Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pirates Attack 100 Screens in Singapore

26 May 2011

Could this be a new record for the widest opening film in Singapore?

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES premiered on 100 screens and grossed a total of US$2,123,292 (S$2,628,423). That's also the highest first weekend gross for any film in Singapore this year so far.

Just for the record, PIRATES is the eighth film to open with 40 or more prints in Singapore this year. The others being THOR (70 screens), THE GREEN HORNET (64), RIO (46), SHAOLIN (43), SUCKER PUNCH (43), PRIEST (41) and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 5 (40). The local film with the widest opening this year is THE GHOSTS MUST BE CRAZY (34).

So why did I choose the number 40? Just to keep the club exclusive :)

The last time any film grossed more than US$2m in its opening weekend was back in April 2010 when CLASH OF THE TITANS made US$2,191,177 (S$3,067,494). That's marginally less than PIRATES in US$, but significantly higher in S$ due to the stronger Singapore dollar this year.

CLASH was also available in 3D but was released on only 75 screens. Its per screen average of US$29,216 - the highest for any film last year, was also way ahead of PIRATES' per screen average of US$21,233.

It'd be interesting to see how much of each film's gross came from 3D sales, just to track how audiences in Singapore are responding to 3D movies. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the information. In the US, it's reported that 3D accounted for less than half of total ticket sales for PIRATES [1].

So far, this year's top earners in Singapore are:
1. THOR (3D) * (US$4,221,908)
2. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 5 * (US$3,212,376)
3. THE GREEN HORNET (3D) (US$2,222,872)
5. SHAOLIN (US$1,969,435)
6. IT'S A GREAT GREAT WORLD (US$1,902,926)
7. RIO (3D) (US$1,878,218)
8. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (US$1,635,954)
9. I AM NUMBER FOUR (US$1,463,707)
* denotes still in release

UPDATE: The last PIRATES movie PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END could be the previous record holder with an opening on 98 screens back in 2007. It grossed an estimated US$1,652,539 (S$2,524,914) with a screen average of US$16,863 (S$25,765). This is just marginally less than the latest PIRATES' flick.


The box office figures reported are just estimates based on the above sources.

Mars Flops in Singapore with Disastrous Results

6 April 2011

MARS NEEDS MOM has made only US$129,704 (S$163,400) up to the last weekend.

The new animated Easter theme film HOP debut at No. 1 over the weekend with US$350,104 (S$441,058) - that's close to three times as much as what MARS has grossed in 4 weeks.

Two other recent animated films - RANGO has made US$969,122 (S$1.22m) to date and GNOMEO AND JULIET US$736,902 (S$928,342) - both far ahead of MARS.

Even taking into account a crowded marketplace filled with films for families and kids, it's hard to think of any recent major Hollywood release that have fared so badly at the Singapore box office - either animated film or live action.

Last year's lowest grossing American animated film was ALPHA & OMEGA - it opened on 14 screens for a total gross of US$105,531 (S$138,464) after 3 weeks. But it beat MARS in terms of average per screen - it's first weekend per screen average of US$2,543 (S$3,396) was about twice that of MARS' US$1,402 (S$1,776). And it was playing on fewer screens without any benefit from the Disney brand name or 3D either.

To date, the US$150 million production has grossed about US$36.3 million worldwide. So what went wrong? Was it a film that nobody really wanted to see?


Fly Entertainment's first venture into filmmaking under A.I. Pictures - PERFECT RIVALS has raked in US$120,794 (S$152,175) after 3 weeks in release. It's way ahead of Wee Li Lin's FOREVER, which was last reported to have collected S$41,000 in a Today article after 2 weeks in release.

Opening next week is THE ULTIMATE WINNER - TV actor Li Nanxing's debut as director and star. Local films featuring local TV stars do not usually perform well, as evident from the Christopher Lee vehicle KIDNAPPER (S$436,033), the Fann Wong led HAPPY GO LUCKY (S$223,027) and LOVE CUTS starring Zoe Tay (S$150,087).

Without the benefit of a huge marketing campaign and the general lukewarm reception of the local audience to most local films, it's possible that THE ULTIMATE WINNER may open with a per screen average gross in the same range as PERFECT RIVALS (US$5,773/S$7,345) and last year's OLD COW VS. TENDER GRASS (US$6,556/S$8,980).

Also opening is AKU TAK BODOH - the Malaysian remake of I NOT STUPID. It'd be interesting to see how well this one does - as data for Malay films is usually left out of Box Office Guru.

The number of local films released this year now number six with Liao Jiekai's RED DRAGONFLIES slated to open on May 5.

The other films released this year are: IT'S A GREAT GREAT WORLD - US$1.9m (S$2.42m); THE GHOSTS MUST BE CRAZY - US$1.13m (S$1.45m) and HOMECOMING - US$1.09m (S$1.39m).


Oscar nominee THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT finished off with about US$53,320 (S$67,212). Not too shabby for a 1-print release after 5 weeks that kicked off with lots of controversy when the MDA restricted the R21 film to only 1 print and 1 location.

A SINGLE MAN, also an Oscar nominated gay theme film grossed US$76,510 (S$104,954) from 4 screens when it ran for 4 weeks back in 2010.

ALL ABOVE LOVE, which opened recently collected only US$18,472 (S$23,503) after a 3 week run on 2 screens without facing the same legal restrictions placed on KIDS.

So the answers we'd never know are: without the controversy, would the film have done as well, or would it have done much better if it was allowed to screen at more locations?


The box office figures reported are just estimates based on the above sources.

The Kids @ Singapore Box Office - is it a new record?

4 Mar 2011

There's been some interesting happenings at the Singapore Box Office of late.

Last weekend, I AM NUMBER FOUR was No. 1 spot at the Singapore box office. It grossed US$534,059 (S$679,494) from 34 screens. But if ranked according to per screen average, it comes in at no. 2 with a per screen average of US$15,708 (S$19,986) - this is about US$3.5K behind the no. 1 film.

So what film beat I AM NUMBER FOUR when it come to per screen average?

A 1-print 1-location R21-rated film that failed to even crack the Top 10 called THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.

It's total Box office takings ranks it at no. 13, but it's per screen average gross was US$19,212 (S$24,444). Compare this with last year's two highest per screen average for a single print release: the documentary BABIES (US$10,404/S$14,045) and the Iranian film SON OF BABYLON (US$10,795/S$13,871).

What makes this achievement even more significant is when you compare against some of last year's top films during their highest per screen average weekends:

CLASH OF THE TITANS - US$29,216/S$40,900
IRON MAN 2 - US$24,304/S$33,301
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT - US$19,212/S$24,444
INCEPTION - US$17,283/S$23,784

This year, only one other film has a higher per screen average - HOMECOMING with US$20,898 (S$26,638) made during the Chinese New Year weekend [KIDS was released over a non-holiday weekend frame].

Nominated for 4 Oscars, the film received some news coverage when it became the first film to be restricted to a 1-print screening in Singapore, even with a R21 age restriction. A possible comparison - last year's gay-theme drama A SINGLE MAN opened on 2 screens with a per screen average of US$4,719 (S$6,660).

So is this a record of sorts for a single print release? More research will be needed to find out, but KIDS looks very much in a class of its own in terms of commercial success for a single print release.

Source: Box Office Guru

[1] Box Office Gross figures are just an estimation.
[2] Conversion to S$ is at the exchange rate of the period of the film's release

Singapore Box Office

17 Sep 2010

RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE is doing very well in Singapore (US$1.034m), as is this little film called BABIES.

BABIES failed to crack the Top 10, but if taking into account a per screen average, it's actually the No. 2 film just behind RESIDENT EVIL!

Likewise, VILLON'S WIFE and HEARTBREAKER, 2 other foreign films that failed to crack the Top 10 are actually #3 and #4 respectively if taking into account per screen average earnings.

Meanwhile, INCEPTION continues to prove to be one of the year's biggest box office hits, and has now raked in US$3.961m.

Top Earners This year (I hope I got the numbers right):
1. AVATAR (US$8.113m - excludes special edition earnings)
2. IRON MAN 2 (US$4.194m)
3. INCEPTION * (US$3.961m)
5. THE KARATE KID (US$3.345m)
7. IP MAN 2 (US$3.292m)
8. TOY STORY 3 (US$3.155m)

* still showing

Local film HAUNTED CHANGI has scored a respectable US$359,632 in its second week, but the new Zoe Tay film LOVE CUTS is off to a poor start with only US$64,005.


[Comment] Sg Box Office Apr 29-May 2

5 May 2010

IRON MAN 2 beats IP MAN 2 at Sg Box Office. But on a per screen average, IP MAN 2 is champs.

Almost all other films take a beating at the box office as these two giants dominate most screens. In fact, this weekend is the biggest earner for cinemas this year so far, with earnings totaling US$3,293,979.

Amongst smaller films, MAO'S LAST DANCE appears to be doing well. It is the #4 film if films were ranked according to highest gross per screen.

This year's biggest openers at Sg Box Office:

No of screens: 75
1st Weekend Gross: US$2,191,177
Average per screen: US$29,216
Total Gross: US$3,868,609 *

No of screens: 79
1st Weekend Gross: US$1,883,741
Average per screen: US$23,845
Total Gross: US$1,883,741 *

3. IP MAN 2
No of screens: 51
1st Weekend Gross: US$1,241,017
Average per screen: US$24,334
Total Gross: US$1,241,017 *

No of screens: 59
1st Weekend Gross: US$1,186,954
Average per screen: US$20,118
Total Gross: US$3,319,768

No of screens: 51
1st Weekend Gross: US$816,212 (US$1,445,044 if includes sneak previews from previous week)
Average per screen: US$16,004
Total Gross: US$2,906,267 *

* still in cinemas as of May 2

In comparison, the biggest debut film during Lunar New Year this year only managed to rank 6 on the list - PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIAN: THE LIGHTNING THIEF (US$643,715) while the biggest debut for a local film would be BEING HUMAN (US$295,695).

Box Office Mojo

Strangely enough, 2 local films, GURUSHETRAM and ICE KACHANG PUPPY LOVE (because Malaysia also counts) continue to be missing from Box Office Mojo's weekly box office report. Dunno why.

Singapore Box Office [May 8-11]

13 May 2008

Funny a romantic comedy should beat IRON MAN and SPEED RACER at the Singapore Box Office last weekend.

I think comedy was the main appeal.

That, and the presence of Cameron Diaz & Ashton Kutcher.

Despite coming in behind IRON MAN and selling much less tickets,
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS's per print average makes it the champion:
(28 prints - $14,680 average) WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS
(64 prints - $11,313 average) IRON MAN
(44 prints - $6,401 average) SPEED RACER

SPEED RACER probably performed below expectations. Despite being sold as an adventure high octane action flick from the Wachowski Brothers (THE MATRIX), it only took in $281,633 from 44 screens.
Compare that to VEGAS, which managed a significantly higher gross ($411,030) from only 28 screens.

Maybe the promo should have focused more on Rain, but even that I'm not sure would have helped since he isn't the main star of the film either.

Released on only 2 screens is the UK-Australian flick DEATH DEFYING ACTS headlined by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Guy Pearce and Timothy Spall. The romance drama from award-winning director Gillian Armstrong (LITTLE WOMEN) failed to debut in the Top 10 and managed only to gross $3,250. Not good numbers.

IRON MAN fell 53.1% in its second week (similar to the US percentage drop), but grossed another $724,033 at the box office for a total cume of $2,986,599. At this writing, the film has probably surged pass the $3 million mark. It already is the top grossing film in Singapore for 2008, outpacing the previous record holder THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM ($2,419,711), which is also still in release.

The Fann Wong headlined romance dance drama DANCE OF THE DRAGON fell 69.9% in its second week with a gross of $19,136. The film has grossed $120,932 to date. Considering the bad reviews the film suffered, could this actually be good numbers? Then again, its per screen average of $765 puts it slightly below that of the other local film FEET UNBOUND, which is only in limited release.

In its 4th week, FEET UNBOUND grossed another $770. Pretty okay numbers, considering the limited and less popular session(s) assigned to the film this week. It has now taken in $16,772.

All the buzz is also probably helping the single print, R21 rated TAXIDERMIA sell more tickets. In its third week - it pulled in another $3,250 for a total gross of $17,269.

Amongst other noteworthy leftovers, HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY scores another $42,300 for a total of $406,259. Pretty good numbers for a 10 print release in its third week, taking into consideration the restrictive M18 rating as well.

THE OTHER BOLYN GIRL also seems to be doing pretty well for a genre that is usually hard to sell. After 5 weeks, the period romance drama still manages to pull in $2,281 from a single screen to hit a total gross of $176,615.

This week, the non-too inclusive Box Office Mojo failed to include the box office numbers for another new release - the Indonesian romance drama AYAT AYAT CINTA. The film was a box office and critical success in its homeland. It is released on 5 screens in Singapore.

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