Sunday, March 14, 2010

Black Sheep @ The Box Office

And Black Sheep returns to the box office after a long and arduous awards season. Arduous might be a bit of a stretch but I'm in a bit of a dramatic mood today so just roll with it. It would have been great to come back last weekend to celebrate the phenomenal success of ALICE IN WONDERLAND but there were those pesky Oscars last weekend. Instead, we're here to see the Tim Burton film cross the $200 million mark in only its second weekend. In fact, at ten days to cross, it is the 11th fastest film in history to accomplish the feat, just a few million shy of AVATAR's same pace. I'm not suggesting that we should expect AVATAR size business here but it's only about $40 million shy of surpassing BATMAN as Burton's most successful film.

Four other films debuted in the Top 10 this weekend but none made any sort of significant dent. Leading the charge was the Paul Greengrass / Matt Damon pairing, GREEN ZONE. Pulling in an average of less than $5K per screen means it will be a big stretch for this one to make back any of its reported $100 million budget. Stealing third place from Robert Pattinson is Canadian boy, Jay Baruchel's headlining act, SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE. The lighter fare brought in a light gross but one that improved over teen romance, REMEMBER ME as the weekend went on. Subsequently, the Pattinson vehicle had to settle for fourth, proving lack of interest in the star past his turn in the "Twilight" movies. Opening in sixth place was the Fox Searchlight title, OUR FAMILY WEDDING. Essentially, with ALICE IN WONDERLAND monopolizing the global business these past two weekends, little interest is being generated for anything else.

Speaking of little interest, although the Oscar telecast last Sunday was the highest rated since 2005, most of the films that took home awards were no longer playing in theatres. Best Picture winner, THE HURT LOCKER, was rereleased in 75 new theatres and took in about $825K, allowing the film to actually make back its reported budget. DVD/BD sales saw great increases but this is the lowest grossing Best Picture winner in Oscar history and that is not about to change. Meanwhile, if it had won, AVATAR would have been the highest grossing Best Picture winner and it suffered another scant 18% decline this week. CRAZY HEART, starring Best Actor winner, Jeff Bridges, slipped just 6% and THE BLIND SIDE, starring Best Actress winner, Sandra Bullock, saw a bum of 24% seventeen weeks into its run for a grand total of $252 million.

NEXT WEEK: Big week people ... THE BOUNTY HUNTER, starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, hits 3000 screens. On 3100 screens, family hopeful, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID opens. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are REPO MEN on 2400 screens. Sundance film, THE RUNAWAYS, with Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett hits 225 screens. And the latest film by one of my favorite directors, Noah Baumbach, GREENBERG, starts its limited run on 3 screens.


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