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Weekend Box-Office: September 16-18, 2011

09.18.2011

Hakuna Matata, bitches!

The original release of THE LION KING back in 1994, broke all sorts of records (it was actually the highest worldwide grossing movie of that year, beating out FORREST GUMP) and the most recent 3D re-release of the film got right back on that horse, topping the charts at #1 this weekend with close to $30M in box-office receipts. The 1994 release opened with $41M at that time. Domestically, it still remains the 3rd-highest grossing animated film of all-time ($357M) behind SHREK 2 ($441M) and TOY STORY 3 ($415M).

That said, the original film was released in June of 1994 and stuck around in the top 10 for the rest of the year (26 weeks in all), maintaining its presence until Christmas time. Nobody believes this re-release will do as well, but the big gross certainly surprised a lot of people this weekend, especially the folks at Disney who had anticipated a $10-12M opening. It's to note that even though there were 2D versions of the film released this past weekend, 92% of the people who saw the film went to check it out in 3D.

Last week's #1 movie, CONTAGION, dropped to 2nd place this weekend, but didn't lose much of its audience from last weekend (only 35%). The film has grossed $44M in the first 10 days of its release. The other 3 new releases didn't fare as well, with Ryan Gosling's extremely well-reviewed DRIVE opening with the most dollars in 3rd place and $11M. The film is rated at 92% positive on Rotten Tomatoes and has an average rating of 9.6/10 (!!!) on the MFC after 8 reviews. Sounds like people like it... :)

The other 2 new releases didn't do much with STRAW DOGS opening in 5th place with only $5M, while Sarah Jessica Parker and her gang of friends managed only a 6th place opening with I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. The 4 films to get knocked out of the top 10 in order to make room for the latest releases included SHARK NIGHT 3D ($17M), SPY KIDS 4 ($36M), OUR IDIOT BROTHER ($24M) and APOLLO 18 ($24M).

Next week sees the release of a ton of new films including limited releases of the Gerard Butler-starring MACHINE GUN PREACHER and the Chris Evans-starring PUNCTURE. The tweens also get to check out Taylor Lautner in something other than the TWILIGHT films as he stars in the thriller ABDUCTION, while adults get to check out Brad Pitt, co-starring with the pre-thin Jonah Hill, in MONEYBALL.

There's also a true story about a dolphin with a prosthetic tail entitled DOLPHIN TALE (sigh), as well as our pick of the week entitled KILLER ELITE starring Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen. It's to note that our very own Chris Bumbray has already seen 3 of these films and here's where you can read his full reviews: MONEYBALL (8/10), MACHINE GUN PREACHER (6/10) and KILLER ELITE (8/10). So which film do you think will finish in the #1 spot next weekend? VOTE HERE!!!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Lion King $29.3 M
NEW
2. Contagion $14.5 M $44.2 M
3. Drive $11 M
NEW
4. The Help $6.4 M $147.4 M
5. Straw Dogs $5 M
NEW
6. I Don't Know How She Does It $4.5 M
NEW
7. The Debt $2.9 M $26.5 M
8. Warrior $2.8 M $9.9 M
9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes $2.6 M $171.6 M
10. Colombiana $2.3 M $33.3 M

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7:07PM on 09/19/2011
Good for Lion King. Love that movie. Hope it doesn't do too well, though. I'd like to see Shrek 2 stave off another one.
Good for Lion King. Love that movie. Hope it doesn't do too well, though. I'd like to see Shrek 2 stave off another one.
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12:24PM on 09/19/2011

believe Drive's hype

saw drive over the weekend and it was amazing, best of the year by far and easily my favorite in a long time. everyone should go see it and maybe we can have more of the like in the future
saw drive over the weekend and it was amazing, best of the year by far and easily my favorite in a long time. everyone should go see it and maybe we can have more of the like in the future
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11:31AM on 09/19/2011
Why are these badass guy movies (Warrior, Drive, Killer Elite) getting released right in the middle of football season?
Why are these badass guy movies (Warrior, Drive, Killer Elite) getting released right in the middle of football season?
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10:59AM on 09/19/2011
It's pretty pointless to even think Drive could stand up against The Lion King. It's also a very different movie than what most audiences are used to (I half-expected it to open at the art-house instead of in the multiplex, where audiences in my neck of the woods would just eat it up, alas, it went to the multiplex). Still, I'd argue it's maybe the best movie I've seen since "In Bruges," albeit, one of a very different nature. It lacked marquee names, too. But I think it'll find legs.
It's pretty pointless to even think Drive could stand up against The Lion King. It's also a very different movie than what most audiences are used to (I half-expected it to open at the art-house instead of in the multiplex, where audiences in my neck of the woods would just eat it up, alas, it went to the multiplex). Still, I'd argue it's maybe the best movie I've seen since "In Bruges," albeit, one of a very different nature. It lacked marquee names, too. But I think it'll find legs.
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+2
2:28AM on 09/19/2011
DRIVE and WARRIOR will succeed during awards time. They will both make tons of money on home video, too.
DRIVE and WARRIOR will succeed during awards time. They will both make tons of money on home video, too.
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1:29AM on 09/19/2011

All Hail The King

Rafiki just knocked all the other movies upside the head. "It doesn't matter, it's in the past."
"Asanta sana squash banana, wewe nugu mimi hapana."

Rafiki just knocked all the other movies upside the head. "It doesn't matter, it's in the past."
"Asanta sana squash banana, wewe nugu mimi hapana."

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1:15AM on 09/19/2011
No offense to The Lion King or anything, but I know for a fact that if I was a little kid right now I would much prefer to be watching Warrior instead.
No offense to The Lion King or anything, but I know for a fact that if I was a little kid right now I would much prefer to be watching Warrior instead.
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1:15AM on 09/19/2011
Damn though, Warrior can't catch a break.
Damn though, Warrior can't catch a break.
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1:12AM on 09/19/2011
$11 million for a hard-R arthouse gangster flick like Drive ain't bad at all, and its a flick that only cost $13 million to make, so it'll do just fine over the long game.

Hopefully Lion King's success will mean Ghostbusters and other re-releases get a wide showing. And thank the movie gods people are officially over Sarah Jessica Parker's bullshit movies.
$11 million for a hard-R arthouse gangster flick like Drive ain't bad at all, and its a flick that only cost $13 million to make, so it'll do just fine over the long game.

Hopefully Lion King's success will mean Ghostbusters and other re-releases get a wide showing. And thank the movie gods people are officially over Sarah Jessica Parker's bullshit movies.
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12:23AM on 09/19/2011

sad about Drive

but JUST BE HAPPY I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT TANKED
and to be honest i thought Drive wouldn't crack the top5
but JUST BE HAPPY I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT TANKED
and to be honest i thought Drive wouldn't crack the top5
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7:41PM on 09/18/2011

Solid Opening for Drive

Considering Drive was riding the TIFF buzz and didn't really have any marketing $11 Million is a respectable number...I wonder if it'll move up in the rankings next weekend as word spreads...
Considering Drive was riding the TIFF buzz and didn't really have any marketing $11 Million is a respectable number...I wonder if it'll move up in the rankings next weekend as word spreads...
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9:28PM on 09/18/2011
It is not riding on TIFF buzz, but rather it has been riding on Cannes buzz and every pre-release screening since.
It is not riding on TIFF buzz, but rather it has been riding on Cannes buzz and every pre-release screening since.
10:12PM on 09/18/2011
Oh my mistake, TIFF must have not had anything at all to do with it then. It's still riding a 4 month old buzz from Cannes...
Oh my mistake, TIFF must have not had anything at all to do with it then. It's still riding a 4 month old buzz from Cannes...
+10
7:29PM on 09/18/2011
One thing I'm glad about is that it's a re-release and not a remake.
One thing I'm glad about is that it's a re-release and not a remake.
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7:29PM on 09/18/2011
I'm glad to see a new generation enjoy the Lion King in the theater like I did, but in 3D. Theres always a catch these days.
I'm glad to see a new generation enjoy the Lion King in the theater like I did, but in 3D. Theres always a catch these days.
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6:59PM on 09/18/2011

Caaan You Feel The Greeeed Toonight?

Hollywood: "Hey, America, guess what?"
America: "I despise guessing games."
Hollywood: "I'm gonna bring back the unnecessary trend of converting past 2D animated films to 3D!"
America: "Oh, goody..."
Hollywood: "Yeah, My dad [i.e. studio execs] just showed me the whole conversion process. And I'm gonna do it to the whole Disney/DreamWorks catalogue. Heheh."
America: "Yes, well forgive me for not leaping for joy. *Bad* *Back*, you know." [flops on it's side]
Hollywood: "Hey America, when
Hollywood: "Hey, America, guess what?"
America: "I despise guessing games."
Hollywood: "I'm gonna bring back the unnecessary trend of converting past 2D animated films to 3D!"
America: "Oh, goody..."
Hollywood: "Yeah, My dad [i.e. studio execs] just showed me the whole conversion process. And I'm gonna do it to the whole Disney/DreamWorks catalogue. Heheh."
America: "Yes, well forgive me for not leaping for joy. *Bad* *Back*, you know." [flops on it's side]
Hollywood: "Hey America, when I "3-D'ify" everything, what'll that make you?"
America: "A monkey's uncle."
Hollywood: [laughs] "You're so weird."
America: "You have *Noooo* idea"

Don't get me wrong, TLK was an awesome movie, a huge part of my childhood, great to introduce to some of the "twixt'd tween" generation of today & seeing it in a big theater again was pretty 'effing cool. But I'm pretty damn sure that w/ the success of this weekend (much like every remake & reboot)..now everything *Animated* will get converted to 3D.
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6:53PM on 09/18/2011
Sometimes re-releases are a good thing. This is the case with "Lion King", it's an excellent Disney movie, and every young generation should be able to experience it on the big screen.
Sometimes re-releases are a good thing. This is the case with "Lion King", it's an excellent Disney movie, and every young generation should be able to experience it on the big screen.
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6:52PM on 09/18/2011

I'm torn

On the one hand The Lion King is a great movie so I'm glad to see it do well, but on the other hand I'm not really in favor of re-releasing films in 3D. I'll be buying the Lion King 2D blu-ray day one, however. All I know is warrior deserved to do much better, and I hope it finds an audience on dvd/blu-ray.
On the one hand The Lion King is a great movie so I'm glad to see it do well, but on the other hand I'm not really in favor of re-releasing films in 3D. I'll be buying the Lion King 2D blu-ray day one, however. All I know is warrior deserved to do much better, and I hope it finds an audience on dvd/blu-ray.
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6:50PM on 09/18/2011
It really sucks that on the second week of release, WARRIOR didn't even make 3 million. That movie was incredible. I really wanted it to succeed. Glad Lion King did well tho.
It really sucks that on the second week of release, WARRIOR didn't even make 3 million. That movie was incredible. I really wanted it to succeed. Glad Lion King did well tho.
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6:36PM on 09/18/2011

DRIVE should have ruled the weekend...

Good for THE LION KING though. Would have seen it in theatres but I didn't want my experience tainted with 3D gimmicks.
Good for THE LION KING though. Would have seen it in theatres but I didn't want my experience tainted with 3D gimmicks.
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6:36PM on 09/18/2011
Lion King is a great movie for children AND adults, so this is no surprise that it came in first this weekend. Plus, some of us in our twenties who saw and loved it as a kid probably went out and saw it again (hence nostalgia).

Glad to see Drive is doing well, but hopefully it makes more. It really does look like a great film. Also very excited to see Machine Gun Preacher (which I am hearing has a very Oscar worthy Gerard Butler in it) and Puncture.
Lion King is a great movie for children AND adults, so this is no surprise that it came in first this weekend. Plus, some of us in our twenties who saw and loved it as a kid probably went out and saw it again (hence nostalgia).

Glad to see Drive is doing well, but hopefully it makes more. It really does look like a great film. Also very excited to see Machine Gun Preacher (which I am hearing has a very Oscar worthy Gerard Butler in it) and Puncture.
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