Sunday, August 26, 2012

Box Office Report: "The Expendables 2" Claims Top Spot Over Weak Field

Well, it's official. The numbers this weekend make for the worst overall box office numbers we've seen in theaters this calendar year. Only one film broke the $10MM mark (and barely), and none of the three new releases even managed a top five spot.

The surprise of the weekend was "2016: Obama's America", a documentary that appeared in only 1,000 theaters but still managed to topple two notable wide releases. This wasn't officially the first week for the film, but it was the first time audiences had a chance at it in larger capacities. And either way, most fans still opted for this political doc over any of the other new films this weekend.

Otherwise, scanning the top fifteen, I really don't see anything of note. I'll break down some of the totals after the break, but we're going to make this a short post this weekend; I don't see anything that inspires me to write about it.

Hit the jump for the full graphic on where all of the top films landed this weekend.

Since "The Expendables 2" did take the top spot, we can spend a few sentences talking about that. It pulled in an estimated $13.5MM this weekend, which accounted a 52% drop - pretty expected for a film like this. It's now made about $52MM domestically, and finally mixed in some international tallies, amounting to a $74MM worldwide take so far. It's nothing amazing, but for a film with a $100MM budget, and after only two weeks, this one is doing fine. As I said last week, I enjoyed this film quite a bit, and I think it's a great option for your end of summer ventures.

I don't much feel like talking about anything else in the top five, as they're all films in their second and third weeks (or sixth in "The Dark Knight Rises" case), but I will say that percentage drops for each of these films was actually pretty decent. That stat goes to prove that it was much more the lack of performance from the newbies than just an overall bad week - it was a bad week, but patrons still showed up for all of the holdovers the same we would have expected. "The Bourne Legacy" made $9.3MM this weekend, and that kind of seems the most impressive to me. This film has been really floundering for the past few weeks. But with this decent chunk, it now puts the film at $85MM domestically, for a total of $113MM worldwide. The film has a budget of $125MM, so I think the studio is starting to breathe a little easier now. It still isn't going to do anything amazing, but it seems to have settled into a nice little groove here.

Also, "The Dark Knight Rises" surpassed the $900MM worldwide with its totals this weekend, for a tally of $910MM. That's good for #22 on the All-Time Worldwide list, and, more notably, #11 on the All-Time Domestic list, and now just $600K behind "The Lion King" for jumping into the top ten of all-time. The worldwide list gets very crowded very fast, and it seems unlikely it will ever break into the top ten. But the domestic list is more open, and I can see it getting into the top seven or eight without much difficulties; and touching the top five doesn't seem too unimaginable, either.

Let's quickly touch on some of the new films released this weekend. "Premium Rush""Hit and Run", and "The Apparition" all opened, but none made much noise. As you can see from the graphic below, it is important to note the lesser theater counts for these films compared to some of the other films still in theaters. That being said, the per theater averages still weren't anything too impressive, with "The Apparition" probably looking the best in that regard. None of these three managed the top five this weekend though, and that's very uninspiring. Here are the numbers for each film, noting that none of them have releases overseas yet (and probably won't ever). "Premium Rush" did the best, with $6.3MM this weekend. It has a $35MM budget, so it will be a stretch to hit that mark. "Hit and Run" came up next, in the tenth spot, with $4.6MM. The best thing going for this film is that its budget was only $2MM, so there's not much worry for anything here. This was just a group of friends hanging out and having a good time. And in the twelfth spot, in nearly a third as many theaters as the others, "The Apparition" finished with $2.9MM. The budget is a marginal $17MM, so that's not terrible. I assume the film will get a bit wider of a roll-out in the coming weeks and that should help its totals, so it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to assume the film can meet that mark; it doesn't seem like too much of one to assume it will miss, either.

As of Friday morning when we started seeing some reviews come in, I started hoping for a small surge from "Premium Rush", but it doesn't look like we ever got it. Reviews were overall quite impressive though, and this makes me think this is a film I need to check out (I wanted to get to it this weekend regardless, but I just couldn't find the time). I think this will be a priority sometime over the next week at this point though. The early feedback on the film definitely makes this for one of the most intriguing films going into next weekend, as I'll be curious to see what kind of word-of-mouth recommendations the film receives; will this film take a jump next week due to the positive things that most have to say about it so far? "The Apparition" on the other hand...well that didn't review quite so well. Amongst more than 30 reviews so far, it's still sitting at a big fat 0%. Not one person has had anything decent to say about the film. I hoped for slightly better, but I think inside, this is about what we all expected - no inspiration, no creativity, no emotion. Just another Hollywood-churned supernatural horror flick. "Hit and Run" stuck right in the middle, nothing great, nothing terrible; good enough for a late-summer comedy I suppose.

Anyway, that's already more than we needed to discuss with this weak crop. Check out all of the films in the top fifteen below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Let's hope that next weekend has a bit more to offer.