Hollywood B.O.: Summer Ends with a Whimper
“The Last Exorcism” won the weekend with $21.3 million but big deal. It made $9.4 million on Friday then kept dropping as the first-night horror crowd went elsewhere and no word-of-mouth bucked it up. Finishing second, or possibly first if these estimates are off, is “Takers,” a third-rate heist film with a sixth-rate title, currently at $21 milliion. Both movies will be gone and forgotten in two weeks. They are the dregs of summer—the last gasp before the studios begin to get semi-serious in September.
This weekend's overall take, $113 million, was also the lowest of the summer. Only the last two weekends in April did worse business for the year.
Of the other new films, none are new films. “Avatar: Special Edition,” playing in 812 theaters, grossed another $4 million, while the movie I saw this weekend, “Mesrine: L'instinct de mort,” a 2008 French film starring Vincent Cassel, grossed $150K in 28 theaters. Review up tomorrow.
Of the returning films still in wide release (2,000+ theaters), the one that held up best was, again, “Inception,” losing 331 theaters and dropping only 34.9%. The biggest drop among wide releases? “Piranha 3D,” 57.4%, followed closely by “Vampires Suck” at 56.6%.
Milestones? “Toy Story 3” became the seventh film, and the first animated film, to gross more than $1 billion worldwide—although it's still no. 2 for the year, $12 million behind “Alice in Wonderland,” which topped out at $1.024 billion this spring. Both are Buena Vista.
As summer dies, “Inception” keeps firing away.
UPDATE: RE: The estimates being off? Yes.