Steve’s Box Office Report: February 2011
Top 10 Films for the Month of February:
1. Just Go With It – $103,028,109
2. Gnomeo and Juliet – $99,967,670
3. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $73,013,910
4. Unknown – $63,686,397
5. I Am Number Four – $55,100,437
6. Hall Pass – $45,060,734
7. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son- $37,915,414
8. The Roommate – $37,300,000
9. Sanctum – $23,209,310
10. The Eagle – $19,490,041
1. Drive Angry – $10,721,033
February Winners: Just Go With It, Gnomeo and Juliet, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Unknown, and the Roommate
We continue on through 2011 as we hit the second month of the year and after January ended up being fairly weak, it was now up to February to try and turn things around for the box office. The slate of films was a good mix of films mostly geared towards families and younger audiences, so it was just a matter of if any of those films would break out and have a solid run. We did get a good amount of winners this month and the first one is the romantic comedy Just Go With It, a film about a plastic surgeon who has his secretary pose as his ex-wife to appease his new girlfriend. The film would receive negative reviews from critics though benefitted by coming out on Valentine’s Day weekend, and it would end up making over $100 million making it the first film of 2011 to do so though it clearly won’t be the last. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the animated film Gnomeo and Juliet, a retelling of the classic story Romeo and Juliet with gnomes as the characters. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and did extremely well by coming close to making $100 million which we will delve into further in the review. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, a behind the scenes look at the singer’s life and career leading up to his concert at Madison Square Garden. Looking to build off the previous successes of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, the film would receive mixed reviews from critics and made just over $73 million which was a fine number though slightly down from the previous two. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the thriller film Unknown, based off a novel of a professor who awakens from a coma and seeks to prove his true identity when another man claims to be him. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and would make just under $64 million which was a fine number despite not coming close to matching Taken from a few years ago. The last film from this month that makes it into this category is the horror film the Roommate, a film about a girl who becomes the obsession of her new roommate. The film would receive harsh reviews from critics who felt it was low rent even for a horror film though it would end up making $37 million which was a fine number for a PG-13 horror film. Just based on the successes of these films, February is already in a better position than what January was and it helped the year get back on track a little bit.
February Losers: Drive Angry
Unlike the previous month where there was only one winner and a few losers, this time there is only one loser while there were multiple winners for the month. While a few of the films did ok and some didn’t do too good, most of them did just enough to stay out of this category. However, there was one film that made it into this category and that is the fantasy action film Drive Angry, a film about a father who escapes from Hell and looks to avenge his daughter while protecting his granddaughter from the same people who killed his daughter. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it stuck to its formula too much and it would make just over $10 million which was yet another in a string of disappointments for Nicolas Cage. It is always helpful for a month to have only a few or no films in this category and with only one film in this category for the month, that is another good sign for the potential success of the month.
The Surprise/Story of February 2011: “Just Go With It” edges out gnomes to take top spot of February 2011
So going into the month of February, there were a couple of films aimed at a younger audience since we haven’t many family films come out this year if any at all. Adding to that is the fact that there was only one film from this month geared towards couples with the Valentine’s Day tie-in, and it seemed like one of those other films was going to sneak away with the top spot for the month. In the end, it became a race between Just Go With It and Gnomeo and Juliet as to who would take the top spot and Just Go With It barely edged out Gnomeo by cracking the $100 million mark while Gnomeo just missed it by a few thousand dollars. Once again, a romantic comedy managed to take the top spot for February though what was also shown was that family films could succeed in this month as well, and we will see what happens in the years to come.
Overachiever of February 2011: Gnomeo and Juliet
It is no secret that when it comes to Shakespeare’s plays, Romeo and Juliet is arguably the most recognized and most popular of them all as it is also probably the most adapted of all of his plays. So when it was announced that the play would not only be adapted into an animated film but also feature gnomes as the characters, there had to be some skepticism that it would stay somewhat faithful to the play while not coming off as corny. Given the fact that Disney was in charge of the film and they also gained the cooperation of music legend Elton John, there was a little bit of optimism that the film could potentially be a surprise hit and it was also coming out at a time where there had not been a new animated film since December. Ultimately, the film would do fairly well despite the mixed reviews and it just missed the $100 million mark while nearly stealing the top spot from Just Go With It, and it would end up spawning a sequel which seemed unthinkable when the film first came out. As a result of this, there is no question that this film is more than worthy of being named the overachiever of the month and it will be interesting to see where it ranks amongst the other overachievers of the year.
Underachiever of February 2011: I Am Number Four
As I mentioned earlier, there were a few films that were released this month that were geared towards younger audiences, mainly teenagers and right at the top of the list was the sci-fi film I Am Number Four, based on the novel of the same name of an alien living on Earth and he tries to avoid bounty hunters who are sent to kill him and nine others in a specific order. With the final Harry Potter film being released this year and Twilight also nearing its end as well, there was a need to try and fill the void with a new young adult franchise and this film was possibly seen as one that could start a new franchise. Unfortunately, the film would receive negative reviews from critics and only walked away with $55 million which had to be seen as a major disappointment to the point that a planned sequel was cancelled and another YA franchise was dead. As a result, there is no question that this film is hands down the only choice to be named the underachiever of the month and like the previous category, it will be interesting to see how this film stacks up amongst the other underachievers.
February 2011 Awards Watch: Just Go With it, Gnomeo and Juliet, Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son, Drive Angry
We now come to the month where the previous years’ films are honored in the big 3 award ceremonies while the films released this month are looking to next year. While we don’t have a lot of films from this month that make it into this category, we do have a few that do make it though it looks like one specific award has more representation. The first film that makes it into this category is Just Go With It which would win two Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Actor and Worst Director) while also being nominated for three more (Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst On-Screen Couple). The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Gnomeo and Juliet which would be nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Original Song) and it was a good nod for the film given that it didn’t get any more nods. The next film that makes it into this category is the comedy film Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son, the third film in the trilogy where an FBI agent goes back undercover as Big Momma along with his stepson and they look to find a killer at an all-girls school. The film would receive negative reviews from critics who considered it an unnecessary addition, and the film would be nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Supporting Actor) though it wouldn’t win any of them. The last film from this month that makes it into this category is Drive Angry which would be nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Actor and Worst On-Screen Couple) though it wouldn’t win either of them. I had mentioned earlier how unique it is when one award dominates a month with the Golden Raspberry being the one to dominate this month, and we will see going forward what happens in the months to come.
Overall Thoughts of February 2011:
Overall, the month of February ended up being a fairly decent year that was better than January, but it was nothing to really be excited about since it only did fairly better than the previous month. February is an interesting month in that it could either be pretty tepid or surprising well if one or more films end up having a great run, and this month seems to trend in the middle in that there were a few films that did well but there wasn’t enough to push it to the next level. We did have the first film of the year cross $100 million come from this month and that is always a plus for the month, and as mentioned a few films did well though the rest did drag it down a bit. 2011 is in an interesting place as the year started fairly poorly with January and while this month helped pick things up a bit, it does feel like it is still dragging a bit and now we look to March to try and keep things on the right path. As for the month of February 2011, it is a fairly decent month that is better than the previous month though it will probably be one of the weaker months of the year.
Final Grade: C-