One of the toughest weekends for the movie industry as The Super Bowl steals Sunday audiences and keeps them locked into the couch and glued to the TV instead of in the movie theater. Films often see a 60% Saturday to Sunday drop during this football-crazed weekend and that leaves few crumbs on the box office table for the films in the marketplace. An exception was Super Bowl weekend last year when Sony totally capitalized on the counter-programming draw of the romantic drama Dear John and came up with a $30.5 million touchdown. Sony lands on top again this year with the dramatic thriller The Roommate with a better-than-expected $15.6 million and earning back its negative cost in the process. Having appeal for the female audience in particular, this variation on Single White Female set in a college dormitory proved to be a counter-programming draw for those looking for a sanctuary from the football madness going on at home and gives Screen Gems yet another profit-maker.
James Cameron is executive producer for the film second place film as Universal’s 3-D and IMAX enhanced action adventure Sanctum dives into theaters with a strong for the genre $9.2 million. The marketing campaign for the film effectively features the involvement of Cameron and boasts some amazing images that drew bigger crowds than the similarly-themed films The Descent and The Cave and thus had a solid second place finish.
Paramount’s No Strings Attached grabbed third place with $8.4 million and benefiting from perhaps being the only film in the top five to be truly Super Bowl proof. The R-rated romantic comedy held extremely well in its second weekend and has done so again driven by the strong female appeal of the film starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. The film has a domestic total of $51.8 million.
In the wake of 12 Oscar nominations and a SAG Award for best ensemble cast, Weinstein Co.’s The King’s Speech is gaining huge momentum as the film is becoming a film with broad mainstream appeal as even younger audiences are now lining up to see this uplifting tale. With a 25% drop the film earned $8.3 million in its eleventh weekend of release. The film has now earned $84.1 million at the North American box office and a global total of over $150 million awaits this King by the end of the weekend as the continued worldwide appeal of the film grows.
Rounding out the top five, Sony’s The Green Hornet continues to draw the action crowd after a month in release. $6.1 million and a mere 45% drop have kept this Seth Rogen starrer in the green. The film is now up to $87.2 million in North American dollars.
Check out our exclusive movie-themed comic strip from Francesco Marciuliano. Francesco writes the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” and the webcomic “Medium Large.” He was the head writer for the PBS series “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” for which one of his episodes won two 2007 Daytime Emmys. He currently writes for the Onion News Network.
The bad news is that our national box office nightmare continues into its 13th weekend as year ago comparisons to the Dear John and Avatar led Super Bowl weekend hands us yet another year over year box office defeat.
Weekend Box Office
Top 10 Movies – For Super Bowl Weekend of February 4, 2011 – Estimates
Movie Weekend Total
1 The Roommate (PG-13) $15.6 M $15.6 M
2 Sanctum (R) $9.2 M $9.2 M
3 No Strings Attached (R) $8.4 M $51.8 M
4 The King’s Speech (R) $8.3 M $84.1 M
5 The Green Hornet (PG-13) $6.1 M $87.2 M
6 The Rite (PG-13) $5.6 M $23.7 M
7 The Mechanic (R) $5.4 M $20.1 M
8 True Grit (PG-13) $4.8 M $155.0 M
9 The Dilemma (PG-13) $3.5 M $45.7 M
10 Black Swan (R) $3.4 M $95.9 M