Simpsons Movie Dominates Box Office
By John Hamann
July 29, 2007
Pulling up in second spot is I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which may have benefited from sold out Simpsons shows. Last weekend's number one film earned an estimated $19.1 million this weekend, and the drop ends up as the standard for a second weekend Adam Sandler product. Compared to last weekend, Chuck and Larry fell 44%, which beats the drop of Click (50%), but is right in the ballpark of The Longest Yard (45%). Chuck and Larry won't be huge for Sandler, but won't be a disaster either. Look for it to fall into Sandler's usual $120-$150 million range domestically. Currently, the Universal product has earned a decent $71.6 million.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix slides from second last weekend to third this weekend. The Order of the Phoenix grossed $17.1 million in its third frame, and was off 48% compared to last weekend. Potter dropped 58% last weekend, so the trend is actually ticking up a bit for the latest Potter film. The last Harry Potter film to open in summer - Prisoner of Azkaban - dropped 63% in its sophomore frame, but then recovered with a 48% drop in its third weekend - the same number that Order of the Phoenix is seeing today. Still, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is doing remarkably well, as its total so far has reached $241.8 million. It should finish in the same ballpark as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which ended its run with about $290 million in domestic ticket sales.
Finishing fourth is Hairspray, the John Travolta-in-drag musical. After opening strongly last weekend to $27.5 million, Hairspray didn't have the brilliant hold that most positive-reviewing musicals usually do. This weekend, Hairspray earned $17.1 million from 3,121 venues, giving it a venue average of $4,261. That score equals a drop of 43%, which has to be higher than New Line was expecting. After two weekends, the musical has earned $59.3 million, and should be on its way to $100 million.
Fifth spot goes to another new release in the top ten, the quietly opening No Reservations from Warner Bros. The Catherine Zeta-Jones romantic comedy opened stronger than I expected, finding $11.8 million from a quiet 2,425 venues this weekend. With little promotion, this one still found a way to cross the $10 million mark this weekend, which shows the lack of films this summer targeted at older women, or even females in general. The casting of Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) helps here, but a 42% fresh rating puts this one in the wait-for-DVD category for me. Zeta-Jones hasn't been in a movie since 2005's The Legend of Zorro, but admittedly picks projects that tend to open well. Discounting the animated Sinbad flop and the Coen Brothers miss Intolerable Cruelty, Zeta-Jones hasn't worked on a low grossing film since High Fidelity, which opened in 2000. Her resume includes hits like Chicago ($170.7 million finish) Ocean's Twelve ($125.5 million), and Traffic ($124 million) just to name a few. No Reservations won't be a $50 million film, but it also won't be a complete miss either.
Falling to sixth is Transformers, which may have gotten beaten up a bit by Homer and Spider-Pig. The newest super-franchise earned another $11.5 million this weekend, as it continues to strive to reach $300 million. The Hasbro hybrid dropped 44% compared to last weekend, and has had respectable drops of 47%, 45% and now 44%. Will Michael Bay be the latest director to reach $300 million domestic? It's going to be close, but it should make it. The current total for The Transformers now sits at $284.6 million, and has also earned $200 million on foreign shores.