Ooooh, box-office ties are soooo exciting! Can’t you just feel the excitement? No really, can’t you? No? Hmmm, maybe I just had too much candy and caffeine today…
The studios’ Sunday afternoon estimates have this weekend’s two new wide releases neck and neck, with The Last Exorcism in a slight lead at $21.3 million to Takers‘ $21 million. A $300,000 difference? That’s peanuts! That’s what Michael Bay finds in his jacuzzi drain on Monday morning. Again, these are studio estimates that don’t include actual Sunday tallies, so it’s very possible Exorcism and Takers could swap places tomorrow, or one could pull further out ahead of the other. Check back here late Monday afternoon for a movie-news-flash update!
While Exorcism has the estimated edge at the moment, Takers actually had a much better per-theater average–playing in about 600 fewer sites across the country, the cops-and-robbers flick brought in about $9,500 per theater, as opposed to Exorcism‘s $7,411. Still those are both impressive numbers for late-August, “eh, what the hell, let’s release ‘em” films. In fact both Exorcism and Takers performed above Industry expectations.
Meanwhile, some little indie film called Avalon?… Activia?… Avatar: Special Edition Limited Director’s Extended Ego something or other… returned to about 800 3D and IMAX theaters this weekend in hopes of somehow maybe eking out a profit. The re-run managed to add $4 million dollar to the film’s $750 million theatrical haul and landed it in 11th place for the weekend.
Sucking in Their Second Weekends
Three of last week’s five new releases took sizable hits their second weekend out. Vampires Suck‘s earnings fell 56%, moving it down to sixth place–still, its $5 million take gives it $28 million overall, topping its $20 million budget. Piranha 3D was off 57% to land in the 10 spot (despite it being The Greatest Movie Ever Made). (Piranha has $6 million to go in order to match its $24 million budget–literal tanker trucks full of fake blood do not come cheap.) And Lottery Ticket tumbled 62%, falling from fourth to 12th place, its total haul matching its $17 million budget.
Interestingly, the two new releases that did the poorest at the box office last weekend–Nanny McPhee Returns and The Switch–hung in better in their second weekends, each only slipping about 44%. There’s something to be said for steady, decent word of mouth versus teen-targeted flashes-in-the-demographic pans.
The rest of the top ten included The Expendables (domestically just passing its $80 million costs, although overseas ticket sales have been muscular), Eat Pray Love (also now even at $60 million with its budget), The Other Guys (about to cross the $100 million mark, which is how much it cost), and Inception ($270 million total).
The coming Labor Day weekend brings Drew Barrymore and Justin Long in the rom-com Going the Distance, George Clooney in the assassin thriller The American, and of course Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, and Jeff Fahey in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete. You know what? In what will be a slow holiday weekend, with this week’s top earners likely to drop off mightily, and with tons of Mexploitation buzz and immigration-debate headlines, Imma bet on Machete for next weekend’s win.