Sunday, November 15, 2009

Black Sheep @ The Box Office: 2012 Flattens the Planet

The end of the world is a popular topic in film and television these days but no picture deals with it more directly or exploits our fear surrounding the subject more than 2012. I don't know what our fascination is with wanting to see potential scenarios for our demise but we are definitely fixed on it - 2012's $225 million global take is the 9th biggest in history. $65 million of that came from its domestic tickets, including my own. I caught the Roland Emmerich hit on Saturday morning and the theatre was packed. Did I mention it was morning? It must be bittersweet for Sony though. They have a huge hit on their hands but no possibility for a sequel.

If I were Oprah, I would be doin' a little dance right now. Her pet project, PRECIOUS, continued to devour everything in its indie path this weekend. After debuting to record breaking figures last week on just 18 screens, it managed to make the Top 5 on just 174 screens this weekend. Maintaining an excellent per screen average of $35K, PRECIOUS is redefining the traditional expectations of art house releases. As its wide release isn't even expected for another couple of weeks, it looks like PRECIOUS is going to be around for a while. Look out, Oscar!

The rest of the Top 10 saw a much needed strong hold for Disney's A CHRISTMAS CAROL, a significant loss of interest in MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT and both PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and COUPLES RETREAT crossed the $100 million mark. The week's biggest per screen average went to a title outside the Top 10, despite the strong numbers posted by PRECIOUS and 2012. No, this week's highest per screen average was $65K and that was had by the wonderful, the tremendous, the FANTASTIC MR. FOX. Wes Anderson's first animated feature showed strong legs on four screens in NYC and L.A. and will try to steal away the rest of the country on Thanksgiving when it goes wide. Other indie successes this week include Oscar contender, THE MESSENGER ($12.5K on 4 screens) and AN EDUCATION continued to expand gracefully (a 24% increase on 37 new screens).

NEXT WEEK: Sandra Bullock shows off her southern side in THE BLIND SIDE (3100 screens) and PLANET 51 tries to pretend its a Pixar feature on 2600 screens but it doesn't matter. How could it when TWILIGHT: NEW MOON attacks over 4000 screens?


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