Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Tropic Thunder Triumphantly closes Summer

And The Dark Knight smashed through the $500M mark

by | September 1, 2008 | Comments

Studios dumped out their usual trash over Labor Day weekend and moviegoers responded by avoiding most of them. That allowed Robert Downey Jr. to rock both the opening and closing ceremonies of the summer movie season as Tropic Thunder retained the number one spot for the third consecutive weekend. Five films opened or expanded nationally and were scattered all across the Top 20, most with weak results. Meanwhile, The Dark Knight moved up a notch in its seventh session and broke through the $500M mark over the long holiday weekend putting an end to what turned out to be a better-than-expected summer box office.

Still ahead of the pack for a third time, Tropic Thunder grossed an estimated $14.3M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend and lifted its impressive total to $86.6M after 18 days of release. The Ben Stiller-directed war comedy saw its three-day take of $11.5M drop only 29% from last weekend and joined the Batman juggernaut as this year’s only films to rank number one for three or more weekends. The $90M DreamWorks production is on course to end its run in the vicinity of $110M for Paramount which coincidentally also kicked off the summer blockbuster season at the top in May with Iron Man.

Leading all new releases, but lacking muscle, was Vin Diesel’s return to the action genre with Babylon A.D. which bowed to an estimated $12M over the long holiday weekend. Fox’s latest clunker enjoyed the widest launch by far among debuting titles but generated a lackluster $3,540 average over four days from 3,390 theaters. During the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the R-rated thriller grossed $9.6M for a weak $2,822 average. Babylon A.D. capped off a summer that the studio would like to forget following such misfires as Meet Dave, The Rocker, and The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Some were not costly films and others Fox just distributed for a fee, but the studio still failed to score a $100M+ summer grosser for the first time in eleven years.

The comic book overachiever The Dark Knight smashed through the $500M mark and placed third in its seventh weekend with an estimated $11M. Warner Bros. bumped its stunning cume up to $504.7M and surpassed the quintuple century barrier on Sunday in its 45th day of release. The new Batman epic has now sold approximately 70 million tickets beating out Spider-Man which snapped up roughly 69 million stubs in 2002. Knight is on a trajectory to end its North American run with about $525M translating to around 74 million admissions. Overseas, The Joker’s antics attracted an estimated $19.2M boosting the international total to $417M and the global gross to an eye-popping $921.7M. That was enough for The Dark Knight to break into the all-time top ten list of worldwide blockbusters. Shattering the $1 billion mark is a virtual guarantee.

Sony’s sorority comedy The House Bunny ranked fourth for the weekend with an estimated $10.2M over four days in its second term. The Anna Faris starrer has grossed a solid $29.8M in 11 days and could finish in the neighborhood of $45M. The budget was only $25M.

Overture Films saw a respectable debut for its Don Cheadle political thriller Traitor which bowed to an estimated $10M over the long weekend and $11.5M in the six days since opening on Wednesday. The PG-13 pic landed in 2,054 theaters and averaged a good $4,869 over four days representing the second best average among films in wide release. Reviews were somewhat positive.

Jason Statham’s latest action offering Death Race fell to sixth grossing an estimated $8.2M over the long weekend pushing the 11-day total to $25M. The $45M Universal release should end up with $35-40M.

Moviegoers finally said no to spoof kings Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg as their newest comedy Disaster Movie flopped taking in an estimated $6.9M over four days. Opening in 2,642 locations, the PG-13 pic averaged a weak $2,604 for Lionsgate. Disaster‘s three-day bow of $5.8M was less than one-third of what the filmmakers saw on opening weekend for their most recent hits Meet the Spartans and Epic Movie which both debuted at number one with respective takes of $18.5M and $18.6M.

Two hit comedies followed. Universal’s musical sensation Mamma Mia! sang to the tune of $5.8M, according to estimates, and raised its cume to $132.9M. The studio released a new sing-along version in selected theaters on Friday which helped give sales a boost over the holiday weekend. A final domestic tally of $140-145M could result for the $65M songfest. Sony’s stoner hit Pineapple Express collected an estimated $4.5M and took its sum to $80.9M. The final gross for the $27M production should reach $85-90M.

Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona popped back into the top ten with an estimated $3.5M over four days. The MGM release has now taken in $13.3M which is an impressive number for the veteran filmmaker. The Javier Bardem tale also generated the best average among all movies in wide release. Look for a final take at or slightly north of $20M.

With seven other comedies ahead of them on the charts, two new R-rated laughers stumbled in wide release this weekend grossing less than $3M each over four days. MGM’s teen pic College failed miserably with an estimated $2.6M from 2,123 locations for a dismal $1,241 four-day average. Focus expanded its expensive Sundance acquisition Hamlet 2 from 103 to 1,597 theaters in the second weekend and walked away with just $2.1M, according to estimates, for a pitiful four-day average of just $1,330. Cume for the Steve Coogan pic is an embarrassing $3.1M which will not help the distributor recoup the $10M it paid for the indie comedy. Hamlet 2 is shaping up to be this year’s Happy, Texas which Miramax bought for around $10M at 1999’s Sundance but grossed a measly $1.9M from 146 theaters in commercial release that fall.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $86.4M over the Friday-to-Monday span which was down 24% from last year when Halloween opened in the top spot with $30.6M; and off 3% from 2006 when Invincible stayed at number one with $15.4M in its sophomore frame.

Tag Cloud

Rocky BET game show TV renewals Holiday psycho Hulu Hear Us Out Showtime 20th Century Fox animated renewed TV shows joker Emmy Nominations Action 2016 aliens Fox News Quiz Brie Larson Holidays award winner Turner adaptation laika Premiere Dates YA 2019 Black Mirror BBC blaxploitation TruTV Paramount cults book Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Heroines kids diversity movie Cosplay VH1 Stephen King Animation Paramount Network Red Carpet Opinion adventure mutant name the review dceu elevated horror Marvel Studios dogs Comic Book Year in Review Classic Film Mary poppins Apple TV Plus TV Land YouTube Red El Rey History Musicals stand-up comedy Trivia crime drama films Sundance Now HBO Go serial killer Ovation Travel Channel Rom-Com DC Universe cops casting quibi Trailer VICE LGBT romance werewolf sequel chucky composers Pet Sematary mockumentary TLC Reality Competition Comics on TV comic Countdown cats HBO Max Disney streaming service Marathons E! Amazon Prime Video Oscars classics strong female leads screenings singing competition Toys space TBS boxoffice psychological thriller Ghostbusters Spring TV Comedy Central dc period drama zombie Box Office documentary ITV Film Festival parents Academy Awards First Reviews festivals Trophy Talk Pop TV TCA Turner Classic Movies CMT NYCC The Arrangement BBC One The Witch BAFTA revenge Spectrum Originals police drama Western MTV cancelled television christmas movies DGA Logo franchise Discovery Channel thriller Thanksgiving Schedule OWN Apple TV+ crime criterion Television Critics Association GIFs comedies ABC Family news Winter TV television X-Men Anna Paquin teaser Hallmark PlayStation TIFF rotten Funimation game of thrones TNT BET Awards natural history ratings reboot Avengers movies San Diego Comic-Con Horror Music foreign spinoff tv talk TV nbcuniversal BBC America worst Mystery series anthology unscripted scary movies IFC Films mission: impossible hispanic Pirates Lifetime miniseries GoT canceled YouTube Premium Elton John free movies FX latino Teen 4/20 A&E politics superhero stoner FX on Hulu Hallmark Christmas movies streaming binge canceled TV shows cinemax Star Trek Country Crackle Summer New York Comic Con Peacock Lifetime Christmas movies a nightmare on elm street versus crossover docudrama YouTube vampires Grammys breaking bad zombies batman ghosts DC streaming service Family DirecTV obituary spain universal monsters cancelled TV shows GLAAD Watching Series American Society of Cinematographers Nickelodeon Rocketman concert Columbia Pictures Walt Disney Pictures indie Esquire Winners Netflix Valentine's Day Fall TV Endgame Film 2017 Writers Guild of America Video Games TCA Winter 2020 Television Academy cars blockbuster Tumblr Captain marvel HBO AMC MSNBC RT21 doctor who cartoon Awards Disney slashers President TCM south america Mary Poppins Returns PBS video on demand MCU Infographic Nat Geo Fantasy Super Bowl Masterpiece The CW Kids & Family toy story See It Skip It 71st Emmy Awards Britbox Biopics green book Martial Arts Tubi Black History Month Character Guide Binge Guide science fiction VOD Disney+ Disney Plus Ellie Kemper Amazon Prime Acorn TV Netflix Christmas movies Cannes Awards Tour FXX 007 Disney Plus jamie lee curtis Certified Fresh Best and Worst The Purge Polls and Games Podcast critics Spike supernatural Emmys rotten movies we love twilight Mindy Kaling reviews Women's History Month golden globes TCA 2017 war Sundance TV asian-american Drama A24 APB sitcom Apple SXSW SDCC Tarantino Star Wars 24 frames ABC CBS witnail PaleyFest nature Food Network Sneak Peek Marvel Election Syfy Set visit Amazon Studios harry potter transformers CBS All Access Cartoon Network Shudder Amazon Christmas Creative Arts Emmys fast and furious hollywood social media USA Network 2020 travel Tomatazos LGBTQ Song of Ice and Fire NBC facebook comiccon Adult Swim Warner Bros. Pride Month video robots cancelled TV series Dark Horse Comics theme song true crime Shondaland all-time sports Chilling Adventures of Sabrina FOX 72 Emmy Awards emmy awards Lionsgate satire hist IFC child's play Extras halloween Lucasfilm political drama CW Seed disaster biography The Walking Dead technology Calendar what to watch die hard DC Comics Nominations cooking Musical USA documentaries Freeform independent 45 CNN Universal National Geographic Superheroe Vudu 2015 discovery comics TCA Awards Comedy Sony Pictures medical drama Baby Yoda Sci-Fi indiana jones richard e. Grant Sundance Arrowverse Superheroes crime thriller historical drama Disney Channel Photos Mudbound E3 Interview First Look zero dark thirty RT History Pixar Bravo justice league cancelled Starz 2018 OneApp Marvel Television SundanceTV Chernobyl Pop spy thriller Crunchyroll best WarnerMedia dark stop motion dragons children's TV WGN spanish language ESPN based on movie dramedy screen actors guild talk show Mary Tyler Moore directors Epix Rock finale sag awards spider-man romantic comedy 21st Century Fox anime Reality