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Box Office Weekly Roundup Ending 5/15/11

Posted By: Lawrence Napoli
Mon, 05/16/2011 - 23:00

Weekly Roundup Ending 5/15/11


picApologies all, for last week’s neglect.  I could weave you a tale of drama and trauma concerning the loss of a pet, the destruction of my car or the bitter revile of a negatively charged woman.  But I really missed last week because of Mass Effect 2 and since I’m a PS3er, these were my first moments playing such an epic, all-immersive, cinematic triumph of will that simply forced everything on the periphery into bullet time.

As for this weekend’s cinematic winners and losers at the box office, fans of Asgard will rejoice with steins of mead and drum sticks aloft as Thor retains the spot at #1 for the second consecutive week since its debut.  Despite another fine showing, follow up weekends will almost always take a significant dip in sales.  Thor dropped about 47%, but every other film save for Bridesmaids and Priest took similar losses because those films had their opening weekend.  Any “chick flick” that is bold enough to muscle in on the big boy blockbusters of summer will have one, if not two solid showings for the weekend, but they don’t have staying power.  You will see what I have to say in regards to Priest in a few days, but for now let’s just say there’s a reason why it came in fourth place during its debut weekend.

Top 5 this past weekend:

  1. Thor - $34.7 million
  2. Bridesmaids - $26.2 million
  3. Fast Five - $20.4 million
  4. Priest - $14.9 million
  5. Rio - $8.3 million

Thor’s strong second weekend is no small feat for the summer of 2011 as the chase to run down Fast Five from behind is heating up.  The true test is going to be lasting appeal and the studios that are still actively engaged in promotions and advertising beyond opening weekend will reap the rewards as most casual movie goers will go out of their way to avoid jam packed screenings of debuting blockbusters.  Thus, the door is wide open for films that have been out for 2-3 weeks to continue to soak up dollars.  I was a bit surprised that Rio almost squeaked out another $10 million, but then I am reminded that not every parent would be cool subjecting their kids to the violence of Thor, which is curious because its violence is about as graphic as a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Top 5 cumulative box office for 2011:

  1. Fast Five - $169.7 million
  2. Rio - $125.2 million
  3. Rango - $120.8 million
  4. Thor - $119.5 million
  5. Hop - $106.9 million

Indeed, the year’s cumulative numbers are already diverging from the first half of this year’s tallies with more shaking up on the way with the new Pirates of the Carribbean film opening this coming weekend.  Quite honestly, I would expect a superior product from a Johnny Depp blockbuster when compared to the likes of Fast Five and Thor, but only time will tell if the audience is sick of Captain Jack Sparrow or not.  Downgrading from Keira Knightly to Penelope Cruz cannot help his cause.  Regardless, this summer continues to roll along with decent momentum that I cannot help, but think that blockbuster overload is inevitable.  It’s not like everyone is going to stop all other diversionary activities just to run the gauntlet.  An opening weekend below the $40 million dollar mark would be a huge let down for any of the big productions, but is a very real possibility.  My sights are set on Pirates this weekend, but alas L.A. Noire comes out tonight at midnight.  I wonder how many people have successfully called off of work/school/family functions because of movies and video games?