June 25, 2011

Box Office Footnotes – June 25


CARS 2 overperformed a bit, although $75M isn’t much higher than the original Cars opening ($60M) plus 3D ticket prices.  It should hold well over the holiday weekend (the talking vehicles in Transformers skew a little older), but the following week it’ll face Paul Blart and his chatty animals in ZOOKEEPER, and that may be more of a challenge.
BAD TEACHER turned out to be a brilliant piece of counterprogramming against the squeaky-clean Cars 2. Not only is it headed for 50% more than Diaz’s last comedy opening (What Happens In Vegas), it should make considerably more than the $26M earned in the first 5 days by Knight and Day, which also featured a guy named Cruise.  Its C+ Cinemascore is nothing to brag about; nevertheless, with the giant success of this and Bridesmaids, expect a lot of actresses to be saying dirty words on screen over the next couple of years.  
GREEN LANTERN‘s collapse makes it another failure for Warners and DC Comics to develop a non-Christopher Nolan franchise.  The pressure that was already on Zack Snyder and his Superman movie The Man Of Steel just got a lot heavier.
MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS held quite nicely, especially in the face of Cars 2.  It’s still not going to be a big moneymaker, but it won’t embarrass anyone.
While MIDNIGHT IN PARIS continued to romp its way to being a blockbuster in Woody Allen terms, TREE OF LIFE almost doubled its theatre count (still only at 215) and took a hit on its per-theatre number to around $6500;  Beginners had similar results.  A BETTER LIFE, which will be a major marketing challenge for Summit, is headed for an OK $16K in each of only 4 art theatres, while the documentary CONAN O’BRIEN CAN’T STOP will find its audience (if at all) on the home screen, with just $4K per theatre in 40.   
Next weekend will be all TRANSFORMERS:  DARK OF THE MOON.  Or “weekend,” since Paramount is opening the movie at 9PM Tuesday night in order to stretch its holiday to 6 1/2 days.  (The last Transformers, which opened on Wednesday–meaning Tuesday midnight–the week before July 4th, racked up $215M in its first 6 days, on its way to a $402M domestic total.)  Universal and Fox will try to counterprogram with soft romantic comedies, respectively the genial LARRY CROWNE aimed at older audiences, and MONTE CARLO for younger girls.

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."