June 11, 2011

Box Office Footnotes – 6/10/11

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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We’ll see if SUPER 8 gets to $40M, but in any case Paramount has done the season’s best job of managing expectations.  Considering that they’ve been throwing millions into promoting the movie since the Super Bowl, the idea that the lowest action opening of the summer is somehow good news is a beautiful piece of spin.  Remember that although Super 8 is low-budget by blockbuster standards, it still carries the typical $150M+ in worldwide marketing costs, which puts profit a distance away.–and the B+ average it got from Cinemascore is nothing to sing about, especially since the opening night audience for this should have been pure fanbase.
The X-MEN:  FIRST CLASS hold is disappointing.  This is a high-quality movie that should have benefitted from strong word of mouth, but the combination of the 1960s setting and the no-star cast seems to have turned some audiences off.  It could wind up as the lowest-grossing title in its franchise.
Similarly, Hangover, Kung Fu Panda and Pirates are all heading for the lowest grosses (domestically) of their respective series, although Kung Fu had a nice 3rd week hold–deservedly so.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS saw its per-theatre number come down to earth to around $5500 as it expanded swiftly to nearly 1000 screens–but I’m sure Woody Allen isn’t complaining, since even with average holds, it should match Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point as one of his most successful films of the past 25 years.
TREE OF LIFE is expanding more slowly, up to only 47 theatres, and it’s holding pretty firmly at around $17K per theatre.  Same for BEGINNERS, which inched up to 19 theatres and should do around $12K in each.  

Next weekend we get the questionable GREEN LANTERN and the for-kiddies-only MR POPPER’S PENGUINS (which, in an odd piece of scheduling, is only getting 1 week of free play before Pixar invades with CARS 2 the following week). 

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."