Box Office: The Roommate Moves In

The Reject ReportGood for Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, and all the other oddly named people involved in The Roommate. Not only did it come out #1 on this Super Bowl weekend, not only was it able to beat out the James Cameron-backed Sanctum, but it was the only film this weekend to even get into double digits. I’m not sure if that says a lot for The Roommate, the current slate of movies available for the masses, or the power of the Super Bowl draw away from the movie theaters.

You can’t really put much of the blame for the weekend’s weak numbers. The past three years have had films open in the $20 or $30-million area. In 2009, Taken opened on Super Bowl weekend with $24.7 million, and that can’t even be considered counter-programming to the big game. Not like last year or 2007 when Dear John and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour opened to a $30.4 and $31.1 million, respectively. So the Super Bowl was a draw away from the movies.

It just comes down to not much appeal being thrown The Roommate or Sanctum’s ways. Sanctum had Cameron’s name splashed all over its marketing, but the less-than-impressive numbers it was able to generate this weekend just proves that it isn’t the James Cameron name that puts butts in seats. People just weren’t that interested in a 3-D adventure through underground cave systems. I’m sure the R rating didn’t help its case much, either.

Of course, impressive on the whole or not, The Roommate succeeded in nearly equaling its reported budget here. Despite its 9% fresh rating over at Rotten Tomatoes, the film’s demographic proved that reviews and fresh ratings really don’t matter to them. You can’t imagine the teen crowd letting Rotten Tomatoes or critics as a whole suggest to them whether they want to see something or not. The same isn’t likely said about the demographic Sanctum was aimed at.

Both of last weekend’s films, The Rite and The Mechanic, had fairly large drops. Each of them will be lucky to match their respective budgets in domestic sales. The Mechanic might be better off, as Jason Statham’s films tend to perform better internationally than they do in the states.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. The Roommate – $15.6m NEW
  2. Sanctum – $9.2m NEW
  3. No Strings Attached – $8.4m (-37.4%) $51.7m total
  4. The King’s Speech – $8.3m (-24.9%) $84.1m total
  5. The Green Hornet – $6.1m (-45.5%) $87.2m total
  6. The Rite – $5.5m (-62.4%) $23.6m total
  7. The Mechanic – $5.3m (-53%) $20m total
  8. True Grit – $4.7m (-36.8%) $155m total
  9. The Dilemma – $3.4m (-39.1%) $45.7m total
  10. Black Swan – $3.4m (-33.6%) $95.8m total

As mentioned above, the weekend didn’t favor too well. The $69.9 million brought in by the top ten is the lowest weekend since September, and it’s the lowest weekend in February since 2007 when The Messenger topped with $14.7 million.

A light might be on the horizon that is next weekend. Four films open in wide release, three of them with potential to open at #1. The odd man out will be The Eagle, but Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It, and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never could all make a go at it. Something tells me the fresh rating on the Bieber movie isn’t going to matter much either.

We’ll be back on Thursday night to see how the weekend is shaping up.

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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