Friday, September 30, 2011

ENGLISH continues to reign!

26 Sep 2011

5 new releases, but none really made any huge impact as JOHNNY ENGLISH maintains its box office crown.

JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN rakes in another US$1,072,791 - more than the rest of the films in release combined. It is also the only film this year to score two consecutive weekends with a screen average above US$20,000. ENGLISH is proving to be this year's biggest hit outside the summer blockbuster season - it now ranks 9th amongst this year's top film and is climbing. It has already amassed US$3,207,458 and hitting US$4.5m by the end of its run looks likely.

ABDUCTION starring teen star Taylor Lautner fails to set the charts on fire as it debuts at no. 2 with a weekend gross of US$245,686 gross from 27 screens. Earlier this year - I AM NUMBER FOUR - a teen action sci-fi film based on a hot property kicked off with US$534,059 (34 screens) despite having no big name cast. Reviews haven't been great and the film could end its run in the range of US$480,000-US$500,000.

FRIGHT NIGHT is the widest new release but its total gross of US$229,160 (from 2D and 3D versions) must be a disappointment considering it opened on 41 screens. Horror films have not done well lately - DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK opened with US$95,313 (19 screens) last week while TWISTED started off with US$139,870 (20 screens). The only exception being FINAL DESTINATION 5 which started off with US$738,084 (54 screens) despite an edited M18 rating. FRIGHT NIGHT could end its run in the range of US$450,000-US$500,000.

Opening in moderate release, I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT grosses US$108,507 from 16 screens. Films about the modern woman generally don't set the box office on fire. Last week's low brow release CHALET GIRL manages a disastrous US$9,052 from 5 screens, while the rowdy BRIDESMAIDS fared better with a US$154,307 kickstart from 13 screens. Although headlined by Sarah Jessica Parker, I DON'T KNOW is not in the same league as BRIDESMAIDS and could end up with a total tally of around US$200,00-US$220,000.

THE TREE OF LIFE - the Palme d'Or Cannes winning film by Terrence Malick manages a respectable (but not great) gross of US$19,483 from 3 screens. It may end up with a total gross between US$35,00-US$40,000 as this type of film appeals usually to a niche audience.

AFRICAN CATS's US$2,867 gross from 1 screen is one of the worst debut for any film this year. While documentaries are in a class of their own, last year's EARTH managed a US$10,502 debut while BABIES started with US$10,484. The release date for CATS couldn't be worse. Apart from F1 drawing some audiences away, families will also be staying away as parents are probably be keeping their children at home to prepare for the upcoming PSLE exams. Look for CATS to end its run around US$5,000 - US$6,000 (in comparison, EARTH - released during Earth Day grossed US$14,280 while BABIES made US$26,245).

This week, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 5 a.k.a. FAST FIVE gets re-released - this time in IMAX and takes in an additional US$3,597 to push its total cume up to US$3,510,602.

Some notable holdovers:

With US$2,864,224 now in the bank (and probably a bit more to come before it ends its run), THE SMURFS is now the 10th highest grossing film of 2011.

MAYDAY 3DNA takes in another US$21,043 from limited screenings for a total of US$140,443. Not bad for this kind of concert film - and more sessions have been added for the following weekend.

R21 films not in wide release that make it pass US$20,000 are a rarity. I SAW THE DEVIL has now gross US$21,585 in its 2nd week, and may conclude its run anywhere between US$24,000-US$40,000.

THE FIRST GRADER - a single print release has now grossed US$23,882 after 4 weeks - pretty good numbers for this sort of thing.

TATSUMI collects another US$3,315 in its 2nd week for a US$9,877 total - terrible numbers.

Two films end their runs with pretty decent numbers: BEGINNERS has amassed US$55,468 after 6 weeks - the second highest grossing R21 rated film this year (and top grosser of independent R21 releases if you exclude SEX AND ZEN which benefitted from a much wider release); FOUR LIONS concludes its run with US$33,779 after 4 weeks.

For the full box office list, click here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


19 Sep 2011

JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN and MAYDAY 3DNA open big, while THE SMURFS continue to show strong legs. Other new releases yield terrible to moderate results. Here's a quick running (opinionated) commentary -

Rowen Atkinson continues to prove his box office draw - never mind that it's been quite a while since the last Mr Bean and Johnny English outings. REBORN's first weekend gross is US$1,645,282 with a bustling US$32,260 screen average (only KUNG FU PANDA 2 scored a marginally higher US$32,843 screen average this year).

MAYDAY 3DNA has a screen average of US$16,100 for a total of US$96,600. Very good numbers for a concert film.

Most of the other new releases debut with moderate to terrible results - DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK managed a US$5,016 screen average for a total of US$95,313. This is marginally less than MAYDAY (which was playing on only 6 screens vs. DARK's 19 screens).

Released with little publicity in a crowded marketplace, romance pics A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN and CHALET GIRL and action flick BLITZ performed pretty much badly. CHALET GIRL's screen average of US$1,952 is one of the lowest this year. A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN (US$5,507) and BLITZ (US$4,479) did not perform too encouragingly either considering that the genres are pretty much mainstream.

And amongst the 3 foreign language films released -

TATSUMI had wide newspaper coverage and positive reviews - it debut at Cannes earlier this year and it's announced as Singapore's entry for the Oscars next year for Best Foreign Language Film. But it scored only a US$2,450 screen average for a total of US$4,899 from 2 screens.

Korean horror I SAW THE DEVIL had a screen average of US$5,791 for a total of US$11,581. Encouraging numbers - as a R21 rating usually severely limits a film's outreach.

1,778 STORIES OF ME AND MY WIFE opens without much publicity and grosses US$3,187 from 1 screen.

Amongst holdovers -

THE SMURFS continue to show strong legs even as it dips a hefty 71,2% from the previous week. It has now grossed more than US$2.72m in just 3 weeks, and could finish in the range of US$3-3.5m at least. (In comparison, CARS 2 has so far grossed only about US$1.64m although it was released a week earlier)

The homosexual themed comedy BEGINNERS has gross US$54,132 after 5 weeks. That's just about what a film of this genre will make when the cinema attendance is healthy (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT made US$53,320 earlier this year, while A SINGLE MAN made US$76,510 in 2010).

The terrorist comedy FOUR LIONS and biographical drama THE FIRST GRADER have grossed US$30,615 and US$19,362 to date. Numbers are probably within expectations for these kinds of small releases.

For the full box office list, click here.