June 16, 2009

Box Office Update 2/12-6/14: The Hangover Hangs Around

Now, everyone be honest, who thought that this far into their respective theatrical engagements that Angels & Demons would be outrunning Terminator: Salvation? This week the fifth for the Hanks film and fourth for the action film, sees the robots losing the war by nearly $10 million dollars. Yes, I know there is a week between them, but looking at their recent takes, I do not think the Christian Bale starring film would be able to catch up. The science fiction sequel has certainly not lived up to expectations. If there is a golden lining for the lucrative franchise, it is that it is going strong overseas and will almost assuredly to do very nicely on the home video market.

As for this week, the drunken party movie, The Hangover, retained its top spot, against all predictions. Who in their right mind would think an R-rated comedy about guys who get drunk, lose a friend, and set out to find him in Las Vegas would be the top grossing film two weeks in a row? Now, who had it lined up for one week at the top? Not I, I can tell you that much. What makes it notable is that it is a funny, fresh comedy that opened to good reviews and has received strong word of mouth. This is proof that worthy films will rise to the occasion and that the people will react in a positive manner. If you haven't seen it, make sure you do, you will not be disappointed.

Coming in at a close second is Pixar's Up. A film that is running stronger than I expected through the first three weeks of its tenure. This movie is the first recipient of a five-star review this year, and it is well deserved. The film is alternatingly sad, funny, and action packed. It is not your typical animated film and I am glad to see it doing so well, with three weekends north of the $30 million mark, this is a good sign for its continued success at the box office. This is one to pack up the family and head off to.

The third place film is the highest placed film from this weekend's freshman class. It is also the movie I fully expected to eke out a victory. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a remake of the 1974 film (and 1998 TV movie), opened up lower than expected. I guess folks were not all that interested in the verbal sparring between Denzel Washington and John Travolta. Perhaps it was Travolta as the bad guy that no one wanted? The film proved to be a moderately enjoyable experience, albeit quickly forgettable.

There was one other new release this week and it is already being considered a bomb. The latest Eddie Murphy family comedy, Imagine That, finished in sixth place, just narrowly beating out the still going strong Star Trek for the position. I guess families have chosen with their wallets and have decided seeing Pixar's latest animated feature, concerning and elderly man, an Asian-American boyscout, and a talking dog, to be the preferable experience to seeing Murphy play a businessman who has to decide between work and his daughter. I cannot say I blame them.

The last film of note is the previously mentioned Star Trek. The movie was originally slated to open this past Christmas, but seeing potential bigger money in the summer, the movie was pushed to May, plugged in right after Wolverine. Many did not see this as a good sign. In retrospect, it turned out to be a great idea as it opened strong and has continued to do solid business each week. This has to be a credit to JJ Abrams and his team for making the franchise cool again, making a quality fan and opening up the universe to a new generation of fans.

Next week sees Jack Black and Michael Cera joining the fray in the new Harold Ramis comedy Year One. Joining the original road trip is the romantic comedy The Proposal, featuring the pairing of Sandra Bullock and Ryan "Deadpool" Reynolds.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: My Life in Ruins (11) and Dance Flick (13).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
11The Hangover$32,794,387$104,768,4892
3NThe Taking of Pelham 1 2 3$23,373,102$23,373,1021
44Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian$9,616,907$143,463,7124
53Land of the Lost$8,994,030$34,820,5502
6NImagine That$5,503,519$5,503,5191
75Star Trek$5,454,563$231,882,9656
86Terminator: Salvation$4,787,487$113,923,1594
98Angels & Demons$4,111,457$123,211,6615
107Drag Me to Hell$3,932,585$35,214,4753

Box Office Predictions Recap
All right. I was a little bit off this week. Not too bad, but enough for it to be another underperforming week of predictions. I did not think for a second that we would have a $30 million film this week, much less two. To take it a step further, who would have thought The Hangover would repeat at the top of the chart? Be honest. I mean, who even pegged it to win one weekend? This week may not have featured any big releases, but that does not mean it is without its interesting tales of box office success.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
31The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3$23,373,102$27 million
22Up$30,762,28026 million


3The Hangover$32,794,387$20 million
64Imagine That$5,503,519$15 million
55Land of the Lost$8,994,030

$9.5 million

46Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian$9,616,907$8 million
77Star Trek$5,454,563$5 million
88Terminator: Salvation$4,787,487$4 million
109Drag Me to Hell$3,932,585$3.25 million
910Angels & Demons$4,111,457$3 million


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