July 1, 2008

Box Office Update 6/27-6/29: Wall*E Flies High

Last weekend was topped by a film that was good and hit its box office expectations, yet did not cross the $50 million mark as the weekend winners had for the seven weekends prior. The trend towards lower box office takes lasted a mere week as this weekend featured two films crossing the $50 million barrier. Next week should continue the high box office trend with its surefire winner, Hancock. However, this weekend is the one we're talking about and it pushed this June to become the most profitable June in history, with this particular weekend being the second biggest ever, with the top 12 films totalling more than $180 million.

Leading the charge is the newest film from Pixar, Wall*E. With this tale of robotic adventure and love Pixar proves that they still have plenty left in the tank (as if there was any doubt). I keep waiting for them to release an utter failure, but the more films they make, they higher they seem to reach. Last year's Ratatouille was a top ten finisher for the year (on my chart anyway), and I had to believe that this year's film could not dare reach that high. Boy, was I wrong. Wall*E is an absolute masterpiece, nearly flawless in narrative as well as execution. This is a movie that digs into your heart and takes up a permanent residence. To this point of year, it is easily the best film to cross my eyes. It deserves every penny it makes and will hopefully display strong legs in the coming weeks.

Coming in second place, with a surprisingly strong showing, is the bullet riddled action-fest Wanted. This film is a strong entry in the action genre in this post-Matrix world, adapting a comic book to the big screen with a number if visual flourishes that help it stand out from the crowd. Its strongest point is easily the wild action and fast paced narrative, but what truly makes it worthy is the casting of a strong lead in James McAvoy, not to mention the inspired choice of putting Angelina Jolie's smoldering screen presence next to him. It's initial success should go a long way to getting a sequel, the story certainly begs for it.

Among the rest of the returning films The Love Guru and The Happening are leading the race to the bottom, both plummeting more than 60%. The difference here, at least in my opinion, is that one is actually worth seeing and the other isn't worth the film it is printed on. These two films will fall quickly over the next week or two.

Despite those falling numbers, there are some films that showed some leg coming through the weekend. Leading the way is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which has crossed the $300 million mark. The majority of the returnees displayed decent holds, with drops in the upper 40% range.

Next week will see Will Smith return to the Fourth of July holiday with Hancock, while Abigail Breslin steps into Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Iron Man (11) and The Strangers (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
31Get Smart$20,211,242$77,477,0312
43Kung Fu Panda$11,692,061$179,276,7544
52The Incredible Hulk$9,577,245$115,859,2103
64The Love Guru$5,340,895$25,222,3772
76Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$5,179,960$300,085,4476
85The Happening$3,907,948$59,120,8543
98Sex and the City$3,808,288$140,170,3625
107You Don't Mess with the Zohan$3,175,214$91,190,1294

Box Office Predictions Recap
Wall*E easily took the top spot this week, just as I had predicted in a week where I was much stronger overall than I would have suspected. All of my figures were in the right ballpark, save one. There is no way I would have pegged Wanted to finish north of $50 million, but there it is. The first hint that it was going to run higher than predicted was the pretty full theater I saw it in at 10:15 on Friday night. Of course, anecdotal evidence does not always prove out, but here is a case that it did turn out right.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Wall*E$63,087,526$68 million
22Wanted$50,927,085$28 million
33Get Smart$20,211,242$21 million
54The Incredible Hulk$9,577,245$12 million

Kung Fu Panda

$11,692,061$11.5 million
66The Love Guru$5,340,895$7 million
77Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$5,179,960$5 million
88The Happening$3,907,948$4.5 million
109You Don't Mess with the Zohan$3,175,214$4 million
910Sex and the City$3,808,288$3.5 million


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