Tuesday, 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 27th - 29th June 2008

1. WALL-E - $62.5M - $62.5M
2. Wanted - $51.1M - $51.1
3. Get Smart - $20M - $77.6M
4. Kung Fu Panda - $11.7M - $179.3M
5. The Incredible Hulk - $9.2M - $115.5
6. The Love Guru - $5.4M - $25.3M
7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $5M - $299.9M
8. The Happening - $3.8M - $59M
9. Sex and the City - $3.7M - $140M
10. You Don't Mess With the Zohan - $3.2M - $91.2M

Wall-E has been the one to watch ever since the first stills were shown. Since then the hype has built up, with each new short showing Wall-E to be the E.T for the current generation. Pixar initially built trailers from only the first thirty or so minutes of the film and kept interest heightened by releases a number of thirty second shorts featuring Wall-E but unrelated to the film as such.

With Kung Fu Panda showing its age, Wall-E had the family market pretty much all to itself. Reviews have been through the roof and the film stands as one of the best, if not the best, reviewed film of 2008. It was also potentially a tricky sell, with Pixar practically doing away with dialogue for a good section of the film's running time. After a slight box office misfire with Ratatouille & Cars (but a Pixar misfire still generally takes over $200M and that's just in the US), would Wall-E become the best of the lot?

The answer is almost. Opening behind Pixar legends Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and around the take of Monsters Inc, Wall-E is off to strong start and could see $100M as early as next Friday. With only one major release as we enter a major holiday period in the US, Wall-E could have another equally strong second frame. The only straight competition comes from Space Chimps in a few weeks, which will struggle to even a third of what Wall-E has opened to on its initial weekend of release. Furthermore, unlike most films these days, Wall-E is receiving a staggered release around the world so just as its US take begins to wane, it'll get a boost from the foreign market release. Wall-E is yet another hit for Pixar, their ninth in a row. Analysts had the movie opening slightly higher and estimates show a slight dip from Friday to Saturday, so it'll be interesting to see where the film goes from here.

With Wall-E opening so strong, was there room for a movie at the other end of the spectrum to perform well? Wanted is from director Timur Bekmambetov, famed for his work on Night Watch and Day Watch, making his Hollywood debut here. The film, starring Angelina Jolie and James Mcavoy perfomed very well, with a Friday take sitting just a few million behind Wall-E. Over the weekend the Pixar film pulled ahead as more families attend the cinema on Saturday and Sunday but Wanted still had a very strong opening frame of $51M. It's the biggest R-rated June release in history and sixth biggest opening for an R-rated film. Unusually for a summer action film, Wanted received some excellent reviews, especially noting Timur Bekmambetov visual flair in the action sequences. It had competition but most of it was starting to look a bit long in the tooth and the film worked as excellent ultra violent counter programming to Wall-E's family centered gentleness. It's been a good year so far for Jolie, with both Kung Fu Panda and Wanted performing well, and the critically acclaimed Clint Eastwood film The Changeling still to come in September. Wanted will have recouped its relatively low (for an action flick) budget of $75M by next weekend, but may take an earlier hit from Hancock, which opens on July 2nd.

After a better than expected opening last weekend, Get Smart, one of the two new comedy releases, drops around 50% of its business in its second frame, which isn't too bad considering Wall-E and Wanted are sucking up a huge amount of cinemagoers between them. This one cost nothing like the $200M of Evan Almighty and should be near to recouping its budget by next weekend. A much better result for Steve Carrell who has also just signed up for another three years of The Office. Facing off against a Pixar movie was unavoidable for Kung Fu Panda but it still did well to make double figures in its fourth weekend. Luckily for the Panda, it's already had three good weekends including that fantastic opening one, so it's just sitting in the sun now, biding its time until more releases push it down the charts. Kung Fu Panda looks like it'll be Dreamworks Animations biggest ever non-Shrek release, with just Madagascar standing in its way with a box office total of $193M.

On the flip side, The Incredible Hulk was probably hit harder by Wanted than Wall-E but did manage to cross the $100M point on Tuesday. The Incredible Hulk is in free-fall now and may even drop out of the top ten before recouping its budget (or surpassing the box office total of Ang Lee's movie) while it's global total is doing little to shore up the movie. Proof positive that the fans were willing to give the green guy a second chance but no one else was. Hulk may now have to wait for the oft rumoured Avengers movie before we see him on screen again.

The Love Guru didn't do too well last weekend and has collapsed like a wet tissue this one. The only thing that'll keep it in the charts is a lack of new releases but even that doesn't mean anyone will go and see it. The Mike Myers film cost a huge $62M (how? what for?) and stands very little chance of recouping anywhere near that figure. Perhaps someone should have told Mike Myers the idea wasn't working when he first starting performing the character of Pitka in New York Comedy clubs.

With Iron Man out of the top ten and being pulled from a large number of locations, Indiana Jones has a chance to overtake its box office total as it teeters on the edge of $300M. Globally the film is well ahead of Iron Man but it's still not a cert that Indiana Jones will beat it when final numbers are issued toward the end of summer.

Rounding us out are The Happening, which has just about recouped its budget from its domestic total this weekend. Globally the film is doing slightly better but is still nothing to write home about. The film should see a final global box office of around $140M. Sex and The City has pretty much had its day now, but what a day it has been. The film sits on a global total over $300M, with over $170M of that total coming from the international market. Don't Mess With The Zohan recouped its budget this weekend, but will be the first Adam Sandler comedy for a while not to have made $100M before leaving the top ten.

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