Sunday, June 3, 2012

Box Office Report: "Snow White and the Huntsman" Leads with $56.2MM

It was a pretty prototypical weekend at the Box Office for once, as just about every film performed, good or bad, as expected. No surprises that "Snow White and the Huntsman" lead the way this weekend. It was the only new film getting a wide-release, so it seemed safe to assume it would grab the top spot. Last weekend's winner, "Men in Black III", came in second place with a respectable take, while popular holdover, "The Avengers" finished in third and officially took the same spot from "The Dark Knight" on the all-time list.

Otherwise, everything else did less than $5MM this weekend, and unless your name was "The Hunger Games", it was just another weekend of pulling for scraps and trying to salvage any bit of respectability you could.

We'll start with the new film this weekend, "Snow White and the Huntsman". If you haven't seen it yet or can't figure it out from the title, this is a new take on the Snow White fairy tale. It stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth. At its core it's a similar story to we're all used to, this version just tries to amp up the scale a bit and make it a little more epic - all while still making sure to provide appeal to that Twilight crowd. I went and saw this one this weekend, and I'll say I was impressed. One of our other writers, Andy, will be getting a review up later today with a full break-down on the film, his opinions, and what you can expect. For what I know this movie wanted to accomplish, I think it did a good job. I thought the acting all around was better than expected (not that I ever expected less from Theron, but who knows, she could have decided to phone this one in). The sets and landscapes were beautiful, and a lot of the effects were done really well - the highlight of the film for me. It was a perfectly fine installment for this storyline, and one that was easy to digest this weekend.

Anyway, the film made $56.2MM this weekend, right about where I predicted. While the studios might have been hoping for something more from the tweener crowds that can amass for these types of movies, overall, I don't think they can have many complaints with the gross. The film has an estimated production budget of $170MM, so it still has a little ways to go, but with the $40MM it grabbed overseas this weekend, it's already more than halfway there. The reviews haven't been amazing, but not completely defeating either. It's been live on Rotten Tomatoes for about five days now, and has fluctuated dramatically most of them. Now that it's amassed almost 150 reviews though, it seems to be settling in  around the 45% mark. That's not going to be good enough to draw in folks who had their minds made up against this film beforehand, but I think with the good effects in the film, word of mouth should help draw in some of the fringe audiences next weekend.

If you didn't see this film this weekend, I'd say give it a shot if you have some time. I saw it two days ago and already I'm fighting my mind to remember what happened in the film, so clearly it's not that memorable.. It didn't upset me or anything though. It's a good really, really poor man's Lord of the Rings.

Coming in second this weekend was "Men in Black III". It had expected drops and came away with a total weekend gross of $29.3MM. The film has received solid reviews so far, and received positive feedback in my review. It lead a strong Memorial Day weekend last week, so it has a total domestic gross of just over $112MM now. Anytime you can break the $100MM it's a good thing, but those numbers still only cover half of the film's production budget though, listed at $225MM. Lucky for this film, it's played incredibly well overseas, and now has an international gross of almost $275MM, more than covering its budget right there. So this one is doing just fine.

Last weekend I said that "The Avengers" should break "The Dark Knight's" domestic record by the weekend and only pad its stats this weekend. Well, I was wrong. By Friday morning it was still $1MM short of that goal. All the better though, as it broke through with $20.2MM this weekend and overtook third place on both the All-Time Domestic List and All-Time Worldwide List in epic fashion. As it sits now, the film has a total gross of $552.7MM domestically, and has a $19MM cushion on third place. It should get up around the $600MM mark by the end of its run, but that still won't put it within striking distance of the other two films ahead of it on the list, "Titanic" ($658.6MM) and "Avatar" ($760.5MM). And looking at the worldwide list, it mustered up enough money to surpass "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" as the number three film on the list there as well. It's current numbers there are $1.35BB, $27MM above Potter. Again, it still has a long way to go to catch either film ahead of it (same films as on the Domestic list), but strong holds on the third place spot on both of these lists is impressive.

Rounding out the Top 5 was "Battleship" ($4.8MM) and "The Dictator" ($4.7MM). We still have to look at "Battleship" as the big loser here, as it's now grossed just over $55MM domestically, but carries a $209MM budget. Universal reported earlier today that they expect to take a loss of about $150MM on the film. That's not good. It's still made over $235MM overseas though, so I'm not sure how those numbers are factored. It seems like they're not taking the international numbers into account at all; I would think they'd be covered here, unless for some reason they're omitting the international numbers from headlines to make it look worse than it is? There are plenty of conspiracy theories as to why a production company would sway for negative publicity on one of their films, but it seems like they're trying to make headlines even though they're clear here. I don't know. And regardless, only $55MM domestically is still a really terrible total for a film of this magnitude.

"The Dictator" is still under budget as well, but in a much less dramatic fashion. The film did surpass the $50MM mark this weekend, however, which is a nice milestone. It's budget it $65MM, so it still has a little ways to go; shouldn't be a problem though.

Other than that, nothing really special or exciting. "The Hunger Games" STILL hasn't surpassed $400MM, as I predicted it might be able to do two weeks ago. It only has $1.8MM to go now though, so hopefully by next weekend it will reach that mark. It didn't care much for the film, but that's still a nice mark to get to and I'll be happy for it once it does.

Here's the full listing of everything in the top 15, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: