February was not a big month for year 2011, still we have had quite a few medium budget movies succeeding at the Box Office, while the overall month saw a new low in terms of ticket sales.
Let's take a look at some of the hits and misses of February 2011.
I will try to bring up these articles earlier but it is very difficult to put these sooner as smaller movies tend to take big time in overseas rollout
With poor reviews (4% at Rottentomatoes) the movie did well domestically, but it still failed to attract teens and horror fans. Screen Gems has had some success in the past with same genre in Prom Night (2008) and When a Stranger Calls. This movie did not do well in Overseas, given the budget and opening it was a missed opportunity to capitalize on an open market.
Synopsis: College student Sara finds that her new roommate Rebecca has an obsession with her, which quickly turns violent.
Production Budget: $16 million
Opening Weekend: $15 million ($15,002,635)
Domestic Total: $37.3 million ($37,300,107)
Overseas Total: $3.1 million ($3,124,331)
WorldWide Total: $40.4 million ($40,424,438)
Even James Cameron's name was not able to save this venture. Reviews weren't kind though the use of 3D was good(well we know whom to thank for that). Given inflation it was on par with Paramount's The Ruins (2008) and a smidgen less to Weinstein Company's 2010 horror Piranha 3D. Under water diving genre does not yield big money, thus the movie did just OK also its OS numbers were impressive. It is currently at tenth position in Underwater Diving genre.
Synopsis: An underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world.
Production Budget: $30 million
Opening Weekend: $9.4 million ($9,447,930)
Domestic Total: $23.2 million ($23,209,310)
Overseas Total: $56.2 million ($56,202,924)
WorldWide Total: $79.4 million ($79,412,234)
VERDICT: BELOW AVERAGE
JUST GO WITH IT
It delivered the third biggest Comedy Remake opening (Remake of Cactus Flower) even though the movie under whelmed in its opening as well as total predictions. Its legs weren't as great and it was given a run for its money by those pesky Gnomes. It is currently sitting at 25th position in Romantic Genre but averages below Sandler movies and 2010's Summer surprise hit Grown Ups. It was on par with past movies of this genre which includes Valentine's Day, He's Just Not That Into You, 50 First Dates, How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days though it wouldn't match those in admissions. It is the highest grossing movie of the month and also the WINNER of 2011's WINTER OPENERS
Synopsis: On a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon convinces his loyal assistant to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend.
Production Budget: $80 million
Opening Weekend: $30.5 million ($30,514,732)
Domestic Total: $103 million ($103,028,109)
Overseas Total: $111.9 million ($111,917,482)
WorldWide Total: $214.9 million ($214,945,591)
JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER
It saw the biggest opening for a documentary movie, more than doubling its budget in 3-days. Given the genre and its natural frontloading it had a very good multiplier of 2.47 from its opening. It also saw second biggest opening for 3D Concert movies, only behind Miley Cyrus's exceptional opening of Hannah Montana (2008) in just 638 theaters. It became the highest grossing 3D concert movie taking the title from none other than Michael Jackson's This is It (2009). For the Documentary genre it wasn't able to get enough legs to beat Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and 2005's surprise hit March of the Penguins, it still sits at a commanding third position
Synopsis: Follows Justin Bieber with some footage of performances from his 2010 concert tour.
Production Budget: $13 million
Opening Weekend: $29.5 million ($29,514,054)
Domestic Total: $73 million ($73,013,910)
Overseas Total: $25.4 million ($25,428,044)
WorldWide Total: $98.4 million ($98,441,954)
VERDICT: SUPER SUCCESS
GNOMEO AND JULIET
When nobody expected this to do good it did great, given that the marketplace was empty and kids were dying for something new since December. It saw the biggest opening for an animation movie in February and trails just behind Fox's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) for family movies opening this month. It was runner-up to the fellow opener Just Go With It in both monthly as well as 2011's WINTER OPENERS. Disney also decided to add it to the record books by not pushing it to $100 million mark. It now leads the movies that ended closest to that mark beating Disney's Hercules (1997) that held this record for last 14 years.
Synopsis: Garden gnomes Gnomeo (voice of McAvoy) and Juliet (voice of Blunt) have as many obstacles to overcome as their quasi namesakes when they are caught up in a feud between neighbors. But with plastic pink flamingos and lawnmower races in the mix, can this young couple find lasting happiness?
Production Budget: Not Available ($36 million on its Wiki Page)
Opening Weekend: $25.3 million ($25,356,90)
Domestic Total: $99.9 million ($99,967,670)
Overseas Total: $90 million ($90,000,000)
WorldWide Total: $189.9 million ($189,967,670)
VERDICT: SUCCESS (I don't believe its budget was as low as $36 million but if that is the case this will be SUPER SUCCESS)
Riding only on the name of Channing Tatum and the genre's past success the movie released in No Man's Land, failed to strike a chord with its audience. Not only was its opening under whelming the legs were disappointing. Reviews weren't as toxic as its weekend drops, even after the aid of long weekend it could not avoid 50% drop on its sophomore weekend. It was given a slight chance next weekend but the movie didn't stabilize, obviously theater owners had better choice by now so in its fourth weekend and fifth weekend suffered deathly 80%+ drops. The run was short lived and it was taken out of its theatrical run in 8 weeks.
Synopsis: In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem.
Production Budget: $25 million
Opening Weekend: $8.6 million ($8,684,464)
Domestic Total: $19.5 million ($19,490,041)
Overseas Total: $7.6 million ($7,631,999)
WorldWide Total: $27.1 million ($27,122,040)
With well-known cast and great reviews the movie failed to connect or the audience didn't find it worthy for theatrical experience. It was aided by a long weekend which helped it reach its only $1 million weekend. Fox Searchlight tried to expand it but that did not result in equal revenue increase, after sixth weekend which was its last expansion it dropped 43% from here on it became obvious its theatrical days were limited. The movie ended its run after 15 weeks earning less than its budget.
Synopsis: Tim Lippe has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the "guidance" of three convention veterans.
Production Budget: $10 million (Source)
Opening Weekend: $302,968
Domestic Total: $6.8 million ($6,861,102)
Overseas Total: Not Applicable
WorldWide Total: $6.8 million ($6,861,102)
VERDICT: FLOP (These movies do very well in Home Entertainment and TV Distribution)
Following Liam Neeson's 2009 surprise-hit Taken, this movie did not open as big or have had enough legs, but it was a welcome surprise as the month's only hit Thriller. Not only was Unknown the biggest Dark Castle Studio movie (overtaking Halle Berry's Gothika), it was also the highest grossing thriller in 2011's first quarter, overall it ranks second only behind Limitless. For Amnesia movies it opened sixth biggest and ended with eight biggest, all three Bourne movies lead this category comfortably. While the run wasn't noteworthy, it managed 2.9 multiplier from its opening which is good for a February release.
Synopsis: A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, (not even his wife), believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is.
Production Budget: $30 million
Opening Weekend: $21.8 million ($21,856,389)
Domestic Total: $63.7 million ($63,686,397)
Overseas Total: $67.1 million ($67,100,000)
WorldWide Total: $130.7 million ($130,786,397)
I AM NUMBER FOUR
Disney's attempt to launch fresh faces and starting Twilight-esque franchise failed to connect with its target audience. Reviews weren't helping its cause much, top critics at RottenTomatoes thrashed the movie with less than 20% fresh votes. After a decent opening (thanks to good marketing) it started to fall heavily with the smallest mattering drop of 43% coming in its second weekend. Disney did try to push the movie several time but this turned out to be a lost cause. In comparison February movies like Percy Jackson, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Jumper, Bridge to Terabethia have crossed $70 million mark even when they failed to yield franchise sequels, though all of these were known entities.
Synopsis: Aliens and their Guardians are hiding on Earth from intergalactic bounty hunters. They can only be killed in numerical order, and Number Four is next on the list. This is his story.
Production Budget: $60 million
Opening Weekend: $19.4 million ($19,449,893)
Domestic Total: $55.1 million ($55,100,437)
Overseas Total: $89.4 million ($89,400,000)
WorldWide Total: $144.5 million ($144,500,437)
VERDICT: BELOW AVERAGE
BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Fox tried to renew Big Momma series when nobody really asked for it. The cross dressing genre has been dormant since last 5 years, last noticeable gross was in 2006 by none other than first Big Momma sequel. Martin Lawrence has long past his comedy authority and the franchise was already on a decline. The audience had obviously moved on and that resulted in a new low for the series not only in terms of BO but also in terms of reviews. I thought that Big Momma 2's 6% fresh cannot be lower, this achieved 5% fresh, that is also one of the lowest ratings this year.
Synopsis: FBI agent Malcolm Turner and his stepson Trent go undercover at an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder.
Production Budget: $32 million
Opening Weekend: $16.3 million ($16,300,803)
Domestic Total: $37.9 million ($37,915,414)
Overseas Total: $44.7 million ($44,770,652)
WorldWide Total: $82.7 million ($82,686,066)
VERDICT: BELOW AVERAGE
VANISHING ON THE 7TH STREET
The classic case of talent used in wrong places going awry. A bunch of small scale production houses invested a lot of money on this and then released it in only 6 theaters for just 4 weeks. Its not like it was doing great in those as it saw well above 40% drops then. Given the good cast this is just a big mis-step from distributors and producers. Even with the help of Home Entertainment and TV distribution there is no way it could make back its budget.
Synopsis: The population of Detroit has almost completely disappeared, but a few remain. As daylight disappears they realize that the Dark is coming for them.
Production Budget: $10 million (Dark Horizons and Wikipedia)
Opening Weekend: $2,898
Domestic Total: $22,729
Overseas Total: $1,045,953
WorldWide Total: $1,068,682
With an interesting plot that could have attracted a lot of males the movie opened below expectations. Even with poor reviews the movie held on and had pretty decent legs and reached expected total. Given that the budget was controlled it did very well but this genre results in much better numbers, also given the talent involved the movie could have done much better. With the lack of R-rated movies and non-romantic comedies the market was due for a breakout, but this movie was not able to capitalize on that.
Synopsis: A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.
Production Budget: $36 million
Opening Weekend: $13.5 million ($13,535,374)
Domestic Total: $45 million ($45,060,734)
Overseas Total: $38.1 million ($38,100,000)
WorldWide Total: $83.1 million ($83,160,734)
Summit's misfire opened to a new low for Nicholas Cage driven thriller in very wide opening. Not only was this the lowest opening for a wide release of the month but it was the lowest of the first quarter. The more baffling fact is its paltry multiplier of 2 from its opening, mostly because of the poor reviews. After its poor opening Drive Angry dropped very hard 57% in its sophomore weekend. Neither 3D nor Summit could have helped it stay longer in theaters, it dropped deadly 85%+ next two weeks mostly because of the same percentage of theater loss. After just 8 weeks its theatrical run came to an end.
Synopsis: A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter.
Production Budget: $45 million-$50 million
Opening Weekend: $5.2 million ($5,187,625)
Domestic Total: $10.7 million ($10,721,033)
Overseas Total: $18.2 million ($18,210,368)
WorldWide Total: $28.9 million ($28,931,401)
THE GRACE CARD
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn this mostly unknown movie did very well in its opening, but the poor reviews did not help its legs. It ranks at the bottom of Christian faith movies in both opening as well as total. These movies tend to have good legs, so to say that the legs were poor is an understatement. Even with these low numbers the movie would have given back more than the invested money in its opening itself.
Synopsis: Mac's rage towards God over his son's loss in an accident, stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he's partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man.
Production Budget: $200,000 (Wiki and MovieInsider)
Opening Weekend: $1 million ($1,010,299)
Domestic Total: $2.4 million ($2,430,735)
Overseas Total: Not Applicable
WorldWide Total: $2.4 million ($2,430,735)
February 2011's aggregated total was $660 million ($659,527,045) down 12.6% from February 2010's $755 million ($754,744,691) haul. It ranks fifth among February totals behind 2009, 2010, 2008 and 2004 respectively.
There were 11 wide openers compared to 10 last year, still down 6% in isolated total of $426.7 million (2010's wide total was $454.9 million).
After two months and eight weekends 2011 has had yet to see a bigger weekend than 2010 as a result February 2011 was the least attended February since 1995. Through February 2011's total was $1.41 billion ($1,413,292,504), which was a whopping 22% behind 2010's total of $1.81 billion ($1,814,363,940)
Check out more on my next one Box Office 2011 - March