November 6, 2011

THE BIJOU: Weekend Boxoffice Footnotes – 11/6/11


The tiny 3% drop in PUSS IN BOOTS‘ second weekend is truly remarkable, and could well lead to studios adopting DreamWorks’ strategy in the future of opening an animated movie on Halloween weekend and then having a de facto 2d opening the following week.  (However, the picture is still running $13M below Megamind‘s 10 day total.)

Despite all the money Universal spent to turn TOWER HEIST into an event, audiences just weren’t buying.  The initial overseas numbers of $9.5M in 23 territories aren’t terribly promising either.  Interestingly, exit polling showed the audience for the picture skewing rather old; this could be a byproduct of Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy’s decisions to spend much of the past decade in family movies–they’re now perceived as stars only by little kids (not the audience for this one) and their parents.  
A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D XMAS, even with 3D ticket prices, couldn’t match the opening of the series’ second installment, and with an Adam Sandler movie opening next week, it’s unlikely to get much beyond a $30M gross.  Warners would probably have been better off using it as counterprogramming during the real holiday season.
In the absence of compelling new openings, holdovers mostly did very well, although the only Fall opening (besides Puss) likely to get to $100M is PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3.
With the exception of ANONYMOUS (a dull $2500 in each of 513 theatres), most of the weekend’s indie expansions were fairly successful.  MARGIN CALL, now in 178 theatres, should be close to $4500 in each, just slightly below its average last weekend.  MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE went to 98 theatres with about a $5K average, a notch above THE SKIN I LIVE IN, which is in 78 with about $4K in each.  TAKE SHELTER is in a holding pattern with an OK $2K or so in each of 91 theatres.  LIKE CRAZY is still in very limited distribution, but widened to 16 with about a $16K average.

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."