- Early spring box office: A B horror thriller featuring Brittany Snow boasted a stronger domestic opening than releases starring George Clooney/Renée Zellweger (Leatherheads), Keanu Reeves/Hugh Laurie (Street Kings), Dennis Quaid/Sarah Jessica Parker (Smart People), and Jodie Foster/Gerard Butler (Nim’s Island).
- In other domestic box office news, Robert Luketic’s crime drama 21, starring Jim Sturgess, is a mid-level sleeper hit.
Box office: Critically derided B horror thriller Prom Night slashes competitors featuring Keanu Reeves & Dennis Quaid
Below is a brief look at the commercial performances of several wide releases in North America (not including Mexico) in the last three weeks.
April 11–13 weekend box office: In the no. 1 slot, Screen Gems’ horror thriller Prom Night grossed $20.8 million from 2,700 theaters as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Directed by Nelson McCormick (who has mostly done TV work, e.g., Third Watch, ER), this widely panned $20 million remake/revamp of Paul Lynch’s 1980 horror flick stars Brittany Snow as a prom-going student on the run from a psychopathic murderer. Also in the cast: Scott Porter, Johnathon Schaech, Jessica Stroup, Kelly Blatz, Idris Elba, James Ransone, and Kellan Lutz.
Street Kings & Smart People flop
At no. 2, 20th Century Fox’s David Ayer-directed crime thriller Street Kings debuted with a mere $12.5 million from 2,467 venues. Keanu Reeves stars as a jaded, alcoholic undercover cop in this Los Angeles-set box office dud also featuring Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Jay Mohr, Naomie Harris, and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, 2006).
And at a lowly no. 7, Miramax Films’ Noam Murro-directed family drama Smart People opened with a mediocre $4.1 million from 1,106 sites. In the cast: Dennis Quaid as an arrogant, embittered Carnegie Mellon English professor; Sarah Jessica Parker as a physician and one of Quaid’s former students; Ashton Holmes; and Oscar nominees Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, 2004), Ellen Page (Juno, 2007), and Christine Lahti (Swing Shift, 1984).
An aside: Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon is one of the settings used to represent the unnamed Pennsylvania university at the center of Curtis Hanson’s 2000 comedy Wonder Boys, starring Michael Douglas as a troubled college professor of a different kind.
Robert Luketic’s crime drama 21 is a mid-level sleeper hit
April 4–6 weekend box office: Distributed by Sony Pictures, Robert Luketic’s 21 must be acknowledged as a mid-level sleeper hit, having topped the (however modest) domestic box office chart for two consecutive weekends. A week ago (March 28–30), the real-life-inspired, Las Vegas-set crime drama debuted with an unexpected $24.1 million from 2,648 locations; this past weekend it brought in $15.3 million (down a relatively modest 36 percent). Cume: $46.8 million.
Budgeted at $35 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses), 21 stars British actor Jim Sturgess as an American Massachusetts Institute of Technology student who applies his mathematical skills to winning big money in Vegas in order to pay his big MIT tuition.
Also in the 21 movie cast: Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects, 1995; American Beauty, 1999) as an MIT professor, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, and Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne (What’s Love Got to Do with It, 1993).
Update: Robert Luketic’s 21 ultimately collected $81.2 million domestically and $78.6 million internationally. Worldwide total: $159.8 million – an impressive figure for a relatively modest release lacking both critical acclaim and a “name” box office draw.
21’s top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($10.9 million), Germany ($7.6 million), Spain ($6.8 million), and France ($6.4 million).
Nim’s Island disappoints in North America
Also on the weekend of April 4–6, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett’s U.S./Australian adventure flick Nim’s Island debuted at no. 2 with $13.2 million from 3,513 locations – hardly an auspicious kick-off.
This 20th Century Fox release stars island-dwelling Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, 2006), two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster (The Accused, 1988; The Silence of the Lambs, 1991) as an agoraphobic author, and Gerard Butler in a dual role (widowed marine biologist/fictional hero). Budget: $37 million.
Update: Nim’s Island ultimately collected a modest (but better than expected) $48 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $52.1 million internationally. Worldwide total: $100.1 million – probably not quite enough for the adventure movie to break even at the box office.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($7.8 million), Australia ($5.8 million), and France ($5.1 million).
George Clooney’s romantic comedy Leatherheads fails to score
At no. 3, Universal’s 1920s-set romantic sports comedy Leatherheads opened with a lethargic $12.7 million. In the cast: Oscar winners George Clooney (Syriana, 2005) and Renée Zellweger (Cold Mountain, 2003) – the former as the captain of a down-on-their-luck football team, the latter as a Chicago Tribune reporter – plus John Krasinski and Jonathan Pryce. Clooney himself directed. Budget: $58 million.
Also worth noting, Paramount Vantage’s Rolling Stones documentary Shine a Light, which premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, scored $1.5 million from 276 theaters. Best Director Oscar winner Martin Scorsese (The Departed, 2006) handled the proceedings.
Update: George Clooney’s Leatherheads ultimately collected a paltry $31.4 million domestically and (likely incomplete) $9.9 million internationally. Worldwide total: $41.3 million – an all-around box office bomb.
Its top international markets were Italy ($3.8 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($2.2 million), and France ($1.6 million).
“Box Office: B Horror Thriller” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Box Office: B Horror Thriller More Enticing Than George Clooney & Keanu Reeves” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Prom Night, Street Kings, Smart People, 21, Nim’s Island, Leatherheads, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Brittany Snow Prom Night movie image: Screen Gems | Sony Pictures.
Abigail Breslin Nim’s Island movie image: 20th Century Fox.
“Box Office: B Horror Thriller More Enticing Than George Clooney & Keanu Reeves” last updated in October 2022.