June 18, 2011

Box Office Footnotes – 6/17/11


GREEN LANTERN cost at least as much as Thor ($350-400M with worldwide marketing), and will probably open around 15% lower–and Thor is no blockbuster hit.  Which means that although intensive promos got bodies into theatres, Warners and DC aren’t out of the woods.  The picture only scored a B on Cinemascore despite what must have been a ton of comic book movie fans buying tickets, so word of mouth may be painful on this one.
There was a time when the MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS number would have been OK, because DVD sales would have made up for lackluster boxoffice.  But at a cost of at least $200M, and with the DVD market having cratered, it doesn’t look good.  Big loser is Jim Carrey, who’s now clearly off the A-list.
SUPER 8 had a very solid hold, although considering where it started, it will still only be a modest grosser (and Paramount had to invest in heavy Week 2 marketing expense).   The other holdovers continued pretty much as they had been, with all the franchises heading to series lows, X-MEN declining sharply (so much for good reviews) and BRIDESMAIDS holding like a champion.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is starting to look like an indie juggernaut–it’s now certain to be Woody Allen’s highest grosser since Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986 (although a comparison of those two would require serious adjustment for ticket price inflation). TREE OF LIFE expanded again to 114 theatres, and it’s per-theatre number is starting to falter:  compare its $10K/theatre to the $18K Midnight In Paris made when it hit 154 theatres.  BEGINNERS is keeping its head above water, doubling to 44 theatres and heading for around $8K in each.
THE ART OF GETTING BY is a negligible picture that Fox Searchlight didn’t figure out how to market–with a disastrous $1500 per theatre, it’ll vanish quickly.
Next weekend is all CARS 2, and the only question is how it will compare to previous Pixar openings.  the $110M Toy Story 3 made is unlikely, so it’ll be looking at the $60-70M earned by the original Cars and other recent Pixars like Wall-E and UpBAD TEACHER is R-rated counterprogramming that should find a place in 2d; it’ll be interesting to see whether direct competition finally slows Bridesmaids down.  Looking slightly farther down the road, Paramount announced that TRANSFORMERS 3 will start its 3D and IMAX engagements on Tuesday June 28, giving the movie a giant “July 4th weekend” that will last a full 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."