SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Date’ and ‘Titans’ clash

Posted by · 12:05 pm · April 11th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Every studio but Fox is reporting that “Clash of the Titans” won the box office this weekend, but Rupert Murdoch and co. insist it was, in fact, “Date Night.” Final results won’t be unveiled until tomorrow, but for now, we have to take their word for it. And if Rupert Murdoch’s word isn’t valuable, I don’t know what is.

So, “Date Night” is number one with $27.1 million smackers. As I mentioned on Friday, that’s below the $29.9 million of “Mean Girls,” but better than the $18.4 million debut of “Baby Mama,” both of which also opened in April. Lesson here is that Lindsay Lohan circa 2004 or Steve Carell > Amy Poehler and Dax Shepherd. I don’t see how Fox can not be disappointed with this figure. There was no other new films opening, “Clash of the Titans” was always going to capsize, and “Obsessed” opened with $29.2 million last April. Raise your hand if you even remember “Obsessed?”

Reviewers weren’t great but it’s word of mouth that counts here and I’m not sure that was so great either. As an action/comedy hybrid, it doesn’t help that next week sees the release of an action film and a comedy so it could be a quick exit to DVD for “Date Night,” where couples won’t actually need to make one to see it.

“Clash of the Titans” dropped 56% to $26.9 million, but has already crossed $100 million and done what it needed to do overseas to become a success. All in all, that drop could have been worse and Sam Worthington is now officially the most famous person in the world that no one has heard of.

The only real success story out there is “How to Train Your Dragon,” which dropped a tiny 13% to $25.4 million and could even be a dark horse contender for number one when actual figures come in. I’ve heard from multiple people of all ages that this flick is great so there could be enough gas in the tank to get to $200 million. If I listened to people, I maybe would even add $10 myself, but I don’t. So I won’t.

Tyler Perry’s marriage may be so unsuccessful that he has to repeatedly make movies about it, but the movies themselves are doing just fine. Even a steep 62% drop can’t change the fact that his pockets are already fatter thanks to modest budgets and huge debuts. Same goes for Miley Cyrus, who is headlining “The Last Song” to a very respectable total.

“Letters to God” makes an appearance at the bottom of the chart, earning a not-so-heavenly $1.1 million. But the good news is that since the Bible says it’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get to Heaven, the investors of this film should have no worries about their afterlife destination.

Finally, watch out for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which is slowly expanding around the country and earning impressive numbers every single weekend. Also, watch out for any actual girls with dragon tattoos, because they are probably trouble and/or have no taste.

I finally started making up ground on missed titles this week, checking out “The Exploding Girl” and “A Prophet.” The former didn’t do much for me but the latter is pretty great. A couple of stylistic flourishes fell a little flat for me, but overall, it’s hard to argue with the power of the performances and the storytelling.

What did you guys see? Here are the weekend’s top domestic grossers, courtesy of Exhibitor Relations:

→ 13 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

13 responses so far

  • 1 4-11-2010 at 1:35 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    chad liked a popluar film!!!

    am I the only one who wasnt in love with how to train your dragon?

  • 2 4-11-2010 at 3:06 pm

    linaf said...

    Mean Girls opened with 24mil, not 29. I think this is a damn good number for Date Night, it made much more than Bounty Hunter, with Aniston and Butler, who are painted as big film stars (even if they arent)

  • 3 4-11-2010 at 3:11 pm

    Jim T said...

    Requiem, I’m with you.

    “*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.”

  • 4 4-11-2010 at 3:55 pm

    Al said...

    The handling of Titans’ 3D really diminished how I feel about WB. Fellman struck me as someone who cared about directors visions, but his unrelenting push for 3D means my new favorite studio is Paramount, just like the good ol’ days.

  • 5 4-11-2010 at 4:31 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Al, if you think any studio head cares even the tiniest bit about director’s vision at the expense of bottom line, then I’ve got some seaside property in Kansas I’d like to sell you.

  • 6 4-11-2010 at 4:48 pm

    Al said...

    Obviously studio heads are all about the money, its just that WB didnt seem nearly as cut throat about it in the past few years as it does now.

  • 7 4-11-2010 at 6:14 pm

    JJ said...

    Very happy for ‘Date Night’. Very.

    I think ‘Clash’ actually had a pretty decent hold (56% drop). At least it’s not 70% or more, like we’ve seen many times before with poorly reviewed big-budget spectacles. And I didn’t think this re-make was half bad, either. Just nothing spectacular.

    Also ecstatic for ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and it’s amazing holds – my 3rd fave film of the year behind ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Ghost Writer’.

  • 8 4-11-2010 at 6:55 pm

    tony rock said...

    Date Night did fine. It’s a comedy in April, so 27 mil is nothing to scoff at.

    @Al…blame Watchmen’s disappointing run last spring. WB gave Snyder carte blanche and because of the source material’s decidedly “different” content, mainstream audiences and therefore box office was mixed. So it seems now they’re slowly becoming like Fox. First they force a PG-13 rating on Terminator Salvation (not that it would’ve helped, but still…), and now forcing 3D and substantial story cuts on Clash of the Titans.

  • 9 4-11-2010 at 7:03 pm

    Richard said...

    The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo was awesome. It’s a great thriller. Best one of the year so far.

  • 10 4-11-2010 at 7:11 pm

    Will said...

    I’d go to the theatre again to see How to Train Your Dragon over Clash of the Titans

  • 11 4-11-2010 at 8:38 pm

    Kelly Garrett said...

    Really enjoyed City Island and Mid-August-Lunch.

  • 12 4-12-2010 at 4:46 am

    Glenn said...

    The studio bosses behind “Date Night” are probably partying like it’s 1987, which is exactly when that movie should have been made with Bruce Willis and Shelley Long. It’s a good number after people overinflated the tv audiences of “30 Rock” and “The Office”.

    Chad, trust me – anyone who has actually SEEN “Obsessed” cannot forget it. Never can, never will. It will live in infamy.

  • 13 4-12-2010 at 5:15 pm

    JJ said...

    So Clash beat Date Night anyway. Interesting.