Box Office: Gnomeo Brings Everyone to the Yard

The Reject ReportThe third weekend was a charm for Disney’s Gnomeo and Juliet. While it had a modest drop from the previous weekend, the two new films – yes, including the film I said would be #1, but we’ll get there momentarily – were unable to pull in much audience. Gnomeo and Juliet came out on top in a weekend that wasn’t ground-breaking in terms of box office receipts.

The era of computer generated animation is long from over, and that’s not just thanks to PIXAR. With films like Tangled and now Gnomeo and Juliet, Disney is continuing to prove they are THE force to be reckoned with when it comes to this type of film. The immediate future looks inundated with like animated fare. Two computer animated films hit  in both March – Disney’s Mars Needs Moms and Rango – and April – Rio and Hoodwinked Too!. The animated market is flooded, and with Summer right around the corner, its looking to be quite a success for the industry, as well.

R-rated fare can’t say the same thing for itself. While Hall Pass didn’t exactly tank it this weekend, it did continue to prove the Farrelly Brothers aren’t quite the box office princes they were 13 or even 10 years ago. Hall Pass is fourth Farrelly Brothers film in a line of films going back to 2003 that have opened to either below double digits or just into the teen range. Their upcoming Three Stooges project has been running into snags for years now, and Hall Pass not being their return to any kind of form may be yet another speed bump on the way to that film coming to fruition. I, for one, am not sad to hear that.

I am sad to hear, though, that Drive Angry, the film I predicted would be #1 this weekend with around $20 million, barely got to 1/4 of that. In this week’s Reject Report, I likened Drive Angry to Snakes on a Plane, but I was shocked to see it wasn’t even able to get to the $13.8 million that film opened to. Drive Angry even debuted to lower numbers than last Summer’s Jonah Hex, and that’s even factoring in the amplified ticket prices for the 3-D Drive Angry. In fact, Drive Angry marks the worst wide release for Nicolas Cage since The Weather Man opened to $4.2 million in 2005. Even still, that was on 700 less screens than Drive Angry. Even such, Nic Cage has Ghost Rider 2 hitting early next year, so this movie jail he might find himself in for the time being might be very temporary.

With it being Oscar weekend, The King’s Speech was able to climb back up quite a bit. Aided by 300 addition screens, it had an increase of 16.7% from last weekend. With a win this weekend, its numbers could potentially increase again in the coming weeks.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Gnomeo and Juliet – $14.2m (-25.8%) %75.1m total
  2. Hall Pass – $13.4m NEW
  3. Unknown – $12.4m (-43.1) $42.8m total
  4. Just Go With It – $11.1m (-39.9%) $79.3m total
  5. I Am Number Four – $11m (-43.3%) $37.7m total
  6. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $9.2m (-30.9%) $62.7m total
  7. The King’s Speech – $7.6m (+16.7%) $114.5m total
  8. Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son – $7.5m (-53.7%) $28.5m total
  9. Drive Angry 3-D – $5.1m total
  10. The Roommate – $2m (-47.6%) $35.9m total

That puts the weekend at $93.5 million, a noticeable decrease from last weekend. We were expecting a decline but not one so steep. Maybe we should have. The way this weekend played out could be a clear indication of just how effective ratings are when it comes to box office. Theaters turn people away from R-rated movies if they are underage, and, with The Weinstein Company confirming this week they have edited The King’s Speech down to a PG-13 rating for a rerelease, it seems more and more evident studios will be looking at their ratings. In fact, with Gnomeo and Juliet, a G-rated film, coming out on top here, we may be seeing an upturn in family entertainment.

Next weekend could be an indicator of this, as well. Rango opens the widest of four new films. The other three are The Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, and Take Me Home Tonight, the latter of which is another R-rated comedy. It seems likely at this point Rango will be the film to beat out, but we’ll go into more analysis later on in the week.

Come back next week for more Box Office predictions and final tallies

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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