Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Superbad Opens Big at #1

Moviegoers got down with their superbad selves this weekend.

by | August 19, 2007 | Comments

Teenagers flocked to the multiplexes for stimulation
this weekend as the raunchy new sex comedy
powered its way to number
one while the frame’s other new releases, the sci-fi thriller The Invasion and
the adventure tale The Last Legion, were met with yawns. The overall North
American box office continued its red hot pace significantly beating out
year-ago levels yet again on its way to possibly ending the summer season with a
new record.

Sony captured the top spot for the first time since early May with

which powered ahead of expectations to bow to an estimated $31.2M. The R-rated
tale of three nerdy high school pals on a wild search to get booze to impress
their lady friends averaged a potent $10,583 from 2,948 locations. The opening
even beat out the $30.7M debut of June’s
Knocked Up
from director
Judd Apatow
and actor Seth Rogen. Apatow produced Superbad which co-starred and was
co-written by Rogen. Critics were quite impressed with McLovin and friends and
gave the film high marks. (Click
here for
our interview with the stars of Superbad.)

The studio pushed the teen comedy for months with a well-executed marketing
campaign which included a popular uncensored trailer and touring the main actors
around the country for promotional events. Superbad delivered the second biggest
opening for an R-rated film this year only trailing
. The two are the only R pics to reach number one at all in 2007. With a production cost of only $18M,
the comedy will easily become a healthy moneymaker for Sony. But the film’s
troubling Friday-to-Saturday drop of 15% could mean that fans rushed out upfront
as if this were a sequel and that big dropoffs could be on the horizon. Still it
was the second biggest opening ever in the traditionally slow second half of
August behind just
Freddy vs. Jason
which debuted to $36.4M in 2003. Studio
showed that the audience was 52% male and 60% in the 18-34 bracket.

Rush Hour 3 fell 56% in its second weekend and slipped to the runnerup spot with
an estimated $21.8M pushing the ten-day cume to $88.2M. The New Line action
sequel should find its way to about $135-140M from North America. Like most of
this summer’s threequels, Rush Hour 3 will end its domestic run well behind the
gross of its predecessor.

The one threequel to break that trend is
The Bourne Ultimatum
which followed in
third place this weekend with an estimated $19M, off only 42%. Universal’s
latest action entry has taken in a stellar $163.8M in only 17 days and should
surpass the $176.1M of 2004’s
The Bourne Supremacy
by the end of the week to
become the top-grossing film of the franchise. Grossing an estimated $6.7M in
its fourth frame, down 41%, was
The Simpsons Movie
which has taken in
$165.1M for Fox to date.

Starpower from Nicole Kidman and
Daniel Craig meant nothing at the box office
for their new sci-fi thriller
The Invasion
which bombed with an opening of just
$6M, according to estimates. Playing wide in 2,776 theaters, the PG-13 remake of

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
averaged a measly $2,161 per site. The
Warner Bros. release earned mostly negative reviews.

Paramount’s fairy tale adventure
fell 43% to an estimated $5.2M for a
ten-day sum of just $19.1M. A $30-35M final seems likely. The musical smash
Hairspray joined the century club over the weekend grossing an estimated $4.3M
for New Line, down just 33%, for a total of $100.7M. Disney’s

dropped 43% to an estimated $3.6M to boost its tally to $31.7M.

Falling to ninth place was
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
which took
in an estimated $3.5M, off just 35%, giving Warner Bros. $278.6M from North
America. Overseas, the fifth wizard tale collected an estimated $16.2M from 61
territories boosting the international cume to $594M and the global gross to a stunning $873M. Rounding out the top ten was
Adam Sandler and
Kevin James in
the Universal comedy
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
which made
an estimated $3.5M, down 41%, for a total of $110.4M thus far.

Opening with weak results outside of the top ten was the historical epic
The Last Legion
Ben Kingsley,
Colin Firth, and
Aishwarya Rai which launched
with an estimated $2.6M from 2,002 playdates for a dismal $1,297 average.

Debuting with respectable results in limited release was MGM’s
Death at a
which bowed to an estimated $1.3M from 260 theaters for a $5,012
Warner Independent platformed
‘s documentary
The 11th Hour
New York and Los Angeles and generated a strong start. The PG-rated pic looking at environmental problems grossed an estimated $56,000 from four sites
for a muscular $14,000 average. Hour expands to the top ten markets on Friday.

Two films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The Warner Bros. pic
took in an estimated $2.3M, off 39%, giving the
film $36.5M to date. A $40-43M final seems likely. Sony’s
Daddy Day
fell 47% in its second outing to an estimated $1.8M for a weak $8.8M
after ten days. The
Cuba Gooding Jr. sequel should stumble to a final take of
just $12M which will be a far cry from the $104.3M of
Eddie Murphy’s
Daddy Day
in the summer of 2003.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $104.9M which was up 21% from last year
when Snakes on a Plane opened in first place with $15.2M; and up 13% from
2005 when The 40-Year-Old Virgin debuted in the top spot with $21.4M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,


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