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Box Office Weekly Roundup For 5/22

Posted By: Lawrence Napoli
Tue, 05/24/2011 - 02:02

Weekly Roundup Ending 5/22


pic I continue to be impressed with the strong openings for the summer blockbusters.  One would think there wasn’t talk of economic crises in this country, but then harder financial times will always cause a slight upsurge in modest entertainment expenses.  Let’s just say it remains to be challenging if one makes a living off car sales, real estate and tourism.  Although going out to the movies is very expensive now, most people would rather spend a little over a longer period of time to be entertained -- than blow a huge chunk of cash on a vacation that gets you 1 maybe 2 weeks of fun with either nothing left over or a millstone around your neck to pay off a big credit card balance.  There’s your Suzy Orman smart spending tip of the week and now on with last weekend’s results:

Top 5 this past weekend:

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides- $90.2 million
  2. Bridesmaids - $20.9 million
  3. Thor - $15.5 million
  4. Fast Five - $10.6 million
  5. Priest - $4.8 million

Apparently, people really do like Johnny Depp in mascara despite a fourth film in a series that is missing two of its marquee personalities from its preceding establishment.  It was a good initial showing for Pirates, but with a budget of $250 million, it’s got a ways to go just to break even at the box.  After this weekend, Bridesmaids has already profited $20 million over its budget, while Thor has missed a step in keeping pace with Fast Five.  It’s a shame Marvel didn’t place its two Avenger blockbusters closer together in order to catch some residual interest between them.  Thor will have fully cycled out of theatres well before July 22. 

Top 5 cumulative box office for 2011:

  1. Fast Five - $186.2 million
  2. Thor - $145.4 million
  3. Rio - $131.7 million
  4. Rango - $121.2 million
  5. Hop - $107.2 million

On Stranger Tides had the strongest opening weekend of any summer film thus far, but the quality of the story may not translate into the same level of domination next week.  It was an entertaining film, but not the shockingly good surprise that Fast Five was.  The Hangover Part II has an opportunity (albeit, a long shot) at taking over number 1 in its debut weekend over Pirates, as it is the first major comedy for 2011.  In a more balanced year, any of the action films I have mentioned would have no problem approaching $300 million at the box office.  This summer’s trend reveals rather alarming drops in percentages for every film’s follow-up week especially when each has to face off against yet another blockbuster opening during its third week.  I’m not complaining about all the fun I am having at the cinema, but I found it to be very curious how every studio decided to overload the summer months and actually compete with each other.