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In a colossal debut, '80s remake The Karate Kid roughed the box office into submission debuting to $55.7 million over three days besting even the most bullish predictions.
Sporting a beefy $15,197 per theater average, the tale of a bullied twelve-year-old American in China who learns Kung Fu from an old master, may have followed a time-tested plot but struck a chord both with young audiences and nostalgic adults.
The Karate Kid stars both new and old stars of Hollywood, with Jaden Smith (son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith) in the role made famous by Ralph Macchio in 1984 and Jackie Chan in the role of mentor. The gross becomes even more impressive when considering a running length of 140 minutes meaning that fewer screenings can be shown every day.
Budgeted at only $40 million, “Kid” once again shows that big budget is not the be-all-end-all approach to summer filmmaking. When looking over this year’s blockbuster season, movie after movie with a budget of over $100 million, six in a row in fact, have either underperformed or flat-out flopped. With the exception of Iron Man 2 which merely fell short of overly optimistic projections, the last big-budget films to see genuine domestic success were Clash of the Titans and How to Train Your Dragon.
The A-Team was more “B-Team” with a so-so $25.7 second place debut and $7,262 average. Packed with effects and starring Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson and Sharlto Copley, all coming off 2009 hits with The Hangover, Taken and District 9 respectively, the soft launch is somewhat of a surprise. Reviews were even uncommonly positive for a film of this ilk.
After three weeks at number one, Shrek Forever After understandably fell to third with a respectable decline of 38 percent bringing it’s total to $210 million. After a disappointing debut in comparison to its predecessors, Shrek, Donkey and Puss have seen promising drops and should charm audiences to around $250 million of business, making it the lowest grossing of the four.
Though second to “Shrek,” spinoff Get Him to the Greek was the highest grossing of the new releases last week and also saw the smallest decline of those debuts down 43 percent to $9.9 million. “Greek” now stands at $36.4 million and should find its way to around $60 million.
In fifth, critically maligned spy comedy Killers lost half its business slipping away with $8 million. The Ashton Kutcher/Katherine Heigel flick has taken in a weak $30.2 million in two weeks.
Finally, after two weeks in the doldrums the top ten films were up 9 percent from 2009 when The Hangover enjoyed a second week at number one dipping only 20 percent from its robust debut.