Sunday, April 29, 2012

Box Office Report: "Think Like a Man" Leads the Way

Well, it's official. Trying to get overly scientific with the whole box office projection thing to figure weekend grosses: fail. I will say that I came pretty close on three of the four, but the problem was that I terribly over-estimated on "The Five-Year Engagement". Apparently there wasn't as strong a following for that type of film as I expected. Either that or the people looking for a couples comedy this weekend just decided that "Think Like a Man" was the way to go instead. And ultimately, that must have been the case, because it performed much stronger this weekend than I would have expected.

Like I said, the other three releases did end up right around where I expected, with none of them really pulling in anything exceptional. "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" led the way amongst new releases and took second-place overall, but there was quite the pileup from spots two through five, all ending up up less than $300,000 apart.

So obviously the place to start this weekend is "Think Like a Man". Last weekend, it pulled in over $33MM, and I guess I thought with it's overall poor reviews, it wouldn't hold as well as it did (especially considering there were four new decent players coming into the market this weekend). But word of mouth must have been exceptional, as it managed to hold onto the top spot with an $18MM gross. Its drop-off was as could be expected though (46%), and the film has now grossed over $60MM total, a 500% return on its reported budget.

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" finished in the second spot with a gross of $11.4MM. This is a little lower than I expected for this film, but still in the same vicinity. I thought it would be closer to the $15MM opening weekends of films like "Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit"', but it ultimately fell in with a film like "James and the Giant Peach". Still a decent return though. So take its positive reviews and add the fact that this film's budget was only about $55MM, it shouldn't be too difficult for this film to chug along for a few more weeks and make its money back.

Rounding out spots 3-5 are the films "The Lucky One" ($11.3MM), "The Hunger Games" ($11.2MM), and "The Five-Year Engagement" ($11.1MM). Since it's only Sunday, these numbers could all change a little by tomorrow afternoon when the numbers are finalized, but as of now, this is our order and totals. As I stated above, the biggest loser here appears to be "The Five-Year Engagement". It's a Judd Apatow produced comedy with seemingly bankable stars; the reviews seem good enough for a film of this nature. I'm just not sure what happened here. I'll have to wait until later this week to get some feedback on the film and see what people thought as to why this film under-performed as much as it did. On a positive note though, the budget was only $30MM, so there's no real need to panic. The studio will make its money back with ease, but I don't think that was the hope for this film. Surely the producers were hoping for some more "Bridesmaids" magic, but I don't think that will be the case here.

"The Lucky One" and "The Hunger Games" did perform as expected though. Judging from previous Nicholas Sparks adaptations, we saw last week that this film fell right in line with previous films, and we could expect one or two more weekends of low $10MM+ grosses. And "The Hunger Games" looked like it had one more $10MM+ weekend in it as well, but I imagine this will be the last showing of as much. Still a very strong 23% drop from last week though, easily the best of anything in the top 15.

The other two new releases this week were "Safe" and "The Raven". These films were probably closest to what I expected this weekend, with the former probably the easiest of the whole bunch to project. $8MM seemed like it would be a win for the film, and $7MM seemed more acceptable. And since the film did $7.7MM this weekend, that all pretty much ended up being exactly the case. There was much less precedent for a film like "The Raven", so it was hard to get an idea. I took its negative reviews into account and still over-projected this film. It wound up in 7th place this weekend, just behind "Safe" with a $7.2MM gross. Still, not too far off. the budget for "Safe" isn't listed, but I imagine it's not too high. The budget for "The Raven" isn't too out of control either, at only $26MM, but with "The Avengers" opening next weekend (can you believe that film is already here?), it's going to be pretty tough for it to climb even that high.

Outside of the top seven, most everything else fell into place as you might expect. But check out the graphic below to see all of the exact figures for everything in the top 15, courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

By the way, even though it's not featured on this list, "The Avengers" opened internationally this weekend to a $178.4MM total, setting opening-weekend theater records in 12 different countries. Surprisingly, this total still only ranks ninth on the all-time Overseas Opening list, but for a film with an estimated $250MM budget - and projected as one of the biggest box office successes in our country this year - that's not too bad of a start.