June 10, 2008

Box Office Update 6/6-6/8: Kung Fu Panda Displays Superior Fu in Defeating Zohan

Last weekend the television series turned movie sensation, Sex and the City, plummeted 67%, while the other new release from the last frame, The Strangers, also fell by 57%. Taking the place of those R rated films, both with a more limited audience, are family and teen oriented films Kung Fu Panda and You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Both films proved to be potent box office successes, with the potential for a leggy run in the coming weeks.

Kung Fu Panda opened strong with a take of more than $60 million. The animated feature from Dreamworks Animation is an excellent family film that succeeds where other Dreamworks animated features have failed. It moves away from pop-culture references and cheap gags and tells a classic coming of age story with style, class, and plenty of humor. The movie also looks great on the giant IMAX screen, I have to recommend that those of you near one avail yourself of it. I suspect that this film will have a strong run as we move further into the summer.

Coming in a distant, but still strong, second is the latest Adam Sandler comedy, You Don't Mess with the Zohan. It is a film that is pretty dang funny, but Sandler has something of a polarizing effect on the audience, making its legs a little shakier than Kung Fu Panda's. Still, if you are a fan of Sandler's earlier work (Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison), you will probably enjoy this movie that has Sandler take his stupid comedy to the world stage.

Among the returning films, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Iron Man both continued to have strong showings as they both continue on their paths towards $300 million. It is a mark one has to wonder how many more films this summer will cross? I am pretty sure that Pixar's Wall*E will have a good shot at it. Any others? I would like to say Dark Knight, but I have a feeling that will top out around $250 million.

Next week will see The Incredible Hulk and The Happening take aim at the charts. The former is a more action oriented reboot of the big green comic character, while the later is an R rated thriller that hopes to get writer/director M. Night Shyamalan back on track.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (12) and Speed Racer (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NKung Fu Panda$60,239,130$60,239,1301
2NYou Don't Mess with the Zohan$38,531,374$38,531,3741
32Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$22,793,630$253,014,7503
41Sex and the City$21,218,305$99,177,2832
53The Strangers$8,941,970$37,298,7702
64Iron Man$7,477,439$288,847,6406
75The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian$5,658,836$125,977,0104
86What Happens in Vegas$3,437,801$72,267,8945
98Baby Mama$806,750$57,931,2157
109Made of Honor$804,055$44,689,4976

Box Office Predictions Recap
Not bad this week, definitely a step up from my sad choices last week. Of course, by guesstimation for Kung Fu Panda did fall well short of reality. The rest of my list was actually pretty close. My only incorrect placements were the swapping of Sex and the City and Indiana Jones, although the two were very close, and Speed Racer at number ten. The latter was already a box office failure, not helped this weekend by its leaving from more than 1,000 theaters.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Kung Fu Panda$60,239,130$48 million
22You Don't Mess with the Zohan$38,531,374$34 million
43Sex and the City$21,218,305$23 million
34Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$22,793,630$22 million

The Strangers

$8,941,970$11 million
66Iron Man$7,477,439$8 million
77The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian$5,658,836$6 million
88What Happens in Vegas$3,437,801$4 million
99Baby Mama$806,750$1.5 million
1410Speed Racer$427,547$1 million


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