For the second weekend in a row, the headline for today is “Too Close to Call”, with only $250,000 separating the films in first and second place. The weekend was up from the same weekend last year by about $13 million, yet most of the films had showings that were mediocre at best.
In first place at the moment is DreamWorks’ “How To Train Your Dragon” with $20 million, bringing its domestic total to $158 million and the worldwide total to $320 million. After having spent two weeks on third place, the lack of competing family films and the onslaught of other films performing in a less-than-stellar fashion has allowed “How to Train Your Dragon” to find its way back to the top spot. Although its still not a hit of “Shrek” or “Kung Fu Panda” proportions, it has made almost twice its budget back on a worldwide scale, which should give DreamWorks plenty to celebrate.
As of this writing, the R-rated super-hero film “Kick-Ass” is at second place with $19,750,000. Although this is a disappointment of sorts (the opening weekend estimate was around $30 million), the film has already posted a worldwide take of $37 million on a $30 million dollar budget. The word-of-mouth for the film was extremely strong, so it should play strongly in the coming weeks and ultimately post an even more impressive profit. One good sign going into next week is that a large chunk of its audience may have been at Coachella this weekend and may show up in the coming days. The downside is that the film may only have a week or two to have much of an impact before the market is dominated by “Iron Man 2”.
“Date Night” came in at third place with a respectable second weekend-take of $17.3 million. Fox spent $55 million on the film, which has already grossed $49 million domestically and $66 million worldwide. Although the film is on track to out-gross “Baby Mama” and “Mean Girls”, and even a make a respectable total for a Steve Carell film, it will be interesting to see where the mixed word-of-mouth takes the film in the coming weeks. Although another decent week or two is very likely, the film will likely not survive long once the summer blockbuster season takes off.
The opening weekend of the “Death at a Funeral” remake featuring an almost completely African-American cast was another disappointment. The film took in $17 million (at least several million less than expected) to come in at fourth place. Still, with a $21 million budget, the film should easily post a profit for Sony in the coming days.
Rounding out the top five was the third weekend of “Clash of the Titans” which took in another $15 million to raise its domestic total to $132 million and its worldwide take to $321. Like “How To Train Your Dragon”, while the film may not have been the hit the studio had hoped for, its profit margin from its $125 million budget leaves nothing to sneeze at.
In another weekend of a large number of independent films opening in a microscopic number of theaters, “The City of Your Final Destination” starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney won the per-theater-average race by taking in $22,000 on one screen,
In second place, was the much-buzzed documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” which took in $166,000 on eight screens for a per-screen-average of $20,750.
In third place was the opening weekend of the Oscar-winning “The Secret in their Eyes” which took in $176,000 on ten screens for an average of $17,600 per-screen.
Also opening this week was “Handsome Harry” starring Steve Buscemi and Aidan Quinn which grossed $13,500 on four screens for a respectable $3,375 per-screen.
The suburban satire “The Joneses” starring David Duchovny and Demi Moore took in $554,000 on 193 screens for a mediocre $2,870 per-screen.
The documentary about American public schools, “The Cartel”, took in $4,100 this week for a per-screen-average of $2,050.
“The Perfect Game” starring Clifton Collins Jr. (SAG ensemble nominee for “Capote”) took in $494,000 on 417 screens for a per-screen-average of $1,185.
As always, we at the Awards Circuit would love to know what you saw this weekend, what you thought, and what you think its awards potential might be. Please let us know in the comments section below, and once again, we’ll see you at the movies.