Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Dragon Retakes the Top Spot

The Dreamworks Animation film claims #1 in the worst Box Office weekend so far this year.

by | April 26, 2010 | Comments

This weekend, with Hollywood dumping its weakest films into theaters, moviegoers understandably stayed away from the multiplexes as the North American box office slumped to its lowest level of the year. New releases The Back-up Plan and The Losers generated unimpressive results allowing the five-week old 3D cartoon How to Train Your Dragon to reclaim the number one spot thanks to its continued durability. For the first time all year the top ten films failed to gross at least $90M.

After coming within a hair of nabbing the box office crown last weekend, How To Train Your Dragon won a decisive victory this time grossing an estimated $15M in its fifth weekend for another slim decline of only 24%. The DreamWorks blockbuster has now amassed a fantastic $178M and should bust through the $200M mark the same weekend as when Paramount stablemate Iron Man 2 arrives to kick off the summer movie season. The Viking toon is still on course to finish its run in the neighborhood of $225M which would be more than five times its opening weekend take thanks to amazing legs. Dragon‘s drops to date have been 34%, 14%, 21%, and 24%.

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Fans didn’t exactly turn out in large numbers for Jennifer Lopez who returned to theaters with her first major wide release in five years. Her pregnancy comedy The Back-up Plan collected an estimated $12.3M from a very wide 3,280 locations for a lackluster $3,735 average. Slammed by poor reviews, the PG-13 film about a woman who finds Mr. Right after being impregnated artificially played mostly to adult women, and failed to appeal to a broader audience. Females made up 71% of the audience, 57% were over 30, and 21% were Latino, according to distributor CBS Films. This is only the company’s second release following the disastrous Brendan Fraser-Harrison Ford flop Extraordinary Measures which debuted to a terrible $6M and $2,363 average in January.

Lopez has generally been a reliable draw at the box office with her films and the opening of Plan does not necessarily mean she no longer has box office clout any more. The generic story, lack of additional starpower, and poor marks from critics all helped to prevent an opening like those of her past films. The last major Lopez vehicle was 2005’s Monster-in-Law which bowed at number one with $23.1M in May, a month usually topped by big-budget action films each weekend.

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Audiences made Date Night the number three choice again this weekend as the Steve Carell-Tina Fey comedy slipped just 37% to an estimated $10.6M. Fox has laughed up a solid $63.5M in 17 days and could be headed for the $90M mark.

Opening in fourth with weak results was the action film The Losers with an estimated $9.6M from 2,936 locations for a poor $3,271 average. The Warner Bros. release featuring Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn’t have the starpower to pull in paying audiences and the story involving a group of renegade ex-soldiers seeking revenge on a criminal mastermind failed to spark any interest. Reviews were mixed for the PG-13 pic.

Kick-Ass stumbled in its second weekend falling 52% to an estimated $9.5M giving the super hero flick $34.9M in ten days. Lionsgate should end up with roughly $55M from its much-buzzed-about action film. The 3D action pic Clash of the Titans grossed an estimated $9M, off 42%, pushing the total for Warner Bros. up to $145.6M. Sony’s comedy remake Death at a Funeral tumbled 51% in its second weekend to an estimated $8M. With $28.4M in ten days, the Chris Rock-Martin Lawrence film should finish its run with $45-50M.

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Disney’s new underwater documentary Oceans scored the best per-theater average of any film in wide release this weekend. The G-rated pic debuted in moderate national release with 1,206 locations and grossed an estimated $6M for a $4,975 average. Add in grosses from the Thursday opening on Earth Day when it ranked number one in the marketplace and the four-day cume stands at $8.5M. On a per-theater basis, the bow was almost identical to the studio’s doc from this same frame last year when Earth bowed to $8.8M from a wider debut in 1,804 sites for a $4,892 average.

The Mouse House rounded out the top ten with a pair of hits. The Miley Cyrus teen romance The Last Song dropped 38% to an estimated $3.7M for a $55.4M total to date. Alice in Wonderland, the biggest non-Pandora 3D movie of all-time, fell 39% to an estimated $2.2M boosting the total to $327.5M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.9M which was down 14% from last year when Obsessed opened in the top spot with $28.6M; but up 13% from 2008 when Baby Mama debuted at number one with $17.4M.