MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

Weekend Report: January 23, 2011

Zonk Went the Strings of My Heart 

The debut of rom-com No Strings Attached led weekend box office sales with an estimated $20.3 million. It was the session’s only national debut in what proved to be a depressed marketplace.

Also new were several late year Oscar hopefuls. The endurance saga No Way Back struggled to a disappointing $1.3 million while there were encouraging results for the downsizing tale The Company Men of $720,000 at 106 venues. There were also good returns for Bollywood’s Dhobi Ghat of $410,000 from 79 screens. Canadian Oscar submission Incendies bow in the country’s English sector to a not very stellar $33,800 at 19 sites.

Box office revenues dipped 19% from the prior weekend and a more severe 27% from 2010. Last year Avatar remained firmly on top in its 38th day of release with $34.9 million with the opening of Legion trailing at $17.5 million.

Hardly the sort of thing to bolster Natalie Portman’s Oscar prospects, No Strings Attached was roundly dismissed by the nation’s critics and opened to dullish response. Exit polls skewed decidedly female and indifferent audience feedback suggests a steep second weekend drop. Last weekend freshmen The Green Hornet and The Dilemma both experienced hard hits in their sophomore sessions.

With Oscar’s finalists unveiling in two days it was good for the grosses of The King’s Speech, The Fighter and Black Swan. Box office was also first rate for True Grit which has to date been largely passed over by critics and industry honor rolls and pundits predict no variance from the Academy. But its $138 million domestic gross to date outpaces all the presumed contendors.

Though the Oscar folk won’t be altering its award schedule this year or next, one can expect the issue to crop up again in 2013. The awards continue to be anticlimactic and, worse, capricious with voting members prone to vote for the unexpected … they too worn down by a bone crushing consensus that augers for inevitability for its winner’s roster. The inarguable situation has to create a heightened sense of anxiety for all those associated with The Social Network and make the likes of Colin Firth and Christian Bale ponder whether they’ve worn out their current welcome and should refrain from perceived campaigning in the coming weekss


Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
No Strings Attached Par 20.3 (6,730) NEW 3018 20.3
The Green Hornet Sony 18.2 (5,080) -46% 3584 63.6
Dilemma Uni 9.7 (3,290) -46% 2943 33.3
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 8.3 (4,960) -9% 1680 57.8
True Grit Par 7.8 (2,260) -29% 3464 138.5
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 6.1 (2,540) -27% 2407 83.5
The Fighter Par/Alliance 4.5 (1,960) -12% 2275 73
Little Fockers Uni 4.3 (1,460) -40% 2979 141.1
Yogi Bear WB 4.0 (1,580) -26% 2510 88.8
Tron: Legacy BV 3.8 (1,890) -33% 2018 163.4
Tangled BV 3.1 (1,690) -21% 1860 186.4
Season of the Witch Relativity 2.2 (960) -52% 2307 22.1
Country Strong Sony 2.1 (1,470) -42% 1441 16.9
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox 1.3 (1,180) -42% 1135 100.6
The Way Back Newmarket 1.3 (1,950) NEW 678 1.3
Gulliver’s Travels Fox 1.2 (1,060) -45% 1100 40
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 1* WB .95 (1,310) -32% 725 291.4
Blue Valentine Weinstein Co. .93 (3,840) -33% 242 4.5
The Tourist Sony .91 (1,040) -46% 875 65.9
The Company Men Weinstein Co. .72 (6,790)   106 0.72
Megamind Par .59 (1,840) -11% 320 146.4
Barney’s Version eOne/Sony Classics .48 (6,190) 35% 77 1
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $102.40      
% Change (Last Year)   -27%      
% Change (Last Week)   -19%      
Also debuting/expanding          
Dhobi Ghat UTV .41 (5,140)   79 0.41
Another Year Sony Classics .22 (4,930) 98% 45 0.73
Somewhere Focus .20 (2,440) -19% 83 1.3
Rabbit Hole Lions Gate .18 (1,760) -36% 101 1.3
The Illusionist Sony Classics 85,700 (5,710) 42% 15 0.38
Incendies eOne/Seville 33,800 (1,780)   19 2.5
Evangelion: 2.0 11 Arts 24,600 (1,640)   15 0.02
Un Vie Qui Commence Alliance 20,700 (1,480)   14 0.02
L’Autre Dumas Seville 11,800 (1,450)   8 0.01
The Woodmans Kino Lorber 5,400 (5,400)   1 0.01

One Response to “Weekend Report: January 23, 2011”

  1. IOv3 says:

    Yeah, you know The Social Network is not going to win right? Seriously, talk to David about this.

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“At a recent screening of Creed, as the familiar fanfare of Bill Conti’s beloved Rocky score signaled the start of the final round of the big fight, the audience burst into spontaneous applause. This was no sneak-preview crowd, primed with free admission and popcorn, but a room full of critics and journalists armored in professional skepticism. A cynic might say that the cheering was a Pavlovian reflex set off by a piece of commercial entertainment in the hands of a skilled, manipulative director. This cynic, however, was too busy choking up and clapping to form the thought.”
A. O. Scott On Creed

The physical object is so banalized nowadays, you have to bring something else. And the audience is completely ready to get that, and want that, voilà. It’s difficult because it’s a lot of work and there are a lot of requirements, but you have to try to be more and more unique; if not, you’re just releasing a DVD in the old way, and even if a title might interest some cinephiles, it won’t be enough regarding the fact that they could see on S-VOD for ten bucks hundreds of movies. So how do you bring this audience who’s continuing following you because they have the same feeling of cinephilia to acquire what you’re releasing ? And even though we can see of course that the 3000-limited-edition of Body Double is to be able to go out-of-print very quickly, at the same time it will increase interest on the title itself.
~ Carlotta Films’ Vincent Paul-Boncour