September 24, 2011

THE BIJOU: Boxoffice Footnotes – 9/23/11


MONEYBALL‘s debut looks to be in line with the opening weekend of The Social Network ($22.4M) just about a year ago.  That movie rode the Oscar race to a $97M gross.  Moneyball is more likable but less incisive than Network, and while it’s going to be part of the Oscar conversation, it’s less likely to be a frontrunner; we’ll see if it can build as well on its opening.
Disney is supposed to withdraw THE LION KING from circulation on Thursday, because its new blu-ray of the picture goes on sale the following Tuesday.  But will they really leave millions on the table in additional boxoffice by sticking to the plan?

DOLPHIN TALE‘s opening day is about 12% better than the one Warners had with Legend of the Guardian, their 3D family movie on the same weekend last year.  If that comparison holds, it would give Dolphin around $18M for the weekend and an ultimate gross in the mid $60Ms.  
The Taylor Lautner spin machine is strong enough to operate power grids in 3 states, but the fact is that a $10M opening weekend doesn’t justify a big-time movie star salary.  At best, Lautner is a lap behind Jason Statham’s level:  KILLER ELITE looks to open at the lower-end of Statham’s wheelhouse, with a $10M opening that compares to the $11M he had with The Mechanic and $12M with Transporter 3 and Death Race
Among holdovers, DRIVE, CONTAGION and (of course) THE HELP held well, while I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT and STRAW DOGS didn’t.  And THE DEBT now seems like it won’t get past $32M, not quite at the level of The Constant Gardener ($33.5M) or The American ($35M).
In limited release, MACHINE GUN PREACHER should do around $9K in each of 4 theatres, but that number is hyped by Q&A sessions with the stars, so it may be misleading.

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."