Sunday, March 11, 2012

Box Office Report: "The Lorax" Preys on Weak "John Carter"

I don't think this weekend's box office numbers are anything like what the makers of "John Carter" were hoping for. Subsequently, the producers of "The Lorax" are probably thrilled right now. And that is of course, in a very weak early spring movie season, the two-week-old "The Lorax" put up roughly $10MM more than the $250MM budgeted release, "John Carter".

The incredibly surprising full numbers after the break.

As you saw, this was a pretty shocking week for a couple of studios. I think you have to look at this and say that "John Carter" is much more of the loser than "The Lorax" is winner. "John Carter" is backed by Disney, and if you failed to see a trailer, or a banner, or a commercial for this film, then you've been hiding under a rock for the past two months. Disney has made sure that every single person in this country was aware of their film. I went and saw it this weekend, and I have to say, it's much better than it's going to get credit for. You can read my full review here, but ultimately, this movie just came along at the wrong time. It put together a projected $30.6MM box office gross this weekend, and even though there were some amazing effects, the $250MM budget it was given is going to be a hard one to swallow. Ultimately, I can't imagine this ever being looked at as anything more than a huge failure, at least nationally. I imagine that this movie will at least make its budget back in total world-wide gross, but I don't think anyone at Disney will be saying that breaking even internationally is a positive with this movie. I don't think I'll ever feel like I need this movie in my life, but I did enjoy it, and I am kind of bummed that it's going to go out like it is. With films such as "The Hunger Games" and "Wrath of the Titans" set to release over the next couple of weeks, I don't see a greener pasture. Maybe I'm mistaken, but this movie will probably fade away over the next couple of weeks, and no one will really ever notice.

That being said though, "The Lorax" did continue its impressive run. After recording historic numbers last weekend, it again won this weekend and continued its dominance. The movie had expected peripherals, but still took in a projected $39MM. This is a family film in the purest sense, and even with sub-par ratings at Rotten Tomatoes, it continues to chug along. It's good that it's taking it now though; as I mentioned above, there are some pretty heavy-hitters coming out over the next two weeks, so I wouldn't bank on much more from here on out - at least not in bulks like this. We have a slight affinity for this film at this site - due solely to Danny DeVito's involvement, but just as before, I'm perfectly happy seeing this film succeed.


The other new releases this week were "Silent House" and "A Thousand Words". They finished forth and sixth this weekend, respectively, and right around where I would have predicted. Even with their marginal grosses, I would expect considerable drop-offs from here on out. Again, neither of these films did much critically (though Ben Foutch can tell you a couple of reasons why "Silent House" might at least be worth your time), so they'll probably fade pretty quickly with some stronger films set to release soon.


Otherwise, I'd say the only thing really worth noting in the top 10 is that "Project X" finished in the number three spot in its second weekend, pulling in $11MM, and one of only three films to bring in eight-figure dollar amounts. Everything else put up pretty expected grosses with pretty expected drop-offs.


Check out the full graphic below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: