In a successful box office weekend that was down only 5% from last year, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules delivered a definitive knockout blow to Sucker Punch to open at the top of the charts. The kids film which is based on the immensely succesful Jeff Kinney series of books ended Friday night in second place but saw a 37% ticket uptake on Saturday with families attending in their droves. It then easily won on Sunday to cement its place at the top. With a $24 million opening weekend the sequel has already overhauled its production budget and has most likely confirmed a new franchise for the Fox Studio. Rodrick Rules capitlaised on the book's fanbase and was also released at an opportune time with the original film (released just last March) still fresh in the minds of the market. Warner Bros were expecting Zack Synder's fantastical psychological, female empowerment movie Sucker Punch to open at the very least in the mid $20 million range and after its $8 million Friday haul it appeared that this aim was still very much on the cards. After signifcant drops over the next two days however, and mostly sour reviews, the film launched with a rather disappointing $19 million. Over one fifth of this gross was made up from the film's 229 IMAX locations, a popular destination for fanboys which suggests that Sucker Punch was able to bring in its core audience but struggled to appeal to a wider demographic. This perhaps wasn't helped by the film's fuzzy trailer that was reminiscent of a high octane videogame and failed to create intrigue around anything other than the fact that it featured hot girls with guns. The 65% male dominated audience suggest that this tactic certainly sold some tickets but otherwise the marketing was nowhere near accessible enough to deliver a substantial hit. Synder handed Warner Bros a huge hit in the form of 300 but since then his record at the box office has been rather patchy with Watchmen and Legend of the Guardians having to rely on worldwide ticket receipts to make a profit. With Sucker Punch also looking unlikely to match its $82 million budget domestically the studio might be a little concerned moving forward, especially given that Synder is set to direct Superman: The Man of Steel this year which he will be required to make in the region of 300's two hundred million+ North American haul. Jeff Goldstein, the Warner Brothers exec Vice President of distribution insists however that he has no doubts about the financial potential of Synder's Superman reboot:
"Sucker Punch was more narrow. But when you're talking about something as broad as Superman: The Man of Steel, the support for Synder will be colossal."He also mentioned that younger audiences gave Sucker Punch an A grade at the exit polling after hints that the film's bad reviews might damage Sucker Punch's gross in the weeks to come. BOX OFFICE SUCCESS STORY OF THE WEEK: With families and fanboys accounting for the major audience share of the weekend's top two films, there was an open audience left amongst the adult market and this proved greatly beneficial for both Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer. Limitless, last weekend's chart topper dropped just 19% in gross to fall to third place overall with a $15.2 million weekend scoop and a $41.2 million gross total. The hit film is a huge relief for new company Relativity Media whose three previous outings have either flopped badly (Take Me Home Tonight, The Warrior's Way) or underperformed (Season of the Witch.) Meanwhile The Lincoln Lawyer, was down just 16.7% from its opening weekend to take its total to $28.9 million in ten days. For a legal crime thriller its doing good business and will comfortably make a domestic profit in light of its $40 million production budget. I honestly didn't expect the film to make in total what it has accomplished after just ten days on release. BOX OFFICE FLOP OF THE WEEK:Battle: LA takes this spot for the second weekend in a row as the film fell almost 50% in gross again to drop out of the top five and leave its chances of it making $100 million stateside very slim. The film is performing admirably overseas however and when all is said and done the picture will have doubled its production budget in regards to worldwide gross. BOX OFFICE ROUND-UP:Rango and Just Go With It became the first 2011 releases to break the $100 million mark with Rango taking its total to $106.3 million after nearly a month on release whilst Just Go With It became the twelfth Adam Sandler picture to make over $100 million. The comedic lead has endured very few flops during his career with Little Nicky and Spanglish being two rare glimishes on his shining box office CV. Paul dropped out of the top five taking $7.5 million over the weekend for a $24.6 million ten day total. Worldwide it has made over $50 million from a $40 million budget. Jane Eyre made almost a million dollars in its third weekend with the assistance of just 90 theatres. If it was actually handed in the rears of a thousand locations I'm pretty sure it could maintain a healthy audience I will have more stats and analysis on the best and worst performances of 2011 thus far in my upcoming Box Office Quarterly report. For now however you can see the rest of the weekend's chart below courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Thanks for Reading. 1 N Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Fox $24,400,000 - 3,167 - $7,704 $24,400,000 $21 1 2 N Sucker Punch WB $19,015,000 - 3,033 - $6,269 $19,015,000 $82 1 3 1 Limitless Rela. $15,225,000 -19.5% 2,805 +49 $5,428 $41,281,000 $27 2 4 4 The Lincoln Lawyer LGF $11,000,000 -16.7% 2,707 - $4,064 $28,967,000 $40 2 5 2 Rango Par. $9,800,000 -35.0% 3,645 -198 $2,689 $106,363,000 $135 4 6 3 Battle: Los Angeles Sony $7,600,000 -47.7% 3,118 -299 $2,437 $72,580,000 $70 3 7 5 Paul Uni. $7,506,000 -42.5% 2,806 +4 $2,675 $24,610,000 $40 2 8 6 Red Riding Hood WB $4,340,000 -39.6% 2,715 -315 $1,599 $32,453,000 $42 3 9 7 The Adjustment Bureau Uni. $4,245,000 -26.5% 2,282 -378 $1,860 $54,871,000 $50.2 4 10 8 Mars Needs Moms BV $2,186,000 -58.9% 2,170 -947 $1,007 $19,152,000 $150 3 11 9 Beastly CBS $2,185,000 -31.7% 1,585 -225 $1,379 $25,314,000 $17 4 12 10 Hall Pass WB (NL) $1,755,000 -31.7% 1,204 -701 $1,458 $42,373,000 $36 5
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