It was an absolute dogfight this past weekend with both Lionsgate and Paramount claiming victory as the weekend predictions began appearing late Sunday. Initially it seemed that How to Train Your Dragon was going to ultimately come out on top, but when the official numbers were released on Monday it lost out to Kick-Ass by a margin of less than $200,000. Of course, the win was not without its controversy.
Controversy? It was just a close finish, right? No, not really. You see, Lionsgate was looking to get a little early buzz by opening Kick-Ass with 10PM screenings on Thursday night. You know, to help drum up some word of mouth among the comic-loving community. Those Thursday night dollars were rolled into the traditional Friday to Sunday weekend frame, and likely resulted in the film's victorious weekend.
Personally, I do not think that Thursday night should count as it is not in the time frame being examined. At the same time, anyone who went to see it on Thursday was assuredly going to see it during opening weekend, so you could argue that those dollars were timeshifted weekend dollars. Either way, not exactly a clear cut issue. Of course, you could say the Thursday screening ploy backfired as the film came in under expectations.
In the end, no matter what, when you look at official weekend rankings Kick-Ass will be found at the top. I wish it had opened stronger, but in the end all that matters is that I saw it and I enjoyed it. The movie is an amoral blast of bloody action and very little conscience. It is also an interesting deconstruction of the superhero genre. Whichever way you want to read it, you will find yourself cheering for an 11-year-old killing machine with a sarcastic and vulgar mouth (Chloe Grace Moretz).
Coming in right on that movie's tail is a wonderful family film with a solid 3D presentation in How to Train Your Dragon. It had a bit of a slow start, but it is having itself a really nice run and I am very happy for it. It truly is a fun film that makes a familiar story fresh with good characters.
Date Night enjoyed a strong second weekend. I am also happy to see this. This movie is one that can go either way, audiences will either go along with it or just react with indifference. It is not a true standout film, but it is fun and has a couple of strong lead comedians. It looks like people are liking it and are going to see it. Very good.
Fourth place sees the debut of Death at a Funeral. I have to believe this opening is a disappointment considering the cast and how many commercials for it have aired. While I am sure it is funny, I had little interest in seeing it, having seen the Frank Oz-directed original in the theater not all that long ago. I enjoyed that one and will likely see this at some point. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way and if that's hurt the box office?
The remainder of the top ten does not offer all that much, it is just all of last week's films shifted down a little.
Next weekend will see Disney's Oceans in theaters nationwide, it opens on Earth Day. When the weekend proper comes we will have Jennifer Lopez's romantic comedy The Back Up Plan, which I have no interest in, and the A-Team-esque The Losers, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, and Zoe Saldanna and based on a comic book that originated in the 1970s.
Two movies dropped off the list this week: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (11) and Letters to God (15).
|This Week||Last Week||Title||Wknd Gross||Overall||Week in release|
|2||3||How to Train Your Dragon||$19,633,320||$158,251,066||4|
|3||2||Date Night (2010)||$16,720,038||$48,666,799||2|
|4||N||Death at a Funeral (2010)||$16,217,540||$16,217,540||1|
|5||1||Clash of the Titans (2010)||$15,385,491||$132,600,220||3|
|6||5||The Last Song||$5,962,916||$50,187,855||3|
|7||4||Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too||$4,098,898||$54,801,812||3|
|8||7||Alice in Wonderland (2010)||$3,656,442||$324,131,301||7|
|9||6||Hot Tub Time Machine||$3,490,471||$42,449,935||4|
|10||8||The Bounty Hunter||$3,084,020||$60,261,888||5|
Box Office Predictions Recap
Aside from some differences in my estimations of Death at a Funeral and Kick-Ass, I feel pretty good about this week's predictions and how they look next to the actual numbers. There are a few where I was just about exact. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself, and I do. I was so close to getting the placements right, although maybe I should have suspected the final positions for How to Train Your Dragon and Death. Oh well, live and learn and try better next week!
Here is how the field matched up:
|4||2||Death at a Funeral (2010)||$16,217,540||$21 million|
|2||3||How to Train Your Dragon||$19,633,320||$18 million|
|3||4||Date Night (2010)||$16,720,038||$15 million|
|5||5||Clash of the Titans (2010)||$15,385,491||$14 million|
|6||6||The Last Song||$5,962,916||$6 million|
|7||7||Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too||$4,098,898||$5 million|
|9||8||Hot Tub Time Machine||$3,490,471||$3.5 million|
|8||9||Alice in Wonderland (2010)||$3,656,442||$3 million|
|10||10||The Bounty Hunter||$3,084,020||$2.5 million|