Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Moody Superheroes Rule the Box Office

While the Human Spaceship Belly Flops

by | July 13, 2008 | Comments

A week before The Joker unleashes chaos, moviegoers passed the time by driving the comic book sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army to a number one debut while also showing up in solid numbers for the 3D adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth. On the other hand, Eddie Murphy‘s new comedy Meet Dave was totally ignored and suffered a dismal debut becoming the summer’s biggest flop. Holdover pictures in the top ten performed well with each dropping by less than 50%.

One superhero with an attitude problem replaced another in the top spot as Universal’s actioner Hellboy II debuted ahead of the pack with an estimated $35.9M in its first weekend of release. Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), the PG-13 film opened 55% better than the $23.2M bow of its 2004 predecessor which Sony released. It went on to gross a mediocre $59M but grew its audience on DVD and cable. Golden Army averaged a sturdy $11,200 from 3,204 theaters. Budgeted at $85M, the new Hellboy took advantage of a built-in audience of fans and the starpower that its director has generated after winning three Oscars for Labyrinth. Reviews were very favorable and the studio is keeping the door open for a sequel, even though del Toro will spend the next three years in New Zealand making back-to-back Hobbit films.



Close behind in second place was Will Smith‘s latest blockbuster Hancock which dropped 47% to an estimated $33M to boost its cume to a robust $165M after twelve and a half days. That’s an exact match to the total that 2005’s sci-fi action offering from Independence Day weekend War of the Worlds took in after its second session. The Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise collaboration suffered a bigger drop of 53% and a smaller sophomore take of $30.5M, but did not have the extra revenue from night-before-opening previews like Hancock.

It was a strong hold for Smith especially with the solid debuts of two new action films. Hancock also gave the superstar actor his fifth consecutive $150M+ blockbuster further cementing his status as the most bankable star in Hollywood. The road ahead could be a rough one though given Friday’s eagerly-awaited launch of the competing superhero juggernaut The Dark Knight, but a final domestic tally in the neighborhood of $250M could result. Overseas, the badass crimefighter soared to $180.2M in sales catapulting the worldwide cume to an eye-popping $345M in less than two weeks. The $150M production could fly to $500-600M globally.



Opening well in third place was the 3D adventure tale Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Brendan Fraser with an estimated $20.6M. The New Line/Warner Bros. film launched in 2,811 theaters and averaged a solid $7,321 per site. However, the grosses from 3D and traditional 2D theaters were like night and day. A whopping 70% of the total venues did not have equipment to offer the film in 3D and those theaters averaged only about $2,000 each. But the 854 sites that did screen the PG-rated film in 3D averaged close to $20,000 per playdate and accounted for more than 80% of the weekend business. Most of those charged higher ticket prices too which helped to boost the grosses. Reviews were generally good for the $60M-budgeted project. Journey also had a limited international premiere grossing $4.2M from five markets led by $2.1M in the United Kingdom and $1.5M in Brazil.



Disney and Pixar followed in fourth with WALL•E which grossed an estimated $18.5M in its third frame dropping 43%. The decline was bigger than Ratatouille‘s 38% dip during its third session a year ago this same weekend. The robot pic opened $16M better than the rodent comedy, but now their third weekend tallies are nearly identical as WALL•E‘s legs have not been as sturdy. Still, look for this latest animation gem to roll its way to roughly $220M domestically.



Angelina Jolie had an eventful weekend welcoming in two new babies and also having twin films in the top ten. Her action thriller Wanted placed fifth with an estimated $11.6M, down 42%, boosting Universal’s cume to $112M. The actress also voiced Tigress in Kung Fu Panda further down on the chart. Jolie has now upped her counts for both children and $100M career blockbusters to six each.

Get Smart came in sixth with an estimated $7.1M, down only 36%, and reached $111.5M after 24 days for Warner Bros.

Stealing the ‘Flop of the Summer’ title from Speed Racer, Eddie Murphy stumbled into seventh place with a disastrous opening for his new comedy Meet Dave which grossed just $5.3M, according to estimates. The PG-rated film landed in 3,011 theaters and averaged a puny $1,760. It was the third worst opening in box office history for a film released in more than 3,000 theaters and certainly the poorest for a pricey star vehicle. The only films to open worse were last year’s The Seeker: The Dark is Rising ($3.7M from 3,141 sites) and 2006’s Hoot ($3.4M from 3,018 playdates).

Carrying a budget of roughly $60M, buzz was always bad for Meet Dave and the concept of Murphy playing a human-looking spaceship operated by a mini crew inside of him, with a captain also played by the funnyman, did not fly with audiences. Competition also played a part as every film that ranked higher also offered action, comedy, or both. Dave‘s opening was a far cry from the solid $34.2M debut that Murphy’s comedy Norbit scored last year and joins the Oscar-nominated comedian’s hall of box office shame along with The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Holy Man, and Best Defense.



Kung Fu Panda dropped 41% to eighth place with an estimated $4.3M sending the martial arts toon across the $200M mark with a total to date of $202M. The Paramount/DreamWorks pic is running 8% behind the pace of Disney/Pixar’s Cars from 2006 and will probably finish with roughly $215M. The Abigail Breslin pic Kit Kittredge: An American Girl held up well in its second weekend of wide release slipping just 29% to an estimated $2.4M. Though it enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten, it still has only collected $11M to date and seems headed for a $18-20M finish.

Rounding out the top ten was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with an estimated $2.3M in its eighth weekend, down 40%, raising the overall tally to $310.5M. The Harrison Ford adventure sequel is now within striking distance of fellow Paramount release Iron Man‘s $313.4M and could become the new top grosser of 2008. Warner Bros. fully intends to make it a three-picture race with The Dark Knight which could very well reach the same stratosphere by month’s end.

Three films fell from the top ten this weekend. Universal’s The Incredible Hulk took in an estimated $2.2M, off 55%, for a $129.8M sum. That puts the new green guy a scant 1% ahead of Ang Lee’s Hulk at the same point in its 2003 run. Factor in higher ticket prices and the new Hulk has actually attracted fewer fans than the old one did, and cost a bit more. Budgeted at $150M, The Incredible Hulk should end up with about $135M edging out the $132.2M gross of Hulk, but will sell 13% fewer tickets. Overseas, the Edward Norton pic smashed the $100M mark boosting the international cume to $101.3M and the global tally to $231M.



The much more profitable Sex and the City banked an estimated $1.7M, down only 28%, and raised its total to a stellar $148.2M. A final domestic haul of $155M seems likely for the New Line film distributed by Warner Bros. The overseas performance for the $60M production has been sensational with $220.5M taken in to date accounting for 60% of the global haul of $369M. Astounding industry observers, Sex has become the fourth biggest global blockbuster of 2008 after the Paramount triumvirate of Indiana Jones, Iron Man, and Kung Fu Panda.

The summer’s other fashion-related comedy You Don’t Mess With the Zohan fell 46% to an estimated $1.1M giving the Adam Sandler vehicle $96.9M so far. The Sony release should inch its way to the $100M mark making it the comedian’s lowest gross for a broad comedy since 2000’s Little Nicky.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $140.9M which was down 17% from last year when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opened in the top spot with $77.1M; and off 5% from 2006 when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest spent a second weekend at number one with $62.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

Election witnail The Walking Dead suspense monster movies adventure sports Ellie Kemper Winter TV Television Critics Association Sneak Peek blockbusters finale diversity hollywood spanish language ITV Apple TV Plus Family crossover Year in Review Stephen King aliens discovery BET Awards Interview lord of the rings Podcast A24 asian-american disaster historical drama universal monsters crime Calendar live action cancelled television Pacific Islander Turner Classic Movies Animation FXX travel Sundance President ID anthology festival OneApp 93rd Oscars Fantasy E! 2018 2019 Black History Month versus singing competition Red Carpet spider-man cartoon Creative Arts Emmys screen actors guild series child's play GLAAD streaming movies tv talk DC streaming service Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt LGBT Christmas A&E Valentine's Day Pop TV teaser vampires El Rey Pride Month zombie Bravo AMC Sundance TV Comics on TV cults Amazon LGBTQ Schedule Disney streaming service Emmys romance ghosts BBC cooking justice league YouTube Rom-Com period drama social media nbcuniversal breaking bad natural history zero dark thirty 1990s Elton John dceu Superheroe Mary Poppins Returns science fiction Quiz Fox News blaxploitation talk show Biopics richard e. Grant Broadway telelvision boxing aapi marvel cinematic universe halloween french spinoff anime Writers Guild of America fresh remakes Comedy TLC archives TCA Awards composers CNN San Diego Comic-Con popular robots target National Geographic screenings PlayStation war Trailer worst movies CMT TV Land American Society of Cinematographers dc emmy awards sequel adenture prank parents Lifetime Christmas movies Super Bowl Emmy Nominations festivals Musicals reboot laika TBS Exclusive Video VH1 FOX Kids & Family TCA 2017 Ovation superhero YouTube Red SXSW ABC Signature canceled 24 frames foreign jurassic park 21st Century Fox PBS Cosplay comic thriller hidden camera based on movie Heroines binge Disney+ Disney Plus biography E3 hispanic theme song Comic Book GIFs Crunchyroll toronto USA SundanceTV facebook WGN Nat Geo RT History Marathons Television Academy news Crackle Hallmark superman Epix movie Discovery Channel documentary wonder woman Peacock Disney Channel Trophy Talk Cannes Rocketman toy story The Purge best Opinion comedies comic books Toys Warner Bros. comics romantic comedy Lucasfilm BBC One YA See It Skip It The Arrangement ABC Marvel Studios psycho TV One PaleyFest Tomatazos hist Captain marvel Music First Reviews Mudbound Paramount Syfy BAFTA Academy Awards Trivia Marvel football die hard YouTube Premium Mystery adaptation twilight new zealand Showtime rom-coms Black Mirror spain game show WarnerMedia Hear Us Out IFC Films independent cancelled TV series Women's History Month Universal Sony Pictures Extras nature medical drama ViacomCBS CW Seed TV Logo directors video international Watching Series Teen Netflix Tokyo Olympics films children's TV golden globes HBO Go Funimation venice Spectrum Originals jamie lee curtis women Set visit latino Acorn TV Wes Anderson Hulu Esquire stop motion critics Rock Adult Swim Sci-Fi Infographic Horror psychological thriller 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 90s Image Comics NYCC serial killer Premiere Dates CBS All Access video on demand Comedy Central ratings cops mutant MTV werewolf Summer FX on Hulu Netflix Christmas movies Spring TV Alien Film Polls and Games Musical streaming Lifetime halloween tv OWN IFC Box Office Grammys GoT scene in color sag awards Mindy Kaling Mary poppins movies true crime Fox Searchlight Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TCM TV movies all-time Amazon Prime Columbia Pictures trailers animated high school sitcom rt archives Fall TV mockumentary south america Starz satire Food Network deadpool 2015 Star Trek Western Endgame cinemax a nightmare on elm street Tarantino NBA Oscars reviews 4/20 cars basketball Film Festival Pet Sematary kids Chernobyl know your critic dogs TCA Winter 2020 Baby Yoda ABC Family black australia book adaptation The Witch Binge Guide Turner spanish italian james bond technology TNT The CW Shudder First Look classics new york olympics kong The Academy Amazon Studios television Marvel Television Paramount Plus heist movie miniseries USA Network batman Amazon Prime Video 72 Emmy Awards obituary boxoffice japanese Countdown TV renewals ESPN Certified Fresh legend HBO TCA MCU quibi godzilla TIFF revenge rotten comiccon Masterpiece 2021 mission: impossible Apple TV+ name the review APB DGA 99% dragons Pirates Holiday docudrama Nickelodeon TruTV politics Spike Tubi Pop 2020 Hallmark Christmas movies book dramedy Arrowverse scary movies unscripted new star wars movies space Winners NBC Avengers Mary Tyler Moore Classic Film award winner 007 Holidays harry potter Shondaland fast and furious police drama VICE Star Wars Freeform FX Character Guide indie Cartoon Network Comic-Con@Home 2021 worst DirecTV BBC America 2016 supernatural Awards Tour Apple Travel Channel Britbox Country X-Men HBO Max franchise Disney doctor who crime drama Best and Worst transformers cancelled canceled TV shows Rocky Tumblr golden globe awards Brie Larson BET kaiju scorecard docuseries Ghostbusters sequels Vudu christmas movies DC Universe Drama criterion Sundance Now green book saw Thanksgiving 20th Century Fox Reality zombies elevated horror documentaries japan Martial Arts SDCC blockbuster RT21 slashers Pixar strong female leads dark cancelled TV shows cats rotten movies we love Nominations Superheroes game of thrones crime thriller VOD renewed TV shows concert king arthur MSNBC Anna Paquin Legendary 45 king kong Paramount Network casting nfl Reality Competition DC Comics 2017 political drama joker Awards Action chucky 71st Emmy Awards New York Comic Con Song of Ice and Fire Video Games Dark Horse Comics CBS stand-up comedy Photos what to watch spy thriller Lionsgate History Walt Disney Pictures Disney Plus indiana jones free movies The Walt Disney Company stoner razzies pirates of the caribbean