Perf of Hollywood fare may be hurt by steep declines

ROME — Italo box office plummeted 37% this weekend over the previous frame, and exhibs are worried that the steep second weekend drops are hurting the perf of Hollywood fare.

“It is too expensive a product to become so quickly disposable (theatrically),” one exhib said. ” ‘Pirates’ is a perfect example, it has a strong opening weekend with great results, but in the second weekend, a 58% drop is worrisome.”

BVI’s decision to make Italy — one of the world’s top 10 territories — the last market for one of the most prom-ising tentpole pics this year is a bone of contention for exhibs, who believe the pic would have made more money if it had been released earlier.

The perf of “The Queen” disappointed some exhibs. ” ‘The Queen’ should have drawn a wider cross-section of audiences because of the comic elements, and the lovely performance of Helen Mirren,” one exhib said.

Emanuele Crialese’s “Nuovomondo” (The Golden Door) had a so-so release, opening to a mere Euros 300,000 ($383,000) first weekend. “I am not surprised, it isn’t an easy film,” said one exhib. The winner of the Venice Silver Lion will likely appeal to a niche of film aficionados.

Jennifer Aniston starrer “The Break-up” pleased exhibs with a Euros 1.4 million ($1.8 million) opening weekend off 300 engagements.

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