Weekend Box Office

Box Office Wrapup: Snakes Opens at #1, But Lacks Bite

by | August 20, 2006 | Comments

Samuel L. Jackson‘s much-talked-about thriller Snakes on a Plane landed in first place at the North American box office this weekend, but lacked the kind of bite that was expected given all the media attention and internet buzz that surrounded the film.

The weekend’s two other new releases Accepted and Material Girls targeted teens and met with only mild-to-moderate results. However, the indie comedy Little Miss Sunshine flexed some muscle in its national expansion jumping into the top ten in its fourth weekend of release. Former number one Talladega Nights raced past the $100M mark while Pirates of the Caribbean cruised past the $400M milestone this weekend. However, the late-summer slowdown took its toll on the box office as for the first time in fourteen weeks, the top ten failed to top $100M.


A number one box office performance…does not a franchise make.

Following months of online buzz which translated into tons of national publicity, Snakes on a Plane finally arrived in theaters and collected an estimated $15.3M over the weekend including about $1.4M in Thursday night preview grosses. Taking off in an ultrawide 3,555 theaters, the R-rated film averaged a mediocre $4,290 per site. Of the 62 films in history that have opened in 3,500 or more theaters, 61 have grossed more than Snakes on opening weekend. Only last summer’s Herbie: Fully Loaded fared worse with $12.7M from 3,521 sites following a Wednesday bow. Snakes also suffered the second lowest gross for a number one opener this year after Glory Road‘s $13.6M top spot bow in January.

Since no film before it had generated the same type of grassroots hype, expectations varied greatly leading into the frame with most believing it would at least surpass the $20M mark. The New Line release finds Jackson playing an FBI agent escorting a key witness on a commercial airliner when deadly snakes are let loose. The studio did not screen the film for the media ahead of the release. Fans on the internet have been talking up the picture since last year creating a cult fan following which no one knew how to measure when it came to box office sales. Ultimately, Snakes did not appear to have had much appeal outside of its core fan base of young men. With a budget of only $30M, Snakes on a Plane should still end up being a moneymaker for New Line after worldwide DVD sales are tallied. However, hopes for a new franchise seem to have been crushed.


"Talladega Nights:" still reeling in moviegoers

After two weeks in pole position, Will Ferrell‘s hit comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby finished close behind in second place this weekend with an estimated $14.1M in its third lap. The Sony release dropped only 36% and showed good legs. On Thursday, Talladega became the eleventh film of the year to cross the $100M mark and has pushed its total to $114.7M after 17 days. Snakes led all films at the box office on Friday, but Ricky Bobby raced ahead on both Saturday and Sunday.

Oliver Stone‘s 9/11 drama World Trade Center enjoyed a good hold in its second weekend grossing an estimated $10.8M. Down a moderate 42%, the Paramount release upped its total to $45M after 12 days. The $65M film looks to reach about $70M domestically.

Universal’s new teen comedy Accepted bowed in fourth place with an estimated $10.1M from 2,914 theaters. The PG-13 film about a high school senior who forms the fictitious S.H.I.T. (South Harmon Institute of Technology) after being rejected by every other college averaged a mild $3,470 per location. Budgeted at $23M, Accepted appealed mostly to a teen and young adult audience with studio research showing that a whopping 74% of the crowd was under 25. Males slightly outnumbered females with 52% of the audience.

Last weekend’s surprise hit Step Up fell an understandable 52% in its second session taking in an estimated $9.9M for fifth place. Buena Vista’s low-budget dance drama has captured a robust $39.4M in ten days and could end its run with a terrific $60M. At the beginning of August, no one thought that Step Up would score a bigger opening than Snakes on a Plane. The animated comedy Barnyard followed with an estimated $7.5M dropping only 23%. The strong hold for the Paramount release helped boost the cume to $46M after 17 days.


"Little Miss Sunshine," no longer just an indie hit?

Boasting the best per-theater average in the top ten by far was indie sensation Little Miss Sunshine which expanded nationally and grossed an estimated $5.7M. Fox Searchlight’s dysfunctional family comedy averaged a stellar $8,213 from 691 locations after widening from 153 playdates last weekend. Cume to date stands at $12.8M with much more to come. The distributor reported that the Greg KinnearSteve Carell pic is broadening its audience beyond just the arthouse crowd and is now playing well in mainstream multiplexes in suburban markets. Sunshine will double its theater count on Friday with over 1,400 runs and will add a few hundred more the following weekend for the Labor Day holiday frame.

Disney’s unstoppable smash Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ranked eighth this weekend with an estimated $5M in its seventh voyage. Down only 31%, the Johnny Depp adventure broke the quadruple-century mark and pushed its cume to $401.1M in North America making it the seventh biggest domestic blockbuster ever trailing the $403.7M of 2002’s Spider-Man. Worldwide, the Pirates sequel cruised past the $900M mark this weekend and will break through the $1 billion barrier soon allowing it to join only Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the ten-digit club.

Opening quietly in ninth place were sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff with their comedy Material Girls which debuted with only $4.6M, according to estimates. Playing in 1,509 theaters, the MGM release averaged just $3,062 per site. The PG-rated story about wealthy sisters who must cope with being bankrupt opened much like Hilary Duff’s recent films Raise Your Voice ($4M in October 2004) and The Perfect Man ($5.3M in June 2005).

Rounding out the top ten was the horror entry Pulse with an estimated $3.5M, off 57%, for a ten-day total of just $14.7M. The Weinstein Co. should reach a mere $20M with this one.


"The Illusionist," off to a good start in an expanding limited release

There was plenty of activity in limited release over the weekend. Yari Film Group opened its period mystery The Illusionist in 51 theaters and grossed an estimated $925,000 for a powerful $18,137 average. The Edward NortonPaul Giamatti starrer earned strong reviews and will add more theaters on Friday before expanding nationwide on September 1.

Fox Searchlight saw more modest results with its new relationship pic Trust the Man which debuted to an estimated $176,000 from 38 locations for a moderate $4,632 average. Playing in eight cities, the R-rated story stars Billy Crudup, David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Trust will widen to more than 100 theaters on Friday. Reviews have been mixed.

Four summer movies dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Lionsgate’s horror film The Descent fell 47% to an estimated $2.5M putting its total at $22.3M. The chicks-in-a-cave thriller should end with $27-29M. Sony’s Tim Allen flop Zoom declined 47% to an estimated $2.4M increasing its sum to a puny $9M. A horrendous final total of around $15M seems likely.

Universal’s $135M cop pic Miami Vice dropped 50% to an estimated $2.4M in its fifth frame and lifted its sum to $59.8M. A disappointing $65M final seems likely. The $75M animated film Monster House grossed an estimated $1.9M, down 42%, for a cume of $67.3M. Sony should end up with a respectable $72M.

Among holdovers in limited release, ThinkFilm’s critically-acclaimed drama Half Nelson added one theater and grossed an estimated $57,000 from three sites for a solid $19,067 average. The existing pair of theaters in Manhattan suffered almost no decline from last weekend and continued to sell out most of their weekend shows. Cume stands at $148,000 and the film debuts on Friday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

The global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth became the highest-grossing film in company history for Paramount Classics this weekend. Al Gore‘s environmental pic took in an estimated $246,000 from 221 theaters and upped its total to $22.4M. The distributor’s previous top grosser was last summer’s Hustle & Flow with $22.2M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $86.5M which was down 7% from last year when The 40-Year-Old Virgin debuted at number one with $21.4M; and down 10% from 2004 when Exorcist: The Beginning opened in the top spot with a robust $18.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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