March 14, 2010

Jack-in-the-Box Office for the weekend of March 12-14

In what was a disappointing weekend at the Box Office for films making their debut, “Alice in Wonderland” remained in the top spot by taking in another $62 million in its second week, which was the sixth-highest grossing second weekend of all time. Though the production budget for the film was a costly $200 million, that figure has now been eclipsed by the domestic total of $208 million and the worldwide total of $429 million.

In second place was Paul Greengrass’ political thriller “Green Zone” starring Matt Damon. The film opened with a disappointing $14.5 million, a fraction the film’s $100 million budget, as well as a fraction of the opening weekend grosses of the Jason Bourne films that Greengrass and Damon have made. While other outlets have labeled the film a box-office bomb, the worldwide total is already at $24.2 million and that figure could go up drastically as the film opens in more markets overseas. This could be a film to watch closely in the coming weeks, as there have been films lately that have been slow out of the gate that ended up making a worldwide profit (“The Lovely Bones”), and other films that never got close (“Nine”). Can Universal pull it off with “Green Zone”? The next few weeks will tell.

In third place was the opening weekend of the comedy “She’s Out of My League” starring Jay Baruchel. The opening weekend gross was $9.6 million, which pales in comparison to similar films such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up”. While figures for the worldwide gross or production budget were not available, the film was likely made for around $20 million, so the film’s ability to make a profit is basically a forgone conclusion.

In fourth place was “Remember Me,” the film that asked the question whether or not Robert Pattinson could have a massive opening weekend outside of the “Twilight” franchise. The answer was a resounding NO as the film made only $8.3 million domestically. Comparisons are already being made to when “Jennifer’s Body” had a similar opening weekend last fall and proved that Megan Fox alone couldn’t draw moviegoers to theaters opening weekend. Interestingly, both “Remember Me” and “Jennifer’s Body” had production budgets of $16 million. Fox’s film not only broke even domestically but had a worldwide gross of $31 million. “Remember Me” could easily end up doing as well if not better, so those on both sides of the R-Patz (as he is known by the so-called “Twi-Hards”) debate should keep on eye out for domestic and foreign totals in the coming weeks.

Rounding out the top five was the fourth weekend of “Shutter Island” which made another $8 million to bring its domestic total to $108 million and it’s worldwide total to $143 million. Domestically, “Shutter Island” is now the second-highest grossing film of Martin Scorsese’s career (behind Best Picture-winner “The Departed”) and the fourth-highest grossing film of Leonardo DiCaprio’s career.

In other opening weekend news, “Our Family Wedding” starring Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera, Carlos Mencia, Regina King, and Taye Diggs made $7.6 million and played well in a smaller number of theaters. “The Exploding Girl” starring Zoe Kazan opened in one theater where it grossed $6,000 dollars. Based mainly on the intrigue of Zoe Kazan’s first starring role (after acclaimed character roles in films such as “Revolutionary Road,” “Me and Orson Welles,” and “It’s Complicated”) the film should easily make back it’s $40,000 budget.

What if anything drew you to the theater this weekend? Did you see “Alice in Wonderland” or “Shutter Island” for the first or second time, or did you check out one of the several films that made their debuts? Please let us know how you enjoyed it (and always, any Oscar potential you may see) and for all of us at Awards Circuit, we look forward to seeing you at the movies.


  1. I don't really know how you can call She's Out of My League "similar" to The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Aside from all of them being R-rated comedies, they don't really have anything else in common. Virgin and Knocked Up were both summer releases from Judd Apatow. I guess they could appeal to the same type of audience, but League doen't have the name recognition of being an Apatow film or the luxury of being released when many teens are off from school.

  2. A more appropriate comparison would have been something like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, yes, but I get what he meant...

  3. Also, I saw The Exploding Girl this weekend, and it was very good. Look for a review soon!

  4. I was curious about Exploding Girl... looking forward to the review

  5. Zoe Kazan is fantastic. If the movie was destined to be seen by more than 12 people, she'd be in the conversation for Best Actress. The movie is very quiet, and very very slow, but I highly recommend it.

  6. Joey, good point about "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," but with "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" as [Insert Clever Name Here] said I was thinking along the lines of R-rated comedies appealing to a similar audience.

    I was also thinking about how when "Knocked Up" opened, the male lead Seth Rogen was known mainly as a member of the Judd Apatow ensemble cast, as is the case with Jay Baruchel at the moment. Although the point about "She's Out Of My League" is a coming out at a different time of year is a good one. Even though "Valentine's Day," "Shutter Island" and "Alice in Wonderland" helped prove the possibility of the early-year blockbuster, "She's Out of My League" may have been better served to be released between summer tent-pole films as the Apatow films were.
    As far as "The Exploding Girl" goes, if Oscilloscope Pictures has any resources to any kind of campaign throughout the year/season (or even if the film quietly builds buzz) and some combination of Film Independent, critics, audiences, or Oscar bloggers get behind it, I could see a Best Actress nomination as a possibility (think Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor").

  7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a better comparison because it's an offshoot of Apatow, in the vein of this. Comparing it to Knocked Up makes it like a family member twice removed, as opposed to once removed with Sarah Marshall. Also, going by your points, it's a better comparison because Jay Baruchel was an ensemble character like Jason Segel, more of a background guy than Rogen. Sarah Marshall also came out in April, not the summer, so it's a similar period.

    On The Exploding Girl....Oscilloscope doesn't have major resources (besides wining and dining me once for The Messenger) unless it gets buzz and reviews (like The Messenger), and this one has some reviews, but not enough. We'll see (and if I was first on the bandwagon, good for me), but I find it unlikely...

  8. I went and looked up numbers for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" as well as "I Love You, Man" which also seemed apt and also had a March opening. Both movies had give-or-take $17 million opening weekends, still far more than "She's Out of My League". Even though it appears that "She's Out of My League" will ultimately end up making less than even those films, I hope you'll agree with me that it should easily be able to turn a profit.

    On The Exploding Girl, Oscilloscope is actually out a bunch of money from "The Messenger" from what I can tell, but I don't think Overture Films had much money for much of 2008 either. Richard Jenkins nomination came from acclaim from his performance that lasted throughout the entire year. There were other factors (his veteran status, Overture having the money to do last minute campaign right before nominations, his career as a whole) for a performance to come out that early and to still be buzzed about throughout the year is a powerful thing. "The Silence of the Lambs" and "United 93" were other early releases that kept afloat throughout the year. I think the question with Kazan is whether or not her performance has the special something needed to keep her on the minds of even a few critics or voters throughout the year. Based on your comments Joey, you appear to think that the answer to this could be yes.

  9. It should make its money back at least, yes.

    We shall see. This film is far smaller than any you mentioned, but if the right people like her enough, we'll hear more about the film.

  10. I saw Un Prophete on Saturday.

    Phenomenal film. One of the best foreign films I've seen.