Box Office

The Reject ReportHere you will find all you need to know for that week’s box office. On Thursday (sometimes earlier if those damned early hitters are coming out) we give you our predictions. Running the numbers through the FSR BoxOffice5000 and totaling them up with a Casio Calculator Watch, we offer the best forecast anywhere for how well the latest releases will do. We also give you a nice run-down of all the films coming out that weekend, both wide and limited releases. On Sunday we show just how far off we were and offer some sort of mea culpa. It’s a best guess estimate, people. It’s not science. That would involve chicken nuggets.

Updates Every: Thursday and Sunday

Men in Black and The Avengers

Even though Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and the rest of the Men in Black III crew have serious reason to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, beyond the fact that living in America grants them the freedom to make cartoonish movies about time traveling space alien bugs and the threats they pose to Earth’s security, they are at the beginning of their moneymaking journey. Joss Whedon and Marvel’s The Avengers, on the other hand, is full-steam ahead and knocking down seemingly every record in its path. 

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Today’s big story: Sure, The Avengers has made truck loads of money at the box office, but will The Dark Knight Rises make more? At least that’s what I’ve gathered from checking in on Twitter while disposing of Woodchuck Cider bottles in between episodes of my usual Sunday Afternoon Top Gear Marathon. Upon further inspection, we’ll come to note that Joss Whedon’s high-flying superhero team-up movie netted a staggering $103.4 million in its second week of release, dwarfing the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton collaboration Dark Shadows, which nostalgia-crawled its way to a $28 million dollar opening. As it turns out, the folks at Warner Bros. were hoping for something a little bit more.

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The Reject Report - Large

And so it comes, the end of The Reject Report, but we’re not going quietly into the night without fanfare. We’re leaving you with a breakdown for the Summer to come. It’s already been one of record-breakers and plenty of shawarma to go around, and we’ve only just begun. So right here is the way we see it rolling along, this Summer of 2012, and it’s sure to be one we’ll keep in our hearts. Tear.

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The Reject Report - Large

No one was expecting this. The chances The Avengers had of breaking the opening weekend box office were slim. They were there, but few thought it was anywhere near reality. There’s a lot of egg on a lot of faces today. Not only did The Avengers beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s opening weekend take of $169.1m, it left every film that has ever been released in its dust. The first film to ever break $200m in its opening three days of US release – That’s to say nothing of the $441.5m it’s already made overseas – this is a milestone in Hollywood’s history that everyone thought would come one day. Not many thought it would happen in 2012.

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The Reject Report - Large

Cue the Don Henley, because the boys of Summer have arrived. The girls are here, too. We don’t want to sound like Moviefone over here. Boys, girls, aliens, piranha. They’re all being represented this Summer, and the first of many earth-shattering weekends is upon us. As with opening weekends of Summer’s past, the team over at Marvel have it all to themselves, this time with the culmination of years of tiring work. Will all the work be for naught? Hell naw. The Avengers is going to completely rule this weekend. The only question is what, if any, records will it be breaking. You take a look. We’re going back to Henley for the time being.

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Think Like a Man

Four new movies hit theaters this weekend, a few of them looking like valid candidates to take a strong win at the box office. However, it was a returning film, Think Like a Man, who stepped up, led the pack, and made every other film – including those newbies – look downright mediocre by comparison. Producer Will Packer, whose union with Screen Gems has created such timeless films as Obsessed and Takers, hasn’t had a film top the chart two weekend in a row since 2007 when Stomp the Yard came on strong. That film ended its run with $61.3m domestic and not much else overseas. Think Like a Man, with its current trajectory, is a lock to be Packer’s biggest movie for Screen Gems, as it’s nearing the $68.2m Obsessed pulled in during its release. Posters for Think Like a Man 2 have already been Photoshopped.

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The Reject Report - Large

Movie fans can feel it. The Summer movie season is in the air, and we’ll be analyzing what it’s opening attack has to offer. For now, though, we’ve got four new films squaring off to soak up as much pre-Summer sun as they can, some of them sure to be more successful at that than others. Here’s a hint: the movie set in foggy Baltimore in the 1800s won’t be getting much sun. Another action film for the adult crowd and an animated yarn have better chances, but it’ll end up being the romantic comedy hitting that top spot here just before we’re flooded with superhero blockbusters. It’s the final Reject Report before Summer hits, and the flood of new movies this weekend is just one more indication that the industry has no urge to slow down now.

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Think Like a Man

Okay, we won’t be starting off this week’s Reject Box Office Report by talking about The Hunger Games, but that will be the last time it appears in headlines. You know, until its inevitable 3D converted re-release. No, this week we’ll be talking about men. Zac Efron. A cute chimp in the wild making some nice, breezy cash for Disney. That’s a different topic for a different article. These men have swarmed and flanked around the battle-weary opponent, and they struck gold in the process. The head of this charge was Think Like a Man, the reason Screen Gems and producer Will Packer have such a stronger bond as of today. It’s Packer’s biggest debut for the studio, taking over the $28.6m showing for Obsessed in 2009.  Add to that the film has an extra weekend coming up where it can coast a bit before getting blasted by The Avengers, and this movie with its $12m budget is going to have some pretty damn good strength. Add to that the home entertainment sales. The party at Screen Gems last night was heard in Vegas.

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The Reject Report - Large

A chimpanzee, Zac Efron, Steve Harvey, and Katniss – Not Jennifer Lawrence – all have their palms on a brand new Dodge Challenger. Hemi. The last person with their hand on the car wins it, and, unfortunately for Katniss – Still not Jennifer Lawrence – who could afford 10 Dodge Challengers right now – the game’s been going for four days straight. She’s exhausted. The other players are all fresh, and a few of them have heavy fan support. Who will walk away with this magnificent car or the claim of #1 at the box office if you’re into the whole analogy thing? One things for certain. The chimpanzee was already distracted by a low-hanging branch. Let the contest begin.

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The Hunger Games

See, this is why there’s no ESPN in the future, because every show they had would only cover The Hunger Games. Once again, the juggernaut about a dystopian American Idol where teens fling arrows at pre-teens and everyone laughs and laughs and laughs hit the #1 spot, overshadowing three new films. But before we talk about them, let’s dig into where this Lionsgate film, the reason you hear corks popping in their hallways every Sunday afternoon, stands in history. It currently sits with $337m domestic and another $194m foreign. While half a billion dollars worldwide isn’t exactly a ground-shaker these days – 93 films over history have hit the $.5b mark – it’s still impressive business for the studio backing it. With $78m, The Hunger Games‘ reported budget and most of which pulled in from the Saw franchise and Tyler Perry movies, Lionsgate grabbed up The Hunger Games property, actually cared about how the film looked unlike some recent high-property franchises, and ended up with a good film that’s just raking in the dough. The Hunger Games would have done impressive business on the branding alone, but it’s the general concern for how the film looks and plays that’s making it such a phenomenon.

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The Reject Report - Large

The 1990s are so 13 years ago. At least, that was the attitude this weekend when two films with roots in the last decade of the 20th Century came, saw, and had their proverbial butts kicked by something that is very much 2010 and beyond. The Hunger Games made this third weekend in release its bitch, pulling out another $33.1m and breaking past the coveted $300m mark, tying with Revenge of the Sith as the sixth fastest film to do so. The Lionsgate film was also able in its third week of release to surpass every film in the Twilight franchise, but comparisons between the two were dead, buried, resurrected, and staked in the heart about two-and-a-half weeks ago. With an additional $157.1m in foreign markets – Australia and the UK rank highest with $16.7m and $15.7m, respectively – The Hunger Games if officially a worldwide, cinematic phenom, nearing the half billion mark. The “is he or isn’t he” game Gary Ross and Lionsgate seem to be playing for the sequel, Catching Fire, isn’t stopping audiences from packing theaters, and why should it. Uwe Boll could helm the follow-up, and it’d still bring in record-breaking coin. That’s getting way ahead of ourselves, though, so let’s back-track to the film that’s currently killing everything else in release. Literally killing them. Okay, not literally.

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The Reject Report - Large

Happy Easter, everybody. It’s the time of year for giving, for hollow, chocolate bunnies, and for Stifler to make some crude remark just before ingesting something disgusting. That’s right, it’s time for a reunion with the American Pie crew, and, like it or not, the movie is going to come out on top. It doesn’t matter that Katniss and her Hunger Games are still shooting strong. Never mind that the 2nd biggest movie of all time is getting a 3D update. All that’s moot when it comes to the financial strength behind dick jokes and bare breasts. So grab a chair, and heat up that warm, apple cobbler, check out this week’s Reject Report, and never let go. Not like Rose, though. She totally let go.

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The overall weekend was down more than anticipated, but that didn’t stop The Hunger Games‘ swath of box office destruction. In its first, nine days of release, it’s closing in tightly to the $250m mark, a feat only three films have been able to pull off in less than 10 days. Those films are The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. These are the kinds of blockbuster films The Hunger Games now finds itself, and their ultimate totals are numbers the Lionsgate film is definitely keeping its eye on. As it’s going, and it doesn’t look to be slowing much any time soon, The Hunger Games will find itself within the top 15 domestic grossing films of all time. Only four films have been able to make more in their first 10 days, the three listed above and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, again a massive blockbuster next of which The Hunger Games is finding itself listed. And this isn’t Warner Brothers or the latest Michael Bay movie released from Universal or even Disney. This is Lionsgate, whose walls are certainly vibrating all this month for the prolonged celebrating that is surely going on. The follow-up, Catching Fire, which will surely get some kind of a Hunger Games Episode 2 title, is already set for release on November 22, 2013, and you know the studio cannot wait for that weekend to come.

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The Reject Report - Large

The Hunger Games would be more exciting – and it’d help this comparison tremendously – if new combatants entered the arena every couple of hours or so. You know, just to keep the battle-weary tributes on their toes. If that were the case, there would be some very interesting one-on-one or even two-on-one battles like the one we’re about to see this weekend. The Hunger Games sent an earthquake through the record books last weekend, so this new batch of potential moneymakers might have some sweat beads forming on their respective foreheads. Nonetheless, with the sequel to Clash of the Titans and new telling of the Snow White story starring Julia Roberts, the newbies have a better shot than most would in their situation. In the end, though, it’ll be all for naught. The Hunger Games is going to win big again, but the scraps it hands down to #2 and #3 on the chart will be sizable ones to say the least. Let’s check out just how sizable in this weeks’ Reject Report.

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Take all the box office records out there, the biggest openings and fastest to whatever astronomical dollar amount is considered a hit these days, put them up on a wall, and throw a dart. Chances are good whichever you one you hit, The Hunger Games either ranked exceedingly high on it or it took the #1 spot with a fury. The record shifting began early with the film, the first of many if Lionsgate has anything to do with it, boasting the 15th widest opening in history. Then, with $19.7m, The Hunger Games set the record for midnight sales for a non-sequel. We’re getting into some qualifiers here, but non-sequels being hits are a rare breed these days.

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The Reject Report - Large

A lone film hits on a multitude of screens this weekend. The playing field is all for its amusement, and this one film appears to be holding every card in the deck. It’s not a matter of if The Hungers Games will be a success. The real question is how many records will it be breaking this weekend. The incredibly popular book series finally makes its cinematic debut, and, like the Twilight series before it, The Hunger Games is sure to take its core audience by storm. It’ll be sure to bring in audiences who aren’t familiar with the book series, as well, ensuring its place in box office history, or, at the very least, offer a strong enough debut to warrant the inevitable sequel. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The franchise. Let’s take a look at how this lone wolf stacks up against all these familiar cubs.

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Maybe it was the message. Maybe there are so many people out there just dying to hear how trees save us all, how we have to take a stand for what we believe, how it’s our Earth, too. Maybe people just can’t wait for the summer movie season to become a year-round period, but we’ll get to that in the weekend analysis below. Or maybe they just thought the Lorax was cute. Whatever the reasoning behind it, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax took top honors at the box office this weekend, and it did so with a fury. There’s a healthy dose of shock that comes with learning the film topped the opening weekends for How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Jim Carrey, not Boris Karloff – The Cat in the Hat – that one’s not so much a shock as it is appropriate – and Horton Hears a Who! It easily becomes the biggest opening for a Dr. Seuss adaptation, which means Green Eggs and Ham starring Justin Bieber and Zach Galifianakis can’t be far behind.

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The Reject Report - Large

Moviegoers will see it with a group. Movigoers will see it while they eat popcorn. Moviesgoers will see it with their 3-D glasses. Moviegoers will see it while they sit on their theater seats. What did you think I was gonna say? However people see it, there are sure to be millions of eyes on the latest Dr. Seuss adaptation, The Lorax, this weekend. Enough, in fact, that it’s all but guaranteed the #1 spot on the chart. Unless there’s some Danny DeVito backlash that we’re not privy to, it seems a foregone conclusion. Sure, there’s an R-rated, high school, found footage comedy hitting theaters, as well, so the little tree hugger won’t be making all the scratch, but a majority of it? Yes. The weekend box office is upon us, and one of these movies is bound to be a hit. If you don’t like what we’re saying, you can go right ahead and email us about it. Hey, that one actually rhymed!

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Act of Valor didn’t prove star power is everything when it comes to box office weekends – a good gimmick and some snazzy marketing will do the trick every time. Its $24.4m was slightly above our own prediction last week, and, as expected, the film debuted in the #1 spot ahead of three, opening contenders. Of those, Tyler Perry’s latest was the only film to come within $10m of Act of Valor‘s numbers. The other two hardly even registered. But the film of the hour is one about Navy SEALs portrayed by actual Navy SEALs. Audiences were led to believe the action in Act of Valor would be more lifelike, more thrilling, if the people firing the machine guns and swimming around submarines actually did that day-to-day. Whether that’s true is moot. The commercials sold that very prospect and, this weekend, moviegoers ate it up without seasoning.

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The Reject Report - Large

Four new movies are hitting theaters this weekend, all of them fixed with their own pros and cons. In one corner, we have Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Aniston, and Tyler Perry. In the other corner, we have the Navy SEALs. It’s not a fair fight no matter how you look at it. All four spark with different demographics, as well, making for an interesting melting pot of genres, varying star power, and even a little bit of brand loyalty. This weekend comes down to which of these films had the best resonance with its marketing, and one of these films clearly has the edge over the others. Yes, guns and live ammunition help.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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