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PG-13 THE KING'S SPEECH Flops; Michael Fassbender's JANE EYRE Loses Steam: Box Office

Michael Fassbender, Jane Eyre, Rochester
Michael Fassbender as Rochester in Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre

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The censored, "family-friendly," PG-13 version of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech opened with $1.19 million at 1,011 theaters, averaging a paltry $1,181 per site according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Perhaps that's because North American "families" don't care about Oscar winners; they'd much rather go see Easter bunnies talking with Russell Brand's voice.

For comparison's sake: last weekend, the original The King's Speech -- that's the one with all the "fuck" exclamations -- collected $1.55 million at 1,062 theaters, averaging $1,467 per site. The Weinstein Co. release stars Oscar winner Colin Firth, who has spoken vehemently against the censored version, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, and Claire Bloom.

Meanwhile, the Cary Fukunaga-directed Jane Eyre, starring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska, continued to perform well -- though not quite as impressively as before.

Despite doubling the number of theaters from 90 to 180, Jane Eyre was up only 27.5 percent this weekend, earning $1.23 million at no. 13 on the North American box office chart. As a result, its per-theater average dropped from $10,778 to $6,872; for a movie in limited release, that isn't exactly a huge number. Although there's still room for further expansion, how far that expansion will go remains to be seen.

To date, Jane Eyre, distributed by Focus Features, has collected $3.5 million domestically.

Photo: Jane Eyre (Laurie Sparham / Focus Features)

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4 Comments to PG-13 THE KING'S SPEECH Flops; Michael Fassbender's JANE EYRE Loses Steam: Box Office

  1. zac


    Getting more people to see a film IS a good thing -- as long as they're out there.

    That's why the per-theater average is important. If it goes down very rapidly when a movie slowly expands, that's not a good sign. It means there's a core fan base that'll go see a film, but the general public isn't really interested.

    In order for a movie to expand widely, the per-theater average must go down slowly. That shows the film is "building" its audience.

  2. agdhani

    Sounds odd to me...but thanks for the clarification :) I would have thought getting more people to see a film was a good thing, but it sounds like it is only if they're al in a small group of theatres. You learn something new every day!

  3. zac


    Thanks for writing. But a clarification: Movies "lose steam" when they start expanding AND their per-theater average plummets.

    All things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters showing a movie the HIGHER the per-theater box-office average. And the higher the per-theater average, the higher the stimulus for a studio/distributor to expand a movie's availability, opening it in more cities/more theaters.

  4. agdhani

    Considering that Jane Eyre has been, as far as I can tell, released on a relatively small number of theatres, its no wonder its losing steam. Show it in more theatres (I'd have to travel at least 2 hours in any direction to find a theatre playing it) and I think you'd be surprised. I really want to see this, but can't afford the gas to drive that far just for a movie.

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