Box Office Guru Wrapup: 21 The Top Game In Town

The gambling drama is box office blackjack.

by | March 30, 2008 | Comments

Moviegoers partied in Las Vegas as the blackjack drama 21
scored a stronger-than-expected number one debut to lead the North American box
office with ease. Two-time chart champ
Horton Hears A Who
was bumped down to the runner-up spot while the frame’s other new wide releases
posted forgettable opening weekend grosses. Overall the marketplace remained
sluggish with moviegoers finding most films not all that appealing.

Kevin Spacey
topped the box office this weekend starring and producing 21
which collected an estimated $23.7M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Based on a
true story of a group of M.I.T. math wizards who devise a scheme to win big in
casinos, the Sony release averaged a potent $8,950 from 2,648 theaters. The
industry was looking for a somewhat smaller bow so the figure beat out
expectations. According to studio research, the PG-13 film played to a broad
range of gamblers. Males made up 53% of the audience while those under the age
of 25 made up 53%. Reviews were not very good but moviegoers responded to the
slick marketing and the story.

After two weeks at number one, the Dr. Seuss animated blockbuster
Horton Hears A Who

dropped down to second place but still posted healthy numbers. The Fox toon
slipped only 29% from Easter weekend and collected an estimated $17.4M raising
the cume to $117.3M after 17 days. Horton became the first film of 2008
to crack the century mark on Friday, its 15th day of release. A trajectory
towards the $150M barrier still looks likely.

MGM distributed The Weinstein Company’s spoof comedy
Superhero Movie

and was met with a lukewarm reception in third place. The PG-13 film about a
young man who gains super powers from a dragonfly grossed an estimated $9.5M
from 2,960 locations for a mild $3,213 average. It was the widest release among
the four new offerings. The performance came in between the solid $18.5M of
January’s Meet the Spartans
and the dismal $5.6M of last October’s The Comebacks. Both were spoof
comedies which have become all too common in today’s marketplace.

Tyler Perry‘s
latest tale Meet the Browns
suffered a steep fall in its second weekend dropping 61% to an estimated $7.8M.
With $32.8M collected in the first ten days, the Lionsgate title should find its
way to about $45-50M making it the second lowest-grossing picture of the
director’s string of five films.

The Paramount comedy Drillbit Taylor
held up moderately well in its sophomore session falling 44% to an estimated
$5.8M for a $20.6M cume. Look for a $35M finish to the domestic run of the
Owen Wilson
starrer. The horror pic Shutter
followed with an estimated $5.3M, down 49%, for a ten-day total of $19.1M. A
$30M final should result. Warner Bros. saw its prehistoric actioner 10,000 BC
capture an estimated $4.9M for seventh place, down 45%, lifting the overall take
to $84.9M.

Debuting in eighth place with little strength was the soldier drama
took in an estimated $4.5M from 1,291 sites. Averaging only $3,505, the
Paramount release stars Ryan
as a war veteran who returns to his hometown after serving his
country. The PG-13 film also features Channing Tatum and
Abbie Cornish
and targeted the teen and young adult crowd. Like most recent films with themes
connected to war, paying customers were hard to find. Reviews were the best
among the weekend’s new titles, but not spectacular.

Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone enjoyed a great hold for their comedy College Road Trip
which eased just 25% to an estimated $3.5M pushing Disney’s cume to $38.4M.
Rounding out this weekend’s unremarkable top ten was the heist thriller The Bank Job
which fell 33% in its fourth round to an estimated $2.8M. Cume sits at $24.1M.
The Jason Statham hit has been that rare action film to show durable legs.

Debuting outside of the top ten was the
Simon Pegg
comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run
which bowed to an estimated $2.4M from a not-so-wide 1,133 locations. Averaging
a disappointing $2,109 per venue, the Picturehouse release generated little
excitement with ticket buyers.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.2M which was down a troubling 25%
from last year when
Blades of Glory

opened at number one with $33M; and down a disturbing 33% from 2006 when
Ice Age: The Meltdown

debuted in the top spot with $68M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru