The Karate Kid

Remember back on Thursday when I said I didn’t see too many more $50-million plus opening hitting our theaters before the end of the Summer?  You can scratch that, because The Karate Kid has already proven me wrong.  We knew Shrek Forever After wouldn’t be in the top spot this weekend, and we were pretty sure The Karate Kid would be beating out The A-Team in the battle of new releases.  What we weren’t expecting was how big of a hit the winner would be making.

The Karate Kid‘s $56-million opening proves the power of this particular brand.  It has already topped the combined, total grosses of both The Karate Kid Part III ($38.9 million) and the Hilary Swank-starring The Next Karate Kid ($8.9 million).  It also gives Jackie Chan his second largest opening weekend to date.  It’s going to take quite a showing for one of his films to best the $67.4 million Rush Hour 2 opened with.  With a budget of only $40 million, Sony is already in the black on this one.  You can rest assured a sequel is already being punched up.  My guess is this was already being done, and Sony was just waiting to see what kind of a success they had on their hands before officially announcing it.  Expect them to strike right while the iron is white hot and Jaden Smith is still relatively young.  We can probably look forward to an announcement this week that The Karate Kid Part II will be hitting theaters in 2012.

What didn’t have the explosive weekend I’m sure it wanted was The A-Team.  While I’m sure a $40-million opening weekend were what 20th Century Fox was aiming for, they hit a decent but, ultimately, disappointing opening in the mid to high $20-million range.  When looking back over the history of the TV adaptation and how well they’ve done in their opening weekend, you find this is more in line with The Wild Wild West than Charlie’s Angels.  One of those films got a sequel.  One of them didn’t.  I’ll leave it up to you to connect those dots.  Granted, The A-Team only cost $110 million, and good word of mouth could help carry it up to and past that point.  I’m not sure how feasible that is, though.  It’s not at a good starting point, and films like Jonah Hex and Knight and Day have the action card pretty well filled for the coming weeks.

Shrek Forever After continues to build and build and build.  It broke past the $200-million point this weekend.  Now, its sights are set on the first Shrek‘s final numbers.  I’m sure DreamWorks Animation doesn’t want it to go down that this fourth and final entry in the series ended up being the lowest grossing.  In order for that not to happen, it has to top the $267 million 2000′s Shrek ended up with.  Don’t expect that to happen.  The computer animated feature slot will be filled with Toy Story 3 beginning next weekend.  It appears it’s going to be 50% drop-offs for Shrek Forever After from here on out, and that’s just not going to work out to nearly $60 million more at the box office.  Expect more like $30 million and a total tally around $240.

In other milestone news, Iron Man 2 is right on the cusp of $300 million.  When final numbers hit early in the week, it could very well have reached that point this weekend.  For now, though, it’s holding at $299.3 million.

Here is how the weekend box office shaped up:

  1. The Karate Kid – $56m NEW
  2. The A-Team – $26m NEW
  3. Shrek Forever After – $15.8m (-38%) $210m total
  4. Get Him to the Greek – $10.1m (-42.5%) $36.5m total
  5. Killers – $8.1m (-48.4%) $30.6m total
  6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time -$6.6m (-52.9%) $72.3m total
  7. Marmaduke – $6.6m (-55.2%) $84.4m total
  8. Sex and the City 2 – $5.5m (-55.2%) $84.7m total
  9. Iron Man 2 – $4.5m (-42.5%) $299.3m total
  10. Splice – $2.8m (-61.3%) $13m total

All in all, the weekend did better than anticipated pulling in $141.4 million in total box office.  Sure, much of this came from Karate Kid‘s surprise numbers, but everything else performed adequately, too.  This marks a 17.8% increase from last weekend’s $120 million.  This isn’t that big of a surprise considering the two tent pole films that hit theaters this weekend.  The total box office also rise by 9.7%  from the same weekend last year.  While the two new film this weekend help accomplish this, much of it has to do with how little the second weekend in June of 2009 had to offer for new movie goers.  The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Imagine That aren’t exactly in the same league as The Karate Kid and The A-Team, and the box office proved that.

A new king of the box office is sure to be crowned next weekend, as well, with the yearly PIXAR release finally hitting theaters.  Many have been highly anticipating Toy Story 3, and it is sure to be a rousing success both critically and financially.  The other new movie next weekend, Jonah Hex, may not be such a clear-cut winner on either front.  We’ll be back on Thursday evening to hand out how we see the weekend playing out.


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