After a slow weekend last week, the Box Office rebounded this weekend, mainly due to Warner Brothers calling on Freddy Kruger, one of the most profitable figures in horror film history. This weekend saw Freddy’s highest-grossing opening weekend ever (not counting his successful 2003 paring with Jason) with $32 million. While this is seen as a banner week in Freddy’s terms (and for most horror films in general), the weekend fell behind $40 million opening for the remake of “Friday the 13th”. Still, the film was propelled by opening on a Friday the 13th and on Valentine’s Day weekend, and as it suffered an 80% drop-off in its second week, Freddy’s new nightmare could easily eclipse its $65 million domestic total. Either way, Warner Brothers is happy enough with the opening weekend of the “Nightmare” remake that a sequel is in the works, this one apparently in 3-D (remember how well that worked the last time the franchise went in that direction?).
It was also a good week for a handful of holdovers, including “How to Train Your Dragon” which came in at second place by adding another $10 million to its now $192 million domestic total. Although the film got off to a slow start, the animated feature had proven profitable enough that Dreamworks has announced that a sequel is in the early stages.
“Date Night” took another $7.6 million to come in at third place, bringing its domestic total to $73 million. Not only has the film proven to be profitable (with a $108 worldwide total from a $55 million budget), but the film has out-grossed “Baby Mama” and in the coming days could easily out-gross “Mean Girls” to become Tina Fey’s highest grossing film to date.
After “Extraordinary Measures” bombed at the Box Office earlier this year, if CBS Films thought that “The Back-Up Plan” was their back-up plan, they were sorely mistaken, as the film fell 40% in its second week, taking in another $7.24 million to bring its domestic total to $22 million. Although worldwide figures were not available at this time, if the film continues to nose-dive on the domestic front, it likely won’t make back its $35 million budget.
Speaking of nose-dives and failures, Brendan Fraser was once a name associated with Box Office greatness, and Summit Entertainment still is, their politically-correct family-oriented nature-comedy “Furry Vengeance” bombed out of the gate taking in only $6.5 million on its opening weekend. Although the folks at Summit likely won’t have the time to take notice as they prime the next “Twilight” film for its upcoming release, they can blame the cold reception to the film on the continued success of “How to Train Your Dragon” and the fact that the trailer reeked of stupid. (I wonder if the film’s message will allow them to get some sort of tax write-off?).
It was also a good weekend for two new films opening in limited release, as the per-theater-average race was won by “Please Give”, the latest film from writer/director Nicole Holofcener took in $128,000 on five screens for an average of $25,600 per screen.
“Harry Brown” starring Michael Caine (look at it as “Clockwork Orange” meets “Gran Torino”) took in $180,000 on 19 screens for a per-screen-average of $9,474 per screen.
As always, whether it was a early screening at your favorite film festival, or a remake of your favorite ‘80’s horror fare, we at the Awards Circuit would love to hear what you saw this weekend, what you thought if it, and any awards potential you might see (Can Michael Caine get a Best Actor nomination for “Harry Brown”?, is “How to Train Your Dragon” in the Best Picture race?). Whatever you’re seeing, all of us wish you a wonderful Sunday, and as always, we look forward to seeing you at the movies.