Daily Box Office Analysis for June 17, 2008
By David Mumpower
June 18, 2008
Nothing messes up a good plan like the unexpected. I bitterly realize this today at the exact moment when I look at Tuesday's box office top ten. As I had mentioned yesterday, I had planned to chronicle the exact moment wherein The Incredible Hulk's weekday numbers overtook The Hulk's weekday numbers. I had expected that to happen on Tuesday or Wednesday, as long as we didn't inflate the 2003 movie's receipts for box office inflation. In yesterday's column, I pointed out that the 2008 release earned $6.0 million, a total within an eyelash of the 2003 release's $6.1 million. The expectation would be for The Incredible Hulk to not depreciate as much on day two as its predecessor did, and I was prepared to explain what this meant in terms of future performance for the Edward Norton film. It was a good plan...right up until the unexpected happened.
After a brilliant Monday holdover from the weekend, The Incredible Hulk fell 20.1% to $ $4,801,850, still a respectable performance relative to expectations. The problem is that - wait for it - this is a steeper decline than The Hulk had on its first Tuesday. That title earned $5.07 million, a total reflecting a decline of 17% from its aforementioned Monday total of $6.1 million. I honestly did not see that happening. After all, the Ang Lee title had criminally poor legs and Tuesdays are ordinarily the best day out of the box office weekdays. So, a 20% decline for a title with much better word-of-mouth than its predecessor, a film with a 17% decline, is...disappointing. Does this mean The Incredible Hulk is in a world of hurt? Of course not. This is probably just a momentary blip on the radar. Is there cause for concern? That answer is unfortunately yes.
In comparing the performances of the two Hulk movies thus far, what's clear is that there are similarities to be drawn with regards to box office behavior. The Hulk debuted with $24.9 million on its first Friday then fell 13% on Saturday to $21.5 million. On its initial Sunday, it fell a steep 24% more to $16.3 million and followed that up by dropping off the table Monday with a 63% decline. For a June release, this is troubling behavior, and I am surprised to say that The Incredible Hulk is mimicking it an uncomfortable amount thus far.
The 2008 version of Hulk started with $21.5 million on its first day before dropping 14% to $18.4 million. On Sunday, its drop was 15% to $15.6 million followed by a 61% decline Monday to $6.0 million. With yesterday's events established, a $4.8 million Tuesday represents 22% of its Friday business. The Hulk was at 21% after the same time frame. What we see here is that the new movie is doing better than the disaster film from 2003, but it isn't doing a LOT better. In fact, it's pretty much in the same position as the first Bruce Banner movie. This is not what anybody would have predicted given the fact that the word-of-mouth on the new film is quite positive.