Box Office Guru Wrapup: Halloween Cuts Up Record $31M Labor Day Opening

'Twas a treat for the Weinsteins this weekend.

by | September 3, 2007 | Comments

A record summer box office ended on a high note
with a record Labor Day weekend led by
Rob Zombie‘s new take on the horror
classic Halloween which scored the biggest opening ever for this holiday frame.
The R-rated creepfest grossed an estimated $31M over the four-day
Friday-to-Monday period for MGM and The Weinstein Co. from an ultrawide 3,472
theaters for a powerful $8,932 average. That was enough to slash through the
previous holiday best of $20.1M from 2005’s
Transporter 2
by a stunning 54%.
Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the pic scored $26.5M and a $7,622 average.
The gross for the Michael Myers fright pic surged ahead of industry expectations
and ranked as the best horror opening since
Saw III‘s three-day tally of $33.6M
from last Halloween.

Marking the end of summer and a time when students begin going back to school,
Labor Day weekend is typically the weakest of all the holiday weekends during
the year. But the overall summer movie season was anything but. The domestic box
office generated over $4 billion led by seven blockbusters that crossed the
$200M mark with four sailing past the $300M milestone. Both were new industry

Sony’s two-time champ
held up well in its third frame this weekend and grossed an
estimated $15.6M for a 18-day cume of $92.4M. Another comedy aimed at young
people, Balls of
, opened in the third spot with an estimated $13.8M from 3,052
locations for a decent four-day average of $4,534. Since its Wednesday launch,
the ping pong pic has taken in $16.8M for Focus.

For the fourth consecutive weekend the threequels
The Bourne Ultimatum
Hour 3
were back-to-back on the charts. The
Matt Damon assassin smash took in an
estimated $13.2M for a total of $202.6M while the
Jackie ChanChris Tucker
action-comedy dropped to an estimated $10.4M for a $122.2M sum. Bourne crossed
the $200M mark on Labor Day.

Following in sixth was Universal’s
Mr. Bean’s Holiday
with an estimated $8.1M
for $21.1M to date. The Nanny Diaries fell to an estimated $6.4M for MGM giving
the comedy just $16.5M in ten days.
Kevin Bacon stumbled into eighth place with
his vigilante thriller
Death Sentence
which bowed to an estimated $5.2M from
1,822 sites for an average of only $2,854 for Fox.

Jet Li and
Jason Statham followed in ninth with
War which crumbled in its
sophomore frame to an estimated $5.1M giving Lionsgate $18M in ten days.
Paramount’s fairy tale adventure
rounded out the top ten with an
estimated $3.9M for a $31.9M total.

Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend.
The Simpsons Movie

laughed up an estimated $3.5M and boosted its sensational domestic haul to
$178.4M on its way to what should be a final tally of about $185M. Overseas, the
Fox smash broke through the $300M barrier this weekend and hopes to see its
global gross surge past $500M.

New Line’s hit musical
posted another strong performance banking an
estimated $3.5M over four days to raise its cume to $112.3M. A final domestic
gross of at least $120M seems likely. Not faring well was the Nicole Kidman
sci-fi thriller The Invasion which tumbled down to an estimated $1.5M for a poor
$14.1M total after 18 days. Paramount should end up snatching a miserable $16M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $112.7M over four days (a new Labor Day
weekend record) which was up 26% from last year when
remained in
first place with $15.4M in its second session; and up 23% from 2005 when
Transporter 2 opened in the top spot with a then-record $20.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,