EInsiders.com : : : Reviews | DVD | Inside Scoop | Box Office | Interviews | Columns | Obits | Contests

Sunday, June 14, 2009

'Hangover' tops box office again with $32.5m, June 12-14, 2009

Audiences once again opted for the one-two weekend punch of the R-rated hit comedy The Hangover and Disney-Pixar's blockbuster smash Up, as both films finished with the two best holdovers in the top ten. Of the weekend's two new releases, The Taking of Pehlam 123 shrugged off mediocre reviews thanks to its starpower finishing in third place, while Eddie Murphy's box office struggles continued with his family flop Imagine That.

After narrowly holding off Up when last weekend's final numbers were released last Monday, The Hangover finally became the first film in four months to finish in the top spot for two weeks in a row, falling just 26% to $33.4 million. Thanks to phenomenal weekday sales last week (Monday-Thursday netted the Warner comedy a whopping $27 million), the $30 million budgeted comedy has now amassed $105.4 million in its first ten days of release, and looks on pace to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all-time.

Thanks to phenomenal word of mouth the Warner release didn't miss a beat despite decent competition from the Denzel Washington-John Travolta starrer Pelham, besting even the strong sophomore frames of fellow R-rated hits Knocked Up (36%) and Tropic Thunder (37%). The second weekend drop was comparable to the 24% slide from 2005's Wedding Crashers, which went on to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy in history with $209.2 million. At its current pace with weekday sales continuing to be strong, look for Hangover to surge past Wedding Crashers by the end of the summer.

Though bested for a second straight week by sleeper sensation The Hangover, Disney-Pixar's latest blockbuster Up continued to reign unopposed in the family film market, falling just 31% to $30.5 million. That gives the PG release the second biggest 3rd weekend ever for an animated pic, behind only Shrek 2's $37.9 million haul back in 2004, and ahead of such notables as Finding Nemo with $28.4m (39% drop) and The Incredibles with $26.5 million (47% drop).

In just 17 days the $175 million budgeted Pete Docter release has grossed a phenomenal $187.2 million, and has amazingly closed the gap with Finding Nemo, which took in $191.5 million in its first 17 days of release. That film went on to become the highest grossing animated film in history back in 2003, though it relinquished the title a year later to 2004's mega-smash Shrek 2 with $441 million. Thanks to fantastic word of mouth, still strong margins from the 1500+ 3-D equipped theaters, and little direct competition until July 4th's Ice Age 3, Up looks likely to become just the fourth $300+ million grossing computer-animated release in history.

Debuting in third with a strong $25 million was the Denzel Washington-John Travolta remake The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, which averaged a solid $8,133 in 3,074 theaters. The R-rated Tony Scott-directed actioner received mixed reviews from critics (a "rotten" 50% score from Rottentomatoes.com), but managed to open stronger than Washington and Scott's previous collaborations Deja Vu ($20.5m) and Man on Fire ($22.7m), as well as Washington's Oscar-winning turn in Training Day ($22.5m). It was the actor's third biggest opening ever behind only American Gangster ($43.6m) and Inside Man ($29m). With a 13% increase in sales from Friday to Saturday, word of mouth appears fairly strong, which could indicate a healthy run at the domestic box office this summer.

Fox's hit comedy Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian continued to exhibit strong legs, falling just 34% in its fourth weekend to $9.6 million, bringing its cume to $143.4 million. Though its trajectory is significantly behind that of its 2006 blockbuster predecessor Night at the Museum, which had accumulated $185 million by its fourth weekend on its way to $250.8 million total, Smithsonian still appears likely to surpass $175 million domestic.

After a dreadful opening last weekend, Will Ferrell's action-comedy TV adaptation Land of the Lost fell 51% to $9.2 million, bringing its ten-day cume to just $34.9 million. Look for the $100 million budgeted Universal pic to finish with a paltry $55 million domestic.

The only other debut this weekend came from Eddie Murphy's family comedy Imagine That, which failed draw much attention amongst popular alternatives Up and Night at the Museum, finishing with a disappointing $5.7 million. Carrying a $55 million price tag, the Paramount release averaged a pathetic $1,895 in an ultrawide 3,008 theaters, barely edging out last year's flop Meet Dave which bowed with $5.3 million.

Despite strong holdover performances from The Hangover and Up, the top ten films managed just $131.7 million in ticket sales, down a whopping 25% from last year's comparable frame when The Incredible Hulk debuted at No. 1 with $55.4 million.

No comments: