May 5, 2009

Box Office Update 5/1-5/3: Wolverine Slashes the Competition

Is anyone surprised by this week's top movie? No? Me neither. I guess it was easy to predict that the film with the most hype behind it will top the box office of any given week; although, there are exceptions to every rule (last year's Speed Racer comes to mind). This weekend say the clawed star of X-Men Origins: Wolverine slice its way to the top of the pile with an impressive $85 million open. It seemed to be right in line with most predictions (including mine), although there were some that thought it would open similar to last year's Iron Man ($98 million). I believe this is also a solid test of the effect the leak of the workprint had, which does not seem to be much. Next week may be the bigger test as word of mouth gets out (much of it not good) and it faces the hyped, and better reviewed, Star Trek next week.

Coming in a distant second is the counter-programming romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. It stars Matthew McConaughey as a womanizer pining over the one that got away. The error of his ways is pointed out to him in full on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol mode with the arrival of a series of ghosts who take him on a tour to open his eyes to the truth. I chose not to see this movie this weekend, despite the positive buzz. Frankly, it looked a little on the generic side. Perhaps I will catch up with it at some point.

Coming in an even more distant third is last week's number one film, Obsessed, suffering a steep 58% drop, which had to be expected. This is another film I chose not to see. Having seen the trailer a number of times, I feel as if I have seen it already. Besides, if I want to see a story like this I suspect I would be better off staying at home and watching Fatal Attraction.

17 Again is your fourth place film. This is yet another film I have decided to pass on. It is one of those movies that looks like something I have seen a number of times before in slightly different guises; you know, movies like Big. Funny, movies like this are making it easy for me to keep my promise to cut back on the number of movies I go to during the year.

Fifth place is held by Monsters vs. Aliens, which is showing some good legs as it tries to drag itself to the $200 million plateau. I am not sure it will be able to make it, but it is making it interesting. It makes me wish the movie was just a little bit better than it is.

Slipping down the list is The Soloist, a decent movie that is sputtering at the box office as audience flock towards more blockbuster fare. It features a pair of good performance despite being a familiar story. That is followed by Disneynature's earth, which is doing well for a big screen documentary.

Hannah Montana holds steady in eighth place, same as last week, as Fighting slips on past down to ninth place. It appears that word got out on how bad the Channing Tatum drama is. Not surprising.

Rounding out the top ten is State of Play, the thriller that seems to be falling faster than I had initially anticipated. It is not a great film, but it is a solid thriller.

Next week will see the arrival of the highly anticipated Star Trek reboot. Also arriving nationwide is Next Day Air, an action comedy with an ensemble cast including Donld Faison, Mos Def, and Mike Epps.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Fast & Furious (11) and Crank: High Voltage (16).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NX-Men Origins: Wolverine$85,058,003$85,058,0031
2NGhosts of Girlfriends Past$15,411,434$15,411,4341
4217 Again$6,361,358$48,503,8173
56Monsters vs. Aliens$5,803,429$182,407,9716
64The Soloist$5,654,558$18,162,6962
88Hannah Montana: The Movie$4,164,185$70,946,3234
107State of Play$3,715,980$30,944,1803

Box Office Predictions Recap
Here is an odd week for me. I only got a few positions correct, but where I failed there I succeeded in getting the vast majority of dollar predictions right in the ballbark. That includes this week's top moneymaker, Wolverine. I will admit that as we get into the blockbuster season, it becomes a little bit easier to guess the top films, however, I generally still find a way to screw it up, especially when a hyped film flops or a modest film explodes.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11X-Men Origins: Wolverine$85,058,003$86 million
22Ghosts of Girlfriends Past$15,411,434$17 million


3Obsessed$12,052,151$13 million
64The Soloist$5,654,558$7.5 million
4517 Again$6,361,358

$6 million

96Fighting$4,011,465$5.5 million
77earth$4,340,235$5 million
58Monsters vs. Aliens$5,803,429$4.5 million
109State of Play$3,715,980$3.75 million
1210Battle for Terra$1,082,362$3 million


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