Sept. 16 update: Following a steep 20 percent drop on Wednesday, the North American box office was up slightly (+3.6 percent for the top ten films) on Thursday, Sept. 16, according to figures found at Boxofficemojo.com.
Every single movie among the top twelve was up compared to the previous day, though only one, Emma Thompson’s Nanny McPhee Returns, gained more than 10 percent.
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich and Wentworth Miller, Resident Evil: Afterlife was the no. 1 movie for – in all likelihood – the last time, drawing $1.57 million on Thursday. Ben Affleck’s The Town, the Emma Stone vehicle Easy A, and the M. Night Shyamalan presentation Devil all open today.
Sept. 13: Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil: Afterlife was by far the top movie at the North American box office over the Sept. 10-12 weekend, even though it took in about $1 million less than estimated.
Resident Evil: Afterlife collected $26.65 million (not $27.7 million), averaging $8,320 at 3,203 locations, according to weekend actuals found at Box Office Mojo.
Takers scored $5.675 million (down 47.8 percent) at no. 2, about $400,000 less than estimated. The heist thriller featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, and Matt Dillon was only a notch ahead of Anton Corbijn-George Clooney’s thriller/drama The American, which pulled in $5.674 million (down 56.9 percent).
Milla Jovovich as zombie fighter Alice in Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Afterlife
Sept. 12: Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, the $60 million actioner Resident Evil: Afterlife was the top movie at the North American box office this weekend (Sept. 10-12) – the year’s weakest weekend to date with an estimated $82 million in revenues.
According to figures found at Box Office Mojo, the top ten movies grossed 35.4 percent less than a week ago. Earnings were down 52 percent compared to three weeks ago.
Resident Evil: Afterlife, which has 20 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ “top critics,” collected an estimated $27.7 million, averaging $8,648 at 3,203 locations, about 2,000 of which are 3D screens and 164 are IMAX screens.
Largely due to inflation and 3D/IMAX surcharges, this fourth installment in the Resident Evil franchise had a stronger debut than its predecessors, all written by Anderson (who also directed the first installment) and starring Jovovich: Resident Evil: Extinction drew $23.67 million at 2,828 theaters in 2007; Resident Evil: Apocalypse $23 million at 3,284 sites in 2004; and Resident Evil $17.7 million at 2,528 theaters in 2002.
The three previous Resident Evil flicks made considerably more cash overseas, where earnings ranged between 60%-65 percent of their worldwide take.
Additionally, each installment made more money abroad than its predecessor: $62 million for Resident Evil, $78 million for Apocalypse, $97 million for Extinction. In North America, figures for the last two remained flat at about $50 million.
A fifth Resident Evil, which will offer hungry audiences more new, original, innovative filmmaking, is all but inevitable.
Also of note: After three weekends out, James Cameron’s Avatar: Special Edition has yet to reach the $10 million mark at the domestic box office. Despite higher 3D/IMAX ticket prices, Avatar has taken in only $9.78 million following estimated grosses of $715k this weekend, as per Box Office Mojo.
Initially showing at 811 theaters, Avatar is currently playing at only 436 venues. Even so, its per-theater average this weekend was a modest $1,640.
Irony or ironies: Avatar, a late 2009 release, is the year’s biggest box office hit – to date, Avatar has grossed $759.54 million domestically. Yet, considering the buzz surrounding Cameron’s sci-fier a mere six months ago, when 20th Century Fox executives were complaining there weren’t enough 3D screens to accommodate every Pandora fan, this Avatar rerelease has turned out to be one of the year’s biggest disappointments.
Is that Angelina Jolie in Salt? Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables? George Clooney in The American? Hayden Christensen in Takers? Robert De Niro in Machete? No! It’s Milla Jovovich in Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Afterlife. But we understand in case you couldn’t quite tell who is in which pictured movie.
Sept. 11: The North American box office failed to emerge from its torpor on Friday, Sept. 10, despite an estimated $10.9 million earned by Resident Evil: Afterlife, the weekend’s only new wide release.
According to figures found at Box Office Mojo, the top ten movies on Friday grossed only 0.6 percent more than a week ago. Revenues were 10 percent lower than three weeks ago.
Once again proving that North American audiences want something new, original, innovative, and high quality at the multiplex, Resident Evil: Afterlife averaged $3,403 at 3,203 locations, about 2,000 of which are 3D screens and 164 are IMAX screens.
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and starring Milla Jovovich as a zombie-fighting warrior, Resident Evil: Afterlife has a mere 20 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics.”
Chiefly thanks to inflation and 3D/IMAX surcharges, this fourth installment in the Resident Evil franchise had a stronger debut than its predecessors, all written by Anderson (who also directed the first installment) and starring Jovovich: Resident Evil: Extinction took in $9.61 million at 2,828 theaters on its first day out in 2007; Resident Evil: Apocalypse collected $9.23 million at 3,284 sites on Day 1 in 2004; and Resident Evil earned $6.76 million at 2,528 theaters on Day 1 in 2002.
Considering the ongoing morass at the domestic box office, it’s hard to understand why one of the major studios didn’t choose to open one of their major fall entries a little earlier in the game. They’d have had the whole field for themselves.
And rest assured, there’ll likely be a Resident Evil: Resurrection or some such within the next couple of years or so, once again offering audiences new, original, innovative filmmaking. And they’ll lap it up.
Violante Placido, George Clooney, The American
Sept. 9: Not a single movie earned more than $1 million at the North American box office on Wednesday, Sept. 8, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. The top ten movies were down 36.1 percent compared to a week ago, and a sizable 49 percent compared to three weeks ago.
Remaining at this week’s unimpressive top spot, the Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American grossed only $834,000, falling below the $1m-per-day mark on Day 8.
Rounding out the top twelve were Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception with $309,000, Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston’s The Switch with $221,000, James Cameron-Sam Worthington’s Avatar: Special Edition with $196,000, Elisabeth Shue-Adam Scott’s Piranha 3D with $170k.
I don’t think that even two weeks ago anyone would have guessed that Avatar would be fighting it out with Piranha 3D for the last two spots on the top twelve chart.
Sept. 8: The Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American was indeed the no. 1 movie on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6, at the North American box office. But there was some switching around elsewhere, according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo.
After six days, The American‘s cume stood at $19.8 million following earnings of $3.48 million on Monday. Although its $1,234 per-theater average was the highest of the bunch – studio estimates had placed Takers on top – it wasn’t exactly what one would call impressive.
According to reports, The American cost $20m, which came from various sources. Once foreign/ancillary revenues are factored in, the film should earn a profit for its backers/distributors – or at least some of them, depending on contractual stipulations.
Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez’s Machete – not Takers – was both Monday’s and this past Labor Day weekend’s no. 2 movie, with $2.68 million at 2,670 sites, or $1,006 per theater. Machete will likely fall below the daily $1,000-per-theater mark on Day 5, today. (Yesterday’s studio estimates erroneously had it already below that mark.)
Sept. 6: The Anton Corbijn-George Clooney thriller/drama The American was the no. 1 movie on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6, at the North American box office, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That feat is less impressive than it sounds.
After six days, The American hasn’t even reached $20 million domestically, cuming at $19.54 million. Its per-theater Monday average was less than that of John Luessenhop’s heist thriller Takers on its second weekend out: $1,158 vs. $1,179.
Sept. 5: After falling slightly behind on Friday (as per studio estimates), Anton Corbijn-George Clooney’s minimalist thriller/drama The American ultimately topped the first three days of the 2010 Labor Day weekend at the North American box office. Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez’s action-thriller Machete, the no. 1 movie on Friday, was down two spots by Sunday, when studios released their weekend estimates.
The American, which reportedly cost $20 million, collected $12.96 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That’s on a par with two recent George Clooney vehicles, the Clooney-directed romantic comedy Leatherheads (2008) and Grant Heslov’s political satire The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009). Both turned out to be box office disappointments, cuming in the low $30 million range.
Clooney’s more successful Up in the Air‘s first wide weekend generated $11.27 million in sales, but the Jason Reitman-directed comedy-drama’s longevity had a lot to do with stellar reviews and continuous awards season buzz that went from its late 2009 debut all the way to March 2010.
Up in the Air‘s domestic total was $83.82 million. Needless to say, The American, which mostly received unenthusiastic reviews, won’t get near that and will have to fight its way to reach $30 million.
Considering Corbijn’s brainy, restrained handling of the material, the movie may have a tough time internationally as well, where moviegoers clearly prefer braindead blow’em-up attractions such as The Expendables.
Photo: The American (Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis)
Danny Trejo, Machete
Perhaps it was the lack of any strong competition, but John Luessenhop’s heist thriller Takers held up quite well on its second weekend out. Featuring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Idris Elba, Takers was the no. 2 movie this Labor Day weekend (up to Sunday), grossing $11.45 million (down 44.2 percent) an averaging $5,190 per theater according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Takers’ domestic total to date: $37.9 million.
It seems unlikely that Takers will be able to recover its $32 million production costs at the U.S. and Canada box office, as approximately $60 million would be needed for that. After all, another 45%-50 percent drop and the thriller should earn no more than $6 million next weekend and $3 million a week later; during the week, it has been averaging considerably less than $1k per theater. Even so, Takers will undoubtedly end up in the black once foreign and ancillary revenues are added up.
At no. 3, Machete pulled in an estimated $11.3 million. Directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez and featuring Danny Trejo (in the title role), Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Cheech Marin, Machete averaged an anemic $4,232 at 2,670 venues despite a number of positive reviews.
The exploitation send-up – which reportedly cost about $25 million and was later acquired by 20th Century Fox after a “bidding war” – may have failed to connect with audiences, as, following an underwhelming Friday debut, it actually went down on Saturday (though only a minor 3.8 percent).
But there’s still time for Machete to turn the tide – at least a little bit. Its box office take is quite close to that of Takers, and it’s certainly not impossible for it to finish the extended Labor Day weekend at no. 2.
Ali Larter and Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: Afterlife images: RAFY / Constantin Film International GmbH & Davis Films/Impact Pictures Inc.
George Clooney The American image: Giles Keyte / Alliance Atlantis.
Danny Trejo Machete image: 20th Century Fox.