This Easter weekend, Clash of the Titans is the intended colossus, striking over 5,200 screens at 3,777 venues. The mythological action picture got a jump on the weekend by debuting nationwide at 8 p.m. Thursday and grossed $4.2 million for the night (including midnight shows), which didn't rank in the pantheon of comparable starts but appeared to be in the same realm as 300's $2.5 million midnight launch. On the same weekend (non-Easter) last year, Fast and Furious courted a similar audience to Clash and accelerated to $71 million in three days flat, while the Easter opening record is held by Scary Movie 4 with $40.2 million.
While Clash of the Titans is a remake of the popular 1981 movie of the same name, which grossed $41.1 million in its day (or the equivalent of around $115 million adjusted for ticket price inflation), it owes its existence and its positioning to the success of 300. Released in Spring 2007, 300 stormed the box office with a smashing $70.9 million first weekend on around 4,800 screens at 3,103 sites and ultimately racked up $210.6 million. Clash's sandy monster action also recalls The Mummy franchise, which is also known for sizable openings, especially its first two movies.
Clash of the Titans' marketing has been ubiquitous, including an incongruous feature on Wednesday's American Idol that interspersed the movie's scenes with the singing show's contestants and judges. However, the ads have mostly focused on the adrenalin rush and the movie's biggest monster, the Kraken (particularly Liam Neeson's "Release the Kraken" line, repeated from the original), more than the story and characters (Avatar actor Sam Worthington has a minimal presence), aside from some vague reference to a battle between gods and men. 300's marketing, on the other hand, balanced the story and the spectacle. 300 fared better than Clash in Box Office Mojo's reader polls with a 57.7 percent "see it opening weekend" score, though Clash still has a muscular 50.7 percent rating.
Originally scheduled opposite How to Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans was pushed back a week in order to join the 3D bandwagon with a conversion from 2D to 3D and to have a little 3D breathing room between it and Dragon. Despite the 3D competition, Clash managed to book 1,810 3D sites. Dragon actually added three 3D sites this weekend for a total of 2,181, and it will contend for second place due to its family appeal. It appears that Alice in Wonderland is bearing the brunt of Clash. Its 3D count drops from 1,436 theaters to around 600 this weekend. As a whole, though, Alice's theater count is down 404 to 2,980.
Also opening nationwideTyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too is unleashed on approximately 2,900 screens at 2,155 sites. Predecessor Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? pulled in $21.4 million in its Oct. 2007 opening and closed with $55.2 million, which was a tad above average for the consistent Tyler Perry. Why Did I Get Married Too marks Perry's first non-Madea sequel, but the Madea movies grossed more with each release.
The Last Song debuted on Wednesday to better capitalize on the schools' Easter and spring breaks, grossing a solid $9.4 million in two days, and it plays on around 3,300 screens at 2,673 sites this weekend. Despite sticking to her music milieu, Last Song is Miley Cyrus' first non-Hannah Montana live-action feature and, lacking the full force of that built-in audience, is bound to have less initial interest out-of-the-gate. Hannah Montana The Movie raked in $32.3 million in its Easter weekend debut last year, but other Nicholas Sparks adaptations are better comparisons (A Walk to Remember, The Notebook), though Last Song may have come too close to the last Sparks movie, Dear John, which made a $30.5 million splash in its February debut.