News

Weekend Report (cont.): 'Wanderlust,' 'Gone' Bomb Hard

by Ray Subers
Wanderlust
 

 
February 26, 2012

<< continued from "Weekend Report: 'Act of Valor' Gets SEAL of Approval"

Putting this as nicely as possible, Wanderlust did not have a very good opening. The Judd Apatow production earned just $6.5 million, which is one of his worst debuts ever (at least it was better than Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, but not by much). It was also one of Jennifer Aniston's lowest openings, somehow finishing behind recent bombs The Switch ($8.4 million) and Love Happens ($8.1 million). It doesn't look great on Paul Rudd's track record either, though he has a much smaller sample size of leading roles.

For whatever reason, it never seemed like Universal really got behind the movie. With no trailer or poster out a month ahead of a planned October release, Universal bumped the movie back to its February release date. From there, the marketing campaign never really came together, perhaps because attention was already being turned towards more potentially lucrative upcoming comedies like American Reunion and Apatow production The Five-Year Engagement. Wanderlust's audience was 57 percent female and 61 percent 30 years of age and older, and they gave the movie a poor "B-" CinemaScore.

Gone
debuted in ninth place with $4.8 million, which is the lowest opening yet this year for a nationwide release. It also remarkably opened lower than legendary dud Jennifer's Body ($6.9 million) to become star Amanda Seyfried's worst nationwide debut ever. Part of the disappointing start has to be blamed on the nearly non-existent marketing effort—ad buys were surely scaled back in the wake of the Lionsgate-Summit merger. Not that a bigger spend would necessarily have helped, as the movie looked about as generic as possible and would likely have been straight-to-DVD without Seyfried's participation. Gone's audience was 64 percent female and 61 percent 18 years of age and older, and they awarded the movie a terrible "C+" CinemaScore.

The Secret World of Arrietty
dipped a light 33 percent to $4.35 million in its second weekend. With a total of $14.5 million, it's just a few days away from passing Ponyo ($15.1 million) to become the highest-grossing Studio Ghibli title ever in the U.S.

Last Weekend
'Safe House' Secures Presidents Day Lead

This Weekend in Past Years:
• 2011 - 'Gnomeo' Denied, 'Hall Pass' Ekes Out Modest Victory
• 2010 - 'Shutter Island' Hangs On, 'Cop Out,' 'Crazies' Debut Decently

• 2009 - 'Madea' Goes to Town
• 2008 - 'Vantage Point' Angles for Weekend Lead
• 2007 - 'Ghost Rider' Stays in the Saddle
• 2006 - 'Madea' Drags Moviegoers to 'Family Reunion'
• 2005 - 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' Comes Out Swinging at Number One


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