Sunday, October 11, 2009

Box-Office Round Up: October Eleventh, 2009

5. Paranormal Activity $7.07 million [week three]. Well! The folks at Paramount are surely jumping up and down based on these numbers! I know that seven million does not seem like a huge number, but you must consider that it’s only on 160 screens and is getting a $44,000 per screen average. That’s good news, the next highest per screen average is $11,700 and that belongs to the number one movie! PLUS – this picture pretty much succeeded on the basis of viral marketing. This movie has been a trending topic on Twitter for the last ten days – all based on a few well-placed trailers. Well done, Paramount. Well done.

4. Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D [re-release] $7.7 million [week two].
I think everyone knew that these would place in the top five – I mean these are new animation classics! What else is there to say?

3. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs $12 million [week four]. Since this the first edition of The Dup in quite some time, I feel I should mention the fact that everyone was surprised at how well this movie is doing. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to your face. Yes, it’s based on a longtime bestselling children’s book, but those fail as movies all the time! [Ahem, The Seeker: the Dark is Rising] The key with children’s movie adaptations is to keep the budget low enough so that home video can save you if need be, because we all know that as much as any kiddie flick makes in it’s theatrical release, it’s always going to at least double that on home video because parents will always need something to occupy their kids without them.

2. Zombieland $15 million [week two]. I had no idea how this movie was tracking before it was released; all I knew was that those ads and trailers seemed to keep getting funnier the more I saw of them. This movie is a bona fide hit – it made its budget back [and more] on its opening weekend. Pundits say that this is an example of the death of star vehicles, but… I don’t agree. Yes, this is a small film without any huge box office actors in it – but Woody Harrelson is a name. Jesse Eisenberg is a name of sorts, he’s still up and coming but people definitely mention that it’s got the dude from Adventureland. Once you factor in its genre roots and the fact that it was the first genre flick of it’s kind to open in October for Halloween’s sake, you had to imagine that it’s be a hit. That being said, I also think that if this movie starred two hugely well known actors everyone involved would have to spend so much time explaining why their stars aren’t actually slumming that it wouldn’t be a hit at all – even un-savvy audiences would think it looked like a payday.

1. Couples Retreat $35.3 million [opening weekend]. Couples retreat is an example of good marketing. There have been outdoor print ads up for a few weeks now and they never seemed to be apologizing for themselves (see Surrogates). In fact it was exactly the way I felt about the print ads for The Hangover. I had not seen a trailer, but somehow these ads just began to look funnier the more I looked at them as the weeks rolled by. Then I finally sat down and watched the trailer – I had no idea that it had Vince Vaughn AND Jon Favreau - that’s like every bachelor’s favorite pairing. And then I learned that they wrote this picture together! As soon as I found that out, I knew that it would be a hit. And in fact, it’s the highest gross for a movie they wrote and starred in. ALREADY! Actually, they broke their previous two movies’ grosses (Swingers and Made) sometime early Friday evening. I’m just saying. Congrats to the boys – for a lot of us, Vince and Jon feel like people we know. They’re there because we put them there.

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