Weekend Box Office – Surprise! KICK-ASS Surpassed By HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON?

     April 18, 2010

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Last weekend’s early estimates put Date Night on top. By the time final numbers were released on Monday, however, the higher ticket prices of the 3D Clash of the Titans had prevailed. One week later it looks like the weekend race is a nail biter once again. Even with softer than expected attendance, the superhero shenanigans of Kick-Ass were expected to take top honors. But it now appears that How to Train Your Dragon will get an encore at number one after four weeks in release. The top ten is as follows but remember – they are likely to change.

Title Weekend Total
1 How To Train Your Dragon $20,000,000 $158.6
2 Kick-Ass $19,750,000 $19.7
3 Date Night $17,300,000 $49.2
4 Death at a Funeral $17,000,000 $17
5 Clash of the Titans $15,770,000 $132.9
6 The Last Song $5,800,000 $50
7 Why Did I Get Married Too? $4,180,000 $54.8
8 Hot Tub Time Machine $3,545,000 $42.5
9 Alice in Wonderland $3,500,000 $324
10 The Bounty Hunter $3,200,000 $60.3

Kick-Ass movie poster (4).jpgI’m assuming that many of you have been following the development of the movie Kick-Ass over the last year and a half. The comic from the ubiquitous Mark Millar and adapted by director Matthew Vaughn was passed over by all the major studios until the completed picture arrived, with much fanfare, at Comic-Con. Suddenly the R-rated antics of the masked Kick-Ass and Hit Girl were not such an issue and a studio bidding war ensued. Lionsgate ultimately won the right to distribute with their bid of $25 million. Which brings us to today.

Unfortunately a great fanboy pedigree has not helped Kick-Ass live up to the hype. Despite good reviews (78% on Rotten Tomatoes) and an early release at 10 pm on Thursday night, Lionsgate has had to scale back hopes for their acquisition. Once upon a time a first weekend take of as much as $30 million was expected, but Friday (traditionally the best day for an R-rated new release) failed to deliver and Kick-Ass ended up with only $19.7 million from its 3,065 locations or $6,444 per screen.

That still would have been enough to secure a first place finish had it not been for the ticket price premium attached to 3D holdover How to Train Your Dragon. When Dreamworks Animation launched Dragon four weeks ago, the movie’s $43.7 million was considered a disappointment. Since then the most critically lauded wide release of 2010 (98% Fresh according to RT) has earned nearly $160 million, well below the $324 million of Disney’s 3D Alice in Wonderland, but well above the $132 million the 3D convert Clash of the Titans has claimed after three weeks.

Death at a Funeral movie image Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence.jpgAfter overestimating the receipts for Date Night by at least $3 million last weekend, I am naturally suspicious of Fox’s week two estimates for the comedy. Right now it looks like the Tina Fey/Steve Carell vehicle will stay at number three after losing only 31% of its final first weekend take of $25.2 million. That is a remarkable hold for a comedy… for any movie, really.

The estimates for this weekend’s second new release came within spitting distance of those Date Night figures, however. Only $300,000 separates the number three movie and the remake of Death at a Funeral, currently at number four. The ensemble piece from Screen Gems earned an estimated $17 million from its 2,459 locations. That gives Death a “better than Kick-Ass” per-screen average of $6,913.

Next weekend we will hope for a victory a little less ambiguous as another comic adaptation arrives on the big screen – The Losers. This one is PG-13, which might help. Then again, could a week-four resurgence of interest in Clash of the Titans come along and spoil everything? Just kidding!  What are the odds?

The Losers movie image Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Jason Patric, oscar Jaenada, Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana and Columbus Short slice (1).jpg

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