- Horton Hears a Who! box office: Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino’s computer-animated elephant has trampled all over Jeff Wadlow’s inspirational fight movie Never Back Down, starring Sean Faris, and Neil Marshall’s London-set virus thriller Doomsday, featuring veterans Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell.
Domestic winter box office comes to an end as Horton Hears a Who! takes the no. 1 spot while Never Back Down & Doomsday bomb
March 14–16 weekend box office: According to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com, 20th Century Fox’s Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! trampled over two other new releases, Never Back Down and Doomsday, to reach the top of the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart, grossing a sturdy $45 million from 3,954 theaters.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, the $85 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses) computer-animated adventure comedy chronicles the attempts of an elephant, Horton, to protect the microscopic community of Whoville, which happens to be located on a speck of dust.
Besides Jim Carrey as the titular character, the Horton Hears a Who! voice cast also includes Steve Carell, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, Amy Poehler (soon to be seen and heard in Baby Mama), and veteran television star Carol Burnett (whose few big-screen appearances include those in Pete ‘n’ Tillie and Annie).
Computer-animated elephant is a global blockbuster
Update: Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino’s Horton Hears a Who! earned $24.6 million (down 45 percent) over the Easter weekend (March 21–23), thus remaining atop the box office chart while easily fending off three newcomers:
- Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry-directed family drama Meet the Browns ($20.1 million), featuring Oscar nominee Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do with It, 1993).
- 20th Century Fox’s Masayuki Ochiai-directed thriller Shutter ($10.4 million), featuring Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor.
- Paramount’s Steven Brill-directed, Judd Apatow-produced, teen-oriented comedy Drillbit Taylor ($10.3 million), featuring Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann, and Troy Gentile.
Update II: Fox’s Horton Hears a Who! ultimately collected $154.5 million domestically and $144 million internationally. Worldwide total: $298.5 million – undoubtedly a profitable blockbuster.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($17.3 million), France ($15.5 million), Germany ($13.9 million), Spain ($11.3 million), Australia ($11.3 million), Russia/CIS ($7.4 million), and Mexico ($7 million).
Critically derided martial arts movie Never Back Down takes back seat
Trailing both Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! and last weekend’s top movie, Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC ($16.8 million), Summit Entertainment’s poorly received martial arts movie Never Back Down debuted in third place with a mediocre $8.6 million from 2,729 locations.
Directed by Jeff Wadlow, the $20 million production follows a troubled, hot-tempered Iowan teenager (25-year-old Sean Faris) who, after moving to Florida, becomes enmeshed in his school’s underground fight club.
Also in the Never Back Down movie cast: Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, Evan Peters, Leslie Hope, Wyatt Smith, Tilky Jones, and Beninese Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (In America, 2003; Blood Diamond, 2006) as a guilt-ridden Brazilian expat.
Update: Sean Faris’ fight movie Never Back Down ended its run with only $24.9 million domestically and a measly $16.7 million (likely incomplete) internationally. Worldwide total: $41.6 million – a box office money-loser despite its modest budget.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($4.3 million), Australia ($3.1 million), and Italy ($2.1 million).
Virus thriller Doomsday gets decimated
This past weekend’s third major release in the U.S. and Canada turned out to be a major commercial dud as well.
Directed by Neil Marshall, the mostly British-produced, Universal-distributed Doomsday – about a deadly virus ready, willing, and able to destroy London – opened at no. 7 with a mere $4.9 million from 1,936 sites.
In the ensemble cast: Rhona Mitra, Adrian Lester, David O’Hara, Best Actor Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa, 1986), and veteran Malcolm McDowell (If…., A Clockwork Orange). Budget: $20 million.
“Never Back Down Movie: Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Never Back Down Movie Gets Trampled Over: Box Office” 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 Horton Hears a Who!, Never Back Down, Doomsday, 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.
Sean Faris Never Back Down movie image: Summit Entertainment.
“Never Back Down Movie Gets Trampled Over: Box Office” last updated in October 2022.