Other than that… Well… Er…
The Comic-Con phenom fell way short of expectations, grossing an estimated $19.8 million, and fell victim to a stunning upset in the weekend box-office standings by the month-old How to Train Your Dragon ($20 million). So what happened?
"Couple factors at play: R-rating, no bonafide stars," Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said today in an email, "but that still doesn't change the fact that people went absolutely nuts at advance screenings. I know, I was at one."
Sure enough, showings at San Diego Comic-Con and Harry Knowles' Butt-Numb-a-Thon gave Kick-Ass a kickstart. And while some critics, notably Roger Ebert, were taken aback by the 11-year-old Hit-Girl's preternatural ability to kill people dead, overall reviews were good, and the flick was pegged to open with as much as $36 million. (Internally, Lionsgate, which bought the indie film's distribution rights for $15 million, was braced for anything as much as that—or as low as what it got.)
By Saturday, though, projections were revised downward to $20 million. Then, today, came the under-$20 million weekend estimate.
"This is a real head-scratcher, no doubt," Bock said.
Lionsgate exec David Spitz took inspiration from How to Train Your Dragon. "Four weeks ago, everybody was, oh, this is a big disappointment," he said today of the rival movie. "Now they're holding fantasic. I think we're going to be in a similar situation."
• If you missed the update, Date Night did not finish No. 1 last weekend; Clash of the Titans did. It looks like Date Night will top Clash this time out, with the 3D fight-fest estimated to have dropped to fifth place ($15.8 million; $133 million overall).
• As things stand now, Dragon is back at No. 1 after two weeks away from the top spot. Since Dragon and Kick-Ass are pretty close, it's possible the two could flop positions when final numbers come out tomorrow. No matter what happens, though, Dragon will still be the weekend's winner.
• Avatar watch: Hollywood's biggest movie ever hit $745 million domestically.
Here's a rundown of the weekend's top-grossing films Friday-Sunday, per estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
(Originally published April 18, 2010, at 9:19 a.m. PT)
Find out which films kick some major you-know-what in our Totally New Releases gallery.