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Step Up 3D Box Office: Domestic Dud, International Hit

Step Up 3D Rick Malambri Sharni VinsonStep Up 3D with Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson: Domestic box office disappointment, but an international success.
  • Step Up 3D box office: John M. Chu’s youth-oriented musical has turned out to be a domestic underperformer while doing stellar business abroad.

Step Up 3D box office: Modestly budgeted musical lacks stamina domestically, but outdoes previous entries internationally

Aug. 6–8 weekend box office: Trailing the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg action comedy The Other Guys ($33.5 million) and Christopher Nolan’s former box office champ Inception ($18.5 million), the Walt Disney Studios and Summit Entertainment’s Step Up 3D opened with $15.8 million from 2,435 North American (U.S. and Canada only) theaters as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

That’s an underwhelming figure even for a production budgeted at a relatively modest $30 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).

Step Up 3D vs. predecessors

For comparison’s sake:

  • Directed by Anne Fletcher, and featuring Channing Tatum as a working-class hip hop dancer who falls for ballet dancer Jenna Dewan, the original Step Up (2006) pulled in $20.7 million on its first weekend out, going on to earn $65.3 million domestically, in addition to $48.9 million internationally. Worldwide total: $114.2 million. Budget: $12 million.
  • Directed by Jon M. Chu, and featuring Robert Hoffman and Briana Evigan as the leaders of group of art-school misfits taking part in an underground dance competition, Step Up 2: The Streets (2008) brought in $25.5 million on its first four days (it opened on a Thursday), going on to earn $58 million domestically, in addition to $93 million internationally. Worldwide total: $151 million. Budget: Unclear; various online websites list $17.5 million.

Considering its tepid domestic debut and the overall box office performances of its two predecessors, Step Up 3D will be able to recover its cost only after international totals are tallied.

Director & supporting cast members return

With Step Up 2: The Streets’ Jon M. Chu at the helm, this third – and surely the costliest – installment in the Step Up franchise features Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson as romantic partners taking part in one more dance competition, with the added dramatic flourish that Vinson’s brother belongs to a rival dance group.

Also in the Step Up 3D cast: Alyson Stoner (seen in Step Up) and Adam G. Sevani (seen in Step Up 2: The Streets), who jointly perform a number in homage to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Profitable thanks to international moviegoers

Update: Step Up 3D ultimately collected a mediocre $42.4 million domestically and an impressive $116.9 million (possibly incomplete) internationally, for a worldwide total of $159.3 million.

Its top international territories were Germany ($13.9 million), Russia/CIS ($12.1 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($11.5 million), Australia ($9.4 million), Italy ($9.3 million), France ($8.7 million), South Korea ($6.3 million), and The Netherlands ($5 million).


Step Up 3D Box Office” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “Step Up 3D Box Office: Domestic Dud, International Hit” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should usually be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources.

Comments about Step Up 3D 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, international 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 can be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is 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.

Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.

Sharni Vinson and Rick Malambri Step Up 3D movie image: K.C. Bailey | Summit Entertainment | Walt Disney Studios.

Step Up 3D Box Office: Domestic Dud, International Hit” last updated in August 2022.

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