Weekend Wrap-Up for April 18-20, 2008

Jet, Jackie and Judd Dominate Box Office

By John Hamann

April 20, 2008

Ah, drunken master. We've missed you.

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Judd Apatow only takes the producer credit on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but he has obviously surrounded himself with friends throughout the production. The comedy is directed by Nicholas Stoller, who wrote episodes for Apatow's under-seen TV series Undeclared; Sarah Marshall was written by and stars Jason Segal, who had a smaller part in Knocked Up, and appeared in Apatow's Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared; and Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd (40 Year-Old Virgin) and Jonah Hill (Superbad) again have cameo roles. Obviously, the King of Comedy is having fun, and making studios like Universal a whole bunch of money. A betting man says the production budget for Sarah Marshall came in around $40 million, a figure this one will have in the bank by the start of its third weekend.

Finishing third, but a long way from where it started, is last weekend's winner Prom Night. After debuting last weekend to $20.8 million, Prom Night did the usual second weekend plunge for horror, and grossed $9.1 million. That gives it a completely expected drop of 56%, but brings its total up to a respectable $32.6 million. This one cost only $20 million to make, so anything past opening weekend is gravy for Sony and Screen Gems.

Despite laying an egg and living on a shelf for literally years, Al Pacino's 88 Minutes still manages to finish fourth with a weekend gross of $6.8 million from 2,168 venues. Despite starring one of the greatest actors ever, 88 Minutes got some of the worst reviews of the year. This one was only 5% fresh at RT, with most critics wondering why a real time thriller called 88 Minutes clocks in at over an hour and a half. Made in 2005 for about $30 million, this one is going to disappear very quickly.

Nim's Island, a tightly budgeted holdover, finishes fifth. The Jodie Foster family flick earned $5.7 million in its third frame, and was off an okay 38%. Made for $37 million, Nim hasn't dominated, but it does have a current total of $32.9 million.

Sixth goes to previous multi-weekend champ 21, the gambling movie starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth. Now in its fourth weekend, 21 earned $5.5 million and was off a slightly larger than expected 47%. The Sony flick with the $35 million budget has now earned an impressive $70 million.


Surprisingly, the big drop of the weekend doesn't go to Prom Night, it goes to Keanu Reeves and company in the cop drama Street Kings. After debuting last weekend to $12.5 million, Street Kings got hammered, earning only $4 million. That equals an embarrassingly high drop of 68%, and a gross so far of $20 million. The production budget for this one is supposedly $20 million, but I think you'd agree, with a film starring Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie, Forrest Whitaker, and a strong list of others, you have to wonder.

Eighth spot goes to Horton Hears a Who!, the six-week-old kids flick from Dr. Seuss. Horton earned another $3.5 million, and drops 41%. The CGI animated blockbuster has now earned $144.4 million, and is Jim Carrey's seventh film to gross more than $125 million at the domestic box office. It recently crossed the $100 million mark at overseas cinemas as well.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a film that I am going to decline comment on. It earned $3.2 million from 1,052 venues.

Finishing tenth is George Clooney's Leatherheads, a gamble that didn't pay off. Leatherheads earned $3 million in its third weekend, and falls 52% after losing 51% last weekend. It has a total now of $26.6 million, but carries a budget of $60 million.

Overall, the box office is up over last year, but even that's not much to crow about. The top 12 this weekend earned $82.1 million, which isn't all that great, but is ahead of 2007's embarrassing total of $73.1 million. The problem is that in 2006, the top 12 earned just over $100 million without any huge films. Next weekend could be interesting, as Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, and Tina Fey brings her comedy skills to the big screen with Baby Mama. Those two comedies will face off against the second weekend of Sarah Marshall, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Top Weekend Box Office for 4/18/08-4/20/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Forbidden Kingdom Lionsgate $20,870,000 $21,401,121 New $21,401,121
2 Forgetting Sarah Marshall Universal $17,347,600 $17,725,330 New $17,725,330
3 Prom Night Sony/Screen Gems $9,100,000 $8,670,364 - 58.3% $32,133,926
4 88 Minutes TriStar Pictures (Sony) $6,800,000 $6,957,216 New $6,957,216
5 Nim's Island Twentieth Century Fox $5,650,000 $5,687,072 - 37.6% $32,894,115
6 21 MGM $5,500,000 $5,520,362 - 47.3% $70,004,505
7 Street Kings Fox Searchlight $4,000,000 $4,179,505 New $20,058,143
8 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears Who Twentieth Century Fox $3,500,000 $3,511,934 - 40.7% $144,418,495
9 Leatherheads Universal $3,021,840 $3,049,465 - 51.4% $26,605,235
10 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Rocky Mountain Pictures $3,152,896 $2,970,848 New $2,970,848
11 Superhero Movie Dimension Films $1,542,000 $1,608,072 - 50.0% $23,604,200
12 Smart People Miramax $1,613,000 $1,600,687 - 60.9% $6,805,392
  Also Opening/Notables
Where In the World Is Osama Bin Laden? Weinstein Co. $143,299 $148,698 New $148,698
Pathology MGM $50,000 $54,244 New $54,244
The Life Before Her Eyes Magnolia N/A $20,220 New $20,220
Constantine's Sword First Run Features N/A $10,131 New $10,131
The Visitor $163,000 $166,499 + 92.5% $283,400
Young@Heart Fox Searchlight $144,703 $151,998 New $232,912
Young@Heart Fox Searchlight $144,703 $151,998 New $232,912
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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