Weekend Briefing: 'Megamind,' 'Due Date,' 'Colored Girls' Kick Off Holiday Season

by Brandon Gray

November 5, 2010

This weekend, the holiday movie season kicks off with the releases of Megamind on over 7,000 screens at 3,944 locations, Due Date on close to 4,700 screens at 3,355 locations and For Colored Girls on nearly 2,900 screens at 2,127 locations.

Megamind marks DreamWorks Animation's third release of the year, following How to Train Your Dragon ($43.7 million opening weekend) and Shrek Forever After ($70.8 million), and the studio's fourth sporting the 3D illusion in a row, also following Monsters Vs. Aliens ($59.3 million). The studio has consistently delivered large opening weekends with its computer-animated fare, and its known for its massive releases. Megamind's overall location count is somewhat modest by DreamWorks standards, but the movie makes up for it with a record 2,634 3D locations and boasts 195 IMAX 3D venues.

With its super-villain-as-main-character premise, Megamind recalls Despicable Me, which raked in an excellent $56.4 million in its debut weekend last July. However, it would be unrealistic to expect a repeat of Despicable's nearly $250 million-grossing overall success, given that Megamind lacks Despicable's child-raising angle and more unique style. (Despicable Me was also the top-grossing movie overseas last weekend, just as Megamind began its run.) In its enormous marketing campaign, Megamind appears to be a typical DreamWorks comedy, trumpeting lowbrow jokes and celebrity voices over meatier elements, and it's visually and tonally similar to Monsters Vs. Aliens.

Due Date is director Todd Phillips followup to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, The Hangover, and it features a co-star from that movie, Zach Galifianakis, along with one of the biggest stars of the last two years, Robert Downey, Jr. Due Date is also reminiscent of Hangover with its race to be present for a life event (birth of a child instead of a wedding) and road trip angles, but it doesn't offer an outrageous-but-relatable premise like The Hangover (which was supercharged by its mystery). Due Date's marketing has relied on the presumption of funny based on the cast and director, as opposed to showing the funny. Perhaps because he's the straight man this time, Mr. Downey, Jr. has been curiously muted in the movie's ads, which seem to focus on a pale reprisal of Galifianakis' Hangover character and the two crashing their rented Subaru.

For Colored Girls stands as Tyler Perry's first movie not based on his own material, and it's positioned as a more serious effort than his previous movies, reflected in its November release that mirrors Precious, which Perry presented last year. Precious and nearly all of Perry's non-Madea movies delivered good numbers early on, and it would be surprising if For Colored Girls didn't follow suit: the picture, which features an ensemble of famous and familiar actresses, has been pushed as an event for its target audience.

In Box Office Mojo's "when will you see it" reader polling, Due Date has generated the most interest with nearly 30 percent of respondents voting to see it "opening weekend," but that was to be expected given that its demographic appeal is closer to the site's audience than Megamind and For Colored Girls. Due Date's score was higher than The Hangover's 24 percent, but, given that it has the added hype of being the followup to that blockbuster, that doesn't mean it will have a bigger opening. Among recent early November comedies, its numbers weren't far off from Borat and considerably stronger than Role Models.

Megamind posted a solid 21.6 percent "opening weekend" score, and its numbers were close to Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon from earlier this year. However, it wasn't as strong as Monsters Vs. Aliens. The opening weekend grosses of big animated movies at this time of year generally more than double their poll scores, suggesting over $45 million for Megamind. As for For Colored Girls, which logged 3.5 percent for "opening weekend," Tyler Perry movies usually open to five to ten times their poll scores.

Last Weekend:
'Saw' Sharpens with "Final Chapter," 'Paranormal Activity' Fades

This Timeframe in Past Years:
2009 - Moviegoers Stingy with Scrooge
2008 - 'Madagascar' Teems with Box Office Life
2007 - 'Bee' Keeps Buzzing, 'Fred,' 'Lions' Don't Roar
2006 - 'Borat' Shticks to the Top
2005 - 'Chicken' Licks 50 Cent, 'Zathura,' 'Derailed'
2004 - $70M Fantastic for 'Incredibles'

Similar Movies to:
'Due Date'
'For Colored Girls'

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New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 7/16 (32 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/11 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/10 (38 tracked)