Weekend Wrap-Up for July 13-15, 2007
Potter’s Phoenix Lifts Box Office
By John Hamann
July 15, 2007
Even better news for the box office in general is the hold for Transformers, which finishes a decent second this weekend. Blockbusters have crashed in their second weekends so much this summer, it's almost expected even for non-sequels like Transformers. The Michael Bay film avoided the plague this weekend, earning $36 million from 4,011 venues this weekend. The three-day gross last weekend came in at $70.5 million, which leaves the second weekend drop at 46.7%, which is quite a bit better than the 60%+ drops many of the summer blockbusters have experienced in weekend two. The first ten days of play earned Transformers $186 million, so some thought that might lead to a bigger drop this weekend. It was also up against a huge film in Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, but despite a similar demographic target, Transformers were able to hold off the charge. The $150 million extravaganza hit the $200 million mark on Saturday, its 12th day of release, making it the second fastest non-sequel film to reach that mark (the original Spider-Man did it in nine days, and Passion of the Christ also did it in 12 days). Also on Saturday, Transformers became Michael Bay's biggest film, as its passed his 1998 effort, Armageddon, which finished with a domestic total of $201 million. After 13 days of release, Transformers has already earned $223 million, and will definitely see $250 million domestically, if not more.
Finishing third is Ratatouille, Pixar's latest (and possibly greatest) effort. While the quality of this effort is certainly top notch, box office results may not find the stratosphere like all of the other Pixar releases. In its third weekend, some feared that Ratatouille might get Pottered. This was not to be the case, as it earned $18 million, off 37.9% compared to last weekend. This is right in line with its percentage drop from last weekend, which was also 38%. It's especially impressive that Ratatouille was able to hold steady in the face of Potter. Monsters, Inc. had a 50% drop in its third weekend when the original Harry Potter movie opened, so anything above that is exemplary. At this point, I think Ratatouille will make it to $200 million, but won't push too far over the line. If this is the case, Ratatouille will be Pixar's lowest grossing effort since 1998's A Bug's Life. Its current cumulative gross sits at $143 million.
Fourth spot goes to Live Free or Die Hard, the latest Die Hard flick from 20th Century Fox. In its third weekend, Live Free earned an okay $10.9 million, which gives it a 37.5% drop versus its $17.7 million haul from last weekend. The Bruce Willis flick hit $100 million on Sunday, its 19th day of release, and has now earned $102.9 million. The better news for Fox is that foreign grosses have pretty much matched domestic totals so far, so this will end up as a big win for the studio.
License to Wed, the latest extremely bad film from Robin Williams, finishes fifth. License to Wed earned $7.4 million this weekend, but unfortunately was only off 28.5% from last weekend. So far, this Warner Bros. release has earned $30.5 million, and will finish with much more than a film with an 8% fresh rating deserves to make.