Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Sheep @ The Box Office

Turkey time has come and gone and apparently it was not so difficult for a good chunk of you to roll yourselves off of your couches and make your way to one of the many movies released this past week. Granted, the majority of the money was split almost evenly between two family films but 'tis the season, right?

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART ONE) (click title for review) narrowly held on to its crown this weekend, after pulling in stellar numbers all week. The total cume now stands at $220 million in North America, putting it well on track to easily become the most successful film of the franchise. Coming in second place, which could turn into first place for the weekend if the estimates don't hold after the official numbers are released tomorrow, is Disney's 50th animated feature, TANGLED, an update on the "Rapunzel" story. With $69 million in five days, it far surpassed my expectations and, from what I hear, the film ain't half bad either.

On the other hand, three other wide releases played to very tepid audiences this weekend. The most successful of the trio was the Christina Aguilera / Cher musical romp, BURLESQUE (click title for review). Like everything else Aguilera released this year, her film debut was not well embraced, pulling in less than $4K per screen. Performing only slightly better per screen was the romantic drama, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS (click title for review), with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. The film, which features Gyllenhaal as a Viagra salesman, probably would have benefitted from popping a couple of little blue pills itself if it wanted to make an, uh, bigger impression. And, after spending years playing to the family crowd, The Rock returns to action in FASTER with a very slow start, with the lowest average of any of the four wide releases.

Just below the Top 10 again this week is the Danny Boyle directed true story, 127 HOURS (click title for review), starring James Franco. Adding another 185 screens saw the film's returns improve another 88%, the Top 10 now closer than ever. The big art house success this week though is the Oscar front runner, THE KING'S SPEECH (click title for review), from director, Tom Hooper. This Colin Firth period piece played to a fantastic per screen average of $87.5K on just four screens in all of North America, certainly leaving distributor, Alliance, a little speechless.

NEXT WEEK: As awards season approaches, there is more excitement on the limited release front than the wide front, with only one semi-wide release next week, THE WARRIOR'S WAY (???) on 1500 screens. More importantly though, the oft delayed Jim Carrey / Ewan McGregor gay prison comedy, I LOVE YOU, PHILIP MORRIS, finally sees life on the outside, on 6 screens. And Darren Aronofky's highly anticipated ballet thriller with Natalie Portman, BLACK SWAN (click title for review), hits 19 screens.