Box Office Guru Wrapup: Eclipse Lights Up 4th of July
Last Airbender #2, demonstrates young males still eager to waste parents money.
Vampires and werewolves, and a certain mortal gal in between, ruled the
Independence Day holiday frame as
Saga: Eclipse exploded with a massive top spot debut. Also generating
muscular results by bringing a property with a large built-in fan base to the
big screen was The
Last Airbender which counter-programmed Bella and company by appealing
to boys resulting in a strong finish in the runner-up spot despite some of the
year's worst reviews. With
Toy Story 3 still
attracting large crowds, the overall marketplace swelled delivering spectacular
results to kick off the second half of 2010.
Summit's crown jewel kept getting bigger. Eclipse, the third installment of the lucrative five-film Twilight franchise, debuted to heated anticipation and generated a stunning $161M in ticket sales in its first five days of release from Wednesday to Sunday, according to estimates. The figure consisted of $92M during the week on Wednesday and Thursday and $69M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The weekend figure, which matched the debut of the first Twilight pic from 2008, was deflated by the mid-week bow which pushed the intense upfront demand to Wednesday, but the overall extended start is truly remarkable. Summit is estimating another $20M on Monday which is a holiday for many bringing the six-day tally to an estimated $181M which, conveniently, would break the record for the biggest Fourth of July opening edgiing past the $180.1M six-day score of Spider-Man 2 from 2004 when the calendar was exactly the same. Ticket prices have risen significantly since then, though.
Overseas, Eclipse was red hot too with an estimated $100.2M since Wednesday from 42 territories with major markets like the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Korea still to come. New Moon grossed $709M worldwide and this new saga could beat it.
M. Night Shyamalan enjoyed the best opening - and total gross - for any film in six years with the 3D fantasy adventure The Last Airbender which debuted in second place with an estimated $40.7M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The PG-rated film based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series aveaged a sturdy $12,827 from 3,169 locations and has collected an impressive $58M in its first four days since its Thursday launch. Paramount reported an early five-day estimate of $70M for the extended Thursday-to-Monday debut which would put it ahead of the director's last two films The Happening and Lady in the Water which grossed $64.5M and $42.3M, respectively. All three share a common trait - they were all panned by critics. Airbender, with a reported production cost of $150M, has been met with the worst reviews of the filmmaker's career, but the target audience of young males came out on opening weekend anyway for the special effects and the franchise's brand name. A late-in-the-game upgrade to 3D added to the ticket prices too. Despite what should be large declines in the days and weeks ahead, market share leader Paramount should still score its fifth $100M+ grosser of 2010.Toy Story 3 which pulled in an estimated $30.2M in its third frame. Down 49%, the Disney/Pixar sensation watched its cume soar to an amazing $289M putting it at number 42 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters behind the $290M of 2005's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Toy Story 3 could shatter the $300M mark on Monday after only 18 days and may still reach the $400M barrier too.Grown Ups which grossed an estimated $18.5M, down an understandable 54%. The decline was similar to the 52% fall the funnyman's 1999 hit Big Daddy suffered in its second weekend when Independence Day also fell on a Sunday. Grown Ups could be headed for a final tally in the neighborhood of $140M proving that Sandler still has what paying audiences want.Knight and Day is turning into one of the lowest-grossing action films of his career. The Fox release dropped 49% to an estimated $10.2M this weekend and lifted its 12-day sum to only $45.5M. Knight is on course to end its run in the same vicinity as Cruise's 1990 summer action pic Days of Thunder which made $82.7M at a time when the average movie ticket price was just $4.23.
80s remakes followed as The Karate Kid took in an estimated $8M in sixth while the less successful The A-Team collected an estimated $3M in seventh place. Sony's Jaden Smith pic dropped 49% and has taken in a stellar $151.5M to date and Fox's action title upped its total to $69.1M after declining by 51%.
Universal's hit comedy Get Him to the Greek tumbled 62% to an estimated $1.2M raising its cume to $57.4M. Losing even more 3D screens, Shrek Forever After crashed 74% to an estimated $799,000 and a $232.2M total.Cyrus was close behind and jumped into the top ten in tenth place with an estimated $770,000 from only 77 theaters for a strong $10,000 average. Expanding in its third frame from 17 locations, the Fox Searchlight release has grossed $1.5M and will continue to invade more cities in July.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $182.3M which was up19% from last year when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen stayed in the top spot with $42.3M; and up 22% from 2008 when Hancock debuted at number one with $62.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!