Box Office Woes Continued in February

by Brandon Gray

March 4, 2011

In February, movie theaters racked up nearly $660 million in sales, dipping close to 13 percent from February 2010's $755 million haul. It was the lowest-grossing February since 2007, and it was the largest February-to-February slip since 1995.

With overall attendance optimistically estimated at 82 million, February 2011 was the least trafficked February since 1995, and it trailed 1996-2010 by significant margins. The low attendance was a result of having no momentum from a relatively weaker January as well as a largely unexciting slate of new movies.

While January had an exceptionally low number of new nationwide releases, February had 11, compared to ten last February and 11 in February 2009. The 1996-2010 average was 12.8. Isolated, those 11 movies grossed $426.7 million altogether, which casts a more favorable light on February 2011. They were down six percent from February 2010's new nationwide releases ($454.9 million) and were a tad bigger than February 2009's, though they were less-attended than other recent years.

Just Go With It was the top-grossing movie of February 2011 with $79.5 million, though the Adam Sandler vehicle lagged behind his last February romantic comedy 50 First Dates (from 2004). Surprise hit Gnomeo and Juliet was second with $74.9 million, while Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($63.3 million), Unknown ($43.8 million) and The King's Speech ($41.9 million) rounded out the Top Five. The month lacked another romantic movie or a big horror movie to capitalize on the Valentine's Day theme, and its most-hyped release, I Am Number Four, failed to spark much interest, grossing $38.5 million and paling compared to past similar February fare like Jumper and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

The 2011 total through the end of February stood at $1.41 billion, which was off 22 percent from last year. Mirroring the February-only stats, it was the lowest January-February tally since 2007 and the least-attended since 1995.

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January Attendance Was a 20-Year Low

March Preview

February Weekend Reports
2/7 - 'Roommate' Bunks on Top, 'Sanctum' Stuck in Cave
2/14 - 'Just,' 'Justin,' 'Juliet' Jumpin'
2/22 - 'Unknown' Takes Top Spot, 'Number Four' Is Number Three

2/28 - 'Gnomeo' Denied, 'Hall Pass' Ekes Out Modest Victory

Related Charts
February Calendar Grosses (Premier Pass)
2011 Grosses (2011-only releases)
Year-to-Date Comparison

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