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Weekend Report: 'Wimpy Kid' Blindsides 'Sucker Punch'

by Brandon Gray
Sucker Punch
 

 
March 28, 2011

Sucker Punch may not have seen it coming, but Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules packed more wallop than the hyped action movie in their debuts. Overall business was down six percent from the same weekend last year, when How to Train Your Dragon led.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules bagged $23.8 million on close to 4,000 screens at 3,167 locations, boasting a brawnier start than its predecessor. The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid drew $22.1 million on around 3,400 screens at 3,077 locations in its first weekend last March, which led to a $64 million final gross. Striking while the iron was hot seems to have helped the sequel, which was all the more impressive considering the historic difficulty in maintaining momentum for kids franchises. Distributor 20th Century Fox's exit polling indicated that 51 percent of Rodrick Rules' audience was male and 59 percent was under 25 years old, which was nearly the same as the first movie.

Striking approximately 3,900 screens at 3,033 locations, Sucker Punch mustered $19.1 million, which included around $4 million at 229 IMAX venues (representing a record share for regular IMAX at 21 percent). That was a tad behind Kick-Ass's opening last Spring but much greater than the debuts of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Jennifer's Body. However, it was no match for the Kill Bill and Resident Evil movies among other comparable titles, and, for all its hype, it was barely average for an action heroine movie. It was also director Zack Snyder's worst live-action start yet, following 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead.

Sucker Punch succumbed to style and spectacle over substance: it was marketed as a video-game-like blur of random fantastical action bordering on sensory overload. One of the few clear things in the ads was that all the action was going on inside the head of an institutionalized girl, so it was yet another wannabe mindbender. Divorced from reality, it seemed to have low dramatic stakes. A lack of characterization (posters don't cut it) was further reason for people not to care. Considering this was largely a fanboy affair, business could have been worse. Distributor Warner Bros.' research showed that 64 percent of the audience was male and 74 percent was under 35 years old.

Among holdovers, thrillers appealing to adults saw the smallest percentage declines. Last week's leader Limitless eased 20 percent to $15.1 million for a $41.1 million sum in ten days. Its drop was much smaller than similar movies like 21, The Social Network and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps at the same point.

The Lincoln Lawyer held even better, down 19 percent to $10.8 million for a $28.7 million tally in ten days. Groupon ticket redemptions numbered an estimated 14,000 over the weekend, bringing the total to 75,000 (leaving around 115,000 unredeemed). The Adjustment Bureau had its best hold yet, falling 26 percent to $4.3 million for a $54.9 million total in 24 days.

It was largely business as usual for the rest of the holdovers. Rango slipped 35 percent to $9.8 million, increasing its sum to $106.3 million in 24 days. It surpassed Just Go With It and the $100 million mark on Saturday to become the top-grossing movie of the year so far. Just Go With It also crossed $100 million on Sunday, marking Adam Sandler's 12th movie to reach that milestone.

The aliens retreated en masse. Though holding respectably for its niche, Paul was off 40 percent to $7.9 million for a $25 million tally in ten days, dropping less than Hot Tub Time Machine at the same point. Seeing its $100 million dreams dim further, Battle: Los Angeles fell 48 percent to $7.6 million for a $72.6 million haul in 17 days. After having the best hold last weekend, Mars Needs Moms lost nearly a third of its locations and saw business come crashing down by 58 percent to $2.3 million. Its total inched up to a paltry $19.2 million in 17 days.

This Timeframe in Past Years:
'Limitless' Leads Listless Lot

This Timeframe in Past Years:
2010 - 'Dragon' Takes Flight, 'Hot Tub' Gets Soaked
2009 -
'Monsters,' 'Haunting' Scare Up Big Business
2008 - '21' Scores
2007 - 'Blades' Takes Gold, 'Robinsons' Merits Silver
2006 - 'Inside Man' Takes the Bank
2006 - 'Ice Age 2' Hot, 'Basic Instinct 2' Not
2005 - 'Guess Who' Dines at Top Spot

Related Chart:
Weekend Box Office Results




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