Weekend Box Office

Box Office Preview: Jen and Vince Ready to Rumble

by | June 1, 2006 | Comments

How much money will moviegoers spend on watching two celebrities yell and scream at each other for 106 minutes? That is the question that Universal, and the film industry in general, will be asking itself with the opening of The Break-Up, the new romantic comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.

Just like with last weekend, the frame only boasts one wide release hitting the multiplexes. In scheduling their summer, studios are more likely to have wanted to avoid clashing with the second weekend of X-Men: The Last Stand, than to not go head to head with the swinger and the friend. After a record-breaking bow, the mutant sequel aims to keep its command over the North American box office for the second straight week.

There have been no major star-driven romantic comedies in nearly three months so Universal hopes to fill the void with The Break-Up. Directed by Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Down with Love), the PG-13 concoction is aimed at adult couples with a clearly-defined premise that most can relate to. Vaughn plays a tour bus operator while Aniston plays an art gallery worker. As boyfriend and girlfriend, the two own and live in a spacious Chicago condo, but when they go splitsville, each refuses to move out and the former lovers must learn how to co-exist as just roommates.

Break-Up looks to play to an adult audience and females will surely outnumber dudes. Vaughn has been a rising box office powerhouse in recent years drawing in more moviegoers each year when anchoring comedies. In 2003, Old School was a leggy hit taking in $75.6M while 2004’s summer smash Dodgeball hit the mark with $114.3M. Last summer though, the funnyman struck gold twice with a supporting role in the former Mr. Aniston’s action hit Mr. & Mrs. Smith followed by Wedding Crashers which became the sleeper hit of the season zooming to $209.2M. The Break-Up will end that streak, unfortunately.

Vaughn excels at delivering guy humor opposite funny male co-stars. But this time, he is asked to star opposite a woman and still try to make ticket buyers laugh. Although the highlights of the film revolve around his humor, The Break-Up just doesn’t pack enough laughs to be a huge hit. In fact, the constant fighting between the two lead characters will put off many. What the filmmakers don’t realize is that couples actually go to the movies to get away from that sort of thing. Starpower, tabloid gossip, a lack of comedies, and a decent marketing push will help pump up the opening, but word-of-mouth should lead to hefty declines in the weeks ahead. Bad reviews are not going to help either.

The Universal release has gotten months of free publicity from the endless media attention on the off-screen relationship between Aniston and Vaughn. Last weekend’s birth of Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s baby has also added some free plugs too. The Break-Up should attract the same crowd that spent $24.4M on the opening of March’s Failure to Launch, although the grosses could be a bit higher since the starpower is arguably greater this time. Competition should not be too much of a factor this weekend. With no other new films in national release, the entertainment media will focus fully on this one. Plus, X-Men and Over the Hedge are playing to different audience segments. The only direct foe it will face is The Da Vinci Code which has been drawing in tons of adult women over the last couple of weeks. Opening in 3,065 theaters, The Break-Up could debut with about $26M this weekend.

Mutant fever ruled the box office last weekend with X-Men: The Last Stand opening to a record $122.9M over four days. That was nearly $3M better than originally estimated giving Fox an explosive start to what could be its final film of the franchise. Super hero pics and sequels tend to fall hard on the second weekend and coming off of a huge holiday bow will certainly up the decline as well. Last weekend’s Friday gross included sales from midnight shows on Thursday night while Sunday was stronger than usual thanks to the Monday holiday.

However, X-Men is not facing much new competition since the Aniston crowd does not consist of too many Magneto fans. Two years ago, Fox launched its effects-driven actioner The Day After Tomorrow over the Memorial Day frame and saw its Friday-to-Sunday gross tumble 60% on the second weekend. The weather disaster pic also had the towering $93.7M opening of the third Harry Potter film to deal with so some of the fall was attributed to the new kid on the block. The first two X-Men films debuted over non-holiday frames and dropped by 57% and 53% respectively in their sophomore sessions. X2 faced only one new opener in its second mission helping to soften the blow.

With more upfront demand and a holiday start, The Last Stand should fall harder. A 60% drop from the massive $102.8M three-day bow would give Fox about $41M for the weekend and the top spot once again. The ten-day cume for the latest adventure from the mutant heroes would shoot to a stunning $183M. With $700M in global grosses from the first two films, the X-Men trilogy should break through the $1 billion milestone in worldwide box office this weekend.

After suffering a steep 56% second weekend decline, The Da Vinci Code showed that long legs are not in its future. Add in the fact that The Break-Up will steal away many adult couples and it looks like another rocky frame for the Tom Hanks mystery. The Friday-to-Sunday take could drop 50% this time around and pull in about $17M. That would give Sony a still-impressive $170M in 17 days.

As Da Vinci fades away this weekend, so will Sony’s market share lead for the year. The studio has dominated for much of the year with six number one openings and more wide releases than any other studio. However, with the surging strength of X-Men, plus grosses from the year’s number one blockbuster Ice Age: The Meltdown, Fox looks to capture the market share lead by Sunday. As of the end of Memorial Day, both studios had about 18% of the box office pie year-to-date with Sony’s $608M sitting $18M ahead of Fox. That lead will be erased this weekend as the two distributors will swap positions but more shifting is likely to occur throughout the summer.

Paramount’s backyard adventure Over the Hedge will remain the only major option for little kids so a good hold is likely. A 40% drop from last weekend’s Friday-to-Sunday tally should lead to a $16M frame and a 17-day cume of $107M. All other holdovers should drift away with less than $5M a piece.

LAST YEAR Memorial Day weekend leftovers ruled the charts as the top three films remained the same, although some musical chairs led to a new order. The DreamWorks toon Madagascar rose from second to first place with $28.1M in its sophomore weekend pushing its ten-day cume to a solid $100.4M. Adam Sandler‘s comedy The Longest Yard also climbed a notch taking second scoring $26.1M. The Paramount remake pushed its sum to $95.8M in ten days. After two weeks on top, Star Wars Episode III tumbled 55% and placed third with $25.1M but watched its overall domestic gross soar to $307.9M. No other film in the year since has reached the triple century mark. Among new releases, Universal’s early Oscar contender Cinderella Man debuted in fourth with a weaker-than-expected $18.3M. The Russell Crowe drama went on to punch up $61.6M. Bowing in fifth was the estrogen pic The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with $9.8M while opening in seventh was the testosterone film Lords of Dogtown with $5.6M. Cumes reached a commendable $39M and a dismal $11M, respectively.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

green book Apple TV Plus TCA 2017 Film Watching Series Mary Poppins Returns Marvel Studios First Reviews YA See It Skip It thriller NBC Disney+ Disney Plus Amazon Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cops Awards Mudbound 21st Century Fox Binge Guide San Diego Comic-Con breaking bad Horror Peacock USA Network Apple crime drama MSNBC witnail Polls and Games Sundance Walt Disney Pictures 24 frames Tumblr anime 45 nature Teen Women's History Month GLAAD Tomatazos IFC true crime Film Festival Universal Stephen King Martial Arts Turner Classic Movies Reality Lucasfilm YouTube Red Christmas Spectrum Originals movies Fox News Thanksgiving The CW sequel canceled TV shows A24 GIFs television Crackle Interview Drama richard e. Grant diversity Schedule Red Carpet Biopics RT21 ESPN The Arrangement Tarantino Trailer Anna Paquin HBO Paramount Network YouTube biography Elton John Infographic doctor who Classic Film Syfy Music RT History Pop DirecTV dceu Epix Bravo American Society of Cinematographers zero dark thirty disaster El Rey hist Heroines ratings casting Holidays A&E singing competition streaming Hulu Western Star Wars Comedy VH1 mockumentary TLC joker SundanceTV Britbox 007 foreign Television Academy Acorn TV Quiz SDCC cancelled TV shows Columbia Pictures Lifetime crossover latino Lionsgate toy story animated PaleyFest space BBC dragons TCA TIFF tv talk DGA docudrama medical drama Character Guide discovery Disney Plus game of thrones National Geographic 2017 comiccon Hallmark Christmas movies award winner Apple TV+ Holiday Spring TV Emmy Nominations CMT Action Disney Channel jamie lee curtis Mary Tyler Moore Dark Horse Comics WGN blockbuster Song of Ice and Fire HBO Max Premiere Dates Super Bowl Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Comedy Central 2018 slashers adventure Nominations screenings The Witch BBC America 71st Emmy Awards Opinion Grammys WarnerMedia Netflix Christmas movies dc anthology Sony Pictures social media Family justice league Writers Guild of America FOX free movies spinoff Rocky elevated horror boxoffice teaser werewolf science fiction cats Toys Mindy Kaling strong female leads based on movie golden globes OWN Superheroes VICE renewed TV shows stand-up comedy robots Country halloween what to watch TV E3 kids Podcast Marvel cancelled serial killer DC Universe psycho MCU Disney streaming service Marvel Television Countdown Ghostbusters spider-man Summer Showtime CBS Fall TV comic Vudu binge spy thriller 20th Century Fox christmas movies YouTube Premium Musicals technology Rom-Com harry potter FX Year in Review unscripted dramedy Set visit ABC Family cancelled TV series talk show LGBTQ History Crunchyroll Ovation Masterpiece Hallmark Superheroe vampires Winter TV cartoon video quibi supernatural cars Emmys Oscars cancelled television Cartoon Network cults crime ABC Black Mirror Esquire Musical hispanic 2016 Adult Swim 2020 CBS All Access Mary poppins Fantasy USA war TruTV 2015 Captain marvel independent CW Seed Comics on TV TV Land Pirates adaptation GoT E! Star Trek SXSW DC Comics travel cooking period drama TV renewals APB sports mutant facebook ghosts Certified Fresh Turner natural history indie politics historical drama TCM spanish language theme song Nat Geo Rocketman zombie Extras Cosplay Video Games MTV zombies Pet Sematary Paramount Rock ITV book Trophy Talk Cannes Ellie Kemper Valentine's Day Mystery Warner Bros. Sundance Now Sci-Fi Shondaland Box Office spain political drama Awards Tour game show romance canceled Brie Larson DC streaming service PBS TBS comics cinemax Reality Competition IFC Films Lifetime Christmas movies Arrowverse 2019 sitcom versus Animation psychological thriller Shudder Disney crime thriller Election Calendar The Walking Dead transformers police drama miniseries Creative Arts Emmys romantic comedy Nickelodeon LGBT Best and Worst Chernobyl Netflix series Logo President revenge south america Amazon Prime Trivia Food Network BET Pride Month aliens CNN Pixar AMC First Look finale rotten movies we love Photos X-Men Marathons Starz blaxploitation Comic Book festivals Spike New York Comic Con NYCC FXX Kids & Family TNT Winners composers batman The Purge Amazon Prime Video Freeform Sneak Peek children's TV