Week 37 is filled with Play-Doh, cakes, fur and other interesting things that happen in a New York week. Let us know which one looks to be the most fun.
September 9, 2012
The Resident Evil series returned to the top of the box office this weekend with its fifth installment, Resident Evil: Retribution. The series, which is based on the extremely successful video game series, has spun off from its horror-genre inspired source material and found a home with sci-fi action movie fans. The latest sequel pulled in $21 million in its opening weekend, $6 million less than its predecessor. While a slow box office can be partially to blame, audiences have been buried under a rather large pile of sequels this year. Counting this weekend, there have been ten new franchise installments this year. Unfortunately only three have found a strong start. Resident Evil: Retribution can be included as one of those successes, despite the low start when compared to previous films.
In second this weekend was the rerelease of one of Pixar’s biggest successes, Finding Nemo. Like many rereleases this year, the film has been given a 3D conversion. Unlike the other Disney 3D rereleases, Finding Nemo was not as successful. A $16 million opening weekend is far less than Lion King’s $30 million opening and $1 million less than Beauty and the Beast 3D. More time will be needed analyze whether or not Finding Nemo’s distribution on Blu Ray and DVD over the years deeply affected audience willingness to venture out of their homes even if it is in 3D. Lion King and Beauty and the Beast have not had the same marketing push for home distribution, especially considering that the films were originally released in the VHS era.
Lionsgate’s horror film The Possession dropped to third this week with a $6 million weekend. The film has already gathered $41 million in three weeks as these types of movies continue to help Lionsgate cement an already dominant year at the box office. Relying on small and cheap horror films has historically been an easy way for companies to make a quick buck. Many have gone in the opposite direction, going all in for larger budget films to create buzz. Lionsgate has done nothing new with their strategy but kept it simple and has found an easy route to success.
Lastly, P.T. Anderson’s latest film The Master made history by generating the most per theater revenue ever with $147 thousand at each of the five screenings. The previous film that held this record was Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom earlier this year. For a film that has been lightly leaked to audiences due to controversial subject matter, The Master seems to have the interest that many other dramas seem to lack this year.
All box office numbers from Box Office Mojo
Lionsgate was happy to see that their supernatural horror film The Possession held on to the top spot this weekend, giving the studio ownership over the title of most number one films this year. Holding the interest of horror fans, The Possession pulled in 9 million and now has a better two week start than the studio’s last similar film The Last Exorcism. While overall sales were down this weekend, Lionsgate has shown that the key to success is consistent output. Their latest number one film is not a major blockbuster but has done the deed well enough and continues to grow the reputation of Hollywood’s newest power studio.
Finishing in second this week was the star studded release Lawless. Earning 23 million in its first two weeks, this period piece has found itself slightly ahead of other less impressive September releases of years past such as The Debt but just off from the George Clooney espionage flick The American. Even though the film will not find its way to the top of the charts, they are well on the road to profitability. Whether or not the movie will be looked upon favorably in the award season is another story.
Labor Day weekend is normally rather quiet. All signs pointed to this outcome until one film managed to break all expectations. Oogieloves In the BIG Balloon Adventure smashed all previous records by having the worst opening weekend ever for a major release. The film screened in over 2,000 theaters, pulling in a mere $600,000. That topples the 2008 animated disaster Delgo. The main difference here is that the studio knew this film would be bad. Unfortunately, they did not anticipate it being this bad. Each showing averaged less than 10 ticket buyers per screen. For some perspective, Marvel’s The Avengers finished 13 spots higher pulling in over $2 million on its 18th week at the box office. All of the billboards in Times Square and all of the advertisements on children’s television programming couldn’t help this Titanic failure that cost the producers $20 million in production costs alone.
In better news, Labor Day weekend did see a strong opening for the latest demonic horror film The Possession. Taking a tested concept and repackaging it for audiences has always proven to be successful for the genre. This latest battle with creatures from the afterlife, this time a dybbuk, brought in $21 million over the long weekend. That’s just short of Lionsgate’s last supernatural hit The Last Exorcism. A sturdy plot with no nonsense marketing helped to establish the film amongst the diehards while word of mouth helped to pack in the casual scream fans. The weekend was so strong for The Possession that it moved into 2nd place all time for Labor Day openings behind Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween. Continue reading