Sunday, August 09, 2009

Black Sheep @ The Box Office: Yo Joe!

I don’t think anyone can say they didn’t see this coming. G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA has debuted atop the North American box office chart, just as everyone presumed it would. When it comes to an obvious blockbuster like this one, the real question is not whether it will come out on top but really more so by how much. With a $56 million start, Hasbro and Paramount can rest peacefully knowing they’ve launched another successful franchise. And knowing is half the battle …

G.I. JOE solidified its success on Friday when it debuted to a single day gross of over $22 million, the fifth highest of any film this summer. This amount was also almost more than last week’s box office champ, FUNNY PEOPLE, brought in all weekend. This weekend, the firs official Judd Apatow disappointment stumbles more than 65% for a fifth place finish. So with this weekend looking much brighter than last, there was even room for audiences starved for movies to spread the money around. This week’s second debut gives Meryl Streep her third $20+ million summer opening in the last four years. JULIE & JULIA, which co-stars Amy Adams, brought in just over $20 million for a second place opening. While this is a solid start, it is about $7 million lower than Streep’s other summer hits, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and MAMMA MIA!

The week’s only other wide release, the Steve Zahn thriller, THE PERFECT GETAWAY, wasn’t the perfect anything for viewers this weekend. It opened in seventh place and, despite mostly positive reviews, will likely disappear very soon, with very little mystery left to be solved. The Top 10 did see one other debut; in its fourth week, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER expands to over 800 screens and finally earns enough to be seen amongst the elite. The expansion may have eroded its average to about $4.5K per screen but this is still the third largest in the Top 10. Elsewhere in the art-house world, the Charlene Yi/Michael Cera mockumentary, PAPER HEARTS, debuted to an average of $5.4K on 38 screens. It seems to me it should have been higher but there hasn’t been very much publicity for this quirky little film (Black Sheep review coming this week). Two other Black Sheep favorites continued their limited runs with limited success. THE COVE, a must see documentary, added 52 screens and saw its gross balloon by 174% by its average dropped from $17K to under $3K. Don’t miss the Black Sheep interview THE COVE director, Louie Psihoyos. Faring better was the Asperger’s Syndrome romantic comedy, ADAM. It added 16 new screens and maintained an average of $5.2K per screen. This touching film gets the Black Sheep treatment very soon.

NEXT WEEK: It’s a biggie, folks! PAPER HEARTS will commence its expansion next week, hoping to spread the love across the nation. A couple of lower brow comedies hit with modest runs, POOL BOYS starring Matthew Lillard on 400 screens and the Jeremy Piven vehicle, THE GOODS: LIVE HARD, SELL HARD hits 1500 screens. The latest from Hayao Miyazaki, PONYO, enlists huge names in hopes of crossing over on 800 screens. I’m not sure what kind of hard times Lisa Kudrow and David Bowi have fallen on but they are both in the Vanessa Hudgens teen rock comedy, BANDSLAM (2000 screens). Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams travel through time with love in THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE (2700 screens). And finally, one of my favorite movies of the year, DISTRICT 9 unleashes all its alien gooey goodness on 2900 screens. See it!

Source: Box Office Mojo

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