By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com
Weekend Box Office Report — October 3
I Am Not a Robot … or Not
The uber-ballyhooed The Social Network buzzed above the pack with an estimated $22.6 million to lead weekend ticket sales. Two other national releases proved commercial disappointments. The much-admired horror remake Let Me In ranked seventh overall with $5.3 million and the thriller Case 39 was a peg behind with $5.2 million.
The big noise for the frame came from new regional and niche titles. The Tamil language Robots (the most expensive film ever produced in India) rewrote the record books with the biggest ever North American debut with a $2.1 million tally. The simultaneous release of Anjaana Anjaani from Bollywood’s Hindi sector was also impressive with a $560,000 bow. In Canada, the Brit import StreetDance 3D generated a hefty $423,000 and the indigenous Fubar II rang up $209,000 from just 30 venues.
However, a couple of indie horror entries failed to ignite pre-Halloween frenzy. Chain Letter eked out a $300 average from 401 screens and Hatchet II was marginally better with an $880 average from a more contained 68 playdates.
Overall business experienced a roll back from both the prior weekend and 2009 revenues.
Critical response to The Social Network was predominantly rapturous. Still, media reports detailed concerns based on tracking and previews that the flamboyant saga of Facebook and its youthful creators was a tough sell. Exit polls showed that opening weekend skewed slightly female with 53% of the audience and plus 25s comprised 55% of sales. Trackers had predicted grossed in the range of $25 million to $28 million and its clear that its future rests on playing the awards card and eventually drawing in younger viewers obviously spending too much time on the net to go see the movie.
Let Me In also received enthusiastic thumbs ups from reviewers that failed to translate at the box office. Prognosticators pushed its envelope to the $10 million to $12 million strata but ticket buyers opted to catch up with The Town, Easy A or the Wall Street sequel. Case 39, which opened internationally in late 2008 and has grossed more than $10 million overseas, arrived as a theatrical afterthought and performed more or less as expected … blah.
Weekend sales came up just short of $100 million, which amounted to a 3% decline from seven days earlier. 2009 comparisons saw a steeper erosion of 9%. A year ago the debuts of Zombieland and the 3D pairing of Toy Story’s first two installments ranked first and third with respective openings of $24.7 million and $12.5 million.
Robot, with echoes of Metropolis, is a more optimistic yarn of a scientist who creates an android in his own image and watches the somewhat amusing results unfold. The big budget production went full out with dubbed versions in Hindi and Telegu in addition to the Tamil original. The largely Indian diasporas came out in force to generate a record opening box office. Still, despite considerable efforts in the past five years, the Indian cinema is just one film short of producing a crossover mainstream hit.
The session didn’t include a new platform in what looks like a crowded, eclectic awards season. However a clutch of early entries including Never Let Me Go, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Catfish added dates and continued to keep a foot in the door. Only Jack Goes Boating appears to have run out of steam early.
Weekend Estimates – October 1-3, 2010
|Title||Distributor||Gross (average)||% change *||Theaters||Cume|
|The Social Network||Sony||22.6 (8.170)||New||2771||22.6|
|Legend of the Guardians||WB||10.9 (3,040)||-33%||3575||30.1|
|Walt Street: Money Never Sleeps||Fox||10.2 (2,840)||-46%||3597||36|
|The Town||WB||10.1 (3,430)||-36%||2935||64.4|
|Easy A||Sony||6.8 (2,280)||-36%||2974||42.2|
|You Again||BV||5.5 (2,150)||-35%||2548||16.4|
|Let Me In||Overture||5.3 (2,610)||New||2021||5.3|
|Case 39||Par Vantage||5.2 (2,370)||New||2211||5.2|
|Alpha and Omega||Lions Gate||3.0 (1,290)||-38%||2302||19|
|Resident Evil: Afterlife||Sony/Alliance||2.8 (1,450)||-44%||1907||56.6|
|Anjaana Anjaani||Eros||.56 (6,090)||New||92||0.56|
|The Other Guys||Sony||.43 (760)||-57%||566||117.7|
|StreetDance 3D||Alliance||.42 (2,940)||New||144||0.42|
|Waiting for “Superman”||Par Vantage||.41 (12,010)||193%||34||0.6|
|Despicable Me||Uni||.39 (840)||-33%||463||246|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$90.90|
|% Change (Last Year)||-9%|
|% Change (Last Week)||-3%|
|Fubar 2||Alliance||.21 (6,970)||30||0.21|
|You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger||Sony Classics||.20 (7,010)||27%||29||0.286|
|Never Let Me Go||Searchlight||.19 (3,470)||-23%||54||0.62|
|Chain Letter||New Film||.12 (300)||401||0.12|
|Jack Goes Boating||Overture||.10 (1,300)||29%||78||0.27|
|Buried||Lions Gate||96,200 (2,920)||-4%||33||0.23|
|Hatchet II||Vitagraph||59,700 (880)||68||0.06|
|Le Poil de la bete||Seville||48,800 (1,740)||28||0.05|
Domestic Market Share – January 1 – September 23, 2010
|Distributor (releases)||Gross||Market Share|
|Warner Bros. (23)||1312.1||16.10%|
|Buena Vista (14)||1099.5||13.50%|
|Lions Gate (12)||403.1||5.00%|
|Fox Searchlight (5)||71.2||0.90%|
|Weinstein Co. (6)||60.8||0.70%|
|Sony Classics (19)||51.7||0.60%|
|Other * (253)||211||2.60%|
|* none greater than .04%|
Top Limited Releases: January 1 – September 30, 2010
|The Ghost Writer||Summit||15,569,712|
|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo||Music Box/Alliance||11,250,177|
|The Young Victoria *||Apparition/Alliance||11,131,232|
|Get Low||Sony Classics||8,449,788|
|A Single Man *||Weinstein Co.||7,935,872|
|The Girl Who Played with Fire||Music Box/Alliance||7,539,151|
|The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus *||E1/Sony Classics||7,394,171|
|City Island||Anchor Bay||6,671,036|
|The Last Station||Sony Classics||6,617,867|
|The Secret in Their Eyes||Sony Classics||6,384,875|
|Winter’s Bone||Roadside Attraction||6,077,440|
|An Education *||Sony Classics||4,963,224|
|Under the Sea 3D *||WB||4,950,071|
|I Am Love||Magnolia||4,900,430|
|The Hurt Locker *||Summit||4,531,548|
|Solitary Man||Anchor Bay||4,359,937|
|* does not include 2009 box office|