Hollywood B.O.: Kids' Movies and Grown Ups
“Despicable Me” opened at $60 million!
What does this mean? Not much, really. It's a better opening than some thought, but it's only the sixth best opening this year, behind the obvious (“Iron Man 2”; “Toy Story 3”), and the not-so-obvious (“Clash of the Titans”). Unadjusted, it's the 69th best opening weekend ever, behind such films as “Planet of the Apes” (the 2001 version), “Hulk” (the 2003 version), and “2012” (the 2009 version).
Of those 68 movies that opened better, however, 52 opened in more theaters than “Despicable”'s 3,476. So of the 3,500-and-under crowd, its opening is 18th best. Remove sequels and it's 10th best.
But, again, that's unadjusted. Adjust, and it goes from 69th to 133th, behind such long-lasting films as “Van Helsing,” “Big Daddy,” “The Village,” and “101 Dalmatians” (the 1996 live-action version).
Robert Rodriguez's “Predators,” from Fox, the fifth in the off-again, on-again series, grossed $25 million, good enough for third place. Didn't boom, didn't bomb. Nothing to write a blog post home about.
The big news came from returning films.
The worst percentage change for any wide release was, big surprise, M. Night Shyamalan's “The Last Airbender,” dropping 57% despite adding 34 theaters. Given its lousy reviews, though (7% from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes), and lousier word-of-mouth, one assumed, one hoped, it would drop more. It wound up in fifth place with $17 million. The percentage drop would‘ve been worse, of course, but the film opened on a Thursday, its biggest day, and so had that much less to fall off from.
Meanwhile, “Toy Story 3” (99%), despite direct competition from a popular new kids’ movie, fell off by only 27%, pulling in $22 million. That's fourth place. It's now the highest-grossing film of the year domestically.
Before we celebrate the long legs of quality films like “Toy Story,” however, this news: the smallest percentage drop came from the Adam Sandler comedy, “Grown Ups,” which didn't exactly kill with the critics (13%), but which, in its third week, still fell off by only 13%. It's now grossed $111 million domestically. That's 10th for the year and our most successful comedy. Grown ups, indeed.