erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Sunday September 08, 2013

Weekend Box Office: ‘Riddick’ Sputters on Diesel Fumes; ‘Instructions’ Instructs Hollywood

“Riddick,” starring Vin Diesel, won the weekend, grossing $18.6 million, but that’s not the big story. Its opening total, after all, was still $6 million less than “The Chronicles of Riddick” in 2004, and that movie was considered a box-office disappointment, grossing $57.7 overall.

“One Direction: This is Us” fell off by 74.1%, one of the biggest second-weekend drops in movie history, but that’s not the big story, either, since two other movies (“Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “The Purge”) actually had bigger second-weekend drops this year. Besides, who’s surprised? One Direction has one fan base, and they went last weekend.

No, the big box-office story this weekend is the movie that came in third place with $8.1 million: “Instructions Not Included.” It’s a Mexican comedy (“No se Aceptan Devoluciones”) starring Eugenio Derbez as a playboy who one day receives a package on his doorstep: a baby girl, from a past encounter, whom he’s forced to raise. In the process, he has to grow up, etc.

Why is that the big story? Because after two weekends, this thing has now grossed $20.3 million in the U.S. Here’s a list of Hollywood movies it has already outperformed:

It’s already the 10th-highest-grossing foreign language film ever in the U.S., and should move up to sixth ($24.6 million) by next Friday. At that point, only these films are ahead of it:

Most of the above movies, though, were critically acclaimed Oscar contenders and/or released by Miramax, which marketed and pushed and bullied them into box office successes. “Instructions” is barely getting any attention from the critics. It is, however, being distributed well by Lionsgate, who, earlier this summer, turned Kevin Hart’s concert film, “Let Me Explain,” into the fourth highest-grossing concert film of all time, after “Raw,” “The Original Kings of Comedy,” and “Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip.”

Apparently someone at Lionsgate knows what they’re doing. Without instructions, either.

The numbers.

Instructions Not Included

The 10th-highest-grossing foreign language film in the U.S. after only two weekends.

Posted at 01:31 PM on Sep 08, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday September 01, 2013

Weekend Box Office: Five Brit Kids Race, Beat Up Old Black Man; Mexicans Laugh

The concert film “One Direction: This is Us” won the weekend with a $17 million haul. That's a lot of bubblegum, kids. It's the fourth-biggest opener ever for a concert film:

Movie Opening Theaters Total Gross Release
1 Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds $31,117,834 683 $65,281,781 Feb. 2008
2 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never $29,514,054 3,105 $73,013,910 Feb. 2011
3 Michael Jackson's This Is It $23,234,394 3,481 $72,091,016 Oct. 2009
4 One Direction: This is Us $17,000,000 2,735 $17,000,000 Aug. 2013
5 Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience $12,510,374 1,271 $19,162,740 Feb. 2009
6 Katy Perry: Part of Me $7,138,266 2,730 $25,326,071 July 2012
7 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie $5,961,231 2,040 $11,862,398 Aug. 2011

After that you've got hacks like U2, the Rolling Stones, the Talking Heads and Prince.

Miley Cyrus started all this. In Feb. 2008, her concert film grossed an easy $60 mil and so every year we get another one: Miley (2008), the Jonases (2009), Justin Bieber (2011), Kate Perry (2012). Distributors choose a weak weekend to release it. Kids flock. Now it's One Direction's turn.

What is One Direction? I knew them from that Pepsi commercial with Drew Brees but apparently they got their big break on “The X Factor” in Great Britain. They auditioned separately, lost, but were put together and entered the group category and did well, finishing third. Then they were signed to Simon Cowell's record label. I think that's a stipulation of appearing on one of his shows, right? He gets right of first refusal. 

After being thus packaged by corporate flacks, here they are in a video in which they resist being packaged by corporate flacks.

As for the rest? “Lee Daniels' The Butler” fell off only 10% to finished a close second ($14.7 mil), “We're the Millers” fell off only 3% for third ($12.6) and “Planes” fell off 9% for fourth ($7.7).

In fifth is the Mexican comedy “Instructions Not Included,” directed and starring Eugenio Derbez. It grossed $7.5 million in only 347 theaters. My interest is piqued.

The breakdown:

  • Highest gross: “One Direction: This is Us,” $17 million
  • Most theaters: “We're the Millers,” 3,445
  • Best theater average: “Instructions Not Included,” $21.6K per theater in 347 theaters
  • Best theater average > 1000 theaters: “One Direction: This is Us,” $6,216
  • Biggest drop for a movie in wide release: “Jobs," -57.4%

One Direction

One Direction: Just five lads havin' foon.

Posted at 12:20 PM on Sep 01, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday August 25, 2013

Weekend Box Office: 'You're Next' Isn't

From Box Office Mojo on Thursday:

Among new entries this weekend, horror movie You're Next seems like the strongest contender, and could claim first place ahead of Lee Daniels' The Butler.


“You're Next,” the horror movie with cute animal masks, finished 7th for the weekend, grossing $7 million in 2,437 theaters, for a lousy $2,893 average. “The Butler” came out on top again, grossing $17 million, but its total gross after a week-plus is still only $52 million. Meaning it probably won't do “The Help” kind of business, which was up to $71 million after its second weekend, on its way to $169 million. Because “Butler” lacks foregrounded white characters? Because it's about men rather than women and stories about men don't do as well at the box office? (Ha! Had to get that in there.) Because it's not as good? Not that “The Help” was ... you know.

Elsewhere, “We're the Millers” finished second and has now grossed $91 million; “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” surely one of the worst-titled movies in recent years, grossed $9.3 million in 3,118 theaters, while the British sci-fi apocalyptic comedy “The World's End” grossed almost the same ($8.9) in half as many theaters (1,549).

The breakdown:

  • Highest grossing: “The Butler,” $17 million
  • Most theaters: “We're the Millers,” 3,445
  • Best theater average: “The Grandmaster,” $18K in seven theaters
  • Best theater average > 1000 theaters: “The World's End,” $5,773
  • Biggest drop for a movie in wide release: “Kick Ass 2,” -68%

A lot of box office disappointment in August. “Planes” is at $59 million, “Elysium” $69m, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” $48. “Kick Ass 2” has only grossed $22 million, while “Jobs,” the Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher of all people, has grossed only $12 million.

The totals.

You're Next

After you ... No, after you ... No, I insist.

Posted at 11:32 AM on Aug 25, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday August 04, 2013

Weekend Box Office: '2 Guns' Riddles 'Smurfs 2' with Bullets

Two movies opened wide this weekend, “2 Guns,” with Washington and Wahlberg (Denzel and Mark), and “The Smurfs 2,” with smurfs (and Neil Patrick Harris).

Correction: “Smurfs” actually opened Wednesday and in those five days has grossed what “Guns” grossed in three: about $27 mil. No great shakes either way. For the weekend, they finished 1st and 3rd.

Yawn. Yep, must be August.

“The Wolverine” didn't get great word-of-mouth and fell off by 59% for second place. A 59% fall-off ain't bad (“Wolverine” fell off by 69% in 2009) but the movie already opened below expectations and needed better-than-expected second weekend. Didn't get it. Bub.

How is summer box office shaping up overall? Here are the top 10 grossers:

Movie Total Gross Thtrs Opening Wknd
1 Iron Man 3 $407,436,786 4,253 $174,144,585
2 Despicable Me 2 $326,668,000 4,003 $83,517,315
3 Man of Steel $287,214,823 4,207 $116,619,362
4 Monsters University $258,597,000 4,004 $82,429,469
5 Fast & Furious 6 $238,015,000 3,771 $97,375,245
6 Star Trek Into Darkness $226,209,000 3,907 $70,165,559
7 World War Z $195,889,000 3,607 $66,411,834
8 The Heat $149,566,000 3,184 $39,115,043
9 The Great Gatsby $144,333,501 3,550 $50,085,185
10 Grown Ups 2 $116,400,000 3,491 $41,508,572

What a tepid lot, really. A bunch of shrugs, really. Plus a few stinkers. You know who I'm looking at, Adam Sandler.

Where are movies like “Up” (2009), “Toy Story 3,” “Karate Kid” and “Inception” (2010), “Bridesmaids” (2011) and “The Avengers” (2012)? The industry should be happy box office isn't down more. Or at all.

Summer underperfomers include “The Wolverine” ($95m), “Pacific Rim” ($92m), “The Lone Ranger” ($86m), “White House Down” ($71m), “After Earth” ($60m), “Reds 2” ($45m), “The Internship” ($44m), and “R.I.P.D.” ($30m).

The weekend numbers here.

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in "2 Guns"

“My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains!” — Philip Marlowe, “The Big Sleep” (1946)

Posted at 03:00 PM on Aug 04, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday July 28, 2013

Weekend Box Office: 'The Wolverine' Isn't the Best At What It Does

Among the things that happened at the weekend box office:

  • “The Wolverine,” starring Hugh Jackman, opened at $55 million domestic, which is the worst superhero opening since “Ghost Rider 2”  grossed $22 million last Feburary. Basically it's on par with “X-Men: First Class,” which opened at $55.1 million in June 2011. It's the 25th-best superhero opening overall but adjust for inflation and it drops to 36th. “Wolverine,” without the definite article, opened at $85 million in 2009, but to bad notices, and topped out at $179. Will be interesting to see if this Wolverine, which has gotten better reviews (mine up tomorrow), has any kind of legs.
  • Last weekend's No. 1, “The Conjuring,” fell off by only 47%, astonishingly good in a horror film, and looks poised to break the $100 million barrier.
  • No. 3, “Despicable Me,” grossed another $16 million and surpasses “Man of Steel” to become the second-highest-grossing movie of the year, after “Iron Man 3.”
  • “Grown Ups 2” fell off by only 42% and passed the $100 million mark. As I tweeted earlier today: Fuck you, America. 
  • “The Heat,” the Bullock/McCarthy cop comedy, fell off by only 26% and landed in eighth place. It's now at $141.2 million, which is McCarthy's second-best total after “Bridesmaids” ($169 million).
  • “Red 2” is dead: $35 million after two weekends.
  • “R.I.P.D.” is dead: $24 million after two weekends.
  • Have you seen “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” yet? Under the radar, it's grossed $31 million, which is the fourth highest-grossing stand-up comedy film of all-time, after Murphy, the Kings of Comedy, and Pryor.
  • Woody Allen's latest, “Blue Jasmine,” trailing positive reviews from the likes of David Thomson, opened in six theaters and wound up with the highest per-theater average of the year: $102K per for $613K overall.

The totals.

MONDAY UPDATE: Turns out “The Wolverine” didn't even open that well: It earned $53.1 million, which is 27th-best, and below “Green Lantern.” Ouch.

It's still a better movie.

Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine

“The Wolverine”: a weak opening despite the muscles.

Posted at 08:47 PM on Jul 28, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office
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