Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black Sheep @ The Box Office

Naturally, there was never any doubt that Pixar's TOY STORY 3 would open at number one.  Pixar's track record speaks for itself.  The question was always by how much it would open past their previous benchmark, THE INCREDIBLES, which opened to $70.4 million (and to be fair, FINDING NEMO is right behind with a $70.2 million opening).  When Woody and the gang opened to double what last year's UP opened to on its opening day, it became pretty clear, the lead would not be a narrow one.  Although not as high as the $120 million some were predicting, $109 million easily gives Pixar it's best opening weekend to date and also almost doubles the $57 million opening of 1999's TOY STORY 2.  If the total holds, TOY STORY 3 will also hold the record for the best June opening weekend of all time, scantily surpassing TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, which opened to $108.97 million in 2009.  I wasn't kidding when I said scant.

And while the people at Disney / Pixar are partying it up, the people at Warner Brothers are crying in their beers over the disastrous opening of JONAH HEX.  The Josh Brolin / Megan Fox graphic novel western hybrid pulled in a pathetic $5 million.  Following the disappointment of SPLICE, WB's last release, this summer has not been too kind.  May had MACGRUBER; now June has JONAH HEX.

The only title to pull in a higher average than the $27K TOY STORY 3 amassed is indie comedy, CYRUS, starring John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill.  At $45K per screen on just four screens, the film should easily generate some strong buzz for its expansion.  Expanding by 30+ screens helped WINTER'S BONE improve about 300% over last week.  I caught the film this weekend and will be reviewing it later this week.  If it can continue to get people talking, it could find its way into an awards season push.  The Italian film, I AM LOVE, starring Tilda Swinton also preemed on 8 screens this week and earned a healthy $15K per screen start.

NEXT WEEK: TOY STORY 3 should have no trouble fending off the big budget has been releases, KNIGHT AND DAY, with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz on Wednesday and 3000+ screens and GROWN UPS, with Adam Sandler et al, following of Friday on 3200+ screens.  I will be avoiding both and catching Alain Resnais's WILD GRASS.  Yes, I'll take French existentialism any day over those two jokes.

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