The reign of the weak box office came to an end this weekend with the debut of two much-hyped 1980s reboots: The Karate Kid and The A-Team. Early projections had the two titles in a tight race but, instead, the kid easily fly-kicked his way into first place with more than double what the team took in.
|1||The Karate Kid||$56,000,000||$56|
|4||Get Him to the Greek||$10,100,000||$36.5|
|6||Prince of Persia||$6,600,000||$72.3|
|8||Sex & the City 2||$5,525,000||$84.7|
|9||Iron Man 2||$4,425,000||$299.3|
The latest Karate Kid, produced by Will and Jada Smith and starring their eleven year-old son Jaden, has turned out to be the big story of what has thus far been a very bleak June at the box office. Made for a reported $40 million, the family-friendly film took in an estimated $56 million in its first three days in 3,663 locations for a per-seat average of $15,288. That is more than double Sony’s best estimates from earlier this week. Couple that to the reboot’s mostly positive reviews and you can color me caught off guard by the entire package.
Though it just missed hitting the top five best debuts of the year (estimates still put it a bit behind the $56.2 million made by Valentine’s Day for now), it should be noted that The Karate Kid – a non-animated, two dimensional release – managed to outperform the opening day of How to Train Your Dragon while coming in only 22% lower than the debut of Shrek Forever After two weeks ago.
The only dark cloud on this kid’s horizon will come in the form of a certain Toy Story 3. With the blockbuster set to monopolize the family market next weekend, The Karate Kid won’t be able to count on those nice week-to-week holds that sustained both Shrek and Dragon after their launches.
The clouds over the week’s second new release are, unfortunately, a hell of a lot bleaker. The A-Team, Fox’s long, long anticipated adaptation of the 1980s television series was supposed to have a solid shot at first place this weekend – what with its male-skewing action sequences and appealing cast. Instead, the bad-ass mercenaries got crane-kicked by Jackie Chan and an eleven year old boy. So sad.
The A-Team brought in an estimated $26 million from its 3,534 locations. That’s better than any of last week’s new entries but, considering that last week’s total gross represented a 13 year low for the domestic box office, I’m not sure that is anything to brag about. The team’s debut was also significantly better than that of the last buddy-action movie, The Losers, back in April… better than that film’s entire run of $23.4 million, in point of fact.
The A-Team did not score great reviews so it needed a stronger showing to sustain it through the next few weeks of Toy Story domination – especially considering that the reboot reportedly cost nearly three times more than The Karate Kid.
In holdover news: despite falling to third place, Shrek Forever After had another solid week, falling just 38% while crossing the $200 million mark here at home. Get Him to the Greek maintained a decent hold of about 58% over its debut while Killers descended a more substantial 48%. Splice fell furthest at 61% down, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. In all, this week was up about 10% over last year – a nice bump only slightly diminished by the fact that this week last year the box office was way down by 2008 standards.
Once again I’ll mention that next weekend will see the release of the third Toy Story feature… though if you’ve been conscious at all over the past two weeks you probably didn’t need me to remind you of that fact. Warner Brothers will try to counter program with their Jonah Hex adaptation. I wonder how well that won’t go.