Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: September 18th, 2011

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 20th, 2011 at 3:51 am,

lion king rules the box office Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: September 18th, 2011

‘Hakuna Matata’ for Disney as the studio is crowned box office king over the weekend. The re-release of the seventeen year-old The Lion King grossed $30.1  million, a great figure for a film that has long been available on video and DVD.

Of course the number was helped with the higher 3D ticket price, but this is a major coup for Disney and it shows that people are willing to pay good money for 3D conversions of older movies – something that will please James Cameron and George Lucas, who have Titanic and Star Wars on the way. The Lion King has already grossed an impressive $797 million since it was first released in 1994, and an international rollout should see the animated film cross the billion dollar mark around the globe – a number that Disney is now used to following Toy Story 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Alice In Wonderland.

Elsewhere, the box office numbers weren’t so impressive. Steven Soderbergh’s all-star Contagion should take the runner-up spot and score in the region of $14.5 million, giving the film a total gross of $44 million. While the number is far from a disaster (especially considering its $60 million production cost), I’m sure that Warner Bros. was hoping for something higher considering the star-wattage (Matt Damon​, Kate Winslet​, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law​, Laurence Fishburne​ and Marion Cotillard​) involved. However, this cast does mean that Contagion has the potential to score in the overseas market.

The awesomely reviewed Drive (read our review) was third. The Ryan Gosling thriller should end the weekend with $11.3 million. Not a bad number considering the R-rating and when you take into account that it’s not exactly The Fast and the Furious. While Gosling may not be on the A-list yet, he is accumulating a solid fanbase due to a varied filmography filled with strong roles. This summer the comedy  Crazy, Stupid, Love gave the actor his biggest hit since 2004’s The Notebook, and while Drive may not top that film’s $80 million gross, it should do respectable numbers considering its low-ish budget. Gosling will next be seen in George Clooney’s Oscar-tipped The Ides of March. Not a bad year.

drive opens at two Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: September 18th, 2011

The Help is inching closer to $150 million domestic after grossing $6.5 million. That’s a great number for a film that cost only $25 million to produce. However, it remains to be seen how that film will play around the world, or if it will sink into the public consciousness.

Rod Lurie’s remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs failed to find an audience over the weekend. The film should greet Monday morning with $5.1 million in the bank. While the original film in 1971 may have been shocking, this time around it was a tired revenge concept for the average moviegoer. Negative reviews (read ours) didn’t help (most highlighting the pointlessness of remaking the classic original) – and box office numbers were certainly hurt by the fact that James Marsden and Kate Bosworth are hardly household names. Expect this one to appear in a bargain bin near you soon.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s latest insight into the female psyche, I Don’t Know How She Does It had a lackluster debut with $4.4 million, a number which is about $1.5 million less than Parker’s last non-Carrie Bradshaw flick 2009’s Did You Hear About the Morgans? That film went on to gross an unspectacular $29 million, even with the added bonus of Hugh Grant. This latest film suffered from a generic premise and poor reviews, and its target audience must have thought that it had been there, and done that, with Parker before and decided to wait for the DVD. What angers me about the whole thing is Pierce Brosnan’s lack of billing in the whole affair. Maybe, it’s for the best, but still the man was James Bond and the least he deserves his name above the title.

Sam Worthington’s The Debt banked another $2.9 million, for a $26.5 million total. The film has already covered its $20 million budget and should turn a profit. However, the real question is: does Worthington have box office appeal when he’s not blue, battling robots or clashing with titans?

Warrior failed to find its audience, and should become a cult-hit on DVD. The Tom Hardy film could punch-up around $2.8 million over weekend for a total gross of just over $10 million.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Colombiana rounded out the top. Apes has now brought in over $171 million after grossing another $2.6 million. The well reviewed franchise restarter is now closing in on $400 million worldwide. Meanwhile, the Luc Besson produced film scored $2.3 million this weekend. The action film has now shot up over $33 million domestically and about $50 million around the globe.

That’s it for now. See you at the movies.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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  1. Lion king

  2. The Star Wars Blu-Ray has a TWO star rating on Amazon.com. Major fail for Lucas.

    • While I’m one of the people who have negatively reviewed the blu-ray set, I bet Lucas barely even cares since there’s still too many people who have bought it. But I am glad that at least some people cancelled their pre-orders.

  3. I was so tempted to buy those Star Wars Blurays but the more I read about them the more I kept thinking about what a huge slap in the face Lucas is giving the fans with that weak sauce release. Count me out!

    • Good call. People need to stop enabling Lucas.

      I don’t know why people give him a pass. Some of the most inane, illogical and juvenile arguments come from his rabid defenders.

      I honestly wouldn’t pay 5 bucks for those blu-rays. I’ve given Lucas enough of my money over time. He’s madly obsessed. Why doesn’t he channel all that energy into some new movies? He’s producing that Red Tails movie. Why doesn’t he pursue that path more than constantly tinkering obsessively with movies that don’t need to be changed. Is there some legal reason why he’s doing this?

      And is it really that hard for him to include a set of the original, unaltered trilogy remastered?

      • Because Lucas is greedy. If people continue buying these fake Blu-rays then he will keep redoing Star Wars until it turns into Space Balls. Lucas doesn’t make movies anymore, he just resells his old ones (Star Wars) with minor alterations.

  4. RE: Lion King

    Great. Now we won’t even get reboots or remakes they’ll just plop the old freakin’ movies back in the theater. ANd I love Lion King … but C’mon.

    • That’s so true INK. It’s inevitable now that we’re going to have to endure Titanic 3D, Incredibles 3D, Terminator 3D, heck we’ll even probably get Smokey and the Bandit remade in 3D now…

      • You know I like the Lion King but that would be absolutely terrible if that happened.

    • I’m thinking the exact same thing INK…

      The film industry is now officially BACKWARDS :(

      I also like the Lion King though (I grew up with the movie, and it really has a special place in my heart) – I’m guessing that’s one of the reasons why they re-released it (besides the money): now younger kids have the opportunity to experience the movie.

  5. I wonder if after the sucess of The Lion King 3D Disney will re-thing on cancelling those plans on re-releasinf Beauty & the Beast 3D.

    And I’m curious, who saw Lion King in 3D? I attended a 2D screening but I would like to know how the 3D was in that movie.

    • PS I doubt an international rollout will make this movie cross the billion dollar mark. Its been playing on foreign markets for the last 2 months and has only made $12 million.

      • I didnt see it but I found out while seeing Drive that Lion King sold out for the 3d showings and on friday they started out with 3 2-d showings of Lion king and by Saturday switch them over to all 3-D showings.

  6. I saw THE LION KING 3D today it was AMAZING I felt like I was watching it for the first time and the 3D is really good! I think everyone should go see it if they can. Its worth every penny!

  7. How is Gosling not an A list actor. Dude has a movie with Clooney. Dude just starred in a movie with Kevin Bacon, and Steve Carrell. Now he has a movie with Sean Penn. That screams A list to me. Plus he was one of the first people approached to play Green Lantern.

    • His solo films aren’t as sucessful (Lars and the Real Girl, Half Nelson, Blue Valentine) as when he’s part of an ensemble (Crazy Stupid Love), despite critical acclaim.

  8. wow, ANOTHER rather poor turn out at the box office. I admit I only started
    following the ebb and flow about 6-8 months ago but people just don’t seem interested in the current crop at the theaters.

    Really makes you stop and think about the movies this summer that DID have a great opening weekend. Some said that Capt. America wasn’t all that successful but based on how poorly the box office has been doing lately, ANY movie that can pull in 65+ million on release shows people really wanted to see it.

    • But then the next weekend and the weekend after it had poor showings. Shouldn’t a sucessful box office run be based on how much legs it has instead of having a front loaded opening weekend?

  9. I don’t think lion kings high box office had to do with people wanting to see it in 3D. For me at lest it was more fueled by my desire to see it on the big screen once again. The 3D part just butt raped me an extra $3 to get the luxury and was something I HAD to deal with.

  10. Lion king!!!

  11. Still to this day, Lion King is in my opinion one of the greatest movies of all time; it can never be improved upon. Anyone can watch it, and I’ve never met someone who hated it. Now if Disney could just recapture that 90’s renaissance magic and do it all over again for the kids of those kids from the 90’s now and make new movies, then maybe there’d be a reason to go to the movies again.

  12. Re: Lion King

    While I understand everyone’s concern that Hollywood will start to simply re-release old movies in 3D to make money, I actually like the idea of some of the older drawn animation movies being re-released. But I also hope that Hollywood does this in addition to making new movies with new ideas, not in place of it…

    Re: Overall Box Office

    I’m disappointed that stupid movies like “I Don’t Know How She Does It” and “Straw Dogs” are ahead of Warrior. And I don’t know a single person who is interested in seeing “The Help” so I don’t understand how that is still up there… I do want to see Drive and The Debt though…

  13. Seriosly how is warrior not making any money? It’s by far one of the best movies to come out in the past few months! I don’t get it… Smh

  14. I agree that Lion King is one of the most classic animated movies of all time, a $29 million take is still rather high for a movie released 17 years ago. It just widens further the pandora’s box of 3D, and it’s concern for what we will see in the future of cinema, once every classic film has been remade or rebooted. No doubt the Star Wars re-issues will generate high grosses whatever people’s feelings towards Lucas.

    No real surprises on Contagion’s modest performance. Matt Damon cannot successfully headline a movie outside of Bourne (e.g Green Zone, Hereafter, Adjustment Bureau) Winslet is bigger in television that she is on the big screen.

    Is Worthington a bankable box office movie star? Not at all. He’s never been one. Avatar, Terminator Salvation, & Clash Of the Titans were all effects driven movies for which he was simply a part of, not the main attraction. All 3 could’ve had a similarly unknown actor and still would’ve made money.

    It’s amazing how many movies Sarah Jessica Parker gets offered, especially since all of them continually flop at the box office. Katherine Heigl gets a lot of hate, but her films are way more successful than Parker’s. Plus she’s way more attractive.

  15. Apperently almost all of the ticket sales of the lion king came from 3d sales. There saying 3d contributed 92% to all ticket sales for this first weekend. People totally turned their backs on the 2d showings.