August 22, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: Box-office bloodbath for Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night

The ladies of The Help are looking pretty darned pleased with themselves...
Rightly so!

The Help climbed to the top spot over the weekend, due to a combination of strong word of mouth, weak new releases, and being played in an additional 156 theaters, while Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped to the second spot, dipping 41.4% but grossing a hefty $133.8 million overall in 17 days. Although The Help eased 21 percent from the previous week, the movie earned a respectable $20.4 million this week, lifting its total to $71.8 million in 12 days. Expect the female-driven book adaptation flick to have a strong hold in the top ten in the weeks to come…

Debuting at the third spot, the top-grossing new release Spy Kids: All the Time in the World only earned $12 million on 4,400 screens at 3,295 locations, despite its "Aroma-scope" gimmick. Eight years on and Spy Kids 4 grossed about a third of the last release in the franchise, 2003’s Spy Kids 3D: Game Over. Favoring cheap marketing tricks over a strong plot and mainly targeting a young children audience cost the family-friendly flick dearly, despite the presence of star Jessica Alba as Marissa Wilson. Distributor The Weinstein Company reported that Spy Kids 4's audience was 67% female and 65% of kids under 12 years old.

Conan the Barbarian flopped hard, landing at the fourth spot with $10 million on 4,500 screens at 3,015 locations. It was a far cry from the original 1982 Conan, which had over three times the attendance on its opening weekend (around $26 million when adjusting for inflation.) Dismal reviews and poor casting choices crippled the remake, despite a strong brand name and a popular fantasy action theme. The other 1980s redux on our list, Fright Night, was even less successful than Conan and drew $7.9 million on 4,600 screens at 3,114 locations. Distributors Walt Disney Pictures reported a demographic breakdown of 60% male with 60% over 25 years old. We can now officially declare a case of “sexy” vampires franchise fatigue!

This was a poor week indeed for new releases and romantic drama One Day crashed and burned at the ninth slot with an estimated $5.1 million at 1,719 locations. Could Anne Hathaway’s reportedly dreadful Yorkshire accent be to blame? Anyway, say what you wish about Robert Rodriguez but he’s still the one bringing home beaucoup bucks…

Next weekend Zoe Saldana stars as Cataleya, an assassin thirsty for revenge in violent action drama Colombiana, Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce fend off the unwanted attentions of demonic creatures in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Paul Rudd is Ned Rochlin a happy-go lucky slacker wreaking havoc in his three sisters’ lives in Our Idiot Brother, and being married to indie rocker Ryan Adams has obviously rubbed off on Mandy Moore as she stars in raunchy comedy Swinging with the Finkels.

Box Office Top Ten (August 19 - August 21):

  1. The Help (MRQE Metric: 72) -- $20.4 million
  2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (MRQE Metric: 73) -- $16.3 million
  3. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (MRQE Metric: 49) -- $12 million
  4. Conan the Barbarian (MRQE Metric: 39) -- $1o million
  5. The Smurfs (MRQE Metric: 49) -- $8 million
  6. Fright Night (MRQE Metric: 65) -- $7.9 million
  7. Final Destination 5 (MRQE Metric: 57) -- $7.7 million
  8. 30 Minutes or Less (MRQE Metric: 52) --$6.3
  9. One Day (MRQE Metric: 54) --$5.1 million
  10. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (MRQE Metric: 68) -- $4.9 million


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  7. Nice film! Great comedy :)


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