Sunday, March 01, 2009

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: In Your Face, Jonas Brothers!

Last year around this time, a certain teen queen unleashed her “Best of Both Worlds” concert to theatres in 3D. Having been billed as an exclusive one-week engagement, little girls everywhere came out in droves to catch Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus do her split personality thing up on screen to the tune of over $30 million. A year has passed and the smart folks at Disney decided to get another teen sensation back on the screen in 3D, only to find that audiences would opt to watch a man in grandma drag go to jail instead.

No, THE JONAS BROTHERS: 3D CONCERT EXPERIENCE could not topple TYLER PERRY’S MADEA GOES TO JAIL at the box office this weekend. This is even after Perry’s most successful film to date suffered a 60% drop over last week. Worse yet, the young Jonas siblings opened on almost twice the screens as Montana/Cyrus did and made less than half the cash. There was no urgency to catch the show opening weekend with some looming empty threat that the film would only be playing for a week, mind you. (It should be noted that as soon as Montana brought in the green last year, the one-week engagement was extended indefinitely.) It was a solid showing but it seems to me that there must have been a lot of little girls who just decided to stay home. Besides, the Jonas Brothers that big and in your face, 3D styles, would be pretty frightening, I think. For a boy band, they’re really not that cute … or profitable apparently.

Last week’s winner of 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, saw its already impressive gross improve another 45% this week. Albeit not my pick for Best Picture of the year, this is clearly the people’s favorite. In its 16th week in theatres, it shows no signs of stopping. It is Fox Searchlight’s first Best Picture winner and it is now their widest release to date. The Danny Boyle film has plenty more market internationally to conquer, home video sales still ahead and it will certainly surpass THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON to become the highest grossing Best Picture nominee from this year.

A couple of other big Oscar winners saw serious gains this week too. Both added hundreds of screens to capitalize on their Oscar visibility and both saw promising results well into their domestic runs. Audience favorite, Kate Winslet, took home the Best Actress Oscar for THE READER and the Weinstein Company sleeper hit saw its grosses increase 10% over last week for a grand total of just over $27 million. Not bad for a movie that seemed doomed to fall away into obscurity until it garnered five surprise Oscar nods. Focus Features’ MILK earned Oscars for Best Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black) and Best Actor (Sean Penn) did even better, increasing 37% over last week and bringing its cume over $30 million 14 weeks into its domestic run. Both other Best Picture nominees, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and FROST/NIXON saw its returns dwindle this week as neither garnered any serious screen time during the telecast.

You don’t have to be an Oscar winner to perform well in limited release though. Foreign Language Oscar losers, THE CLASS and WALTZ WITH BASHIR continued to see their grosses grow despite missing out on the crown. And in completely non-Oscar related news, Joaquin Phoenix’s supposedly last film, TWO LOVERS, tacked on about 60 screens and soared over 500% and critical darling, GOMORRA, improved over 140% over last week with an average that would rival any title in the Top 10. You don’t want to mess with the GORMORRA boys.

NEXT WEEK: Everyone will be watching to see if THE WATCHMEN is worth all of this overblown hype as it opens on over 3500 screens. Given that there are no other wide releases expected next weekend, I guess people think it’s going to be big. The question now is how big but my question is rather why anyone cares at all.

Source: Box Office Mojo


Bdubs said...

I wonder if the bad economy has anything to do with the Jonas Brothers not doing so well at the box office. Or maybe they stink, I'm not sure. I never listen to the music, but maybe that's because I'm not a 12 year old girl. ;-)

Black Sheep said...

The box office has been enjoying record numbers all year despite the economic crisis. Perhaps Hannah Montana's success last year was a total fluke. In general, concert films do not do big business. After all, the Jonas Brothers numbers are still the second biggest opening weekend for a concert film in history. That's still something.