Weekly Roundup Ending 6/12/11
Another week has come and gone for the summer of 2011, and yet another film takes over as the number one earner at the box office this past weekend: Super 8. The brainchild of J.J. Abrams did not come close to setting any records with its less than impressive sales totals, but it did manage to out earn X-Men: First Class by a decent margin. I blame a poorly executed promotional strategy rather than quality of the film itself in my review for Super 8. With a production budget under $50 million dollars, most of the capital went towards direct production expenses as opposed to TV spots which presents a catch-22. You get by on the cheap (expense-wise) while hoping quality of story and performance can make up the difference, but does any of it matter if no one knows about the film in the first place? Another $10 - $15 million for advertising would have easily pushed Super 8 closer to the $50 - $60 million dollar debut benchmark. Instead, these are the results.
Top 5 this past weekend:
- Super 8- $35.5 million
- X-Men: First Class - $24.1 million
- The Hangover Part II- $17.7 million
- Kung Fu Panda 2- $16.5 million
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - $10.9 million
Bridesmaids just missed the top 5 by under $900K which is an amazing feat when considering the casts, scope and budgets between this film and the current occupant of the fifth slot. Yet again, 50% + losses continue to plague debut weekends, regardless of the film that gets released as the X-Men can clearly attest to. Super 8 (despite earning back most of its production expenses already) can ill afford the same percentage loss in its second week. Green Lantern will debut at the end of the following weekend as the overall earner by a vast amount of money, but I feel Super 8 has an opportunity to minimize its losses, and perhaps even gain a couple of positive percentage points as a result of positive word of mouth.
Top 5 cumulative box office for 2011:
- The Hangover Part II- $217.6 million
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - $210.1 million
- Fast Five- $205.3 million
- Thor- $173.9 million
- Rio- $137.9 million
Although I was incorrect in my prediction of a “crushing” of X-Men: First Class by Super 8, I was right on the money in regards to the placement of the overall earners after last weekend. The Hangover Part II is now the reigning cumulative king, but for how long? Although Pirates is still being played in more theatres than Hangover right now, I feel the future earnings for both films as they begin to cycle down will be virtually the same. Thus, the only real challengers for the Wolfpack are films that have not yet been released and there are plenty of strong titles left in June and July.