The bad press on this one will likely ring louder than those who actually enjoyed it given the gravity of how offensive it has the potential to be so a quick decline is to be expected. Even though it did debut higher than ZACK AND MIRI, I would expect OBSERVE AND REPORT to gross less in the long run. The week’s only other Top 10 debut belonged to DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION. None too surprisingly, the film fizzled but it had already made over $25 million internationally prior to this domestic release so all is not lost.

The week’s best per screen average belonged to ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL. This well received rockumentary tells the story of two Canadian buddies who made a promise to rock out forever together and have never gone back on that promise. Playing on three screens in all of North America, the film pulled in a decent $11K average. Meanwhile, quirky indie, LYMELIFE, starring Alec Baldwin and Rory Culkin, pulled in an average of over $7K on four screens.

NEXT WEEK: CRANK:HIGH VOLTAGE (2200 screens) will try to make as much as money as possible before its heart explodes; and even though STATE OF PLAY (2700 screens) boasts a cast including Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren, I’m pretty sure none of them have as much appeal these days Mr. High School Musical himself, Zac Efron, whose first major starring vehicle, 17 AGAIN debuts on over 3000 screens. Screaming girls everywhere will flock to see him; I may join them.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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