Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Eclipse Lights Up 4th of July

Last Airbender #2, demonstrates young males still eager to waste parents money.

by | July 5, 2010 | Comments

Vampires and werewolves, and a certain mortal gal in between, ruled the
Independence Day holiday frame as
The Twilight
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.[rtimage]MapID=1210749&MapTypeID=2&photo=35&legacy=1[/rtimage]Still,
the PG-13 Eclipse flexed major muscles with a stellar $68.5M on Wednesday
becoming the second largest opening day in box office history trailing just the
$72.7M Friday of The Twilight Saga: New Moon from last November. Eclipse
set a new benchmark as the widest release ever playing in 4,468 locations. The
weekend average hit $15,443. Exit polls showed a broadening of the audience with
the new pic’s crowd being 65% female compared to 80% for New Moon.
Eclipse was also the first in the series to play on IMAX screens which helped
out the grosses too. That format has pulled in a remarkable $8.2M to date from
193 playdates.

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.[rtimage]MapID=1213190&MapTypeID=2&photo=45&legacy=1[/rtimage]Bumped down
to number three over the holiday weekend was
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.[rtimage]MapID=1196045&MapTypeID=2&photo=42&legacy=1[/rtimage]Adam Sandler
and his comedy pals landed in fourth with
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.[rtimage]MapID=1223577&MapTypeID=2&photo=27&legacy=1[/rtimage]On
the other hand, Tom Cruise is learning that moviegoers are losing interest in
him as his latest entry
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.[rtimage]MapID=1212410&MapTypeID=2&photo=51&legacy=1[/rtimage]Indie
hit 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!

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