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The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'Real Steel' Takes Number One, Looks More Like Imitation Scrap

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 9, 2011 5:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There are only a handful of stars in Hollywood, and Dreamworks gambled on Hugh Jackman being one of them for “Real Steel.” While the picture is hitting number one with a $27 million tally, it’s clear they may have erred. Dreamworks and Disney were very aggressive in marketing this robot boxing movie, but they made three huge mistakes.

Weekend Box Office: 'Dolphin Tale' Flips Over Another Batch Of Weak New Releases To Score #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 2, 2011 4:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Break it down however you want, but its simple economics. The last month has been absolutely saturated with product, so few of it appealing to mainstream America. These movies aren’t bad. And, in most cases, the marketing isn’t all that faulty. It’s pure numbers. The market can’t withstand this over-saturation. In September, eighteen films entered wide release of 1500 or more theaters, and only six crossed $30 million domestic, two of them benefiting from inflated 3D prices. That’s a poor record of success, even as we keep the bar exactly that low.

Weekend Box Office: 'Lion King' Beats Back 'Moneyball,' Boy Brawler 'Abduction' To Keep #1 Slot

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 25, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 8 Comments
"Hakuna Matata!" proclaims Disney, discovering what amounts to an entirely new revenue stream. “The Lion King 3D” has taken the crown decisively for the second straight weekend with $22 million, amidst some otherwise heavy fall competition that was a lot buzzier and, without a doubt, more expensive. The original plan was to play the film for two weeks, but after ten days, it’s been far and away the biggest movie attraction, and the film will be extending its stay at the multiplexes which could add nearly $40 million to the coffers.

Weekend Box Office: Families Complete The Circle Of Life, Pack Theaters For Movie They Own On DVD

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 18, 2011 3:49 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Right now, some jerk at Disney is finding a way to use the term “circle of life” to define how they can release “The Lion King” anytime, and it will always make money. A 3D re-issue of the film became the number one weekend attraction by a very wide margin with $29 million, a huge middle finger to those who claim audiences are looking for something “fresh” or “new.”

Weekend Box Office: 'Contagion' Infects Box Office In Year's Weakest Overall Frame

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 11, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 9 Comments
It looks like “Contagion” lived up to its name, landing at number one with $23 million and sapping the rest of the lineup of its health, creating one of the genuinely weakest weekends of the year. The Steven Soderbergh thriller, loaded with familiar faces, benefited from a savvy ad campaign and a few IMAX engagements to deliver what should count as a big opening by September standards.

Weekend Box Office: Three Straight Weeks At #1 For 'The Help'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 4, 2011 3:53 AM
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  • 3 Comments
There are all sorts of qualifiers to this summer becoming the most financially robust in box office history. Chief amongst them are both the inferior product, but also the illusion of 3D prices, which do an excellent job of covering up the consistently-dropping attendance numbers. In other words, money is money, inflated or otherwise, and not enough people balked at the enhanced prices, even though a number of 3D films loudly flopped this summer.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Help' Defeats Tepid Newcomers And Hurricane Season For Another Week At #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 28, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Usually, studios will look for any possible reason to blame the weather for a film’s poor box office showing. Heat waves only mean audiences will seek the air conditioning of a theater, at least when something exciting is playing. And people will withstand non-apocalyptic snowstorms simply to get away from the cold while enjoying the blockbuster of their choice. But there aren’t a whole lot of options when almost half of a movie’s proposed locations are under siege by a vicious hurricane. Many large chains didn’t even bother to stay open during Irene’s reign, meaning that these quiet end-of-August releases could find no traction heading into the typically-comatose Labor Day weekend.

Weekend Box Office: 'Apes' Dominates 'The Help'; One Franchise Reaches Its 'Final Destination'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 14, 2011 4:27 AM
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  • 3 Comments
All is forgiven between the public and the “Planet Of The Apes” franchise. This relationship seemed on the outs as soon as Tim Burton gave us Apebraham Lincoln a decade ago, but “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” has healed all wounds. While not keeping pace with that last Apeventure, 'Rise' has still taken only two weekends to cross $100 million at a much lower cost, a total no one at Fox was expecting. When the dust settles, this offering, which held well-enough to suggest strong word-of-mouth, will have outdistanced many of its genre companions from this summer, particularly those benefiting from the 3D price bump.

Weekend Box Office: 'Apes' Rise With Massive $54 Million, Audiences Rise Against Ryan Reynolds

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 7, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 12 Comments
“The Planet Of The Apes” saga is one of the healthier franchises in movie history. All the sequels occurred within a reasonable time frame, and while they were of varied quality, each one had their own separate reason to exist, and none were truly embarrassing. By comparison, the remake in 2001 was so far removed from the series’ original ethos that most won’t even acknowledge it as part of any continuity. Nevertheless, that atrocity opened to $68 million, which nears $100 million when adjusted for inflation. So while some may have been burned by the series thanks to Tim Burton, ten years might have been the appropriate time to reboot and still retain a base that remains aware of “The Planet of The Apes” as a sketchy form of “cinema history.”

Weekend Box Office: Bond & Indiana Jones Lasso 'The Smurfs' For First Place

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 31, 2011 5:05 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Update: Well, the tickets have been tallied and it's not quite the box office deadlock that was reported over the weekend. "Cowboys & Aliens" have emerged victorious squeaking out a 800K lead over "The Smurfs," taking in $36.4 million over the blue boys $35.6 million.

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