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Weekend Wrap-Up for July 6-8, 2007

By David Mumpower

July 8, 2007

But we don't want to be red shirts!

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Live Free Or Die Hard has been a similar beneficiary of a marvelous holiday week of box office. After earning a respectable $33.4 million last weekend, the latest Bruce Willis Blows Things Up outing falls an expected amount, 48%, winding up with $17.4 million for the weekend. Due to some glorious weekdays, however, it has a running total of $84.2 million now, significantly better than an action movie would normally expect after only $48.4 million in its first five days. A combination of holiday inflation and exemplary word-of-mouth (as I type this, it's currently the #240 movie off all-time on IMDb) has turned the tide on this one as well. The week of July 4th was kind to all three of the biggest movies over the entire holiday period.

The movie finishing in fourth place this weekend has not been quite so fortunate. License to Wed, the latest attempt to place Robin Williams in zany situations, earned an estimated $10.4 million over three days. Its six-day holiday total stands at only $17.8 million, and there is reason to believe it's going to vanish off the face of the planet sooner rather than later. Critics were emphatic in their rejection of the movie. Its current Rotten Tomatoes score is a dreadful 9%, meaning that we would have to find a sample size of eleven critics in order to find one drunk enough to mistake it for a quality release. Williams somehow cheated instant box office death with the similarly reviled RV, which earned an inexplicable $71.4 million, but reality has set in with License to Wed. Sadly, he still has a pair of comedies in the queue and will undoubtedly do countless others that will make most of us wish he had never been born.




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Evan Almighty holds the last spot in the top five this week. The $200 million budget nightmare of a divine comedy accrued an estimated $8.1 million this weekend. Like the other titles in the top ten, it too received aid from the holiday week's exceptional box office. Unfortunately, it needed much, much more help than it actually received. Steve Carell's latest comedy stood at $60.7 million after last weekend, so while its current total of $78.1 million indicates strong holdover, it's not enough. Not nearly enough. Only if we gave it the box office of Transformers as well enough. It's probably going to creep up to $100 million, but even that is not a certainty. It needs worldwide receipts of approximately Titanic proportions to bandage this enough to be acceptable. You might think I am exaggerating here, but the general rule of thumb on foreign revenue is that the distributor only winds up getting around 15% of the gross. Currently, Evan Almighty is the biggest financial failure relative to budget for the summer campaign.

Six and seventh place this week go to a pair of summer success stories. 1408 falls only 33% to $7.1 million, giving it a running total of $53.8. Since John Cusack works cheap these days (sorry, Say Anything fans, but it's true), MGM is looking to turn a tidy little profit on this one. A larger scale version of such a financial windfall is Universal's Knocked Up. Another $5.2 million this weekend represents a decline of only 29% from last frame. Even better, it has a running total of $132 million, which is probably triple the total cost of the entire run of Freaks and Geeks, the much beloved dramedy that spawned most of the talent involved in this movie. Relative to budget, Knocked Up has become one of the most successful comedies of the last 15 years and while it has slowed down some, it might yet creep over $150 million domestically. It probably has another weekend or two in the box office top ten as well.


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