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Sunday, September 7, 2008

First place little consolation for 'Bangkok Dangerous', Sept. 5-7, 2008

Audiences apparently opted for other forms of entertainment in the first (and typically slowest) weekend of the Fall season, as a stale looking marketplace slumped to its lowest level in five years, thanks to an unimpressive No. 1 debut from Nicolas Cage's Bangkok Dangerous and a number of aging top ten releases.

Topping the box office with just $7.8 million was Nic Cage's action-remake Bangkok Dangerous, which posted one of the actor's worst ever career debuts for an action film. Averaging just $2,943 in 2,650 theaters, the Lions Gate release just barely beat out last year's Next ($7.1 million) as the lowest grossing action debut of Cage's career. A remake of the 1999 Thai film, the $45 million budgeted R-rated release was hurt by poor reviews, a bad hairdo for Cage, and an even worse marketing campaign from Lions Gate.

After its three week run at the top, DreamWorks/Paramount's war comedy Tropic Thunder slipped 35% to $7.5 million in second. In four weeks the $92 million budgeted Robert Downey Jr. starrer has grossed $96.8 million, and should cruise past $100 million by next weekend. At its current pace, look for the Ben Stiller directed pic to finish with a healthy $110-115 million domestic.

Climbing one notch to third was Sony's The House Bunny, which slipped just 29% to $5.9 million. In three weeks the $25m budgeted Anna Faris comedy has grossed $37 million.

Finishing in fourth was Warner's blockbuster superhero pic The Dark Knight with $5.7 million, bringing its domestic cume to an incredible $512.2 million. Internationally, the film added $11.8 million, pushing its overseas cume to $437.2 million. That puts its global cume at $949.4 million, within earshot of the global top five films in history (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is next up at No. 5 with $961 million).

Don Cheadle's Traitor dropped 41% to $4.7 million, pushing its 12-day haul to $17.7 million. Budgeted at $22 million, the Overture Films release should finish with $25-30 million domestic.

The biggest drop in the top ten went to the Vin Diesel actioner Babylon A.D., which dived 58% to $4 million, bringing its ten day take to a disappointing $17.2 million. Budgeted at a hefty $70 million, the Fox release should finish with a disastrous $25 million domestic.

Rounding out the top ten was Sony's stoner action pic Pineapple Express, which continued its impressive run at the box office. Budgeted at $27 million, the Seth Rogan-James Franco starrer has brought in $84.2 million in five weeks.

As noted earlier, the top ten films grossed an anemic $47.6 million, down a whopping 23% from last year's comparable frame when the Russell Crowe Western 3:10 to Yuma topped with $14 million.

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