Sunday, May 20, 2012

Box Office Report: "The Avengers"' Sinks "Battleship"

How many different websites do you think are going to use that exact same title for this post? I hope all of them will! It was too easy to pass up though. I just want you to know that I didn't put it up there thinking I had a brilliant title idea.

Anyway. Looking over the numbers, yet again,
"The Avengers" took the top-spot at the weekend box office again. This wasn't really a surprise to anyone, but what was a bit of a surprise was just how poorly its new competition performed this week. This weekend's special-effects extravaganza, "Battleship", was supposed to offer a bit of competition to the also CG-heavy film, "The Avengers". That didn't really happen. It still took second place for the weekend, but for a film with a $200MM+ budget, these weren't the numbers it needed.

The other new releases, "The Dictator" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting" took places #3 and #5, respectively, with last week's "Dark Shadows" wedging itself in the middle.

We'll start with "The Avengers" since there are a handful of new records we need to go over. It made a projected $55MM this weekend, bringing it's domestic totals up to $457MM. That puts it at #6 on the All-Time Domestic List, and now only $3MM behind "Star Wars" for fifth place. This list isn't adjusted for inflation, and when you figure those numbers, the film gets a little less impressive, but these are the fun numbers right now, and still meaningful statistics.

It's also climbed to forth place on the All-Time Worldwide list, with $1.18BB now - somewhere around where we expected the film to be by weekend's end. It has a bit of work to do if it wants to move up anymore, but worst case scenario, it cements a firm grasp on the number four slot. One spot above it is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2", with $1.33BB (a $150MM difference). It's a possible number to achieve, but I think ultimately it will fall a little short. Also, to make these huge numbers look a little smaller, the film just moved to within one billion dollars of "Titanic" for the number two spot ($2.18BB). All of this money the film's made, and it's just over halfway to the amount "Titanic" made. (By the way, if you're unaware, "Avatar" holds the top spot with $2.78BB)

Other than those numbers, the film can look back and know that it holds the single-day highest grosses for its first 1-10 days of release. And it's also the fastest film to break the $100MM mark and up to the $450MM mark, with the top spot at every $50MM increment along the way. It's a short list at $450MM, with only four films on that list. It broke "The Dark Knight's" record by 10-days.

Moving on to the film that came in second this weekend, "Battleship". I went and saw this film earlier today, and was actually impressed with what I saw. I went in expecting little outside of cool-looking effects for the film. And ultimately, while you can still pretty much boil it down to that, there was still some enjoyment to be had; more story there than I expected. Unfortunately for the film, it finished with a weekend gross of just $25.3MM. That's not what you wanted for a film with an estimated $209MM budget, and even more when you take its marketing efforts into account. It did open internationally a couple weekend's ago though (probably a smart idea, getting it out there before "The Avengers" took over), and it's performed well. It's up to just over $215MM now, so whatever the outcome in the states, while they might not do as well as they hoped, it doesn't look like this one will be be a "failure". With huge-budget, effects-driven films like this and March's "John Carter" flop (hmm...Taylor Kitsch starred in both films...), I feel like there's a small shift taking place. It seems like with really great effects alone you used to be able to command $200MM. Maybe with the fact that these type of things aren't as special anymore, people just aren't lining up for them like they used to. I wonder if Hollywood will have to start looking at these kinds of films a little differently? Maybe not, I don't know.

The other two new releases this weekend were "The Dictator" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting". "The Dictator" was officially released on Wednesday to get a jump-start on the weekend, and it looks like that little extra bit helped it out. I thought that with Wednesday and Thursday added in, the film could end up with about a $25MM purse. It's put together a total of $24.4 so far. Its still only officially made $17.4MM this weekend, but I feel like overall, the filmmakers will be happy with these numbers. It only had a $65MM budget, so while I can't expect this film to play well overseas at all, with whatever else it makes in its run, it should be okay. "What to Expect When You're Expecting" finished in fifth place, with $10.5MM. I honestly expected this film to about double this amount (I expected "Battleship" to double what it did too though, so what do I know?), and I feel like with as big a cast of A-Listers, only $10MM for your opening weekend is a little weak. It's received terrible reviews so far though, so I guess this can't be too surprising. It looks like its budget is about $40MM, so it probably will be okay too. I wouldn't expect this one to hang around in theaters for long though.

Last week's "Dark Shadows" finished in forth place, with a weekend gross of $12.7MM. That's 57% down from last week; numbers that aren't terrible, but you'd like it to hold on a little better than that ("The Avengers" is one week older and still managed only a 46% drop this weekend). "Dark Shadows" does have a lifetime gross of just over $50MM now, which is about a third of its total budget. It's toiled a little overseas, but this looks like this one will ultimately be a loss for Warner Bros.

Nothing else spectacularly stands out in the top 15, and nothing else really surpassed any big numbers this weekend either. "The Hunger Games" is up to $391MM now, so it will be neat if it can hold on a little longer and reach $400MM by next weekend. Probably not though.

Anyway, check out the full numbers below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: