Saturday, February 12, 2011

February's Box Office Derby -- 11th-13th Edition

Now with delectable Add On.

It appears the the lawn gnomes have finished in the "Show" position for Friday.

1. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D (Paramount) NEW [3,105 Theaters] Friday $12.5M, Estimated Weekend $28M

2. Just Go With It (Sony Pictures) NEW [3,548 Theaters] Friday $10M, Estimated Weekend $30M

3. Gnomeo and Juliet (Disney) NEW [2,994 Theaters] Friday $5.8M, Estimated Weekend $22M

4. Eagle (Focus Features) NEW [2,296 Theaters] Friday $3M, Estimated Weekend $8.5M

5. The Roommate (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 2 [2,534 Theaters] Friday $2.4M (-62%), Estimated Weekend $7.5M, Estimated Cume $25.2M ...

Gnomeo and Juliet, of course, has had a long and checkered history. In development at Disney Feature Animation during the David Stainton regime, then out of development after Lasseter came in and took a look at it ("Why are we making this?"), the feature ended up at Miramax before finally landing a berth on Diz Co.'s Touchstone slate. The picture's had a mixed critical reception, but we'll see how it performs over the next few weeks.

Add On: Preliminary results for the weekend finals are in, and whattayaknow? The garden gnomes were surprisingly effective:

Disney's 3D family entry Gnomeo & Juliet did strong business in debuting to an estimated $25.5 million from 2,994 locations, scoring the best February opening for an animated pic (not a primetime month for toons). Rivals credit a strong marketing campaign for the film's success, as well as great reviews. Film came in No. 3.

I think what we're seeing here is the continuing power of c.g. animated features. There have been at least Six strong openings for animation in the past eleven months. Phenomenal.


Anonymous said...

A $22 million domestic opening is not bad at all for this film. I'm sure it wasn't a cheap movie to make, but it sure didn't cost what a Pixar/Disney/DreamWorks movie costs, and it's got a chance to end up in the black when all is said and done.

Anonymous said...

Could anybody shed some light on this movie's history in some more detail?

The very thought of John Lasseter saying "Why are we making this" is hysterical. I work at a movie theatre and going in and out of this movie is like walking in and out of an eccentric Kindergarten teacher's English lesson.

I want details on this silliness. From the inside!

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the project started when Elton John approached Michael Eisner and proposed the broad outlines of the film, and that Eisner was excited about doing a movie with Sir John's music.

Anonymous said...

Pitched by Elton John and his partner years ago at Disney--who were in business with them since The Lion King. Scrapped at Disney Feature Animation, the project went back to Elton John and his partner who funded the film themselves, with a distribution deal from Disney.

It's an average movie, with lots of inappropriate humor for it's target audience--families. I didn't like it much--but saw it for free.

Blake Ostrowski said...

The film is the result of Elton John's homosexual agenda to feminize our children and plant their sodomous tentacles into unsuspecting families.

It may be "Romeo and Juliet" on the surface, but the Juliet looks very boyish, and the Romeo is limpwristed. How many average moviegoers are aware that the makers of this movie are lecherous queens?

Anonymous said...

*rolls eyes*

Steve Hulett said...

The film is the result of Elton John's homosexual agenda ... It may be "Romeo and Juliet" on the surface, but the Juliet looks very boyish, and the Romeo is limpwristed.

Oh. My. Gawd.

We're all going to catch teh gay.

Steve Hulett said...

I want details ...

Not much to detail. It had been put into development because of the Elton John connection/deal. Stainton departed. Lasseter entered.

And took a look at the boards and development work, and liked it not. A staffer told me shortly after that John had asked a group of Disney artists: "Why are we making this?"

The response (I'm told) was blank silence. And Mr. Lasseter then said: "Well, we're not making it."

Sir Elton was on Regis and Kelly a few days ago promoting the film and said that "Gnomeo and Juliet" had moved from WDAS when "there was a change at the top." (Alluding to the above.)

Anonymous said...

Its development predates the Stainton era. Folks were working on Gnomeo way back in the TSL days at Northside. That's the Schumacher era.

Anonymous said...

**The film is the result of Elton John's homosexual agenda to feminize our children and plant their sodomous tentacles into unsuspecting families.**

Hey, the guy might have a point. Is there anything gayer than lawn gnomes?

Or pink flamingos?

Anonymous said...

"Hey, the guy might have a point. Is there anything gayer than lawn gnomes?

Or pink flamingos?"

I always thought Gays had better taste than that and those belong to White Trailer Trash....

Anonymous said...

Schumacher, Eisner, Stainton and Elton John ?


I'll pass on this one. Didn't care for the suggestive humor in the trailer either.

Anonymous said...

So who, exactly then, animated Gnomeo?

Anonymous said...

starz in canada finished it out after disney dropped it in Burbank.

Anonymous said...

"Schumacher, Eisner, Stainton and Elton John ? "

What are you suggesting? That only Jews and Gays could make this crappy of a film? Are you Homophobic and Anti-semitic? Or is it that they're all middle aged white men and I missed your meaning and you're just anti-white-middle-aged men?

Anonymous said...

Steve, so Lasseter didnt like what he saw and canceled it from being produced at Disney ?

Wonder if they had spent so much already while it was at disneys that even with Elton funding, disney had to stay attached.

Anonymous said...

This film was LOTS better than that awful kiddie film astroboy.

And in one weekend, this film has made more domestically than astroboy did in it's entire run! No doubt it'll do better worldwide, too.

Anonymous said...

the history as i known it:

2002 ,Gnomeo and Juliet, a concept bought by Elton John's new film company Rocket Pictures, started with Elton pitching it to Dick Cook, whom was just chosen by Michael Eisner to replace Peter Schneider as chairman at Disney. the project is quickly green lighted. after all ,Elton helped them make the Circle of Cash that is Lion King.

2004, the concept for Gnomeo and Juliet is shallow, had a bad script and crude jokes. At Disney ,the project was like a leper no one wanted to be seen with. time passes and nobody believed in gnomes or wouldn't want to get caught believing in them.
2005 ,just before Michael Eisner pass the Disney throne to his former assistant Bob Iger, he had a last wish granted: let go Weisteins bros. from Miramax because of past dodgy financial bu(lly)siness deals. still the gnomes were alive at Disney, only moving when not been watched.

2006, Iger buys Pixar and new-kid John Lasseter rules Disney animation. Lasseter didn't like the concept or the crude jokes and dumped Gnomeo and Juliet in the trash like discarded toys.
2007, Elton get Dick Cook to move the project away from Lasseter's playground and offer it to now Weisteins-free Miramax. he basically married the dead-project to the doomed-company( to quote the movie).

2008, Away from Californa, pre-production restart from scratch in London. with a new director, crew and top brit voices. the production lands at Starz in Toronto. the garden was set.
2009 With Gnomeo and Juliet on the way ,Miramax finally succumbs with the lack of financial success post-Weisteins-movies at the worst time. Dick Cook ,the gnome guardian, is leaving Disney. the film continues production but faces distribution limbo and no one can save from its tragic fate.

2010, Rich Hanna-Montana Ross is chosen to replace Dick Cook while MIramax dies leaving the little gnomes orphan of distribution. Ross watch the gnomes unfinished reels and like what he sees. Learning about Lasseter unlove history to the project, he decides to finish and release it under Disney's Touchstone label. so Touchstone distributes Gnomeo and Juliet happily ever after.

history aside:

seen Gnomeo and Juliet yesterday, i was pleasantly surprised.
kudos to whoever was part of the last phase of the project. it's a well done little film and a huge improvement from what i've seen many many years's almost a miracle to see that not-so-good concept turned into this little charming and very entertaining family film.
i highly recommend to everyone.


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