Weekend Wrap-Up

Speed Racer Goes off the Tracks

By David Mumpower

May 11, 2008

Jack wanted to hide from the world after being revealed as one of the Oceanic Six.

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Finishing in sixth and seventh place this week are a couple of quality comedies. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the latest production from the Judd Apatow factory, acquires another $3.8 million worth of receipts, pushing it over the $50 million barrier at $50.7 million. Given the lack of famous names in this film, this is another great result for Universal from Team Apatow. Similarly good news goes to Warner Bros. or at least it would if not for the above regarding Speed Racer. Their low budget, high upside project, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, earned $3.2 million this weekend. The 48% drop gives it a running tally of $30.7 million after 17 days. Sure, it's not going to recoup the budget of Speed Racer or anything, but this is a solid money maker for the studio, particularly given its inevitable success on the home video market.

Rounding out the top ten are The Forbidden Kingdom, Nim's Island and Redbelt. All three titles had relatively insignificant weekends of around $1 million. The Forbidden Kingdom, the first action film featuring action icons Jet Li and Jackie Chan, brought in $1.9 million, giving it a running total of $48.3 million. Like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it will break the $50 million barrier, but that will be the end of its run. Nim's Island earns $1.3 million, giving it a surprisingly good $44.3 million. Jodie Foster continues to prove herself to be a solid box office performer in this regard. Made on a modest budget of $37 million, this project has proven to be a moderate winner for Fox.


Tenth place goes to the other new opener of the week, Redbelt. David Mamet surprised a lot of people when he announced that his latest production would involve mixed martial arts, but veterans of the sport have indicated vast pleasure with his offering. They have also gushed with praise about Mamet's own abilities as a warrior, causing all of us to reconsider our perception of the foul-mouthed scribe. The movie, which had been in limited release in a handful of theaters last weekend, earns $1.1 million in its first weekend in wide release. This is a pretty good result for a Mamet film.

Box office for the top twelve was up 21.8% from 2007. The second weekend of Spider-Man 3 accounted for $58.2 million worth of domestic box office, which is more than all of this weekend's openers earned in combination; however, Iron Man largely canceled out its result, making the $40 million worth of openers enough to pull ahead easily. Box office for the top 12 combined for $117.3 million this year as opposed to $96.3 million last year, over half of which came from Spidey and his glorious jazz hands. Next weekend sees the release of what has been called the most expensive movie of all time, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. It hopes to follow the Iron Man pattern rather than the Speed Racer one.

Top Weekend Box Office for 5/9/08-5/11/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Iron Man Paramount $50,500,000 $51,190,629 - 49.9% $177,825,024
2 What Happens in Vegas 20th Century Fox $20,000,000 $20,172,474 New $20,172,474
3 Speed Racer Warner Bros. $20,210,000 $18,561,337 New $18,561,337
4 Made of Honor Columbia Pictures (Sony) $7,600,000 $8,116,323 - 45.0% $26,791,494
5 Baby Mama Universal $5,766,265 $6,225,790 - 38.1% $40,836,370
6 Forgetting Sarah Marshall Universal $3,777,840 $3,837,240 - 36.7% $50,781,745
7 Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Warner Bros. $3,155,000 $3,106,424 -49.0% $30,667,308
8 The Forbidden Kingdom Lionsgate $1,900,000 $2,169,323 - 48.2% $48,530,104
9 Nim's Island Twentieth Century Fox $1,325,000 $1,463,622 - 45.3% $44,395,857
10 Prom Night Sony/Screen Gems $1,050,000 $1,012,986 - 57.9% $42,785,107
11 Redbelt Sony Pictures Classics $1,140,227 $1,012,435 New $1,109,674
12 21 MGM $835,000 $851,385 - 57.5% $80,434,035
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Fall Roadside Attractions N/A $79,611 New $79,611
  Before the Rains Roadside Attractions N/A $48,159 New $48,159
  The Babysitters Peace Arch N/A $23,518 New $23,518
  Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead Troma N/A $10,700 New $20,400
  Surfwise Magnolia N/A $10,304 New $10,304
  Bloodline Cinema Libre N/A $6,658 New $6,658
  Son of Rambow Paramount Vantage $138,000 $154,151 +186.6% $227,154
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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