Box Office Results for August 10, 2012

This weekend, Universal scored its industry-leading third number one opening of the summer with its franchise spy thriller The Bourne Legacy, which knocked The Dark Knight Rises out of the top spot after a three-week reign atop the North American box office.  Moviegoers also came out in healthy numbers for two new star-driven comedies as the political comedy The Campaign starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis and the marital tale Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones both connected with their target audiences.  After back-to-back weekends when the Top 20 was down by more than 25% from last year, the marketplace rebounded back to normal levels for this time of year.

Jeremy Renner anchored a solid, but not spectacular, opening for his latest franchise pic The Bourne Legacy, which debuted to an estimated $40.3M from 3,746 theaters for an encouraging $10,749 average for Universal and Relativity.  The PG-13 film pulled in action fans despite the fact that star Matt Damon who played the title character of all three previous films, and director Paul Greengrass who helmed the last two installments, were gone this time.

But given the cast and crew changes, Renner having no track record of anchoring a major film, and being among the last in a long line of summer action offerings, The Bourne Legacy‘s performance was good.  The weekend gross was also close to the $40.8M of 2006’s Casino Royale, which asked James Bond fans to forget Pierce Brosnan and accept newcomer Daniel Craig.  Universal’s decision to bump its release date back a week from August 3 to August 10 certainly paid dividends as it would have split the action crowd with Total Recall last weekend.  Plus the juggernaut The Dark Knight Rises was a week older this frame.

The Bourne Legacy played well across gender lines with men making up 52% of the crowd, according to studio research.  Those 30 and older were a very high 69% as teen appeal was not strong.  Produced for $125M, a reasonable cost for today’s franchise action films, The Bourne Legacy earned mixed reviews from film critics and audiences alike.  The CinemaScore grade was a B.

Opening to good results in the runner-up spot was the Will Ferrell-Zach Galifianakis political comedy The Campaign with an estimated $27.4M from 3,205 theaters for an impressive $8,562 average for Warner Bros.  It was the third best opening of the year for an R-rated comedy behind only the $54.4M of surprise smash Ted, and the $36.3M of 21 Jump Street. Ferrell, who has not been seen on-screen with a major film in two years, flexed some starpower and fans eager to see him again turned out.  The story involving rival bumbling political candidates provided very relevant subject matter which sparked interest in comedy fans.  Plus the marketplace had almost nothing else offering laughs for grown-ups and reviews were better than necessary to sell this type of broad comedy.

Produced for $60M, The Campaign will have no problem reaching a domestic gross that beats its production cost.  Legs may not be that great as the CinemaScore grade of B- indicates that consumers were not terribly satisfied so word-of-mouth should be mixed.  The Campaign opened much like Ferrell’s last R-rated comedy Step Brothers, which opened four years ago in late July with $30.9M when it also faced competition from both The Dark Knight and the Summer Olympics.  Ferrell does have fans around the world and huge global crowds saw Galifianakis in both Hangover films so international potential is there, although a story about the world of American elections is not an easy sell.

It was two for Batman Begins, four for The Dark Knight, and now The Dark Knight Rises ends its reign at the top of the box office at three weeks.  With another franchise action film making a solid debut, the final Batman film from Christopher Nolan dropped 45% to an estimated $19.5M boosting the domestic total to $390.1M after 24 days for DC.  Its 2008 predecessor enjoyed a smaller 39% decline in its fourth frame despite having to compete with the start of the Beijing Olympics.  The Dark Knight Rises rose up to number 15 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters passing the $381M of last summer’s final wizard flick Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which had the benefit of 3D surcharges.

The Bane blockbuster is running 12% behind the pace of the Joker flick and still seems to be on a trajectory to end with roughly $445M from North America.  Overseas, The Dark Knight Rises made $34.2M, off a troubling 49%, for an international total of $445.3M and global haul of $835.4M.  Nolan’s Gotham City trilogy has now amassed an incredible $2.2 billion worldwide and counting.

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones enjoyed a respectable start for their relationship comedy Hope Springs, which bowed to an estimated $15.6M from 2,361 playdates for a $6,607 average for Columbia, Mandate, and MGM.  The PG-13 film about a middle-aged couple seeking counseling to enliven their marriage grossed $20.1M since its Wednesday release and played, as expected, to the Meryl crowd.  Studio research showed that the audience was overwhelmingly adult female – 66% were women and 69% were 40 or over.  Reviews were positive but not very enthusiastic and paying audiences were not especially excited as the CinemaScore grade was a B.

Older skewing films tend to have good legs so Sony is hoping to keep Hope Springs in theaters until the fall and make its grosses over the long-term.  The studio has utilized the first half of August to target older women before with 2009’s Julie & Julia starring Streep, which debuted to $20M representing only 21% of its final gross of $94.1M, and 2010’s Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts, which opened to $23.1M which was 29% of its $80.6M total.  Both were adapted from best-selling books, though, whereas Hope Springs came from an original screenplay.  Plus with Sunday’s close of the Olympics, the target audience will become more available in the days ahead.  Columbia and MGM acquired domestic rights for a fee in the mid-teen millions and Sony handled marketing and distribution duties.

A pair of sophomores followed with each dropping on a different trajectory.  Fox 2000‘s kid sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days fell a reasonable 44% to an estimated $8.2M pushing the ten-day total to $30.6M. A final take close to the $52.7M of the last installment of the series should result.  Columbia’s much more expensive sci-fi remake Total Recall was not as lucky and tumbled by a troubling 68% to an estimated $8.1M.  By comparison, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s 1990 original opened at the same level but dropped only 41% to $15.1M in its second weekend.  The Colin Farrell actioner has collected a disappointing $44.2M in ten days and looks headed for a $60-65M finish from North America putting even more pressure on international markets to deliver big crowds.  An overseas expansion this weekend into new territories like Russia, Japan, and Mexico resulted in an estimated $18.7M frame from 38 markets raising the offshore cume to just $27.5M.

The top ten’s only toon Ice Age: Continental Drift held up well again with an estimated $6.8M, off a slender 22%, lifting the sum for the 3D Blue Sky pic to $144.1M.  Universal and Media Rights Capital‘s hit comedy Ted followed with an estimated $3.3M, down 42%, and a cume to date of $209.9M.  3D dance sequel Step Up Revolution fell 52% to an estimated $2.9M giving Summit $30.2M to date.

Two films tied for the ten spot with estimates of $2.2M each.  20th Century Fox‘s alien comedy The Watch crumbled 66% and has banked only $31.4M to date while Columbia and Marvel‘s 3D super hero reboot The Amazing Spider-Man fell 50% with a domestic total of $255.5M thus far.

The reality stunt pic Nitro Circus the Movie 3D debuted to poor results outside of the top ten with an estimated $1.2M from 800 locations for a dismal $1,460 average.  Since debuting on Wednesday, the R-rated Jackass-type flick from ARC aimed at young men has grossed $2.2M in five days.  Opening to good results in platform release was Spike Lee‘s Red Hook Summer with an estimated $42,100 from four New York locations for a $10,525 average.  The Variance release earned decent reviews and expands to new markets later this month.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $134.2M which was even with last year when 20th Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes stayed at number one with $27.8M; but up 5% from 2010 when Lionsgate and Nu Image‘s The Expendables debuted on top with $34.8M.

August 10, 2012 to August 12, 2012 Top Ten



1.   The Bourne Legacy

  • $40,265,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

2.   The Campaign

3.   The Dark Knight Rises

  • $19,540,000
  • DC Entertainment (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

4.   Hope Springs

5.   Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

6.   Total Recall

  • $8,100,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

7.   Ice Age: Continental Drift

  • $6,750,000
  • Blue Sky Studios (Fox Entertainment Group)

8.   Ted

  • $3,290,000
  • a Universal release (NBCUniversal)
  • Media Rights Capital

9.   Step Up Revolution

  • $2,850,000
  • Summit Entertainment (Lions Gate Entertainment)

10. The Watch

  • $2,200,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox Entertainment Group)

11. The Amazing Spider-Man


August 12, 2011 to August 14, 2011 Top Ten



1.   Rise of the Planet of the Apes

  • $27,500,000
  • 20th Century Fox (Fox Entertainment Group)

2.   The Help

3.   Final Destination 5

4.   The Smurfs

5.   30 Minutes or Less

  • $13,000,000
  • a Columbia release (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
  • Media Rights Capital

6.   Cowboys & Aliens

  • $7,613,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal), DreamWorks Pictures (DreamWorks SKG), Reliancnce Entertainment, and Relativity Media

7.   Captain America: The First Avenger

8.   Crazy, Stupid, Love.

  • $6,930,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

9.   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

  • $6,875,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

10. The Change-Up

  • $6,219,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media


August 13, 2010 to August 15, 2010 Top Ten



1.   The Expendables

  • $34,825,000
  • a Lionsgate release (Lions Gate Entertainment)
  • Nu Image (Millennium Films)

2.   Eat Pray Love

  • $23,105,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

3.   The Other Guys

  • $17,409,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

4.   Inception

  • $11,285,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

5.   Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

  • $10,610,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal)

6.   Despicable Me

7.   Step Up 3

  • $6,905,000
  • Touchstone Pictures (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) and Summit Entertainment

8.   Dinner for Schmucks

  • $6,285,000
  • Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group), DreamWorks Pictures (DreamWorks SKG), and Spyglass Entertainment

9.   Salt

  • $6,220,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Relativity Media

10. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

  • $4,190,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

~ by Matt Whitfield on August 15, 2012.

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