B.O. Analysis Apr. 12: ‘Hannah Montana’ Bonanza

Disney’s Hannah Montana: The Movie sings its way to a $34 million debut — and proves that Hannah is no pretendah!

The biggest Easter weekend on record is led by the phenomenal success of the G-rated, family-friendly Hannah Montana: The Movie as the nation’s theaters continue to draw huge crowds during the recession. With a perfect release date and the Hannah Montana brand, Miley Cyrus has proven that she can open a concert film (Disney’s Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert in 3-D earned $31.1 million on Superbowl weekend of 2008 — $65.3 million domestic total), and she can voice a character in an animated film and have great success (Disney’s Bolt! earned a $26.2 million debut — $114 million domestic total). Now she proves that she can topline a traditional motion picture and still draw huge crowds. It’s not bad when your theatrically released movies debut in the $30-million range! That certainly says something about Miley’s/Hannah’s drawing power when you combine the two brands. In other words: Disney + Miley/Hannah = box-office success.

At number two is Universal’s Fast & Furious, which has sprinted to $118 million in just ten days of release as it adds more box-office fuel to its already massive tank. With an opening weekend of $71 million, the film posted the best April debut of all time, and the 59 percent second-weekend drop still puts the film at $28.8 million for the weekend.

Third place goes to the ever-popular Paramount/Dreamworks Monsters vs. Aliens with $22.6 million for the weekend on the back of a modest third-weekend drop of 45 percent and a domestic total of $141 million. IMAX and 3-D showings continue to be a major selling point as families immerse themselves in the fun-filled animated experience.

Debuting in fourth with $11.1 million is the critic’s favorite of the weekend, Observe and Report from Warner Bros. The R-rated dark comedy shows the superpopular Seth Rogen in a different and challenging role that many have compared to the disenfranchised Travis Bickel character in Martin Scorsese’s sociopathic vigilante outsider classic Taxi Driver. Considering the dark thematic tone of the film, one has to consider the box-office performance respectable and due to a great and offbeat trailer and marketing campaign that emphasized critical raves for the film.

Rounding out the top five with $6.6 million is Summit Entertainment’s Knowing. The Nicolas Cage starrer dropped a tiny 18 percent in its fourth weekend of release and now has a total domestic cumulative of $68 million. Knowing is showing the same kind of staying power that Fox’s Taken impressed the Industry with for almost the entire first quarter of the year.

Another truly astounding weekend as the steamroller that is the theatrical box office just keeps on rolling. As it stands, we are 16.66 percent ahead on revenue and 14.9 percent ahead on attendance. And with the summer-movie season to start in just three weeks, indications are that this could be a monumentally strong period at the nation’s theaters. If we rewind back one year when revenues were down 3.4 percent and attendance was off five percent, it is obvious that we are set for a massive summer with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek to boldly take us where the box office has never gone before.


1. NEW! Hannah Montana: The Movie (Disney) – $34M; 3188 theaters; $10,904 PTA

2. Fast & Furious (Universal) – $28.7M; 3472 theaters; $8,290 PTA; -59%; $118M cume

3. Monsters vs. Aliens (Paramount) – $22.6M; 4136 theaters; $5,468 PTA; -31%; $141M cume

4. NEW! Observe and Report (Warner Bros.) – $11.1M; 2727 theaters; $4,085 PTA

5. Knowing (Summit) – $6.6M; 2925 theaters; $2,280 PTA; -18%; $68M cume

6. I Love You, Man (Paramount) – $6.4M; 2643 theaters; $2,426 PTA; -17%; $58.9M cume

7. The Haunting in Connecticut (Lionsgate) – $5.7M; 2721theaters; $2,098 PTA; -40%; $46.3M

8. NEW! Dragonball Evolution (Fox) – $4.6M; 2181 theaters; $2,132 PTA

9. Adventureland (Miramax) – $3.4M; 1876 theaters; $1,830 PTA; -40%; $11.5 cume

10. Duplicity (Universal) – $2.9M; 1965 theaters; $1,525 PTA; -28%; $36.8M cume

LAST WEEK’S B.O.: A Fast & Furious Finish Line