September 3, 2011

THE BIJOU: Boxoffice Footnotes – 9/2/11


Apart from the usual hosannas to THE HELP’s remarkable staying power, there’s not much to be said about this weekend’s wide releases.  APOLLO 18 and SHARK NIGHT are both flops that will be hard-pressed to gross enough to pay for their marketing.  THE DEBT is a bit more of a question mark, because of its genre and theatre count, but the B it received from exit polling isn’t a good sign for the kind of word-of-mouth it would need to build over time–especially with a tankload of “serious” movies about to come down the pike.

In barely-limited release, the Jesus-and-golf movie SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA isn’t getting much from its faith-based audience, heading for maybe $3-4K per theatre (even worse than Apollo 18, which is in more than 5x as many theatres) over the 4-day holiday at 561.  In genuinely small runs, LOVE CRIMES could do a decent $10K in each of 5, GAINSBOURG:  A HEROIC LIFE around $7500 in each of 2, and the martial arts picture DETECTIVE DEE perhaps $20K in each of 3.  
Next weekend shapes up as unusually interesting for early September, as two ambitious movies square off. Steven Soderbergh’s CONTAGION, with its all-star cast but uncompromisingly grim tone, faces the extremely well-reviewed WARRIOR, which will hold sneak previews nationwide on Sunday night in an effort to build buzz for a picture that was very much under the radar with its MMA theme and Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton in the leads.  (Also opening is BUCKY LARSON:  BORN TO BE A STAR, which I’d prefer to pretend doesn’t exist.)

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."