There was blood all over the weekend box-office as we head into the final stretch of the pre-Summer period.
“How To Train Your Dragon” held onto the top spot in its fifth weekend of release with the lowest haul so far this year for a #1 film – $15 million. Nevertheless Paramount is extremely happy with the film which currently sits at $178 million and looks set to haul around a $220 million total gross by the time it leaves theaters.
The most successful newcomer was Jennifer Lopez pregnancy-themed romantic comedy “The Back-Up Plan” which scored scathing reviews (22% on RT & 36% on MC) and an average $12.2 million – on par with J-Lo’s other efforts in the field like “The Wedding Planner”.
The news story of this weekend’s box-office though has been the flop of the third-tier comic book movies. The Joel Silver-produced cult comic adaptation “The Losers” came in fourth with just $9.6 million and very average reviews (41% on RT & 42% on MC). Props though to a few key sites who heavily promoted the film with exclusive set visits and interviews, sadly we weren’t invited to be amongst that batch.
Geek blogger love for “Kick Ass” didn’t translate into actual dollars as the R-rated comic adaptation dropped 52% in its second weekend to $9.5 million and fifth place – to those hoping for repeat business to make this a hit, this is a good indication it ain’t coming. At present it’s $34.9 million haul will probably top out around $60 million.
Though both ‘Losers’ and ‘Kick’ are relatively low-budget films that will make their money back, the lack of turnout for both these and other lesser-known comic titles in recent years pose an interesting question about the cinematic viability of the much vaunted ‘several thousand characters’ of DC and Marvel’s catalogs. With Marvel opting for more non-tentpole smaller films to launch its minor characters in the post-Avengers universe, could a glut of comic flops have a negative impact on both the audience’s tastes for superhero films and the box-office of the few major performers?
Opening a day earlier to tie-in with Earth Day, Disneynature’s doco “Oceans” took in a $8.5 million haul – a little less than their $14.4 million 5-day opening last year for “Earth”. “Date Night” and “The Last Song” continue to hold better than expected with drops of around 37%. Horrendous reviews for the “Death at a Funeral” remake last week have had their impact with a 51% drop in its second week.