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Ashton Kutcher-Katharine Heigl 'Killers' Bombs, Rachel Weisz Spanish Blockbuster 'Agora'

Rachel Weisz, Agora
Rachel Weisz Agora: Spanish blockbuster.

Among the movies listed on the Box Office Mojo chart, Alejandro Amenabar's historical drama Agora, starring Rachel Weiz, had the highest per-theater gross, $10,875 at 4 venues. Agora, which has earned $93.5k in 10 days in North America, was a major box office hit in its producing country, Spain. Internationally, the film has collected $37 million ($29.6 million in Spain alone).

Starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker, Jesse Eisenberg, Jenna Fischer, and Danny DeVito, Brian Koppelman and David Levien's Solitary Man is doing well in limited release. At 22 theaters, the drama scored $185k and a $8,409 per-theater average. Total to date: $450,000.

Also hanging in there is the reissue of the 50-year-old classic A bout de souffle / Breathless, with $22.5,000 at 3 venues. Average per theater: $7,500. To date, the reissue has grossed $78.3,000. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Breathless stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg.

Photo: Newmarket

Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody, Splice
Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody, Splice

At no. 6, new entry Marmaduke, about a talking dog with Owen Wilson's voice, earned a disappointing $11.3 million at 3,213 theaters – the widest release among the new movies – according to Box Office Mojo. It seems unlikely that Marmaduke will get even close to matching its $50 million production cost at the domestic box office.

Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 was no. 7 with $7.78 million and a cume of $291.2 million. Iron Man 2 will surely cross the $300 million mark sometime next weekend, but it'll take a while longer before it matches the $318.4 million earned by the original two years ago (when ticket costs were quite a bit lower).

Another new entry, Splice, a sci-fier/thriller featuring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, fared even worse than Marmaduke, grossing $7.45 million and only $3,041 per theater. Despite its relatively low production costs – $30 million – Splice is the weekend's third major flop (Killers is the other one). But who knows? Splice might end up as a cult DVD/VOD hit.

Rounding out the top twelve were Russell Crowe's Robin Hood with $5.13 million (total: $94.2 million; cost: approx. $200m), Christopher Egan's Letters to Juliet with $3 million (total: $43.3 million), new entry Raajneeti with $917,000, and Tina Fey's Date Night with $830k (total: $95.3m; cost: $55m).

Robin Hood has fared much better overseas, having grossed $172 million. Worldwide total: $266.2 million. Enough to more than match its $200m+ production costs, but it'll take a long while for the film to break even – that is, if it ever does.

Directed by Prakash Jha, Raajneeti, which has been referred to as a cross between the Mahabharata and The Godfather, is the second Bollywood production to land among the top twelve movies in North America in the last three weeks. (Hrithik Roshan's Kites was the other one.) It opened at 124 theaters.

Just Wright, MacGruber, How to Train Your Dragon, and A Nightmare on Elm Street are no longer among the top twelve.

Among the top twelve movies, Raajneeti had the highest per-theater average, 7,395, followed by Get Him to the Greek ($6,460), Shrek Forever After ($5,768 – those 3D/IMAX surcharges really do help), and Killers ($5,631). Marmaduke averaged only $3,517 and Splice $3,041. Date Night had the lowest average, $1,261.

Also among the top twelve (obviously, excepting the new entries), Shrek Forever After had the lowest drop-off rate, down 41.6 percent. Sex and the City 2 had the highest, down 59.2 percent.

Photo: Splice (Steve Wilkie / Warner Bros.)

Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heighl, Killers
Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Killers

Shrek Forever After was the top movie for the third weekend in a row at the North American box office. The 3D animated fantasy featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Antonio Banderas, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and Julie Andrews, took in an estimated $25.3 million, according to Box Office Mojo. That's closer to the lower end of expectations, as some had been prediciting $28-$30 million for the weekend.

To date, Shrek Forever After has earned $183 million in the U.S. and Canada. At this stage, it seems unlikely it'll break even at the domestic box office. In order to cover its production costs alone – officially $165 million – Shrek would have to earn approximately $300-$330 million domestically.

Shrek isn't alone. Five weeks into the summer box office season, total ticket sales revenue is down 4 percent from last year despite a 6 percent rise in ticket prices, explains the Los Angeles Times. According to figures provided by Hollywood.com, movie attendance in the U.S. and Canada has fallen 10 percent.

Starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, the comedy Get Him to the Greek (cost: $40m) took in $17.4 million, which is just about what pundits had been expecting – and hardly enough to shake things up at the box office. At no. 3, Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl's Killers ended up with $16.1 million.

Neither new entry had very impressive per-theater averages: Get Him to the Greek with $6,460; Killers with $5,631. Considering Killers' $75 million price tag – not including distribution and marketing costs – Lionsgate can't be at all happy with the film' opening numbers.

Down two spots at no. 4, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, earned $13.9 million following a sizable but not unusual 53.8 percent drop. Total to date for the $200 million production: a diappointing $59.4 million. It seems like Prince of Persia will have quite a bit of trouble reaching the $100 million mark at the domestic box office.

And that's where the internatinal market comes to the rescue. Like Robin Hood, another domestic box office disappointment, Prince of Persia has been doing much better overseas (following a slow start). Total to date: $156.4 million. Does that mean Disney has a worldwide hit in its hands? Well, yes and no.

In terms of box office figures, it's true that $215.8 million is nothing to be sniffed at (though, for comparison's sake, Iron Man 2 has grossed about $580 million worldwide in six weeks). However, when your movie cost $200 million to produce, it'll need to gross about twice that amount merely to cover production costs – not including marketing, distribution, and other contractual expenses. In that regard, Prince of Persia still has a long way to go.

Also down two spots was Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, with $12.65 million at no. 5. That's a high 59.2 percent drop from last weekend.

Sex and the City 2's total currently stands at $73.4 million. It'll probably match its $100 million production cost at the domestic box office (the studio will get about 50 percent of that amount), but it'll need the international market to (hopefully) earn back its production, marketing, and distribution costs.

Overseas, Sex and the City 2, which opened this weekend in a number of foreign markets, has already grossed $45 million.

Photo: Killers (Melissa Moseley / Lionsgate)

June 5

Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Get Him to the Greek
Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Killers
Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody, Splice
Lee Pace, Owen Wilson, dog, Marmaduke
Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Get Him to the Greek (top); Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Killers (upper middle); Sarah Polley, Adrien Brody, Splice (lower middle); Lee Pace, dog (Owen Wilson), Marmaduke (bottom)

Shrek Forever After's once again held the lead at the North American box office on Friday, June 4. The 3D animated fantasy took in an estimated $6.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

As a film made for children and their obliging (or, oftentimes, reluctant) parents or “guardians,” this fourth installment in the Shrek franchise will doubtlessly top the thus far unimpressive weekend as well, as kiddie movies soar on Saturday and Sunday. However, those expecting $25m-$30 million for the weekend may have overestimated Shrek's reach. We shall see.

Starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, new entry Get Him to the Greek collected about $6.22 million on Friday. Whether this comedy will match (or even surpass) weekend expectations – circa $18 million or so – depends on how well it'll do on Saturday. But Get Him to the Greek will almost surely end up in second place, ahead of all other newcomers.

At no. 3, Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl's Killers grossed an estimated $5.7 million on its debut Friday, and is probably on track to earn between $15-$18 million over the weekend.

Next was Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis, down two spots at no. 4, with $4.4 million. That's a high 66 percent drop from a week ago, the film's second day out.

Also down two spots at no. 5, Mike Newell's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley, earned $4.07 million. That's also a high 60.2 percent drop-off rate from a week ago.

By Sunday, Prince of Persia may be up one spot – that's what happened last weekend. Well, that is, unless poorly received kiddie flick Marmaduke ends up at no. 4 following a dramatic attendance surge on Saturday and Sunday. As long as people are aware they exist, kiddie flicks – good, bad, or downright rotten – tend to fare better on Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Marmaduke, about a talking dog with Owen Wilson's voice, earned a disappointing $3.4 million at 3,213 theaters – the widest release among the new movies. And the lowest average as well, $1,058.

Splice, a sci-fier/thriller featuring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, opened with $2.7 million. That means it'll have a difficult time reaching $10m, the first-weekend gross that some had predicted.

Rounding out the top twelve were Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man 2 with $2.15 million, Cate Blanchett's Robin Hood with $1.45 million, Amanda Seyfried's Letters to Juliet with $970,000, Steve Carell's Date Night with $256,000, and Paula Patton's Just Wright with $227,000.

MacGruber, How to Train Your Dragon, and A Nightmare on Elm Street were no longer among the top twelve, though Dragon – a kiddie flick – might resurface when weekend estimates are released on Sunday.

Among the top twelve movies, Get Him to the Greek had the highest per-theater average, a none too impressive $2,306, followed by Killers ($1,994) and Shrek Forever After ($1,482 – those 3D/IMAX surcharges really do help). Splice averaged only $1,104, and Marmaduke $1,058. Date Night had the lowest average, $389.

Also among the top twelve (obviously, excepting the new entries), Shrek Forever After posted the highest gains, up 80.1 percent. Just Wright had the lowest increase, up 27.1 percent.

Photo: Killers (Melissa Moseley / Lionsgate), Get Him to the Greek (Universal Pictures), Splice (Warner Bros.), Marmaduke (Joe Lederer / 20th Century Fox)

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3 Comments to Ashton Kutcher-Katharine Heigl 'Killers' Bombs, Rachel Weisz Spanish Blockbuster 'Agora'

  1. Justin

    I saw Marmaduke today! It was WAY better than I expected it to be! Before I left, I read reviews on this movie. Just about all of the reviews were bad ones.

  2. Amenabar distorted a lot of history in service to his art, but that's what artists do and I don't fault him for that. Folks who are interested in the historical Hypatia should pick up the biography “Hypatia of Alexandria” by Maria Dzielska (Harvard University Press, 1995) - highly readable! Also I have a series of posts on my blog (http://faithljustice.wordpress.com/) covering the historical events and characters depicted by the film - not a movie review, just a “reel” vs. “real” discussion.

  3. Agora had some good moments and a few great ones, especially towards the end.

    Agora MOVIE REVIEW:
    http://film-book.com/film-review-agora/