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Sunday, August 31, 2008

The numbers, August 29-31, 2008

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 Tropic Thunder $11,500,000 3,473 $3,311 $83,834,000 -29.3 3 Paramount
2 Babylon A.D. $9,700,000 3,390 $2,861 $9,700,000 -- 1 Fox
3 The Dark Knight $8,700,000 2,750 $3,164 $502,371,000 -17.5 7 Warner Bros.
4 The House Bunny $8,300,000 2,714 $3,058 $27,851,000 -42.9 2 Sony
5 Traitor $7,900,000 2,054 $3,846 $9,401,000 -- 1 Overture
6 Death Race $6,200,000 2,537 $2,444 $23,100,000 -50.9 2 Universal
7 Disaster Movie $6,170,000 2,642 $2,335 $6,170,000 -- 1 Lionsgate
8 Mamma Mia! $4,400,000 1,968 $2,236 $131,500,000 2.0 7 Universal
9 Pineapple Express $3,500,000 2,047 $1,710 $79,883,000 -35.8 4 Sony
10 Vicky Cristina Barcelona $3,003,000 692 $4,340 $12,787,000 -0.1 3 MGM

Sunday, August 24, 2008

'Tropic Thunder' outguns 'House Bunny' and 'Death Race' for top spot, August 22-24, 2008

Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder once again nabbed the top spot in the second to last weekend of summer, falling just 38% to $16.1 million in its sophomore frame. Anna Faris's The House Bunny took the No. 2 spot with a solid $15.1 million, while Jason Statham's Death Race disappointed in third with $12.3 million. Two other debuts barely made a dent, including Rainn Wilson's The Rocker. Overall, with one of the most watched Olympic Games in history finally coming to a close Sunday night, the top ten films mustered up $82.6 million, down 2% from last year's comparable frame when Superbad held onto the top spot with $18 million.

Ben Stiller and Co. held onto the top spot with a $16.1 million haul in its second week of release, falling just 38% from its debut. In 12 days the R-rated comedy has shown solid word of mouth on its way to $65.7 million. Budgeted at $90 million, look for the Paramount/DreamWorks release to break $100 million domestic.

Anna Faris's latest comedy The House Bunny beat industry expectations in finishing second with an estimated $15.1 million. Budgeted at a modest $25 million, the Sony comedy averaged $5,564 in 2,714 theaters. Unlike Faris's Scary Movie comedy franchise, a huge percentage of women came out for Bunny (Sony reported that 68% of the audience was female). It was Faris's biggest debut ever for a movie not named Scary Movie. Reviews were mostly poor.

Jason Statham's latest poorly-reviewed actioner, Universal's remake Death Race, opened in third with $12.3 million in 2,532 theaters, averaging $4,855. Based on Death Race 2000, the 1975 cult actioner starring Sylvester Stallone, the R-rated Death Race was Statham's best debut in nearly three years, when 2005's Transporter 2 bowed with $16.5 million. Budgeted at $45 million, Universal may have to look overseas and on DVD to turn a profit on the venture.

The Dark Knight continued its insane march towards $500 million, falling just 37% to $10.3 million in its sixth weekend, bringing its domestic cume to a whopping $489.2 million. At its current pace the $180 million superhero pic could easily surpass $530 million in North America. Internationally the film continues to perform strongly, adding another $34 million bringing its overseas take to $381.2 million. That puts the Caped Crusader's worldwide haul at $870 million. Only three films have ever crossed $1 billion worldwide, Titanic, LOTR: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Look for The Dark Knight to join that exclusive company by the end of its incredible run.

George Lucas's abomination Star Wars: The Clone Wars fell a top ten worst 61% in its sophomore frame, finishing in fifth with $5.7 million. In ten days, the computer-animated release has grossed $25 million. Released by Warner Bros., the poorly-reviewed pic should finish with a disappointing $35 million domestic.

The Longshots, Ice Cube's feel good sports story about a girl trying out for the football team, rounded out the top ten with a $4 million bow, averaging $1,953 in 2,089 theaters. Reviews were mostly negative.

Rainn Wilson's new comedy The Rocker debuted out of the top ten at No. 12 with $2.75 million, averaging a frightful $988 in 2,784 theaters, posting one of the worst wide release debuts of the last couple of years. The $15m budgeted Fox release should go down as one of the biggest flops of 2008.

The numbers, August 22-24, 2008

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 Tropic Thunder $16,100,000 3,352 $4,803 $65,668,000 -37.6 2 Paramount
2 The House Bunny $15,100,000 2,714 $5,564 $15,100,000 -- 1 Sony
3 Death Race $12,293,000 2,532 $4,855 $12,293,000 -- 1 Universal
4 The Dark Knight $10,305,000 3,163 $3,258 $489,179,000 -37.1 6 Warner Bros.
5 Star Wars: The Clone Wars $5,660,000 3,452 $1,640 $24,998,000 -61.3 2 Warner Bros.
6 Pineapple Express $5,600,000 2,620 $2,137 $73,928,000 -42.9 3 Sony
7 Mirrors $4,875,000 2,664 $1,830 $20,075,000 -56.3 2 Fox
8 Mamma Mia! $4,303,000 2,326 $1,850 $124,458,000 -29.4 6 Universal
8 The Longshots $4,300,000 2,089 $2,058 $4,300,000 -- 1 MGM
10 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $4,069,000 2,422 $1,680 $93,812,000 -50.4 4 Universal

Sunday, August 17, 2008

'Tropic Thunder' strikes down 'The Dark Knight' with $26m, August 15-17, 2008

After posting four of the most remarkable weekends in domestic box office history The Dark Knight finally relinquished its top spot to Ben Stiller and his Tropic Thunder, but not before claiming the No. 2 spot on the all-time domestic list and surging past the $800 million mark worldwide. George Lucas's Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted in the third spot with $15.5 million, with three other newcomers sprinkled into the top 12.

Leading the pack was war comedy Tropic Thunder, which took home the gold with $26 million in its opening weekend. Since its debut on Wednesday the $92 million budgeted DreamWorks/Paramount release has grossed $37 million. Averaging a top ten best $7,834 in 3,319 theaters, the well-reviewed R-rated comedy saw a very impressive 17.1% increase in ticket sales, most likely indicating strong word of mouth. For Stiller, who both starred and directed Thunder, it was the actor's biggest debut ever as a director, surpassing the $19.8 million bow of 1996's The Cable Guy. It was also a rebound from last year's disappointment The Heartbreak Kid, which opened with just $14 million. The comedy will have to rely on very strong word of mouth if it hopes to break even domestic.

Slipping one notch to second was Warner's juggernaut The Dark Knight, which continued its record-smashing run with another $16.8 million this weekend, falling a slight 35.7%. In five amazing weeks the film has amassed $471.5 million, surpassing 1977's Star Wars for No. 2 on the list of all-time domestic list.

Internationally the Caped Crusader took in another strong $42.4 million, bringing its overseas total to $328.6 million. That gives the Christopher Nolan starrer a worldwide total of $800.1 million, surpassing the $780 million gross of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as the biggest global release of 2008. At its current pace look for The Dark Knight to finish with $525 million domestic and over $1 billion worldwide.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, George Lucas's latest attempt at squeezing every last ounce of dignity from the Star Wars franchise, finished in third this weekend with an estimated $15.5 million, averaging $4,492 in 3,452 theaters. A 90 minute commercial for his upcoming October Cartoon Network series, Clone Wars was slammed by critics (just 19% of those polled by Rottentomatoes.com gave the film a recommendation rating). Produced at Lucas's Singapore animation studio, the film was largely criticized for is sub-par visuals and storytelling, and will most likely suffer a quick exit out of the top ten.

Fox's horror pic Mirrors debuted in fourth with $11.1 million, averaging $4,176 in 2,664 theaters. Starring Kiefer Sutherland, the film was likewise panned by critics.

Falling 57% to $10 million was Sony's stoner action flick Pineapple Express, pushing its 12 day cume to an impressive $62.9 million. Budgeted at $27 million, the R-rated release should finish with $85-90 million domestic.

Universal's action sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor slipped 48% in its third weekend to $8.6 million, bringing its 17-day cume to $86.6 million. The film continues to perform much better internationally, adding $32.6 million this weekend and $196.6 million, bringing its worldwide haul to an impressive $283 million.

Rounding out the top ten was Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which bowed with $3.7 million. Averaging $5,361 in 692 theaters, the acclaimed pic stars Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson.

Finishing in twelfth was the opener Fly Me To The Moon, which launched in 452 3D theaters with $2 million, averaging $4,425 per theater. The Summit Entertainment release received poor reviews from critics.

Led by Tropic Thunder's $26m debut, the top ten films grossed an estimated $109.2 million, up 1% from last year's comparable frame when Superbad debuted with $33.1 million. It was up 26% from 2006 when Snakes on a Plane opened on top with $15.2 million.

The numbers, Aug. 15-17, 2008

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 Tropic Thunder $26,000,000 3,319 $7,834 $37,033,000 -- 1 Paramount
2 The Dark Knight $16,790,000 3,590 $4,677 $471,493,000 -35.7 5 Warner Bros.
3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars $15,505,000 3,452 $4,492 $15,505,000 -- 1 Warner Bros.
4 Mirrors $11,125,000 2,664 $4,176 $11,125,000 -- 1 Fox
5 Pineapple Express $10,000,000 3,072 $3,255 $62,932,000 -57.0 2 Sony
6 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $8,609,000 3,363 $2,560 $86,649,000 -47.8 3 Universal
7 Mamma Mia! $6,498,000 2,771 $2,345 $116,415,000 -20.8 5 Universal
8 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 $5,930,000 2,714 $2,185 $32,147,000 -44.5 2 Warner Bros.
9 Step Brothers $5,000,000 2,648 $1,888 $90,888,000 -45.2 4 Sony
10 Vicky Cristina Barcelona $3,710,000 692 $5,361 $3,710,000 -- 1 MGM/Weinstein

Sunday, August 10, 2008

'The Dark Knight' tops fourth straight weekend, surpasses $700m worldwide, August 8-10, 2008

For the fourth straight weekend the marketplace was consumed by The Dark Knight, topping the box office once again with a strong $26 million, fending off newcomer Pineapple Express while pushing its total to a jaw-dropping $441.5 million.

Falling just 39% in its fourth weekend, Warner Bros.' blockbuster superhero pic The Dark Knight brought in another $26 million, bringing its 24-day cume to an amazing $441.5 million, pushing itself to the No. 3 spot on the all-time domestic list, behind only Titanic's $600.8 million and Star Wars' $461 million. The Christopher Nolan directed pic should surpass Star Wars by the end of next weekend for the No. 2 spot.

If those lofty numbers don't make your head shake, the Caped Crusader also blew past the $700 million mark worldwide ($704.6m), adding $35.1 million internationally this weekend putting its overseas cume at $263.1 million. Budgeted at $185 million, the Heath Ledger-Christian Bale starrer put up fantastic fourth-weekend numbers despite the opening of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. NBC reported that ratings for the Opening Ceremonies were the most watched non-U.S. Olympic Games in history.

By next weekend, The Dark Knight will have made more than the last three Batman films combined in North America, and at its current pace should finish with $525 million domestic.

The stoner action-comedy Pineapple Express debuted in second with a strong $22.4 million over the weekend, and $40.5 million since its Wednesday launch. Budgeted at a modest $27 million, the R-rated Sony comedy averaged a strong $7,292 in 3,072 theaters. Produced by Judd Apatow and starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, Pineapple Express was helped by a strong marketing campaign, solid reviews and the seemingly meteoric rise in popularity of both star Rogen and uber-comedy producer Apatow. For Roger, Pineapple debuted lower than his 2007 juggernaut comedy pairs Superbad and Knocked Up, which opened with $33m and $30.6m respectively. Superbad finished with $121.4 million domestic, while Knocked Up raked in $148.7 million.

Tumbling a predictable 60% from its opening weekend was The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, finishing in third with $16.1 million. In ten day the $145 million budgeted sequel has grossed $70.7 million. The fall was much greater than its two predecessors, with 1999's The Mummy slipping just 43% in its sophomore frame, and 2001's The Mummy Returns falling 51%. At its current pace, look for Dragon Emperor to finish with just over $100 million domestic. Overseas, the Universal pic has been performing much stronger, pulling in $56.1 million this weekend pushing its international cume to $141.1 million.

Debuting in fourth was the Warner sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, which debuted in fourth with an estimated $10.8 million over the weekend, bringing its total since Wednesday to $19.7 million. The five-day haul was stronger than its 2005 predecessor, which took in $13.6 million over its first five days, finishing with $39 million domestic. Budgeted at a modest $27 million, look for the well-reviewed Warner sequel to finish with close to $50 million domestic.

With no major hit debuts this weekend the top ten films managed just $106.6 million, down a hefty 20% from last year's comparable frame when Rush Hour 3 topped with $49.1 million.

The numbers, August 8-10, 2008

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 The Dark Knight $26,030,000 4,025 $6,467 $441,541,000 -39.0 4 Warner Bros.
2 Pineapple Express $22,400,000 3,072 $7,292 $40,474,000 -- 1 Sony
3 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $16,113,000 3,778 $4,265 $70,671,000 -60.2 2 Universal
4 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 $10,770,000 2,707 $3,979 $19,712,000 -- 1 Warner Bros.
5 Step Brothers $8,900,000 3,182 $2,797 $80,903,000 -46.1 3 Sony
6 Mamma Mia! $8,081,000 3,194 $2,530 $104,017,000 -35.9 4 Universal
7 Journey to the Center of the Earth $4,860,000 1,970 $2,467 $81,764,000 -27.1 5 New Line
8 Hancock $3,300,000 2,258 $1,461 $221,709,000 -35.1 6 Sony
9 Swing Vote $3,106,000 2,213 $1,404 $12,002,000 -50.1 2 Buena Vista
10 WALL•E $3,045,000 2,144 $1,420 $210,112,000 -33.9 7 Buena Vista

Sunday, August 3, 2008

'The Dark Knight' swoops towards $400m in just 17 days, tops b.o. once again, August 1-3, 2008

For the third straight weekend the Caped Crusader topped the box office, stuffing another massive $43.8 million in its coffers on its record march towards $400 million, fending off big budget challenger The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in the process.

Warner Bros.' blockbuster The Dark Knight fell just 42% to an estimated $43.8 million, surprisingly topping the box office for the third straight weekend, bringing its 17 day total to an incredible $394.9 million. The $185m budgeted superhero pic took just 14 days to reach $350 million, and will likely surpass $400 million on Monday, its 18th day of release, easily shattering the record for fastest film to the mark set by 2004's Shrek 2 in 43 days. Only seven films have ever surpassed $400 million and just one film has ever broken past $500 million domestic, 1997's $600 million grossing Titanic. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the sequel now sits at No. 8 on the all-time domestic list, surpassing the $380.3 million haul of 2005's Star Wars: Episode III.

At its current pace The Dark Knight seems like a shoe in to surpass the $461 million domestic total of 1977's Star Wars as the second highest grossing film of all-time, and should become just the second film in history to surpass $500 million in North America. Look for the Heath Ledger starrer to have a strong August and finish with roughly $535 million by the end of its record-smashing run. Internationally, The Dark Knight grossed another strong $37 million, bringing its overseas cume to $202.5 million. That puts its worldwide haul at a staggering $597.4 million in three weeks, making the $1 billion global mark look like a no brainer.

Universal ponied up nearly $150 million bringing the Mummy franchise back into theaters, and were rewarded with a strong, but perhaps less than hoped for $42.5 million opening. Launching in 3,760 theaters and averaging $11,303, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor posted the lowest opening of any Mummy film. 1999's The Mummy bowed with $43.4 million on its way to $155.3 million domestic. 2001's The Mummy Returns opened with $68.1 million on its way to a franchise record $202 million domestic. Reviews for the big budget sequel were dismal, with just 9% of critics polled by Rottentomatoes.com recommending the film. However, just a 4% drop in sales from Friday to Saturday means the film might be playing better with moviegoers than critics. Still, don't expect the Brendan Fraser-Jet Li starrer to come close to breaking even in North America.

Overseas Dragon Emperor took in $59.5 million from 28 territories, giving the film the top spot globally with a strong $102 million. Look for a majority of its total gross to come from the international market.

Will Ferrell's Step Brothers fell 47% to $16.3 million, pushing its ten-day cume to $63 million. Look for the $65m budgeted Sony comedy to finish with close to $100 million domestic.

Universal's musical Mamma Mia! slipped just 26% to $13.1 million, pushing its three week cume to an excellent $88 million. Budgeted at $52 million, the Meryl Streep starrer should finish with $115-120 million domestic.

New Line/Warner's sleeper hit Journey to the Center of the Earth continued its fantastic run, falling just 29% to $6.9 million, bringing its four week cume to $73.1 million. At its current pace, the $60m budgeted 3D film should finish close to $100 million domestic.

The weekend's only other debut was Kevin Costner's political comedy Swing Vote, which opened with a disappointing $6.3 million in sixth. Averaging just $2,847 in 2,213 theaters, the $21 million budgeted Buena Vista pic was poorly received with critics. Look for the film to have trouble breaking even theatrically.

Pixar-Disney's Wall•E fell a top ten best 26% despite losing nearly 500 theaters this weekend, earning $4.7 million and pushing its six week cume to $204.2 million. That's just a couple million dollars behind last year's global hit Ratatouille which took in $206.4 million domestic and $621 million worldwide. At its current pace the $180 million budgeted film looks likely to surpass DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda ($210.4m) as the highest grossing animated pic of 2008.

Despite the fantastic staying power of The Dark Knight, a disappointing bow from The Mummy caused the box office to finish down 8% from last year's comparable frame when The Bourne Ultimatum opened with $69.3 million. However, it was up a healthy 25% from 2006 when Talladega Nights topped with $47 million.

The numbers, August 1-3, 2008

 THE TOP TEN Weekend Theaters Avg. Total Gross %+- Wks Distributor
1 The Dark Knight $43,800,000 4,266 $10,267 $394,887,000 -41.7 3 Warner Bros.
2 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $42,500,000 3,760 $11,303 $42,500,000 -- 1 Universal
3 Step Brothers $16,300,000 3,094 $5,268 $62,966,000 -47.3 2 Sony
4 Mamma Mia! $13,121,000 3,062 $4,285 $88,000,000 -26.1 3 Universal
5 Journey to the Center of the Earth $6,875,000 2,285 $3,009 $73,145,000 -29.2 4 New Line
6 Swing Vote $6,300,000 2,213 $2,847 $6,300,000 -- 1 Buena Vista
7 Hancock $5,200,000 2,782 $1,869 $215,995,000 -37.4 5 Sony
8 WALL•E $4,747,000 2,555 $1,858 $204,222,000 -26.1 6 Buena Vista
9 The X-Files: I Want to Believe $3,425,000 3,185 $1,075 $17,060,000 -65.8 2 Fox
10 Space Chimps $2,840,000 2,134 $1,331 $22,091,000 -37.4 3 Fox