Weekend Forecast for May 23-26, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

May 23, 2008

He can still pack a mean punch for a senior citizen.

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The second place spot, held down by Prince Caspian, will look pretty pale in comparison to that number. Winning last weekend with $55 million, the second of the Narnia films was something of a disappointment, failing to build off the opening weekend and strong run of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. A little more unfamiliarity with this source material than for the first of the Narnia films, and what seemed to be a lazy ad campaign that took its popularity for granted, helped to keep the returns of Prince Caspian a little underwhelming. Its $200 million budget is the big reason that a decent opening overall is viewed as a problem, though international sales should help it to get into the black.

What's more, it's picked a good weekend to open to an underwhelming figure, with Memorial Day weekend being a great one for family films, which generally already have good legs. Although Indy will dominate attention spans, the benefit of the long weekend is that people have the chance to see their second choices, which should keep Caspian at about the $40 million mark for four days.

Iron Man straightened out its descent for its third weekend of release, holding above the $30 million mark and reaching $230 million total for its release so far. It's not quite tracking the Spider-Man pattern, but it's at least not crazy to mention the two films in the same category, which is something special given the relative notoriety of the two characters. At this point, $300 million seems assured, with $325 million a distinct possibility. Marvel's strategy of taking control of its own films seems to be a winning one so far. Give it $22 million over the holiday weekend.


Third place went to What Happens in Vegas, with $13.8 million and $40 million so far. Acting-wise, I'm ready to put the success of this one all on Ashton Kutcher, with just a slight credit to Cameron Diaz, but this is one of those situation where producers caught on to a trend, namely setting movies at least partially in Vegas, at just the right time. Another $10 million over the holidays will push it well over the half-century mark.

Memorial Day comes too late to save Speed Racer, which fell to fourth with $8 million, and just $30 million total against a triple-figure budget. The Wachowskis have so rapidly used up their goodwill from The Matrix trilogy that it's made even M. Night Shyamalan's head spin. With just $5 million or so due this weekend, it looks to fall short of the $50 million mark domestically, which is a pretty spectacular failure.

Following behind are a few leftover comedies from the early spring, including Baby Mama and Made of Honor, which may be able to manage $3 million apiece, but after that, we're into pretty weak sauce. June's releases will fill this out pretty quickly, though, and we're now fully into the heavy hitters.

Forecast: Weekend of May 23-26, 2008
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 4,260 New 133.4
2 Prince Caspian 3,929 0 40.4
3 Iron Man 2,915 -239 22.7
4 What Happens in Vegas 3,187 -68 10.3
5 Speed Racer 3,113 -494 5.0
6 Baby Mama 2,152 -351 3.6
7 Made of Honor 2,393 -493 3.3
8 Forgetting Sarah Marshall 1,072 -529 1.7
9 Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay 750 -653 1.2
10 The Visitor 270 +46 0.5

Continued:       1       2



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