Weekend Report: Olympian Debut for 'Immortals'
by Ray Subers
November 14, 2011
Immortals may not have been the next 300, but it was at least strong enough to claim the top spot at the box office this weekend. Jack and Jill opened lower than most major Adam Sandler movies, and barely beat strong holdover Puss in Boots. The weekend's third new movie, J. Edgar, failed to exceed modest expectations. With three movies over $24 million, overall box office was up around 12 percent from the same period last year.
Immortals debuted to $32.2 million, which is less than half of 300's $70.9 million and also way off from Clash of the Titans's $61.2 million. While those are both very similar movies, it's a slightly unfair comparison given the marketing dominance exercised by their distributor Warner Bros. In its own right, Immortals was actually very impressive. It is distributor Relativity Media's best opening ever by a long shot (Limitless was the previous high with $18.9 million), and it's also the top opening for a movie not released by a big six studio since Lionsgate's The Expendables debuted to $34.8 million last August. Finally, it's the second-highest opening for an R-rated 3D movie ever behind Jackass 3-D's $50.4 million, with 3D showings accounting for a substantial 66 percent of the weekend gross. The movie's audience was 60 percent male, 75 percent under the age of 35, and 35 percent Hispanic. Immortals received a "B" CinemaScore, and a "B+" from the under-25 crowd.
Jack and Jill claimed $25 million on its opening weekend, which is lower than February's Adam Sandler-Dennis Dugan collaboration Just Go With It ($30.5 million). In fact, the only traditional Sandler comedy that has opened lower in the last 10 years is Funny People ($22.6 million), and that's even a questionable comparison given that movie's slightly-dramatic leanings. Still, it's an odd time of year for a Sandler movie (most open in the Summer), and the opening is close enough to his standard range that it in no way indicates that his star is fading. 53 percent of Jack and Jill's audience was families, while 52 percent were female and 57 percent were 25 years of age and older. On Friday, the movie received a "B" CinemaScore (and an "A-" from those under 18 years old).
After holding the top spot for two weekends in a row, Puss in Boots dipped a light 25 percent to $24.7 million. On Saturday it passed $100 million, and its total now rests at $108 million. It's about even with last November's Megamind through the same point, albeit with a much higher third weekend gross, and it should wind up with over $150 million if it isn't completely stomped on by Happy Feet Two, Arthur Christmas, and The Muppets in the next two weeks.
Tower Heist fell 47 percent to $12.8 million for a total of $43.5 million. Thanks to Tower Heist's grosses, distributor Universal Pictures passed $1 billion for the year on Saturday. This is the first year Universal has reached this milestone since 2008, and it's the fifth studio to do so in 2011 after Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney and Sony.
J. Edgar opened in fifth place with $11.2 million from 1,910 theaters. That's a bit off from director Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, which debuted to $12 million last October. Still, that movie was playing at slightly more venues (2,181) and had a lower per-theater average. J. Edgar's audience was 94 percent over the age of 25 and 54 percent female, and the movie received a "B" CinemaScore.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas fell 54 percent to $5.9 million to bring its 10-day total to $23.2 million. That decline was an improvement over predecessor Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay's 59 percent, but the weekend gross and gross-to-date are both lower.
• 'Puss' Fends Off Stiller, Murphy, Stoners
This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2010 - 'Megamind' Stays on Track, 'Unstoppable' Holds the Denzel Washington Line
• 2009 - '2012' Plagues the Box Office
• 2008 - James Bond Takes 'Quantum' Leap
• 2007 - 'Bee' Keeps Buzzing as 'Fred,' 'Lions' Don't Roar
• 2006 - 'Borat' Shticks to First
• 2005 - 'Zathura,' 'Derailed,' 50 Cent Below 'Chicken Little' in Pecking Order
• Weekend Box Office Results
• All-Time Domestic