Sunday, December 19, 2010

Black Sheep @ The Box Office

(Scroll over any film title for the full Black Sheep review.)

There was never any real doubt that TRON: LEGACY would not debut at number one this weekend. Just as there was never any real doubt that it would be anything more than a spectacular light show. Will people want to play the game again and again though? I can't say I don't habe my share of doubt there.

Disney should be happy with the $43.6 million debut TRON: LEGACY pulled in. It is slightly higher than what tracking was suggesting for opening weekend and it is also more than 10 times what the original TRON film earned in its 1982 opening weekend. It is even $10 million more than what the original brought it in its whole theatrical run. Granted, that was nearly 30 years ago. I'm thinking those numbers would be higher with inflation. Does anyone know how to calculate that?

Aside of TRON: LEGACY though, no other blockbuster was able to make a significant impression on audiences again this week. Last week's disappointments, CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER and THE TOURIST continued to do just that, each suffering declines of close to 50%. Then you have YOGI BEAR, a film I've seen the trailer for far too often at this point. Clearly, Warner Bros. was hoping for some chipmunk size numbers here but it will be a Christmas miracle if this animated flop is able to put together a decent picnic after its run finishes. Still, it could be worse. You could be Reese Witherspoon returning to the screen after a 2-year absence or Universal Pictures, the company that laid down a reported $120 million to make HOW DO YOU KNOW, starring Witherspoon. This kind of light hearted romantic fare usually cleans up at the holiday box office but then again, this kind of fare is usually actually funny as well. The James L. Brooks disaster pulled in a dismal $3K per screen average begging the question, how do you know when to give it up?

Christmas is looking dark this year on the indie front, dark green anyway. Prestige pictures continued to impress this weekend as major Golden Globe nominees, THE FIGHTER and BLACK SWAN continued to sell out crowds across the nation. After debuting on 4 screens last week, the David O. Russell directed THE FIGHTER explodes on to 1200+ screens and takes in a solid $4.8K average. Word of mouth will certainly grow past this weekend as it is a knockout of a film. Darren Aronofsky, a producer on THE FIGHTER, should be doubly pleased as his Oscar hopeful, BLACK SWAN, increased its screen count to nearly 1000 after blasting into the Top 10 last week on just a handful. The expansion proved quite fruitful with a very healthy $8.6K per screen average.

Below the Top 10, John Cameron Mitchell's beautiful RABBIT HOLE pulled in decent but not amazing numbers on 5 screens, with an average of $11K. THE TEMPEST saw an increase of 26% with the addition of 21 screens. THE SOCIAL NETWORK even saw a slight 5% bump after being named movie of the year by most every critic in America. It is still THE KING'S SPEECH that is the Oscar front runner, as it pulled in another $25K per screen on just 43 screens. The Tom Hooper film goes wide on Christmas day.

NEXT WEEK: Speaking of Christmas, it starts early this year on Wednesday, with wide releases, LITTLE FOCKERS (3450 screens) and TRUE GRIT (3000 screens). The gift giving continues on Christmas day itself, with Jack Black in GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (2400 screens), nut I might return that one if I were you. And there's something for the art crowd too, with limited runs starting for THE ILLUSIONIST, COUNTRY STRONG and SOMEWHERE.


family treatment said...

Tron Legacy was amazing. I also re-watched the original and it's so cool to see how far they've come.

Black Sheep said...

I had just seen the original before the new one and felt the animation and graphics held up quite well but the new one is gorgeous at times. They did go very far in terms of story or performance though. Shame.