Posted by:
Lawrence Napoli

Box Office Weekly Roundup For 6/19/11


Weekly Roundup Ending 6/19/11


picSo Abin Sur descended upon Earth in search of the one who would become the greatest of the Green Lantern Corps.  Instead, he settled for Ryan Reynolds, and as disappointing as a mere $50 million dollar opening weekend is to the critics, it still happens to be a $50 million dollar weekend.  The volatile nature of this summer has no film taking any profits for granted, but I am still stunned that none of the major studios have taken steps to address the serious second week slumps for all of these blockbusters. 

Some suggestions perhaps:

1) Time your media blitz (actors on talk shows, movie tie-ins, etc.) for the week AFTER opening weekend to rekindle interest the following week. 

2) Refinance the bulk of the film’s advertising budget for time slots beginning the second weekend and throughout the following week. 

3) Get your cast together for a quick group interview/special to be aired on TV (not just premium movie channels) or the web talking more about the film in question. 

For the amount of money that has been forwarded to most of 2011’s blockbusters, you would think that a couple more million here and there to protect that investment against 50% + drops in sales only ONE WEEK after the initial release would be practical.  Sure, maximizing profits per ticket sold via the scam that is IMAX and Digital 3D is smart, but audiences are wising up as those sales are in decline because the end “enhancement” to the film is not worth what basically amounts to double the original ticket price.

Top 5 this past weekend:

  1. Green Lantern- $53.2 million
  2. Super 8 - $21.5 million
  3. Mr. Popper’s Penguins- $18.4 million
  4. X-Men: First Class- $11.9 million
  5. The Hangover Part II- $10.1 million

At first glance, it looks like Super 8 might have figured something out because it only took a 35% hit in its second week.  I attribute this to either dumb luck or positive word of mouth being spread, because I know I haven’t seen any significant boost in advertising or press for J.J. Abrams’ project.  It may also be the very disappointing debut weekend it had, but it’s already $23 million over budget in box office sales.  Who’s laughing now?  And speaking of laughing, who knew Jim Carey was still interested in making movies?  Is it possible for him to make a comedy without making goofy faces or goofy sound effects in desperate attempts to channel Ace Ventura? 

Top 5 cumulative box office for 2011:

  1. The Hangover Part II - $234.3 million
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - $221.6 million
  3. Fast Five- $206.9 million
  4. Thor - $176.3 million
  5. Kung Fu Panda 2- $144.8 million

Jack Black gets some bragging rights as his film moves in to the top 5 earners for 2011.  Soak it up my friend, it won’t last too long especially with Cars 2 opening this weekend.  With the massive level of toy merchandising that has been front and center for every major US retailer that carry toys, it’s really a matter of predicting the extent of its box office domination.  Although the first Cars was a charming little film, the story wasn’t particularly valuable, inspiring or entertaining – at least as far as it could be presented by vehicles with faces and the voice work of Owen (still haven’t fixed my crooked nose) Wilson.  In many respects, the Cars franchise is beginning to mirror the Star Wars franchise as its merchandising has begun to overshadow its own source material. 

The Pirates film seems to have gained some ground on Hangover II, and that is a direct result of an almost 500 screen advantage those bilge rats have over the Wolfpack.  What’s even more interesting is how Stranger Tides just moved into 10th place for the all time global box office earners, joining Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End in the top 10 as well.  Noticeably absent was the best of the pirate films: The Curse of the Black Pearl.  You should all know that Avatar is the all time king here, but you’d all be pretty surprised which films make up the other 6 slots.