Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Megamind Seizes #1 Spot Over Busy Weekend

Due Date and Colored Girls deliver.

by | November 8, 2010 | Comments

The holiday movie season started off with a bang as three new releases pumped
in over $100M in ticket sales allowing the top ten to surge to its highest level
since July. Leading the charge was the animated comedy
Megamind
which
didn’t have a mega opening, but still delivered a solid debut at number one.
Premiering in second place with strength was the R-rated comedy
Due Date
while the
Tyler Perry film

For Colored Girls
enjoyed a sturdy debut of its own in third place.

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DreamWorks Animation scored its third number one 3D hit of the year with the
Will Ferrell

vehicle Megamind
which bowed to an estimated $47.7M from 3,944 locations for a strong $12,082
average. The PG-rated film earned generally good reviews and played to a broad
audience of families and young adults.
Tina Fey
and
Brad Pitt
also lent their voices to the tale of a supervillain who discovers how to be a
good guy. The opening was only slightly better than the $43.7M debut of the
studio’s March release
How
To Train Your Dragon
, which had less star wattage but much better
reviews, and well below the $59.3M of its 2009 offering
Monsters vs.
Aliens
. All were 3D toons that took advantage of higher ticket prices
although Megamind arguably had the most starpower. The company’s
Shrek Forever After

debuted to $70.8M in May, however it was a franchise film with a built-in
audience.

Even older non-sequel Pixar films launching on the first weekend of November did
better than Megamind like the $70.5M of 2004’s
The Incredibles

and the $62.6M for 2001’s
Monsters Inc
.
Ticket prices were much less back then and they didn’t benefit from 3D
surcharges. In fact looking at admissions, the superhero toon Incredibles
sold twice as many tickets on opening weekend than the blue supervillain.
Paramount and DreamWorks invested heavily into the film’s extensive marketing
campaign but the long-term picture does look bright. 3D toons tend to have good
legs and play amazingly well overseas and having Brad Pitt involved certainly
will give a boost around the world. A final global gross in the area of $500M or
more is certainly possible.

Those looking for more racy laughs lined up for the R-rated road trip comedy
Due Date
which
debuted in second place with terrific results grossing an estimated $33.5M.
Playing in 3,355 sites, the Warner Bros. release starring
Robert
Downey Jr.
and
Zach
Galifianakis
averaged a muscular $9,985 per location. Reviews were not
too upbeat and certainly did not match those for director
Todd
Phillips
‘ last film
The Hangover

which enjoyed a bigger debut with $45M in June 2009. Starpower and a pricey
marketing tab helped to open Due Date, but word-of-mouth will decide the
fate from here on out.

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Tyler Perry
ventured into new territory by directing someone else’s story and making an
R-rated film with

For Colored Girls
which debuted in third place with an estimated $20.1M.
The Lionsgate release averaged a stellar $9,450 from 2,127 locations and like
the filmmaker’s prior work played heavily to black adult women. According to
studio data, 82% of the crowd was female, 87% was over 25, and 81% was African
American. Based on the popular play, Girls covered disturbing subject
matter but brought out a large targeted audience thanks to the brand names of
the director and the play, plus starpower from cast members like
Janet Jackson,
Thandie Newton,
Phylicia
Rashad
, and
Whoopi
Goldberg
. The gross was just somewhat below the $23.4M bow of Perry’s last
fall release
I Can Do
Bad All By Myself
from last year.

Leading all the holdovers was the four-week-old geezer action hit
Red
which slipped only
18% to an estimated $8.9M boosting the cume to a sturdy $71.9M. The Summit
release now looks to have a shot at breaking the $100M mark. Tumbling 66% in its
second weekend was the horror sequel
Saw 3D
which fell from
first to fifth with an estimated $8.2M. Recent installments have generated about
80% of their totals in the first ten days so with $38.8M in the bank so far, the
Lionsgate fright flick should finish with just under $50M making it the
second-lowest-grossing film in the seven-part series ahead of just last year’s
Saw VI.

Rival horror sequel
Paranormal
Activity 2
suffered a big loss of its own declining by 56% in its third
session to an estimated $7.3M. Paramount has scared up $77.2M to date. Studio
stablemate Jackass 3D
dropped by only 40% to an estimated $5.1M putting the total for this fall’s
top-grossing blockbuster at $110.8M.

Two older-skewing dramas tied for eighth place with estimates of $4M each.
Clint Eastwood‘s
Hereafter
slipped by 37% while the Disney sports drama
Secretariat
eased
by just 20%. Cumes stand at $28.7M and $51M, respectively. Sony rounded out the
top ten with its acclaimed Facebook film
The Social Network

which grossed an estimated $3.6M, off a slim 20%, for a $85M sum.

Opening to an avalanche of business in just four theaters was the mountain
climber drama 127 Hours
which bowed to an estimated $266,000 for a sizzling $66,481 average per location
playing exclusively in New York and Los Angeles. Directed by Oscar winner
Danny Boyle (Slumdog
Millionaire
,
Trainspotting
),
the R-rated film starring
James Franco

in the true story of a young man’s remarkable survival story while trapped alone
in a canyon earned rave reviews across the board and generated industry buzz
earlier this fall screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. Hours
widens to about 20 playdates in the top ten markets on Friday and will expand to
all major cities by Thanksgiving weekend.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10238233[/rtimage]

Despite a story that involves Iraq, the political thriller
Fair Game

opened with a solid debut in limited release grossing an estimated $700,000 from
46 theaters for a sturdy $15,217 average. The
Naomi WattsSean
Penn
starrer played to an older adult audience and received an encouraging
A- CinemaScore. Summit will expand to about 175 runs on Friday.

[rtimage]siteImageId=10238232[/rtimage]

The top ten films grossed an estimated $142.3M which was up a healthy 38% from
last year when
A Christmas
Carol
opened in the top spot with $30.1M; and up 15% from 2008 when

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
debuted at number one with $63.1M.

Author: Giteshy Pandya, Box Office Guru!

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