Tuesday 15 February 2011

U.S Box Office Report - 8th - 10th August 2008

1. The Dark Knight - $26M - $441.5M
2. Pineapple Express - $22.4M - $40.4M
3. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - $16.1M - $70.6M
4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 - $10.7M - $19.7M
5. Step Brothers - $8.9M - $80.9M
6. Mamma Mia! - $8M - $104M
7. Journey to the Center of the Earth - $4.8M - $81.7M
8. Hancock - $3.3M - $221.7M
9. Swing Vote - $3.1M - $12M
10. WALL-E - $3M - $210.1M

The Dark Knight just never stops giving. Not only does move up to fourth place on the all time domestic money makers chart but it's also the second biggest global release of 2008, with only Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls ahead of it (but only for a couple of weeks). While the film has slowed down somewhat (we are talking about a record breaking opening weekend and strong grosses in subsequent frames) it's still a force to be reckoned with. Even with the new releases next week the film won't go quietly into the night.

It wouldn't surprise if the film was still in the top ten way into September. In terms of biggest domestic grosses of all time, The Dark Knight has just Shrek 2 and Star Wars standing in its way (and it'll surpass Shrek 2 by the end of today) before it'll come up against Titanic.

Looking closer, the film was off just 39% in its fourth weekend of release and fourth one at the top spot. The last time such an event happened was Return of the King in 2003/4 and before that it was The Sixth Sense in 1999, which managed five weeks at the top. It also narrowly missed out on the fourth weekend record, that's still owned by Titanic with $28M. It'd be an amazing feat if the The Dark Knight stood up against Tropic Thunder next weekend but it's got nothing to prove.

Going into the weekend Pineapple Express and Sisterhood were actually ahead of The Dark Knight but both had given it their best shot come Friday and The Dark Knight swung back into place over the weekend. The only question remaining is where will it finish up. Current estimates have it pegged at $500M, and a total global box office of over one billion dollars, something achieved by just three other movies.

Another month and another project in which Judd Apatow is some way involved. This month it's Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as a stoner and dealer respectively, on the lam after the former witnesses a murder. The buzz on this has been good and Seth Rogen is flavour of the month but opening on Wednesday to avoid losing business on Friday due to the Olympics has hurt the film a little, giving it a lower weekend total than it might have had. Furthermore, it suffered a much higher Friday/Saturday drop than expected proving the film to be heavily front loaded. Given that the film's budget was just $25M, we're in profit from this weekend out so no one is really worrying.

Pineapple Express will face direct competition from this Wednesday in the guise of Tropic Thunder so it's low budget/decent opening will serve it well. There's little chance of the film hitting $100M as predicted weeks ago by some analysts but it'll turn a tidy profit and once again cement Seth Rogen as a talent to watch (he also co-wrote the movie) and Judd Apatow as a good judge of that talent. Rogen will be seen next in October for Kevin Smith's Zack & Miri Make A Porno while Apatow's next directing gig will feature Rogen and Adam Sandler, for whom he co-produced You Don't Mess With The Zohan.

The third Mummy film suffered a pretty nasty 68% drop from Friday-Friday and will be well above 50% for the weekend as a whole. Give it another week and it'll be down to single figure takings and probably gone out of the top ten within a month of being released. The saving grace however is its international take, which could have been buoyed somewhat by the appearance of Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, pushing its total on par with that of its domestic haul. The film still has some way to go to recoup its $145M budget and it's doubtful it'll reach $100M in the US. (At this point the studio is probably hoping it just beats the total earned by the $45M Journey to the Centre of the Earth!).

Our second new entry is aimed squarely at the 10-15 year old female market and initially got off to a good start. Like Pineapple Express, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 opened on Wednesday to avoid having a disappointing Friday opening thanks to the Olympics kicking off, (though it's questionable how much damage that would really do). The first film, based on a series of books for young adults, made $39M back in 2005 from a budget of $25M, and would go on to clean up on DVD. This sequel, which focuses on the fourth book in the series but drags in plot strands from book two and three, will probably achieve similar numbers theatrically and should go on to perform well on DVD. It's doubtful that it cost much more than the first film to make and even though its Wednesday was heavily front loaded, it should still see another couple of weeks in the top ten.

Step Brothers was off 46% last weekend and while this weekend's drop is slightly higher, it's still perfectly acceptable. The Will Ferrell/John C Reilly comedy has already recouped it budget and has yet to open in any other market outside of North America, so could easily see another $75M from there. More importantly it puts Ferrell back on the comedy map after the misfire that was Semi-Pro. Next up for him is the big budget fantasty Land of the Lost.

Meanwhile Mamma Mia! passed $100M domestically this weekend and closes in on a global total of nearly $250M. In terms of other musicals, it should surpass Dreamgirls ($103M) and Hairspray ($118M) by the end of its theatrical run, but won't be worrying Chicago's $170M.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth just keeps on trucking thanks to those 3D enabled performances. It'll end up doubling its budget from its domestic run alone, making it a very profitable movie indeed. Maybe they should have made The Mummy 3D? Hancock is seeing its last weekend on the charts thanks to the three new releases next week. The Will Smith comedy drama has just crossed $400M in total worldwide sales and should see at least another $50M before heading out to DVD. Swing Vote doesn't do much this weekend, after a slow start in its first frame the Kevin Costner voting satire falls hard again and won't even recoup its low $21M budget.

Wall-E overtakes Ratatouille this weekend but its days in the top ten are numbered. That said, like many other Pixar movies Wall-E is receiving a staggered worldwide release so while other films have come and gone, the little robot will just keep on giving. Wall-E is still amongst the best reviewed films of the year and being deemed a real return to form after the somewhat disappointing Ratatouille and Cars.

Being August we're now starting to see the studios releasing as many movies as they can as opposed to the drip-feed of May, June & July. This week alone brings us six new releases, three of which are opening wide. (Full August Here) (Shameless crap blog plug).

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