The race to the top of the box office was a close one this weekend with the top three films making less than $20 million each. Things weren’t as kick-ass as anticipated for Lionsgate’s Kick-Ass, which drew only $19.8 million in its opening weekend. How to Train Your Dragon rocketed jumped from third to second, making $19.6 million this weekend. And the Tina Fey/Steve Carrell rom-com, Date Night, had a slight drop in ticket sales but remained strong and in third place with $16.7 million. For the full list of box office totals, click here.
Now, I have a theory about why Dragon and Date Night did so well comparatively to Kick-Ass. I think that teens who wanted to see the hyper-violent R-rated superhero flick bought tickets to How to Train Your Dragon or Date Night and then they sneaked into the Kick-Ass theater. Unheard of, you say?
This was a similar theory bandied about by Trey Parker and Matt Stone when South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was released in 1999 around the same time as Wild, Wild West. The PG-13 Wild, Wild West, which was panned by almost every critic, did rather well at the box office ($222 million worldwide).
The R-rated South Park, on the other hand, made only $83 million worldwide. Stone and Parker theorized that kids were buying tickets to West, but sneaking into South Park. Again, just their casual theory, but how far off could they be?
Perhaps a similar situation took place this weekend. Kick-Ass had more audience than ticket sales and the other two films had more ticket sales than audience. Again, just a theory, but I think it has some merit. What do you think?
Not surprising was the fourth place opening of the remake of Death at a Funeral, which had a $16.2 million. Again, could these ticket sales be for those who then snuck into Kick-Ass? You make the call!
If this is the case it will be hard for Kick-Ass to reach $100 million with ease in the states, but it will surely have a much more profitable time on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Download.
The next big film to hit theaters will be Iron Man 2 on May 7, which will more than likely blow away the competition for the first few weeks of its release. Next week look for The Losers and The Back-Up Plan starring Jennifer Lopez. How will these Springtime flicks fare? Leave a comment and let us know your box office predictions.