October 9, 2011

THE BIJOU: Weekend Boxoffice Footnotes – 10/9/11


REAL STEEL had a nice Saturday bump of 27%, but that’s far lower than the 40% it was initially claiming (and only 4% higher than the one for Ides of March, which is decidedly not a family matinee movie).  The picture could benefit, though, from some additional matinee business on Columbus Day tomorrow.  Also helping out is the limited competition it’ll face over the next couple of weeks, with Footloose aiming at a slightly older audience and Johnny English Reborn and The Three Musketeers not likely to be major boxoffice factors.  (That good luck runs out on October 28, when Puss in Boots opens.)  Still, the picture is unlikely to reach 9 figures in the US, which means its ultimate success will rest on overseas business.  The movie is rolling out gradually worldwide, and started with a good $22M this weekend in 19 territories, only 3 of which are major (Russia, Mexico and Australia).  

Even though they’re in different genres, THE IDES OF MARCH will have competition next weekend from The Big Year for the older audience.  Since international markets aren’t likely to be very interested in a story of US politics, the film will need to linger in domestic theatres for several weeks in order to hit a profit.
DOLPHIN TALE and MONEYBALL may end up in more or less the same place with their final US grosses (Moneyball making up midweek what it loses to Dolphin on the weekends), but Dolphin is in far better shape financially, as it cost about 25% less to produce (and probably also somewhat less to market), and has a brighter outlook internationally thanks to the overseas romance with 3D family movies. 
Cinemascoristas, please note:  the much-vaunted, “rarely-given” A+ rating that COURAGEOUS won bought it a thoroughly routine 50% drop in its second weekend, far less impressive than 50/50‘s and not even as good as the holds for the mostly-reviled DREAM HOUSE and WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?  As of now, it doesn’t appear the movie will even reach the $33M total that its faith-based stablemate Fireproof did last year.
In limited release, one has to give a little revolted credit to THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, which managed $3K in each of 18 theatres playing only midnight shows.  That’s better than DIRTY GIRL will average at 9 playing a full schedule.  THE WAY did an OK $4K in each of 33, as did THE WOMEN ON THE SIXTH FLOOR in each of 6.  It wasn’t a good weekend for expansions, as MACHINE GUN PREACHER fell to a $1200 average in each of 93, WEEKEND to $4K in each of 14, and TAKE SHELTER to $5K in each of 11.  

Next week THE THING will try to steal a weekend before PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 takes over the Halloween market the following week, but the interesting one to watch will be FOOTLOOSE, which is getting some surprisingly good reviews.  It’ll  try to prove it can find an audience among a target group that couldn’t name a single degree of Kevin Bacon. 

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."