Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Audiences Hop To Horton Over Easter Weekend

The Who remain as appealing to America as green eggs and ham.

by | March 23, 2008 | Comments

Families ruled over the Easter holiday frame as the G-rated laughs of the Dr.
Suess toon Horton Hears a Who
once again proved to be the most popular game in town. The Fox hit spent a
second week at number one and fended off competition from a handful of new
films. Among the new releases, films with multicultural casts delivered the most
impressive averages. Tyler Perry‘s
latest hit Meet the Browns
bowed in second place while the Latino drama Under the Same Moon
opened in limited release but was still strong enough to crack the top ten. The
spookfest Shutter
and the bodyguard comedy Drillbit Taylor
were met with lukewarm openings and landed in the top five. Overall, it was the
worst Easter weekend box office in three years.

The vocal talents of

Jim Carrey and Steve Carell
led Horton to
an estimated $25.1M in ticket sales this weekend and represented a rather
sizable 44% decline. The animated comedy was helped by the Good Friday holiday
but still posted a larger sophomore drop than other non-sequel March toons from
Fox and Blue Sky Studios. 2002’s
Ice Age
fell 35% while Robots
dropped 42% in 2005. Plus neither film had any Easter help on the sophomore
session. After ten days of release, Horton has taken in a solid $86.5M which is
just 1% behind Ice Age at the same point in its release but 31% ahead of
Robots. Given the elephant pic’s warm reception with critics and
audiences, the relative lack of new competitors, and the holiday, a smaller
decline was expected. But despite the big drop, the Seuss extravaganza still
should finish its domestic run in the neighborhood of $150M.

Tyler Perry
secured the runnerup spot with his latest effort Meet the Browns
which opened to an estimated $20M. The filmmaker’s fifth release in four
years enjoyed the highest per-theater average of any film in the top ten with a
robust $9,977 from 2,006 locations. The PG-13 film stars Angela Bassett
and debuted in the same range as Perry’s last film Why Did I Get Married?
which bowed to $21.4M last October from a similar number of theaters. It did not
have the Good Friday holiday to help its opening weekend though.


Opening a little better than expected, Fox’s horror flick Shutter
debuted in third with an estimated $10.7M from 2,753 sites. The remake of a Thai
fright hit averaged a mediocre $3,887 and played to a young female audience. The
studio kept the marketing volume low until the final week before release when it
made an aggressive push at its target demo. Joshua Jackson
stars in Shutter as an American photographer in Tokyo who discovers
haunting images in his snapshots. Reviews were dismal.

Owen Wilson‘s
latest comedy Drillbit Taylor
posted a mild opening in fourth place taking in an estimated $10.2M from 3,056
theaters. Averaging just $3,338 per site, the PG-13 pic about a bum hired by
nerdy high school freshmen to be a bodyguard played to a tween and teen
audience. Reviews were negative for the Paramount release which proved that
without other major stars at his side (Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller,
Jackie Chan), Owen Wilson is no sure thing at the box office.


The caveman flick
10,000 BC ranked
fifth with an estimated $8.7M, down 48%, for a cume to date of $76.1M for Warner
Bros. Summit’s first in-house production Never Back Down
dropped an acceptable 44% in its second weekend and grossed an estimated $4.9M.
With $16.8M collected in ten days, the $20M fight pic looks to reach roughly
$25M by the end of its theatrical run.

Disney’s family comedy College Road Trip
slipped 41% to an estimated $4.6M in its third frame and raised its tally to
$32M. Moviegoers continued to spread good word-of-mouth for the Jason Statham
heist actioner The Bank Job
which dipped only 19% to an estimated $4.1M for a $19.4M total. The Lionsgate
release posted the smallest decline in the top ten two weeks in a row. Yet
another action film followed in ninth with Sony’s Vantage Point
which took in an estimated $3.8M, down just 30%, for a $65.3M cume.

The immigration drama Under the Same Moon
debuted to strong numbers in limited release and landed in the top ten right at
the ten spot. The Weinstein Company’s PG-13 film grossed an estimated $2.6M from
only 266 locations and averaged a sturdy $9,782 per site. It scored the second
best average in the top ten ranking just a bit below Meet the Browns.
Since its Wednesday launch, the Sundance Film Festival audience favorite and its
mostly Latino cast has taken in a solid $3.3M. Fox Searchlight marketed the
Spanish-language title while Weinstein handled distribution duties.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $94.7M which was down 10% from last
year’s Easter frame when
Blades of Glory

led the field with $22.5M; and down 12% from 2006’s holiday when
Scary Movie 4

debuted in the top spot with $40.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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