This Week at the Box Office: ‘Dolphin Tale’ is #1!

Posted on October 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I’m delighted that Dolphin Tale topped the box office this week with a healthy $14.2 million, very impressive for its second week of release.  It shows that the movie has strong word of mouth — people who have seen it are encouraging their friends to take their families.  And with The Lion King holding on to third place, the message should be clear that ticket-buyers want family films.  In between at second place is the excellent Moneyball.  But it is unusual that none of this week’s releases made it into the top three.  What’s Your Number deservedly tanked.  I hope that 50/50 finds its audience.  And it was very encouraging to see such a good response to the Christian film “Courageous.”  Not only did it outperform the projected sales in limited release, but the audience reaction was very enthusiastic.  According to the LA Times,

Audiences who saw the movie loved it, giving it an average grade of A+, according to market research firm CinemaScore. “Courageous” is only the fourth movie this year to earn a perfect grade, joining “The Help” and two other movies that resonated faith-based audiences, “Soul Surfer” and “Dolphin Tale.” It was an older crowd that went to see “Courageous” this weekend, with 77% of the audience over 25.

The movie got off to an even better start than “Fireproof,” the Kendricks’ 2008 film featuring “Growing Pains” star Kirk Cameron as a firefighter struggling to keep his marriage together. That movie, also inexpensive to produce, opened to $6.8 million and ultimately collected $33.5 million worldwide.

The movie was not screened for critics, but I hope to review it very soon.

Related Tags:

 

This Week at the Box Office

‘The Lion King’ Roars at the Box Office — Again

Posted on September 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm

The Lion King, a 3D conversion of a 1994 Disney animated film that has been available on DVD and on video, cable, and broadcast television before that has stunned box-office predictors by out-grossing Brad Pitt’s very high profile baseball movie in its second week back in theaters.  It is tough for a family movie to beat a PG-13 because children’s tickets cost less and they don’t sell many seats to late-night and weekday showings.  “Lion King” makes up the difference with the premium for 3D  glasses, but still, even “Moneyball’s” Billy Beane could not have come up with a computer formula to predict that a 17-year-old film could make “Moneyball,” like the Oakland A’s, an underdog.

I have my own theory about this.  I don’t think it’s because of the 3D conversion.  In the old days before videos, Disney re-released its classic animated films every seven years or so because they knew there was a new generation of children who had not seen them.  The children of today may have seen “The Lion King” dozens of times on DVD but they have not seen in on a big screen with no distractions.  And they have not seen it as an event, a family outing with everyone sitting in the dark enjoying it at the same time.  That’s a dimension that goes way beyond anything you can do with fancy glasses.

1. The Lion King 3D — $22.1 million
2. Moneyball — $20.6 million
3. Dolphin Tale — $20.3 million
4. Abduction — $11.2 million
5. Killer Elite — $9.5 million

Related Tags:

 

Commentary This Week at the Box Office
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2021, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik