Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 1st - 3rd August 2008

1. The Dark Knight - $43.8M - $394.8M
2. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - $42.4M - $42.4M
3. Step Brothers - $16.3M - $62.9M
4. Mamma Mia! - $13.1M - $87.9M
5. Journey to the Center of the Earth - $6.8M - $73.1
6. Swing Vote - $6.3M - $6.3M
7. Hancock - $5.2M - $215.9M
8. WALL-E - $4.7M - $204.2M
9. The X-Files: I Want to Believe - $3.4M - $17M
10. Space Chimps - $2.8M - $22M

Third weekend at number one, a rare thing in these modern times. The Dark Knight fought off competition from The Mummy (more later) to retain the top spot and skirt dangerously close to the $400M mark, which it should now hit by Wednesday, more than halving the fastest to $400M record held by Shrek 2. There's only a slim chance it'll take out Titanic but every chance it'll slip into second spot on the all time takings chart (it's currently at no.8 and needs just $65M to secure it) by the end of its domestic run.

It narrowly misses out on the third weekend record, that's still retained by the original Spiderman, but really, at this point, is anyone still counting how many records it has broken? Internationally the film is sitting on $128M, but still has a large number of territories awaiting release, putting the film over half a billion dollars from just 17 days on release, which is just beyond stunning. Will Pineapple Express be enough to take on The Dark Knight next weekend?

A retooled, recast and relocated sequel isn't the greatest way to move forward on a major summer film but that doesn't appear to have stopped the producers of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Rachel Weisz dropped out and has been replaced by Maria Bello (something trailers seem anxious not to point out), Rob Cohen replaces Stephen Sommers and Jet Li replaces Arnold Vosloo as The Mummy. Shooting has moved from Egypt to China and pulls in Michelle Yeoh with it. Trailers were actually pretty decent but the film has received a hell of a kicking from critics. The first two Mummy films made a total of $357M, with the second film making over $200M alone. This Mummy probably won't see any kind of those numbers but it needs to - a huge $145M budget has to be covered.

The third film is opening roughly on par with the first movie ($43M), which on paper isn't a bad start but that first film is nearly 10 years old, had no installed fan base and opened right at the start of summer. The Mummy: Tomb of Dragon Emperor cost a lot more and is opening in the tail end of summer, which might help it as competition is vastly reduced but it still won't be an easy ride and it'll need international numbers to help keep things moving.

Step Brothers had a decent start last weekend, it was off 58% from Friday-Friday but that's about on par with a Will Ferrell film. After the disaster that was Semi-Pro it must have been something of a relief to all concerned when Step Brothers crossed the $30M mark by last Sunday. This one should easily recoup its $65M budget and might have got within grasping distance of $100M were it not for The Pineapple Express, the Seth Rogen comedy, getting a release next weekend which will directly affect Step Brothers' market. Mamma Mia! continues to perform well in the top ten, great alternate programming to The Dark Knight. After a strong start the film has posted some equally impressive weekend to weekend percentage drops. It's the no.1 choice for the female demographic and nothing looks to change that in the coming weeks.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth's 3D gimmick seems to have run its course, and coupled with the release of another Brendan Fraser film, it's on its way out. Still, it's already well into profit and will stay in 3D enabled cinema a lot longer than your average film would stay in standard theatres. The film has a total global taking of over $80M.

Our second new entry is the Kevin Costner political satire Swing Vote. Yes, you read that right. In some really odd twist of fate Kevin Costner's single dad becomes the voter who will decide the entire presidential contest. Cue the entire country's media following his every move, waiting for a hint of which way he'll vote. The film also stars Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammar as the presidential hopefuls. This tracks exactly the same as an Iraq war movie - who wants to watch a movie about a race for the presidency when they're being blasted with the real one 24/7? Swing Vote won't be around for long and may well be on DVD before the actual election takes place in November.

Hancock too has slowed right down now with the increased competition from The Mummy and The Dark Knight still proving to be a major thorn in the side. The film will cross $400M in total global takings this weekend and stands as Will Smith's third biggest film of his career (After Men in Black & I Am Legend). Wall-E crossed the $200M mark this weekend and should best Ratatouille by next weekend. International numbers have yet to be released but the film should end up equalling its domestic take.

International numbers are about the only thing that can save The X-Files from being a total and utter failure. If last weekend's take wasn't bad enough, the film has collapsed yet further and only just about made more money than Space Chimps. It's low budget might save it from losing money but the franchise is pretty much dead in the water now. The rush to cash in on the summer season proved in part to be its downfall, especially opening on the second weekend of The Dark Knight's release. An October release would almost certainly have been more rewarding. Space Chimps is done and dusted and no one will have ever known it existed by next weekend.

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