We're only in March but Sony Pictures are already celebrating their fourth stateside number one hit of the year with the disastrously reviewed Battle: Los Angeles following on the heels of previous toppers Just Go With It, The Roommate and The Green Hornet that weren't critics favourites but have made considerable dosh. Of course we all know it was the ad campaign that made Battle: LA a hit which promised an epic summer blockbuster scope - and for a movie in March by golly!! - which we all knew would bring in Joe Popcorn who has been craving this kind of film since Tron Legacy in December. On Thursday when it became obvious Battle: LA would be one of the worst high-profile reviewed films of the year, a whopping 68% of OWF readers polled (some 181 votes) said they would still be seeing the movie at the weekend and a further 11% were undecided. The sci-fi, alien invasion action film launched as the distributor's most successful opening weekend of 2011 and this was a must given it's $70 million budget, which we'll be surprised if it was made as cheaply as that. Battle: LA grossed $36 million from 3,417 theatres and should easily reach the $100 million dollar mark in the coming weeks, that's as long as the sure to be negative word of mouth doesn't spread too much. Battle: Los Angeles | Richard Roeper | Hollywood Dailies | Roeper's Movie Reviews | Movie Trailer | Review Rory Bruer, the Sony President of Worldwide distribution spoke about a successful male targeted marketing campaign which emphasised the picture's larger than life visuals and action sequences:
"The result validated our belief in the film.... It had imagery that was totally visceral and fun."Noticeably the trailer centred its focus around the mystique of the invaders and the high octane battle sequences but glossed over character and storyline conflicts which was probably a wise decision given that the film has produced a measly 33% rotten from Rotten Tomatoes based on some 129 reviews, included in that statistic is OWF's Shaun Munro who called it; "A Soulless, Mechanical Exercise But Fleetingly Amusing". Definitely going to be interesting to see if Battle: LA keeps up it's great start. Rango had a relatively strong second week which was perhaps much better than expected given that Disney were anticipating a $20 million launch for Mars Needs Moms which would no doubt have caused the Johnny Depp led animation to drop rather more severely. Instead it grossed just over $23 million to take its total to $68 million in ten days and $85 million worldwide. Had the film been assisted by 3-D sales then it would be on its way to making a steady profit by now but as it is it is still facing an uphill battle at the moment to domestically match its $135 million cost. Red Riding Hood underperformed as it opened in third place with a $14.1 million haul. Given that it was produced on a relatively low budget ($42 million), Red Riding Hood should turn a profit but Warner Bros were expecting a much stronger opening for a film which featured a marketing campaign making the most of director Catherine Hardwicke's association with Twilight as she was of course at the helm for the first film of the megahit franchise. As the majority of teenage girls couldn't care less about who directs the films they attend however this attempt to appeal to the Twilight die-hards proved rather futile although 64% of Red Riding Hood's opening weekend audience were female. Though the obvious 'Twilight-aesthetic' didn't bring in the masses. Modern retellings of fairytales are all the rage at the moment but Red Riding Hood's disappointing opening may be a cruel piece of foreshadowing for the two Snow White updates in development (one starring Julia Roberts & the other with Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen & Charlize Theron) both which are anticipated for a wide 2012 release.
Box Office Success Story of the Week:Jane Eyre grossed almost $200,000 despite playing on just four theatres across New York and Los Angeles and gifting the film the best location average of the year thus far. The film which stars Mia Wasikowska fresh from her breakout year in The Kids Are All Right and Alice in Wonderland, and Michael Fassbender, featured strong attendances at both matinee and evening screenings attracting both old and younger audiences. Its very strong weekend showing should reward the film with a significant theatre expansion especially given that it is garnering some solid reviews.
Box Office Flop of the Week:On the other end of the spectrum Mars Needs Moms was rewarded a hefty 3,100 screens but proved to be an umigitated disaster as it grossed an outstandingly pathetic $6.8 million opening sum and couldn't even break the $10 million dollar mark worldwide. With a $150 million production budget this is set to be one of the biggest high profile flops of the past ten years and that's taking every genre into consideration. 85% of the audience was made up of families but unfortunately not nearly enough of them bothered to attend.
ROUND-UP:The Adjustment Bureau dropped around 45% but stayed in the top five to total $38.4 million after ten days on release. Just Go With It dropped just 37% in gross to take its total to $93.9 million as the Adam Sandler vehicle crawls closer towards the $100 million mark. Last week's Box Office Success Story Beastly dropped 48% as it almost matched its domestic budget to reach a $16.9 million total. It is doing pretty well still for a film which opened at less than 2,000, theaters. The King's Speech is not benefiting from its Best Picture win as it suffered its steepest drop yet during its lengthy chart campaign to go close at $130 million. The fact that the film was already a big hit before its prestigious awards win means that it wasn't likely to suddenly find a second wind in the Oscars aftermath. I mean surely everyone has seen this film by now? The rest of the weekend's chart can be seen below courtesy of Box Office Mojo: TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week # 1 N Battle: Los Angeles Sony $36,000,000 - 3,417 - $10,536 $36,000,000 $70 1 2 1 Rango Par. $23,050,000 -39.5% 3,923 +6 $5,876 $68,653,000 $135 2 3 N Red Riding Hood WB $14,135,000 - 3,030 - $4,665 $14,135,000 $42 1 4 2 The Adjustment Bureau Uni. $11,459,000 -45.8% 2,847 +7 $4,025 $38,451,000 - 2 5 N Mars Needs Moms BV $6,800,000 - 3,117 - $2,182 $6,800,000 $150 1 6 4 Hall Pass WB (NL) $5,105,000 -42.4% 2,555 -395 $1,998 $34,936,000 $36 3 7 3 Beastly CBS $5,090,000 -48.3% 1,959 +7 $2,598 $16,980,000 $17 2 8 7 Just Go With It Sony $4,000,000 -37.8% 2,398 -522 $1,668 $93,982,000 $80 5 9 8 The King's Speech Wein. $3,625,000 -41.8% 1,768 -472 $2,050 $129,062,000 $15 16 10 5 Gnomeo and Juliet BV $3,546,000 -51.0% 2,585 -399 $1,372 $89,031,000 - 5 11 6 Unknown WB $3,375,000 -48.2% 2,303 -610 $1,465 $58,420,000 $30 4 12 9 I Am Number Four BV $2,212,000 -61.5% 2,005 -898 $1,103 $50,407,000 $60 4
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