Weekend Wrap-Up For June 6/22 - 2/24, 2007

Evan Not So Almighty at Weekend Box Office

By John Hamann

June 24, 2007

The cast of Evan Almighty looks up in awe at the box office performance of Bruce Almighty.

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Our second place film is another opener, this time of the quality variety, in 1408, a suspense/horror flick based on a short story by Stephen King. The John Cusack movie earned an impressive $20.2 million from 2,678 venues, and had the second-best average in the top ten at $7,534. From the usually idiotic MGM, 1408 overcame its lack of star power, a downturn in the horror business and heavy competition in summer to turn into a hit. 1408 almost grossed as much as its production budget, as it cost MGM only $25 million to produce. They did it with a snappy trailer and marketing campaign, and created buzz via some sensational early reviews. At RottenTomatoes, 72 positive notices were posted versus 26 negative ones, leaving 1408 with a fresh rating of 73% (and an even better 91% from Users of the site). This isn't the first time in the last few years Cusack has opened a thriller successfully. In April 2003, Cusack starred in Identity, a fantastic thriller from James Mangold (Walk the Line), and that movie debuted to $16 million (if you haven't seen it, go rent it, it really is that good) and finished with $52 million. MGM would have been looking for a similar gross with 1408, and it should easily reach $50 million, with $60 million not out of the question. Surprisingly, this is the biggest debut for a horror flick since Saw III opened in October 2006.

Finishing an ugly third is Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, as we have another sequel plunging drastically in its second weekend. The Marvel sequel grossed $20.2 million in its second frame, dropping a hurtful 65%. Silver Surfer earned more last weekend on its opening day than it did over its entire second weekend. It's not a complete surprise. The first film chucked 59% of its audience over its second weekend, but still managed to finish with $155 million. The Silver Surfer should finish short of the original, ending its run around the $140 million mark. So far, this $130 million picture has earned $97.6 million. Let's all say a prayer that Fox doesn't make another one.


Fourth goes to Ocean's Thirteen, as the George Clooney flick approaches the $100 million mark. The Warner Bros. sequel earned $11.3 million in its third frame, dropping 42%. After three weekends, Ocean's Twelve had earned $86.6 million, so Warner Bros. has to be happy with a $91 million gross so far.

Finishing fifth is Knocked Up, the film Steve Carell should have chosen over Evan Almighty. Knocked Up earned another $10.6 million this weekend, as the film continues to see small drops since opening to $31 million four weekends ago. Despite facing off against Evan Almighty, Knocked Up dropped only 24%, and has now seen drops of 36%, 28% and 24%. The small comedy with no major stars crossed the $100 million mark on Friday, it's 22nd day of release - the same amount of time it took Borat to reach that figure. I see Knocked Up finishing with more than Borat's $128 million domestic total. Currently, the comedy that was made for $30 million has earned $109 million.

Sixth goes to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, as the Disney blockbuster continues to trudge toward $300 million. Johnny Depp's gang of thieves earned another $7.2 million, but dropped 42% compared to last weekend, as there is no relief from the big drops for the big sequels this summer. So far, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has earned $287 million, a figure that Disney has to be somewhat disappointed with.

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