“The Final Destination” saw a franchise best opening this weekend, earning $28.3 million from 3,121 theatres – 1,678 of those in 3D. The fourth installment in the teen scream series rode the not-yet tiresome 3D phenom to a first place win over both of The Weinstein Co.’s weekend entries – Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” sequel and Quentin Tarantino’s still dangerous “Inglourious Basterds”. Meanwhile, Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” went wide-ish this weekend, coming in at number nine with $3.7 million after moving from just two theatres on Wednesday to 1,393 by Friday.
|1||The Final Destination||$28,335,000||$28,335,000|
|6||Julie & Julia||$7,400,000||$70,992,000|
|7||Time Traveler’s Wife||$6,745,000||$48,193,000|
Moving away from the numerical titles “Final Destination 2” and “Final Destination 3”, the fourth entrant in the “Final Destination” series seemed to offer some finality by going with the moniker “THE Final Destination”. But don’t think that the studio isn’t conjuring up more ways to cheat death after this weekend’s surprise windfall.
Nine years (yes, it’s been that long) after the first “Destination” brought in $53 million against a $23 million budget, the horror franchise has managed to stay profitable by keeping both their costs and their grosses fairly consistent. Add that to the fact that the films are just as popular with foreign audiences and I can’t imagine a scenario in which the studio would NOT want to put a fifth sequel into production. Of course by then they may not be able to count on the added income that 3D tickets bring in – but with a now re-energized fan base behind them I’m sure that’s a risk they’ll be willing to take.
Rob Zombie was poised to take this weekend with the sequel to his own “Halloween” until the doomed teens of “Destination” muscled in on his release date. Two years after Zombie rebooted the “Halloween” franchise and pocketed $58 million for the Weinstein Co, “Halloween 2” had both the tiny budget ($15 million) and the brand recognition to take it all the way. But don’t believe that The Weinsteins aren’t pretty pleased with themselves nonetheless. Though Michael Myers could only manage a third place finish, “Halloween 2” cost half as much as “The Final Destination” putting the film well on its way to profitability after only three days in release.
And then there’s the fact that “Inglourious Basterds” is at number two…
Defying those predictions that a return to college campuses would cripple Quentin Tarantino’s latest, “Inglourious Basterds” had a better than expected second weekend. The film added another $20 million to its total after falling only 47%. It also followed this summer’s trend of strong weekday numbers (thank you unemployment rate!) averaging just under $4 million from Monday through Thursday.
“Basterds” is also faring well overseas. The film’s foreign take now stands at just over $59 million for a combined worldwide total of $132.9 million – meaning that the film, priced at $70 million, will be entering the realm of pure profit soon enough.
Although most schools are already in session, next week’s Labor Day weekend is the traditional end of summer for the box office. The front runner for the four day weekend is Gerard Butler’s “Gamer” though – after the big grosses for “The Hangover” and “The Proposal” earlier this season – I can no longer count out the earning potential of the Bradley Cooper/Sandra Bullock comedy “All About Steve”… I wish that was a joke.