Friday Report: 'Roommate' Moves In

by Brandon Gray

February 5, 2011

On Friday, the top two movies explored the dark recesses of caves and dorm rooms, and one (The Roommate) saw the faint glimmer of the top spot while the other (Sanctum) sank to new depths for a modern 3D action movie. Overall business continued to be rather miserable, down an estimated 27 percent from the same Friday last year, when Dear John led.

The Roommate enrolled an estimated $6.4 million on approximately 2,800 screens at 2,534 locations, opening better than The Stepfather ($4.4 million). Among comparable Super Bowl weekend debuts, the psycho thriller's start was bigger than The Uninvited and The Eye but much smaller than When a Stranger Calls and Boogeyman. Roommate was extremely derivative of Single White Female (which had higher attendance) and other titles, but its message was clear and relatable to its target audience, who likely hadn't heard of Single White Female.

With over 84 percent of its gross coming from 3D presentations, Sanctum unearthed an estimated $3.55 million on around 3,300 screens at 2,787 locations, which was touch less than Piranha 3D's opening day. Among spelunking thrillers, Sanctum grossed more than The Descent and The Cave, though its attendance was less than Descent and in the same range as Cave, and its start was below par for survival thrillers in general. Sanctum's marketing pitched the 3D action and James Cameron's involvement (including an on-camera interview in some ads), but flunked on the fundamentals, avoiding the movie's premise and characters, let alone showing compelling ones.

No Strings Attached lingered in third place, holding up well again and continuing to track similarly to What Happens in Vegas (albeit with lower attendance). Off 33 percent Friday-to-Friday, No Strings made an estimated $2.9 million, lifting its tally to $46.3 million in 15 days.

Down 19 percent, The King's Speech stood its ground again, earning over $2.3 million for a $78.1 million sum in 71 days. Fellow Oscar contenders Black Swan and The Fighter were still in the mix as well. Swan fell 24 percent to an estimated $1.1 million for a $93.6 million total in 64 days, while Fighter saw the smallest percentage decline among nationwide holdovers, dipping 12 percent to an estimated $886,000 for an $80.4 million tally in 57 days. True Grit retreated 27 percent to an estimated $1.4 million, upping its bounty to $151.7 million in 45 days.

The Rite took the most severe hit among nationwide releases, plummeting 64 percent to an estimated $1.9 million for a $20 million sum in eight days. Huge drop-offs are the norm for its genre. Fellow second-weekend release, The Mechanic, slowed 51 percent to just under $1.8 million for a $16.5 million total in eight days. The Green Hornet was a shade higher with an estimated $1.8 million, holding relatively well again with a 38 percent drop and increasing its tally to $82.9 million in 22 days.

Related Chart
Grosses for Friday, Feb. 4, 2011

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