Posted by:
Lawrence Napoli

Box Office Weekly Roundup For 5/29/11


Weekly Roundup Ending 5/29/11


pic Wow!  We have witnessed another monster weekend for yet another highly anticipated summer blockbuster. 

This past weekend belonged to the R-Rated comedy, The Hangover Part II, by having one of the strongest box office takes of the summer of 2011.  Of course, these numbers are skewed in that they only seem to care about bottom line sales generated, while other factors are very relevant when it comes to “records at the box office”:

1) Not every film gets to release mid-week Wednesday night at midnight (like Hangover).

2) Inflation is never accounted for.

3) Ticket prices for digital projection and IMAX (almost double the price of a standard ticket) are also swept under the rug. 

Comparing the number of tickets sold is the only true gauge of a film’s popularity, but since Hollywood only cares about the green, they don’t care if they sell a million tickets for a million bucks -- or 1 ticket for a million bucks; as long as the millions multiply, how a film gets there is irrelevant. 

 Top 5 this past weekend:

  1. The Hangover Part II- $85.9 million
  2. Kung Fu Panda 2- $47.7 million
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - $39.8 million
  4. Bridesmaids- $16.6 million
  5. Thor - $9.4 million

Thank you for filtering the actual weekend ticket sales. The Hangover Part II has grossed over $135 million dollars to date, and despite not counting the early release in the week, that early buzz can really push a film’s profit to ridiculous levels for the weekend as long as it is good. 

Thank you word of mouth, but ouch; second weeks continue to be an absolute killer for the blockbusters – just look at Pirates.  Dropping in sales by over 55%, Pirates has certainly assured itself of being a pretender to the crown of 2011.  At the same time, the little chick flick that could, Bridesmaids, maintains consistency, proving that girlfriends and wives still have major swag amidst the boyish blockbusters. 

Alas, it seems the mighty Mjolnir has been swung for the last time and its last ditch effort to catch Vin Diesel has ended in vain.

Top 5 cumulative box office for 2011:

  1. Fast Five- $197.6 million
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - $163.6 million
  3. Thor - $162.4 million
  4. Rio- $135.4 million
  5. The Hangover Part II - $135.1 million

Rest assured, ladies and gentlemen, we will never again see a summer like this.  The magic number seems to be $200 million, but even Fast Five, the overall leader for the entire summer has not yet reached that echelon. 

I love it when Universal, Paramount, Fox and Warner Bros. throw down the gauntlet and try to show each other up, but this level of direct competition is severely capping projected profits (which is why we’ll never see this kind of lineup again).  Pirates still has an excellent chance at $200 million, but with the highly volatile nature of dropping profit percentages, nothing is for certain. 

It is a very big deal when an R-Rated comedy not only owns the weekend, but jumps into the top 5 cumulative earners in less than a week.  PG-13 shall always be the coveted rating for profit margin.  We shall soon see how much X-Men: First Class (an alternate take on the origins of this iconic super hero team) cuts into Hangover and the rest of the blockbusters.