Awaiting the arrival of their webslinging hero, North American audiences avoided the multiplexes and held onto their money rejecting the slate of new releases that Hollywood dumped into theaters. That allowed the hit suspense pic "Disturbia" to retain its number one position for the third consecutive weekend despite the fact that the overall box office tumbled to its worst showing of 2007.
For the third straight weekend, moviegoers made the teen thriller "Disturbia" the top choice spending an estimated $9.1M on the Paramount release. After 17 days, the PG-13 sleeper hit has raked in a impressive $52.2M and could be headed for a $70M final. Produced by DreamWorks for only $23M, "Disturbia" is the first film to stay on top for back-to-back-to-back frames since Ben Stiller’s holiday season smash "Night at the Museum." Also, Paramount got to enjoy five straight weeks at number one with the Shia LaBeouf hit which followed on the heels of the two-week reign of "Blades of Glory." The last studio to accomplish this feat was Buena Vista in 2004 when "The Incredibles" claimed the top spot for two weeks followed by a three-week reign for "National Treasure."
The best opening among the new releases came from the new supernatural thriller "The Invisible" which landed in second with an estimated $7.6M from 2,019 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,767 per location, the PG-13 chiller about a teen whose spirit must solve his own murder was the fifth scary movie of the month to hit cinemas. "Invisible" had the least starpower of the four new releases, but used its creepy premise to connect with teens and young adults.
Nicolas Cage suffered his worst action opening since becoming a hero in the genre with his latest offering "Next" which stumbled into third place with a weak $7.2M debut, according to estimates. The Paramount release, which was expected to top the charts this weekend, averaged a feeble $2,642 from 2,725 theaters. Cage scored a hit earlier this year with the comic book actioner "Ghost Rider" which has taken in nearly $116M to date, but he couldn’t get action fans to make a return trip to the multiplexes with "Next" which was equally panned by critics. The film about a Las Vegas magician who can see two minutes into the future opened in several international markets as well this weekend and hit the top spot in France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. In all markets, "Next" is trying to grab whatever business it can before "Spider-Man 3" makes its global launch this coming week.
The webslinger sequel is poised to shatter records around the world thanks to both intense anticipation and weak competition. The mega-budgeted franchise film will have the domestic marketplace virtually to itself next weekend since there is zero excitement for any other film. Sony has even planned out Spider-Man Week in New York City which kicks off on Monday with the special black carpet premiere in conjunction with the Tribeca Film Festival with director Sam Raimi and the stars attending. Just like with the first Peter Parker flick from a half-decade ago, "Spider-Man 3" is not only kicking off the summer movie season, but it is arriving in a marketplace on life support in desperate need of a hero. The first "Spider-Man" opened to a then-record $114.8M and accounted for a whopping 77% of all ticket sales in the top ten. The new installment is swinging into an even weaker competitive environment and on more screens which could lead to a more dominant launch.
The Anthony Hopkins–Ryan Gosling thriller "Fracture" dropped a reasonable 36% in its second weekend to an estimated $7.1M. With $21.3M collected in ten days, the New Line release looks to find its way to $35-40M domestically.
"Blades of Glory," the year’s second biggest comedy after "Wild Hogs," slipped 32% to fifth place and grossed an estimated $5.2M for Paramount. With a budget of just over $60M, the Will Ferrell hit has taken in $108.1M and should skate to a $120M finish. Disney’s animated film "Meet the Robinsons" held up well thanks to no new kids competition and dipped 31% to an estimated $4.8M pushing the cume to $88.4M. The year’s top-grossing toon looks to end its run a bit north of the $100M mark.
Focus widened the run of its British action-comedy "Hot Fuzz" by expanding from 825 to 1,272 sites and grossed an estimated $4.8M this weekend for a decent $3,758 average on the sophomore frame. That represented a slim 18% dip in the gross but a steeper 47% drop in the average with the cume rising to $12.5M. The $16M production could conclude its North American run with $21-23M adding to its $49M tally from overseas.
The horror flick "Vacancy" suffered the worst fall in the top ten dropping 45% from its poor debut to an estimated $4.2M. Sony’s $19M thriller starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale has taken in just $13.9M to date and looks to limp to around $20M overall.
Wrestling fans ignored the new "Stone Cold" Steve Austin action pic "The Condemned" which debuted in ninth with a wimpy $4M, according to estimates. The R-rated film about ten death row inmates in a contest for survival was dead on arrival averaging a pathetic $1,732 from 2,310 sites for Lionsgate. Rounding out the top ten was Ice Cube’s family comedy "Are We Done Yet?" with an estimated $3.4M, off 34%, for a $43.8M sum. Sony should reach about $50M.
Jamie Kennedy’s new comedy "Kickin’ It Old Skool" flopped in its first weekend as the Yari Film Group release bowed to an estimated $2.8M from 1,816 locations for a miserable $1,542 average. It was a far cry from the actor’s 2003 spring comedy "Malibu’s Most Wanted" which debuted to $12.6M on its way to a solid $34.4M. Kickin’ was the ninth wide release this year to fail to reach the top ten on opening weekend.
Three films fell out of the top ten this weekend. Sony’s underperforming thriller "Perfect Stranger" dropped 46% to an estimated $2.2M putting the cume for the Halle Berry–Bruce Willis suspense pic at $21.6M. A disappointing $25M final seems likely for the star-driven bomb. The Warner Bros. chick flick "In the Land of Women" has grossed over $8M in its first ten days which is far from impressive. Look for a $12-14M finish for the Adam Brody clunker.
Buena Vista’s runaway smash comedy "Wild Hogs" finally left the top ten after eight long weeks. Starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy, the PG-13 pic took in an estimated $1.9M, off 33%, boosting the total to $158.8M. A final tally of $163-165M seems likely.
The top ten films slumped to an estimated $57.4M which was down 33% from last year when "RV" opened at number one with $16.4M; and down 26% from 2005 when "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" debuted on top with $21.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com