It turns out, after tons of doubt that Captain America: The First Avenger would undertake the final Harry Potter film in the box office on the biggest nerd weekend of the year, San Diego Comic-Con, we were all wrong.
In reality, the film actually did just that, and took the #1 spot for the weekend, totaling an impressive $65.8 million here in the US. While this is excellent news for the new films from Marvel Studios and Paramount, the real story here is how much of a drop Harry Potter had.
From last weekend’s $169 million opening to a mere $48 million this weekend, the film dropped over 70% in just a week. Either everyone who was going to see this film saw it in the first weekend, or the word of mouth wasn’t as good as the folks at Warner Bros were hoping for.
Also opening this weekend, the R-rated version of No Strings Attached, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis and titled Friends With Benefits managed to stay in the top 3 with an estimated $18 million. Just a simple million less than the one that starred Kutcher and Portman.
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Welcome to another edition of On the Radar where we delve into all corners of the entertainment, tech and geek Internets for news, views and whatnot that may have escaped our regular coverage during the week. Let is know if we missed something interesting.
Let’s get started!
• Just because they seem to be running out of ideas that aren’t hand-delivered to them by either Marvel or Pixar, Disney is now working on a feature length film based on their Matterhorn ride. Let’s hope this one doesn’t spawn as many sequels as Pirates.
• Both No Strings Attached starring Ashton Kutcher and Friends With Benefits starring Mila Kunis are eerily similar. How similar? Here’s a mashup trailer to prove it.
• Diablo Cody is stepping away from her hamburger-shaped typewriter and behind her hamburger-shaped camera as she takes on directing Lamb of God.
• In honor of his newest masterpiece hitting theaters, here is the premise to every Michael Bay film in under 60 seconds.
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Despite some pretty scathing reviews, the exorcism film The Rite won the weekend box office with $15 M. Although the film won, that is a pretty disappointing total for a weekend box office winner. This is one of those films where there was a wide disconnect between critics and audiences. The people who were polled by Cinemascore after seeing the movie gave it a satisfactory “B” average rating. Compare that to the 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Huge disparity.
No Strings Attached held pretty strong in its second weekend. The romantic comedy starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher came in at number two. The film only dropped a modest 30%, making about $13.6 M. It has been a bit of a surprise hit, mostly due to a tight $25 M budget. The two week total stands at $39 M.
The weekend’s other new release was The Mechanic, and it came in closely behind No Strings Attached with $11.5 M. It had a fairly average per/screen average of about $4,300. According to Sunday’s estimates, this puts The Mechanic in a tie with holdover The Green Hornet, which also made $11.5 M. After three weeks, Hornet has made over $78 M.
The big story this week is The King’s Speech, which upstaged The Social Network at the DGA awards and the SAG awards over the weekend. The film is getting a serious bounce from all the awards talk, but The Weinstein Company also increased the theater count for the film by over $40% this weekend. Smart.
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Natalie Portman continues to impress, as she has not one, but two films in the top ten this week. The romantic comedy No Strings Attached, featuring Portman and Ashton Kutcher, nabbed the top spot at the box office over the weekend by selling about $20.3 M in tickets. The film is directed by Ivan Reitman, and is the first movie starring Portman to win the box office since 2006, when she starred in V For Vendetta. It attracted a mostly female audience, typical for a romantic comedy.
Black Swan, the psychological thriller, was her second film to place in the top ten. Coming in at number six, the movie picked up $6.2 M in its eighth week in release, bringing its box office total to $83.5 M. If the film picks up a few Oscar nominations (announced on Tuesday morning), it is sure to continue a steady march toward $100 M.
Last week’s winner, The Green Hornet, dropped off 46% from its opening week total. It came in at number two this week with $18 M, bringing its two week total to $63 M. It was a costly production to make ($120 M) so it still needs to sell quite a few seats to earn back its budget.
The Dilemma had an almost identical drop off, and made an additional $9.7 M. The King’s Speech is now in its 9th week of release, and only dropped 2% from last week. This is another film that will surely enjoy a boost from multiple Oscar nominations on Tuesday.
True Grit came in at number five with $8 M, making it the second highest grossing western of all time (Dances With Wolves holds the record). The Housemaid, Barney’s Version, The Company Men, The Illusionist, and Another Year all fared nicely in limited release.