Box Office: RANGO Rounds Up $38 Million, Highest Debut of 2011 But Still Not Enough

A western themed CG-animation with talking lizards was always going to be a gamble for Paramount but Rango found a decent, if not overwhelming audience during its opening weekend, taking the top spot at the U.S. Box Office charts with an estimated $38 million total, the highest debut of 2011 so far. There was some concern that Rango's quirky, obscure nature might be off-putting for mainstream audiences but the film appeared to capitalise on the branding of Johnny Depp's popular eccentricities which has proven a forumula for success in the past with Alice in Wonderland and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the latter of which Rango's Gore Verbinski directed. With a particularly high budget of around $138 million, Rango is still likely to lose money though the film has done extremely well in Hispanic markets such as Argentina and Mexico which has helped lead the picture to an opening worldwide haul of $54 million. Not bad for a non-3D, original CG-toon in this market but probably not enough when all is said and done. The release of Rango was bad news for Gnomeo & Juliet which dropped nearly 50% in takingsand it will be interesting to see whether or not a mirroring effect occurs next weekend when Rango must attempt to hold audiences as it goes up against Buena Vista's new animated offering Mars Needs Moms. George Nolfi's full summer season delayed The Adjustment Bureau opened in second place with an impressive $20.9 million and was heavily attended by older audiences with over 73% of ticket sales being accounted for by people over the age of thirty. The film's smooth, sophisticated trailer did a sound job of creating dramatic intrigue whilst also effectively highlighting the film's arena, set-pieces and visual glamour. The Adjustment Bureau also performed superbly overseas taking a further $10.5 million with particularly strong showings in Australia and North Korea. Nikki Rocco, the Universal President of Domestic Distribution had the following to say about the film's performance:
€œI think our marketing teams did a great job executing a campaign that combined the film's multiple genres - action ,romance, sci-fi thriller. We're very pleased with the worldwide results.€
Universal, who are have suffered a few share of bad summers lately and have already had a string of flops this year with The Dilemma and Sanctum, both of which they expected to do well, will be pleased that a movie they were obviously concerned about 12 months ago and which they took a huge gamble paying $60-odd million to distribute (MRC actually financed the production) has actually turned out ok. The picture also became Matt Damon's highest grossing vehicle for a film in which he is not playing the role of Jason Bourne. Certainly after the dissapointing box office returns of Hereafter and Green Zone, The Adjustment Bureau's opening sum will no doubt be music to the actor's ears now that he's quit the Bourne life. BOX OFFICE SUCCESS STORY OF THE WEEK: BEASTLYBeastly, an accessible for young teens take on the Beauty and the Beast story could well become the first CBS Film to comfortably overhaul its domestic budget after a surprisingly efficient $10 million opening for a picture that played on under 2,000, screens and saw its attendance dominated by females between the ages of 12 and 17. The $17 million budgeted film stars Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical fame and Alex Pettyfer who studios are desperate to turn into the next big heartthrob star in spite of his first big vehicle I Am Number Four flopping badly. BOX OFFICE FLOP OF THE WEEK: TAKE ME HOME TONIGHTThe latest film starring Anna Faris (a likeable actress who unfortunately rivals Kate Hudson and Jennifer Anistion in the bad film stakes) had a horrible weekend run as it failed to even chart inside the top ten. Take Me Home Tonight cleary tried to benefit from the recent eighties nostalgia that helped to make a film like Hot Tub Time Machine a box office hit but unlike that film this picture seemed to be under the impression that all it needed to do was play some eighties classics over a thinly veiled plot for a trailer that just reeked of recycled material. The film's $3.5 million opening is downright embarassing. BOX OFFICE ROUND-UP:Hall Pass had a surprisingly good second week dropping just 33% to claim $27 million after ten days on release. Although the picture won't end up being a major hit, it should still comfortably take enough money to become the most commercially succesful Farrelly Brothers film since Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow's Shallow Hal, released a decade ago. Unknown and I Am Number Four both had poor weeks dropping nearly 50% in gross. Whereas the Liam Neeson film is set to double its domestic budget however, I Am Number Four is still yet to match its $60 million cost. Oscar contenders are finally starting to lose momentum as the awards season has finally come to a close. The King's Speech dropped 11% after gaining audience members last weekend though the Best Picture winner did overtake Inglourious Basterds to become the highest grossing film to arise from the Weinstein Company which has been in production since 2005. You can view this weekend's Box Office Chart in full below thanks as always to Box Office Mojo. 1 N Rango Par. $38,000,000 - 3,917 - $9,701 $38,000,000 $135 1 2 N The Adjustment Bureau Uni. $20,945,000 - 2,840 - $7,375 $20,945,000 - 1 3 N Beastly CBS $10,115,000 - 1,952 - $5,182 $10,115,000 $17 1 4 1 Hall Pass WB (NL) $9,015,000 -33.4% 2,950 - $3,056 $27,001,000 $36 2 5 2 Gnomeo and Juliet BV $6,912,000 -48.4% 2,984 -53 $2,316 $83,694,000 - 4 6 3 Unknown WB $6,620,000 -47.3% 2,913 -130 $2,273 $53,129,000 $30 3 7 8 The King's Speech Wein. $6,501,000 -11.4% 2,240 -146 $2,902 $123,817,000 $15 15 8 5 Just Go With It Sony $6,500,000 -38.3% 2,920 -624 $2,226 $88,200,000 $80 4 9 4 I Am Number Four BV $5,702,000 -48.2% 2,903 -253 $1,964 $46,440,000 $60 3 10 6 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Par. $4,325,000 -53.9% 2,254 -556 $1,919 $68,876,000 $13 4 11 N Take Me Home Tonight Rela. $3,500,000 - 2,003 - $1,747 $3,500,000 - 1 12 7 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Fox $3,300,000 -56.7% 1,642 -1,179 $2,010 $33,270,000 $32 3

"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 -"