PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
The holiday weekend got off to an early start on Wednesday when the long awaited third chapter of the phenomenally popular Twilight film series, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, debuted with $68.5 million in just one day of release. The film opened with midnight showings on June 30th and earned a record breaking $30 million but fell short of The Twilight Saga: New Moon's $72.7 million opening day record with only $68.5 million. It earned an additional $69 million over the weekend for a combined total of $161 million for it's first five days of release.
The film, which stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning and Bryce Dallas Howard, ranked as the third highest-grossing Independence Day opening weekend ever, behind Spider-Man 2 and Transformers, respectively. It ended up raking in as the seventh highest-grossing five-day starter ever, right behind The Twilight Saga: New Moon's $164.7 million and surpassing the $152.4 million that Spider-Man 2 made when it opened on Wednesday, June 30, back in 2004. The film screened in a record 4,468 theaters and scored an average of $15,443 on each screen, however was unable to even come close to cracking the $158 million that The Dark Knight made in it's three-day opening weekend. Now in just five days of release the film has earned back it's entire initial production cost of $68 million and has made an additional profit of almost $100 million, which should make the Summit executives very happy this holiday weekend.
Debuting at second place but still doing extremely well this weekend is M. Night Shyamalan's long awaited adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, simply entitled The Last Airbender. The film was seen on 3,169 screens and earned around $12,827 on each for a weekend total of around $40.5 million. The film opened a day early on July 1st and earned $56.8 million over the four-day weekend. The film is director M. Night Shyamalan's third best opening weekend ever behind right behind Signs and The Village, but will need to have some legs if it wants to earn back it's initial $150 million price tag.
Falling two places to number three this week for the first time since its debut two weeks ago is the third chapter of the extremely successful Pixar series, Toy Story 3. The film features the return of Woody, Buzz and all your favorite toys along with an all-star cast of voice actors, which include Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jodi Benson, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Ned Beatty, Timothy Dalton, Jeff Garlin, Kristen Schaal and Whoopi Goldberg. The film dropped nearly 50% from last week and was seen on 4,028 screens, earning about $7,491 on each. The film earned an additional $30.1 million this weekend, bringing it's total gross to around $289 million in just three weeks of release, which far surpasses it's purported production cost of $200 million.
Falling two places back from last week to number four is the family comedy Grown Ups about five childhood friends who reunite 30 years later for a vacation with their families staring the comedy "Dream Team" of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider. Despite dropping 52.8% from its debut week, the film managed to earn about $5,405 on each of it's 3,534 screens for an additional $19.1 million. That brings the films total to around $77.6 million in just two weeks of release, which is extremely close to earning back it's $80 million production cost.
Finally, rounding off the top five this week and falling two places from last week is the action/comedy Knight and Day about an ordinary girl who unintentionally gets involved with a secret agent, featuring super star actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in the leading roles. The film dropped almost 50% from the previous week and despite being added in six theaters only earned $3,351 on each of it's 3,104 screens. The film managed to earn an additional $10.4 million this weekend, which brings it's total to only $45.7 million in just two weeks, which is a far cry from its $117 million production cost.
Doing extremely well in limited release this week and finally cracking the top ten after three weeks of release, thanks in part to good word-of-mouth, is the quirky comedy Cyrus. The film is directed by Jay and Mark Duplass and its gifted cast includes John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener. The movie went up an incredible 156.9% this week and was seen in an additional sixty theaters. It earned about $10,052 in each of the seventy-seven theaters that it was shown in for an additional $774,000 over the weekend, which brings its total gross to around $1.4 million in just three weeks of release.
Countinuing to do well in limited release this week is Oliver Stone's new documentary South of the Border about Venezuela's controversial President Hugo Chavez. The film rose nearly 72% this week and added an additional five theaters, for a total of six and earned $6,167 on each for a weekend total of around $37,000. That brings the film's total gross to around $67,000 in just two weeks of release.
Finally, debuting this week in limited release and doing quite well is Ray director Taylor Hackford's new film, Love Ranch, based on a true story about a legal Reno brothel in the late '1970s starring Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci. The film only opened on eleven screens but has managed to earn 4,500 on each for a weekend total of around $49,500. The film actually opened on Wednesday so it has managed to earn $63,900 in its first five days of release.
Next week will see the release of two highly anticipated new films in wide release and two in limited release. First up is the long awaited new chapter of the Predator franchise from fan favorite filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids and Sin City) simply entitled, Predators. The film promises to act as a direct sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic and stars an impressive cast of actors that includes Oscar winner Adrien Brody (King Kong), Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3), Alice Braga (I Am Legend), Danny Trejo (Grindhouse), Walton Goggins (TV's The Shield) and Oscar Nominee Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix).
Also debuting next week is Universal's new animated film Despicable Me about a the world's greatest villain taking on the new challenge of raising three adorable little orphan girls. The film boasts an all-star cast of comedic voices including Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Julie Andrews, Danny McBride and Ken Jeong.
Finally, debuting new week in limited release is the highly anticipated sequel to one of the scariest films of all time, [REC] 2. The film picks up 15 minutes from where it's predessesor left off, taking us back into the quarantined apartment building where a terrifying virus has run rampant, turning the occupants into mindlessly violent, raging beasts. The film was written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza.
Also in limited release next week is the new independent film from acclaimed filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon) entitled The Kids Are All Right. The film is about a happy lesbian couple raising two teen-age kids who finally decide that they would like to meet their biological father. The movie stars a fantastic cast of critically acclaimed actors including Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland). So please check back in seven days to see who comes out on top at the box office next week!