Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Many Movie-Goers Turn to International Films at the Box Office this Weekend

Scott's recap has an international flavour as he talks about the success of a British boy band and a Mexican picture.

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This past weekend, British boy band One Direction was able to take first place in the box office with their concert film One Direction: This is Us.  It was able to prevail over fellow newcomers Getaway and Closed Circuit, but that was easily predictable as neither of those movies were considered to be strong contenders.

One Direction: This is Us
was directed by Oscar nominated Morgan Spurlock and shows the members of One Direction both on stage and off.  It was able to make $17 million domestically opening weekend, and an estimate $33 million globally.  Currently it has already beaten the worldwide gross of Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D from last year, and is one third of the way to catching the global total of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’s total of $99 million worldwide.  While that sounds great, the concert film is likely to see a rapid drop by next weekend as it has been steadily dropping since its release just a few days ago.  It may be hard for some in Hollywood to admit that the boys of One Direction have out-profited Jerry Bruckheimer in theatres this summer.

One of the interesting stories that came out of this past weekend was the continued performance of Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which was down only eleven percent from last weekend and pulled in $14.7 million.  That is a great sign for the docu-drama that stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey in a movie about a White House butler who works for a number of different presidential administrations.  The Butler is currently sitting at a gross of around $80 million on a budget of $30 million, and is a hopeful indicator to Hollywood that there is money that can be made in movies for mature audiences.

While I could spend some time talking about the lackluster performances of Getaway ($4.5 million opening weekend) and Closed Circuit ($2.5 million opening weekend) it would be a better use of my time to mention the Mexican comedy Instructions Not Included, which debuted this past weekend and hauled in an impressive $7.5 million on a budget of $5 million.  What is most impressive is that Instructions Not Included was only shown in 347 theatres this weekend and was still able to land in fifth spot in the box office, beating out movies like Elysium and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.  It had the highest average per theatre with $21,614.

Also of note, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine saw an increase of 1% from last weekend despite playing in 104 fewer theatres.  It has now been able to crack the $20 million mark, and came in eleventh spot this weekend with $4 million.  It stars Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, and is a story about a collapsed marriage and the rebuilding process that follows.  Blue Jasmine seems to have done well due to well-casted and recognizable leads, the name value of Woody Allen, great critical reception, and decent word of mouth.

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