July 9, 2011

Box Office Footnotes – 7/8/11


Full weekend drops can be expected to hit a little harder than usual this week, because last week’s holiday weekend boosted Sunday receipts.
TRANSFORMERS 3 had a second Friday about midway between those of its two predecessors ($14.9M compared to $10.8M and $18M, respectively), with a decline that was slightly worse than, but in the same neighborhood as, both (54% vs 51-52%).  It’s still on target to end up with a US total between the earlier films. 
HORRIBLE BOSSES is having a very solid opening, joining the parade of R-rated comedies that have done well this summer.  This may or may not be good news for Sony’s Friends With Benefits, the next raunchy comedy to hit on July 22.
What clearly wasn’t good news for Sony was the ZOOKEEPER opening.  That picture had exactly one weekend to make a mark before the Potter deluge next weekend, and it didn’t.  Worse, Zookeeper managed to cost a reported $80M, which along with an expansive marketing campaign means the studio needs overseas to bail it out.
The idea that LARRY CROWNE–a movie hardly anyone liked–would have soft weekend drops because other Tom Hanks movies–which people actually did like–had them was exposed as the silliness it was.  Also silly:  the idea that 50% drops for a movie like Larry Crowne are anything but disastrous.  MONTE CARLO held a little better than expected, but at those numbers it doesn’t matter much.
As noted in Mitch Metcalf’s Friday results piece, the A Tribe Called Quest documentary BEATS, RHYTHM AND LIFE is headed for a very nice $40K per screen in only 4 theatres.  However, the news was less good elsewhere in limited release:  the much-vaunted documentary PROJECT NIM, John Carpenter’s THE WARD and Catherine Breillat’s THE SLEEPING BEAUTY are all likely to end up at under $5K per screen.
The only question for next weekend is:  How high will HARRY POTTER go?  DEATHLY HALLOWS PART I did $125M last November, and that was without 3D  (the all-time high is THE DARK KNIGHT with $158M).  Disney will throw its new WINNIE THE POOH cartoon into the mix to get those kiddies too young for the darker tones of the Hogwarts crew, and Fox Searchlight (still in no hurry to widen THE TREE OF LIFE) will launch the subtitled SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN in limited release.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."