Box Office: Bradley Cooper's Career Could Be LIMITLESS

A very clear and well constructed trailer with solid editing and an energetic soundtrack alongside a positive wish fulfillment marketing tagline (€œWhat if a pill could make you rich and powerful?€) propelled Limitless to the top of the weekend's box office charts with a $19 million launch. With this being the first film used as a solo starring vehicle for lead actor Bradley Cooper (though Robert De Niro was heavily promoted also) whose individual star quality remained an unknown quantity despite his prominent role in the comedy mega-hit The Hangover & less than impressive The A-Team, distributor Relativity will be delighted to have seen Limitless already make well over half its production cost after just one weekend in the chart and in only one market too. The film isn't released in the U.K. until this Wednesday. Limitless's PG 13 rating also proved advantageous in the film's battle against the other two mainstream releases Paul and The Lincoln Lawyer which were both Rated R. For Bradley Cooper, an actor who lost out on the Green Lantern role to Ryan Reynolds who is seen as a big star at Warner Bros, it's a box office total that must fill him with huge confidence that he won't be seen as second choice for the top roles in the future. His high profile role in The Hangover sequel that should be a huge success in May, further cements his A-list status. Kyle David, the Relativity President of Theatrical Distribution had the following to say about the film's success:
€œBradley Cooper is a movie star, while Robert De Niro is an icon... You add these stars to a film that has a very unique take on the traditional thriller genre, and Limitless became a movie for everyone.€
The latter part of this quote is quite interesting because this weekend once again provided evidence that 2011 movies are definitely not €œfor everyone€ with multiplexes struggling to bring in audiences under the age of 25. This appears to be the key reason for the regular weekly attendance drops which we have been witnessing throughout the year as this weekend saw Limitless, Paul and perhaps less surprisingly, The Lincoln Lawyer all bringing in the over 25's, but struggling with the teenage, early 20's audience. The Lincoln Lawyer was the second highest new entrant as it opened in fourth place with a $13.4 million total and did pretty well for a legal crime thriller, a sub-genre that doesn't exactly have a great box office track record, and for a trailer that barely distinguished itself from the numerous small screen courtroom dramas. Ultimately however the film managed to find audiences through the sex appeal of lead star Matthew McConaughey (I can't imagine that the female audience members who made up 63% of the film's weekend attendance were drawn in by the plot), the fact that the film was based on a bestselling novel by popular author Michael Connelly (who also did a world tour promoting the movie), and the innovative deal struck with which offered a discount in ticket prices that pitted the film at a cheap $6. Groupon accounted for 190,000 of the film's ticket sales and Lionsgate's research indicated that 89 percent of Groupon's buyers wouldn't have bothered to see the film were it not for the reduced price. Expect this stat to inspire a number of other studios to go through a similar discount transaction in the near future, despite the embarrassment that indicates that the majority of audiences didn't think it was worth paying full price to see it. The Lincoln Lawyer edged out Paul which finished fifth with a $13.1 million stateside launch and is now just a couple million short of its $40 million production budget thanks in large to its fantastic UK showing where Simon Pegg is undoubtedly a huge cinematic draw. The film is still to open in 53 territories and should go on to make over $100 million dollars worldwide. BOX OFFICE SUCCESS STORY OF THE WEEK: The spring break holiday saw all three kids animations in theatres have a solid showing over the weekend with Rango holding strongly in second place during its third weekend in the charts. Its $15.3 million haul, down just 32% from the previous weekend, means that it has now reached $92.5 million in total domestically and its near $140 million worldwide gross means that Paramount have now seen Rango's worldwide takings narrowly overtake the film's production cost. Rango is performing admirably overseas and the film should easily go on to reach the $200 million mark worldwide. Maybe not a huge hit then but definitely positive news after the shaky opening weekend sum. BOX OFFICE FLOP OF THE WEEK: Battle: LA managed to not plummet any further critically with a string of new reviews maintaining but not worsening its poor critical standing (34% RT) but it suffered badly this past weekend at the box office with a predictable 59% gross decline from its previous weekend's chart topping heroics. In other words, as we said would happen, those who saw it told their friends it sucks. Films of this calibre usually fall heavily and to the film's credit it held better than comparable titles such as Cloverfield and Skyline but it's still an unfortunate financial drop that means the film could actually struggle to reach $100 million domestically depending on whether or not it continues to plummet at the same rate. Worldwide however the film has already made a profit so Sony won't be too concerned. ROUND-UP: On the back of its brilliant showing last weekend Jane Eyre expanded to 26 theaters and made the most of this opportunity with a near $500,000 weekend haul. The film once again recorded a strong per theater average and has subsequently been rewarded with a futher expansion this week. If it continues to blossom this weekend then the film deserves to be given a wide release especially in light of its highly positive reviews. It was also a happy weekend for Justin Bieber as he saw his concert movie Never Say Never overtake Michael Jackson's: This is It to become the highest grossing concert movie of all time. The documentary has now taken $72.2 million dollars in North America. In other news. Red Riding Hood dropped almost by half to take its total to $25.2 million after ten days on release. The Adjustment Bureau suffered a similar decline but has already made a worldwide profit thanks to its strong showing overseas. Beastly dropped just 35 percent to take its domestic total to $22.2 millon and became only the second CBS picture to overhaul its production budget stateside. The full chart can be seen below courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Thanks for reading. TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week # 1 N Limitless Rela. $19,000,000 - 2,756 - $6,894 $19,000,000 $27 1 2 2 Rango Par. $15,315,000 -32.2% 3,843 -80 $3,985 $92,577,000 $135 3 3 1 Battle: Los Angeles Sony $14,600,000 -59.0% 3,417 - $4,273 $60,602,000 $70 2 4 N The Lincoln Lawyer LGF $13,400,000 - 2,707 - $4,950 $13,400,000 $40 1 5 N Paul Uni. $13,155,000 - 2,802 - $4,695 $13,155,000 $40 1 6 3 Red Riding Hood WB $7,255,000 -48.2% 3,030 - $2,394 $25,962,000 $42 2 7 4 The Adjustment Bureau Uni. $5,932,000 -48.9% 2,660 -187 $2,230 $48,779,000 $62 3 8 5 Mars Needs Moms BV $5,317,000 -23.1% 3,117 - $1,706 $15,401,000 $150 2 9 6 Beastly CBS $3,260,000 -35.1% 1,810 -149 $1,801 $22,245,000 $17 3 10 7 Hall Pass WB (NL) $2,600,000 -48.1% 1,905 -650 $1,365 $39,590,000 $36 4 11 9 Gnomeo and Juliet BV $2,374,000 -34.4% 1,748 -837 $1,358 $93,663,000 - 6 12 8 Just Go With It Sony $2,300,000 -42.8% 1,708 -690 $1,347 $98,019,000 $80 6

"Growing up, Laurent was such an ardent fan of wrestling superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin that he actually attempted to send the Texas Rattlesnake a letter demanding that he defeat arch-nemesis The Rock at Wrestlemania 15. Oh hell yeah, it was all still very real to him back then dammit. As an aspiring writer of multiple genres and platforms, he has also recently co-authored a non-fiction movie e-book entitled 'Egos, Cliches, Flops and Lost Films: Examining the powerful madness of the movies' which is written in a similarly light hearted and informative style to his wrestling articles and which can be browsed and purchased by following the link below -"