Uh Oh: $100 million movie earns $7.6, $270 million movie earns $43.6

Senior Editor
12.20.10 5 Comments

This weekend saw the opening of two potential huge blockbusters, Disney’s Tron Legacy and, uh… Columbia’s How Do You Know, a Reese Witherspoon rom-com from James L. Brooks that somehow cost $100 million to make.  Disney doesn’t release budget figures (the only studio that doesn’t even though it’s publicly traded), but reports put Tron‘s production budget at $170 million, plus another $100 for marketing.  It opened with $43.6 million, which is either a catastrophe or a success, depending on who you talk to.  BoxOfficeMojo calls it “comparable to past December release The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008).”

That went on to gross $79m domestic and $233 million worldwide, which would still be a money loser for Tron.  For comparison, the Star Trek reboot (which was actually good) made $75.2 million in its opening weekend ($385 total), and Clash of the Titans (another 3D reboot that was worse than Tron) pulled in $61.2.  That eventually went on to make $493 million worldwide, since apparently foreigners care far more about Sam Worthington than we do.  You could spin it either way, but my guess is that Tron Legacy do well internationally and that Disney’s evil empire is in no danger of crumbling.

Tron (you can read my review here) at least looked expensive. How Do You Know looked, well, like Reese Witherspoon wore the same shirt the whole time, but somehow cost $120 mil before tax breaks.  I’ll begrudgingly admit that I liked James L. Brooks’ last two movies (Spanglish and As Good As It Gets) but How Do You Know got mostly bad reviews and was DOA with $7.6 million.  I blame the fact that almost every rom-com for the last five years has been mind-blowingly terrible, and this just looked like a traditional rom-com with an older cast.  Could this failure be good for getting less sh*tty rom-coms greenlit?  Doubtful.  It probably just means the ones that do get greenlit will be even more unimaginative, and more like He’s Just Not That Into You/Valentine’s Day, because studios will think of those as “safe bets.”  To you and me, they’ll remain “piles of sh*t” or “Al-Qaeda recruitment videos.”

Meanwhile, Yogi Bear earned $16.7 million, which was way less than Alvin and the Chipmunks, but more than Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.  Phew.  I know you were worried.

Film Weekend Per Total
1 Tron Legacy $43,600,000 $12,634 $43,600,000
2 Yogi Bear $16,705,000 $4,752 $16,705,000
3 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader $12,400,000 (-48.3%) $3,488 $42,764,000
4 The Fighter $12,200,000 $4,874 $12,634,000
5 The Tourist $8,700,000 (-47.2%) $3,157 $30,791,000
6 Tangled $8,676,000 (-39.5%) $2,710 $127,819,000
7 Black Swan $8,300,000 (+151.1%) $8,655 $15,708,000
8 How Do You Know $7,600,000 $3,061 $7,600,000
9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 $4,845,000 (-42.9%) $1,694 $265,546,000
10 Unstoppable $1,800,000 (-51.4%) $961 $77,343,000

[via BoxOfficeMojo]

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