Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Would Ya Believe, $39M?

Love Guru is Smarting.

by | June 22, 2008 | Comments

Steve Carell
took control of the North American box office with his action-comedy Get Smart
which powered its way to an easy win at the multiplexes. Mike Myers starrer The Love Guru
settled for a fourth place launch behind holdovers
Kung Fu Panda and The Incredible Hulk
which fought fiercely for the number two spot. Overall business cooled down
after four scorching frames of stellar sales, but the marketplace was still
comfortably ahead of year-ago levels.

A modern update on the classic 1960s spy series, Get Smart
was what the public wanted as the Warner Bros. vehicle bowed to an estimated
$39.2M from an ultrawide 3,911 locations to lead the box office this weekend.
Averaging a solid $10,012 per site, the PG-13 film starring Carell
as bumbling agent Maxwell Smart overcame weak reviews to post the best opening
ever for the comedian in the lead role of a live-action film. Earlier this year
he co-anchored with Jim Carrey the Dr. Seuss toon Horton Hears a Who!
which debuted to $45M. Smart packed in extra starpower with Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, and Alan Arkin.
After stumbling last month with its other television remake Speed Racer,
Warner Bros. hit the jackpot this time around with a film that blended comedy
with action giving audiences the kind of entertainment worth leaving home for.
It was also the studio’s biggest opening of the year so far, not counting New
Line’s Sex and the City which it handled distribution for.

Thanks to a solid hold, the animated comedy
Kung Fu Panda bounced back up one spot to
second place with an estimated $21.7M dropping only 35%. The 17-day total is now
$155.6M for Paramount and DreamWorks. The
Jack Black
martial arts tale is still performing much like Pixar’s 2006 June toon Cars
which raced to a nearly identical $156.7M after 17 days. That film enjoyed a
slightly better third lap grossing $23.3M for a slim 31% decline. Kung Fu
is still on course to surpass the $225M mark making it difficult for
Pixar and Disney’s next offering Wall-E to steal the animation crown for
the summer. That toon invades multiplexes this Friday.

Very close behind in third was Universal’s comic book reboot The Incredible Hulk
which fell 61% to an estimated $21.6M for a ten-day tally of $96.5M. It was a
better hold and gross compared to Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003 which suffered
a stunning 70% freefall to $18.8M in its sophomore session for a ten-day cume of
$100.6M. Incredible will probably find its way to about $140-145M domestically.
The old Hulk finished with $132.2M five years ago which would translate
to around $155M at today’s ticket prices meaning the new Edward Norton
vehicle will end up selling about 8% fewer ticket stubs. But the new film is
well-liked by fans so the franchise now has a promising future. Overseas, The
Incredible Hulk
grossed an estimated $23.4M from 50 territories boosting the
international take to $63.3M and the global gross to $159.8M with several key
markets yet to open.

Settling for a fourth place debut was the new Mike Myers comedy The Love Guru
which grossed an estimated $14M from 3,012 locations for a mild $4,648 average.
Paramount’s PG-13 pic about a self-help expert hired to fix a star hockey
player’s love life came in below expectations and was the smallest bow for a
Myers comedy since the $9.5M of 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of
. Panned by critics, Guru opened to $5.4M on Friday, dropped a
troubling 12% on Saturday to $4.7M, and is projected to dip another 17% to $3.9M
on Sunday.

M. Night Shyamalan‘s
latest creepfest The Happening
collapsed in its second weekend tumbling 67% to an estimated $10M pushing the
ten-day total to $50.3M. The Fox release was the director’s third consecutive
film to tumble by 60% or more in the second weekend. The Mark Wahlberg starrer
looks to finds its way to about $70M making it the second lowest grosser for
Shyamalan since he hit it big with 1999’s The Sixth Sense. Only 2006’s
Lady in the Water
did worse with $42.3M.

It was another good hold for
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skullwhich
dropped 43% in its fifth frame to an estimated $8.4M. The Paramount release
upped its cume to $290.8M putting the much-anticipated return of Indy at number
31 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after the $291.7M of 2005’s
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Comedy stars with stylish hair followed. Sony’s You Don’t Mess With the Zohan
fell 56% to an estimated $7.2M giving the Adam Sandler pic $84.1M to date.
Warner Bros. and New Line’s Sex and the City
held up better dipping only 34% to an estimated $6.5M boosting the domestic
total to $132.4M. Add in the incredible $169.7M from overseas and the ladies of
New York cruised past the $300M global mark this weekend with $350M well within

Audiences still can’t get enough of
Iron Man which posted the smallest dip in the
top ten for the third consecutive weekend. The Marvel super hero eased by 29% to
an estimated $4M and raised its tally to a stunning $304.8M joining Juno
as the only films this year to spend eight straight weeks in the top ten. The
pregnancy comedy’s total streak was ten frames including the final two weekends
of 2007. Iron Man held steady at number 27 on the all-time list right
behind the $305.4M of 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black

Rounding out the top ten was the horror flick The Strangers
with an estimated $1.9M, off 52%, for a $49.6M take for Universal.

Two films with very different production costs fell out of the top ten. Disney’s
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian dropped 46% to an estimated
$1.7M giving the fantasy sequel $135.5M to date. Budgeted at nearly $200M, the
second installment in the C.S. Lewis series should finish up with about $140M
which would be a sharp 52% decline from the $291.7M of its 2005 predecessor. The
studio has two years to reignite interest in the franchise with the next film
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
currently set to open on May 7, 2010, just
one week after what is guaranteed to be a gargantuan debut for Iron Man 2.

Fox’s $35M comedy What Happens in Vegas has been a big winner this summer
and took in an estimated $770,000 this weekend falling 54%. The Cameron
Diaz-Ashton Kutcher pic has banked $77.5M in winnings and should conclude with
roughly $80M domestically. Overseas results have also been robust with Vegas
collecting over $115M to date for a global tally north of $195M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $134.4M which was up 10% from last year
when Evan Almighty opened in the top spot with $31.2M; and up 8% from
2006 when Click debuted at number one with $40M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,

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