July 29, 2008

Box Office Recap 7/25-7/27: The Dark Knight Continues to Dominate

Last weekend The Dark Knight ruled them all as it went on an absolutely phenomenal tear through the record books. That trend continued through the week and right into the new weekend. It now holds the new record for second weekend gross, not to mention fastest to $300 million. There have even been whispers that it has its eyes set on Titanic's titanic take of $600 million. Now that has got to be just a dream, still, Shrek 2's $441 million is clearly within the realm of possibility. If it overtakes that total, it will be the biggest film of the decade. I must say that this is quite a feat and it is nice to see a film deserving of the attention get to hold onto these records. Oh yes, the Bat-flick took more than $75 million, becoming only the second film to cross $70 million in its second week.

This weekend saw two new films enter the fray, neither of which had a chance to overtake the Chistopher Nolan helmed behemoth. The best they could hope for were the scraps left behind by The Dark Knight. When you take a look at what these two films ultimately took, that is exactly what they got.

The first film is Step Brothers. It fared rather well, with a gross north of $30 million. The Will Ferrell comedy proved to be a riot and the perfect antidote to the darkness of The Dark Knight. Sure, the R-rated comedy is not for family friendly audiences and did not tell a particularly compelling story, but I could not help but laugh. The pairing of Ferrell and John C. Reilly is just perfect.

The other film to strike fear in the hearts of movie goers is The X-Files: I Want to Believe. In addition to being saddled with an absolutely terrible title also benefited from the practically non-existent promotion from Fox. The film proved to be a disappointment (at least for me), and the fans did not turn out as expected. This one will probably wind up on DVD in pretty short order.

For the returning films, aside from The Dark Knight, they performed pretty well. As a matter of fact, The Dark Knight was the only film to drop more than 50%. Journey to the Center of the Earth led the charge, dropping a mere 21%.

Next week will see the biggest competition coming from Universal's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which was originally slated to open the week before The Dark Knight, but had its slot swapped with Hellboy II. It looks to open north of $5o million, thus unseating Batman from his perch. The other wide release is the Kevin Costner political comedy Swing Vote, which looks good but not great.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Get Smart (10) and Kung Fu Panda (11).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
11The Dark Knight$75,166,466$313,781,6772
2NStep Brothers$30,940,732$30,940,7321
32Mamma Mia!$17,746,725$62,595,4652
4NThe X-Files: I Want to Believe$10,021,753$10,021,7531
54Journey to the Center of the Earth$9,717,217$60,487,4553
85Hellboy II: The Golden Army$5,100,305$66,059,9253
97Space Chimps$4,536,838$16,167,3802

Box Office Predictions Recap
Well, I nailed the top spot and, with a few minor exceptions, I was pretty solid throughout the list. My biggest and only serious bobble was The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Even with the low level of promotion, I would have thought the film would have been able to double its ultimate take, now it will take a few weeks just to get to that point and I now suspect it will not last long in the top ten. I did have one other surprise, that being the small drop for Space Chimps, after it tanked in its opening weekend, I thought for sure it would have a bigger drop. Anyway, next week will be interesting to see how strong The Dark Knight will continue to be.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11The Dark Knight$75,166,466$74 million
22Step Brothers$30,940,732$28 million
43The X-Files: I Want to Believe$10,021,753$20 million
34Mamma Mia!$17,746,725$16 million


$8,311,123$7.5 million
56Journey to the Center of the Earth$9,717,217$6 million
77Wall*E$6,422,186$5.5 million
88Hellboy II: The Golden Army$5,100,305$5 million
99Space Chimps$4,536,838$3 million


10Wanted$2,738,550$2.5 million


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