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’21′ Holds Winning Hand At Box Office; ‘Superhero’ Is Superflop; ‘Stop-Loss’ DOA

21_galleryposter.jpgSUNDAY AM: This weekend’s movie gross showed that Hollywood couldn’t revive the slumping box office during spring break even though 30% of students are out of school. No. 1 is Sony Pictures’s PG-rated based-on-a-true-story 21, which opened to a solid $8.6 million Friday and $9.6 million Saturday from 2,648 theaters. With Sunday estimates, that makes a better than expected $23.7M for the moderately budgeted pic (sources tell me it cost $35M). The casino card-counting caper suddenly came on strong tracking-wise these past two weeks to surprise everyone but the studio execs. A shocker was how weak the reviews were: only 22% positive among top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. But audiences craved the escapism. As a rival marketer gushed to me, “It is wish fulfilment in the truest sense of the phrase, this notion of a real person being able to beat the system, get the girl and live the life. The pic tapped into that really nicely.” I’m told the audience was broad based, drawing from all 4 quadrants — older and younger men and women, with 53% male and 47% female with 53% under the age of 25.

superheromovie_galleryposter.jpgIn its 3rd weekend in release, Fox’s Horton Hears A Who! continued playing strong in 3,826 dates for $5.2 million Friday and $7.3 million thanks to Saturday kiddie matinees to surge well past the all-important $100 million mark. It’s new cume is $117.2M after this weekend’s extra $17.4M because there was little else at the … Read More »

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Box Office Update: Owen Wilson Bullied; ‘Horton’ No. 1 Again; ‘Tyler Perry’s Browns’ #2, ‘Shutter’ (#3), ‘Drillbit’ (#4)

owen-wilson-2.jpgSUNDAY AM: Fox’s family fare holdover Horton Hears A Who! rose to No. 1 again this Easter Weekend with a big $25.1 million haul, this time with $10.2 million Friday, $9.2 million Saturday and an estimated $5.6 million Sunday from 3,961 venues. That gives the Dr. Seuss toon a big box office cume of $86.4 mil after only a week in theaters. Meet The Browns starring writer/director/actor Tyler Perry’s alter ego Madea as well as icon Angela Bassett opened in 2nd place for Lionsgate with $20.2 million this weekend from 2,006 plays. As we’ve seen before with Perry’s pics, 65% of his moviegoers tend to be African-American, though there is still plenty of crossover because of family-oriented themes. Perry further cements his status as one of Hollywood’s most reliable box office brands, A surprise for No. 3 was New Regency’s Thai horror film Shutter, because of its PG-13 rating and aggressive Internet ad campaign. Distributed by Fox, the newcomer took in $10.7 million from 2,753 dates. All easily bested Paramount’s Owen Wilson starrer Drillbit Taylor which placed only 4th: hurt by the star’s refusal to do publicity and the fact it plays young, the PG-13 tween comedy from Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen opened with $10.2 million despite a wide release of 3,056 runs. Meanwhile, I hear that Fox Searchlight/The Weinstein Co’s new release Under The Same Moon, from writer/producer Ligiah Villalobos, had a record-breaking opening weekend for a Spanish language film, with $2.6 million in 266 venues here. It was also crushing in Mexico, making $1.6 million from 350 screens – - #3 behind only Horton and 10,000 Read More »

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‘Horton’ Stampede To Best 2008 Opening; ‘Don’t Back Down’ OK, But ‘Doomed-sday’

By | Saturday March 15, 2008 @ 7:59am PDT

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SUNDAY AM: Even with all those half-price kiddie tickets, Fox’s Horton Hears A Who? trampled the competition to finish No. 1 with a huge $45.1 million haul. According to Media By Numbers, the Dr. Seuss toon posted the best opening weekend so far this year (exceeding the $40 mil from Paramount’s Cloverfield in Monday-through-Friday take). All the Hollywood studios hope Horton has broke the current disappointing cycle ”where moviegoing has not been as big as any of us in the business would like,” one exec told me. <horton-voices.jpgThe G-rated family fare garnered great reviews and lived up to its expectations for a mammoth weekend; it made $13.2 mil from 3,954 theaters on Friday, a huge $18.5 mil thanks to heavily attended kiddie matinees Saturday, and an expected $13.3 mil Sunday. Horton‘s box office was helped by Fox’s savvy synergy when the two big name actors voicing the characters got a big plug on Wednesday night’s American Idol (where Jim Carrey looked an ass in an elephant costume while Steve Carell greeted contestants at the film’s premiere). The toon has a clear berth for the next couple of weeks, too. “Especially given no family competition over Easter, we will play to a big multiple,” a Fox exec told me.

never.jpgIn the 2nd spot, Warner’s holdover 10,000 BC dropped an expected 54% domestically to earn $16.4 mil for the weekend and a new cume of $61.2 mil. This weekend’s Never Back Down was the first developed, financed, produced … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Horton’ $12M-$13M For Friday

By | Friday March 14, 2008 @ 5:35pm PDT

horton-1.jpgFRIDAY 6:30 PM: That’s according to first word on really early box office estimates coming in to me tonight. And expect humongous Saturday kiddie matinees for this toon. My box office gurus are now saying Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears A Who! from Fox is on track to finish the weekend as a big family fare No. 1 with $45M-$50M.

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  • Weekend Prediction: Huge ‘Horton’)
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    Weekend Prediction: Huge ‘Horton Who!’

    hortonhearsawho_galleryposter1.jpgTHIS WEEKEND: It’s going to be “all Horton all weekend” including mammoth Saturday kiddie matinees. Because not even Hollywood can screw up Dr. Seuss so completely that audiences stay away. But also thanks to big name actors voicing the characters and that big plug on American Idol (where Jim Carrey was an ass in an elephant costume). “It was lame. But it was still 30 million people, or whatever the number is, watching the kids from American Idol at the premiere shaking hands with Steve Carell,” said one rival studio marketing exec. My box office gurus say Fox’s G-rated Horton Hears A Who! should finish the weekend in the $40sM or $50sM in really wide release (3,954 theaters) even though the studio is trying to lower expectations to “only $35M and maybe $40M if the weather breaks right for us.” But the reviews are great (87% on Rotten Tomatoes). The toon has a clear berth for the next couple of weeks, too. “Especially given no family competition over Easter, we will play to a big multiple,” a Fox exec told me last night.

    carrey-idol.jpgFunny, even rival studios hope the pic does well. “Because we have been in a cycle where moviegoing has not been as big as any of us in the business would like. It’s not a permanent thing. But we’re waiting for that one movie that unlocks the gates again. Horton … Read More »

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