August 7, 2011

THE BIJOU: Boxoffice Footnotes – 8/7/11


RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is off to a great start internationally as well, with $23M for the weekend in just 25 territories (only 4 of which–Australia, Spain, Russia and Taiwan–are major boxoffice centers).  The biggest individual winner of the weekend may be Peter Chernin, the former Fox exec who kicks off his career as a feature producer with this hit.  (He also has 2 of the most high-profile new TV series just around the corner:  Terra Nova and New Girl.)
There isn’t much more to be said about THE CHANGE-UP.  All the good feeling of early summer at Universal from Fast Five and Bridesmaids is starting to dissipate after the one-two punch of Cowboys & Aliens and this flop.  Luckily for Ryan Reynolds, his next opening, the thriller Safe House in early 2012, will largely ride on the shoulders of Denzel Washington, giving Reynolds the chance to reacquire some boxoffice points.
THE SMURFS, in its first weekend of serious international release, has a terrific $45M in 30 territories, which indicates strong worldwide appeal… and inevitable sequels.
CRAZY STUPID LOVE went down a slight 36% from opening weekend, demonstrating great word of mouth.  And on that subject, the hat must be tipped once again to Woody Allen and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, which lost about 20% of its theatres and still only declined 14%, on its way to its date with a $50M gross.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART 2) rode a huge China opening to another giant international weekend of $62M, which makes its overseas total $791M and worldwide bonanza $1.13B.  This moves it ahead of Return of the King to become the third highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, behind only Avatar and Titanic.   It’ll also move past Transformers 3 next week in the US to become the #1 film of the year domestically.
Several limited releases expanded over the weekend, with no evident breakout hits.  THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE averaged an OK $6K at each of 33 theatres; THE GUARD is at $10K at each of 19; ANOTHER EARTH a disappointing $3K at each of 55; Miranda July’s THE FUTURE $5K at each of 17.  It seems as though the Friday numbers for new releases BELLFLOWER and GUN HILL ROAD were boosted by in-theatre Q&As, since their weekend multiples were a wan 2.5x for around $12K per house.  THE WHISTLEBLOWER sparked little interest with an average of $8K in 7 theatres.  

Next weekend, only FINAL DESTINATION 5 is scheduled to hit over 3000 theatres; 30 MINUTES OR LESS and THE HELP are in around 2500 each, and the GLEE concert movie in only 1800, so giant debuts are unlikely.   

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."