Pic pair cruise to finish
Time’s up for “Poseidon” and “Over the Hedge.”
While “Poseidon” showed some initial momentum overseas and “Over the Hedge” posted relatively small drops during its three weeks of domestic release, both pics are running out of steam.
Warner Bros.’ disaster tentpole is already near the end of its domestic cruise and looks likely to peter out under $60 million after a $1.8 million gross this past weekend brought cume to $54.9 million. Overseas cume passed the domestic gross this past weekend with $56.3 million from 24 markets. But the $10.4 million gross was down 55% from the previous week.
Best-case scenario would lead to an international cume in the $150 million ballpark — a solid rather than spectacular performance. A worldwide gross of around $200 million will be painful on a pic that cost more than that for production and worldwide P&A.
Remaining markets include France, where it bows Wednesday, followed by Argentina and South Africa the next day and Russia on June 21. Soccer-crazy Spain and Germany won’t get the pic until after the World Cup ends.
Warner’s release strategy stems from the notion that rivals have opted to hold off any major openings during the World Cup, leaving “Poseidon” facing a market that’s actually less competitive than usual. That should keep it from declining too substantially from this past weekend.
Best numbers for “Poseidon” by far continued to come from South Korea, with $2.4 million at 252, down only 34% from its launch, for an $11.7 million cume. Warner managed to score a similar success last year in South Korea with domestic flop “The Island,” which wound up grossing $22 million in that market.
“Over the Hedge,” meanwhile, took a sizable 51% drop to $10.2 million this past frame following two strong weekends when it declined only 30% and 24%, respectively.
That drop isn’t surprising, though, as the pic went up against “Cars.” But it does call into question Par’s strategy of opening “Hedge” just three weeks before the summer’s other animated tentpole, especially when it faced “The Da Vinci Code” on its opening weekend, which partially accounted for its soft $38.5 million bow.
Though the toon will get some boost on weekdays as kids get out of school, competition will continue to be tough against “Cars.” “Hedge” likely will have a tough time getting above $150 million domestically. It could very well end up the lowest-grossing DreamWorks Animation CGI toon since “Antz” in 1998, behind both “Shrek” films, “Madagascar” and “Shark Tale.”
Overseas, “Over the Hedge” has cumed $14 million from a dozen territories, as UIP decided to wait in most major markets until more children are out of school. Its best performances so far have come from South Korea, with $4.7 million, and Russia, with $4.6 million, after two weekends.
As the toon market gets increasingly crowded this year and next, animated pics are more likely to step on each other, as “Cars” has done to “Hedge.”
Nevertheless, the market will always make room for an expected juggernaut. Most observers thought “Cars” would be another Pixar smash, so there aren’t any other toons coming out until “Monster House” on July 21, though pics like “Click” and “Superman Returns” could draw tots.
Next year, DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek 3” arrives May 18. Disney is holding off the next Pixar toon, “Ratatouille,” until June 29.