Home > Movies > FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘District 9’ Takes Over The Competition

FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘District 9’ Takes Over The Competition

boxoffice8-16It was a weekend of big hits and big misses, with two high profile movies landing with a thud and one exceeding expectations. Neither the one-two punch of Jeremy Piven as a leading actor nor the used car salesman subject matter was enough to reel in audiences to see The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, which debuted in fifth place. The biggest flop of the weekend, though, was Bandslam. Looks like when you have a quirky comedy that gets great reviews and you choose to sell it as if it’s Hannah Montana 2, you may have a problem.

Disney’s disastrous marketing of the Vanessa Hudgens vehicle about a group of high school outcasts who form a band should serve as a cautionary tale. The studio’s miscalculation is perfectly illustrated by the fact that the title of the movie was changed from Will to the more bubblegum sounding Bandslam. Big mistake. Despite opening at 2,231 theaters, it only made $2.3 M, an amount low enough that it didn’t even crack the top ten.

On the other hand, the “Humans Only” viral campaign for District 9 is an example of a well executed marketing effort. The Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi thriller was tops at the box office, taking in over $37 M for first place. Second banana was G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which fell 59% from last weekend. It earned $22.34 M for a new cume of $98.5 M.

In third place, with $19.2 M, the Rachel McAdams/Erica Bana weepfest, The Time Traveler’s Wife, proved to be a popular alternative for audiences who wanted to avoid alien invasions and military takeovers. It’s McAdams’ best opening ever. This movie begs the question: How many times can Hollywood recycle the same time-traveling, love story premise? Producers seem to think that it’s golden.

I’ll call it the The Lake House Effect, in honor of the preposterous Sandra Bullock/Keneau Reeves summer hit from 2006. In fourth place was the unthreatening chick flick, Julie and Julia, which eked out another $12.4 M. It posted very strong numbers for its matinee showings, leading a studio exec to tell Nikki Finke that it’s

because its audience is so old they are in bed by 6 PM”.

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