This week begins with a whimper as Monday box office results reveal that last week was better. Despite two new debuts from high profile actors, top 10 box office had combined receipts of $17,716,720, down 14% from last Monday's $20,586,002. There are two reasons for this. The first is that this week's openers are not as strong as last week's openers. And the second is that last week's openers are dying faster than Dane Cook's career.
Daily Box Office Analysis for June 23, 2008
By David Mumpower
June 24, 2008
Get Smart finished in first place for the fourth consecutive day and, barring something unforeseen, will keep this streak alive until it falls to third place on Friday. The Steve Carell comedy earned $5,119,453 yesterday, which is a total representative of 85% of The Incredible Hulk's business last Monday, $6,010,045. I say this as a point of reference for making the statement that Get Smart had a much better first weekday than Hulk. The explanation is that the spy spoof earned only 70% of the weekend box office of its comic book counterpart. Closing the gap this much percentage-wise is not wholly unexpected given Hulk's now-proven lousy legs, but it's one of only three true positives in yesterday's top ten.
To my surprise, one of the other positives is The Love Guru, the Mike Myers comedy rejected by North America en masse. The film follows up on a dreadful $13.9 million opening weekend with $2,649,125. This may not sound like much, but it is representative of 19.1% of its initial three-day total. For comparison's sake, Get Smart is at "only" 13.2% of its weekend number, a performance we have already described as good. Now, I want to stress that it's a trick of box office mathematics for smaller films to have better hold-over in terms of percentage declines, as has been discussed on the site many times. A $40 million opener is not the same as a $100 million opener in this manner nor is it the same as a $14 million opener. There is a tiering system at work, but even allowing for this, a 19.1% holdover on Monday is strong for almost any title. I hate Myers as much as the rest of you do, but this is a positive after a week of negative press for him. Of course, it's also far too little, far too late.
The final positive in the top ten is the impressive staying power of Kung Fu Panda. After falling only 34.2% in its second Monday last week, the title performs even stronger at the start of week three. A decline of only 27.2% gives it a running total of $158,861,401. It should be around $169 million by the weekend, meaning it has switched from a possibility to beat Madagascar to a strong likelihood. And, on a personal note, I highly recommend the movie to all of you, particularly the readers who are also parents.
In terms of last week's openers, we chronicled their plight all of last week. The data points all added up to hefty weekend declines, and the prophecy was fulfilled when The Incredible Hulk fell a stiff 60% and The Happening fell off a cliff with a 66% drop. Both films continued their disappearing acts with Monday box office. Hulk dropped 56% to $2,649,125, mirroring its Ang Lee predecessor. That title fell 60% on its second Monday to $2.461 million. In terms of where both films were at after the same time frame, 11 days, The Hulk was at $103.1 million while The Incredible Hulk stands at $99,704,555. If we account for box office inflation, 2003 Hulk is 22% ahead of 2008 Hulk in terms of actual tickets sold.
Finally, on a site note, I want to apologize to users of Firefox 3 for an issue we experienced yesterday. BOP experienced a database attack that led to a scripting issue on some of our pages. This set off an alarm for users of the new browser. On behalf of the entire staff, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thanks to the tireless dedication of our lead tech here at BOP, the matter was resolved in a timely fashion, but for those of you left without access to the site for a while, we're sorry. In the immortal words of Tony Kornheiser, we'll try to do better the next time.