By John Hamann
June 22, 2008
Mike Myers should be able to do better than this. Sure, he stunk up the children's classic Cat in the Hat, but was still able to get that one above $100 million. The Austin Powers films were quite funny, but I thought Austin Powers in Goldmember was The Love Guru kind of bad. Shrek, Wayne's World are examples of comedies that have been successful for Myers, and someone obviously told him The Love Guru character was funny (that person should run). This one should have been shelved (a la Sprockets), despite the $60 million that Paramount dropped into it. Luckily, next weekend we have Wall-E and Wanted, two films that should review well, so at least the bad taste of The Love Guru should be washed from my summer movie palate. Really, it's like that stinky cheese.
The Happening could have beaten The Love Guru this weekend, but it sucked really badly as well, and audiences are getting off this Titanic in a big, big, hurry. After earning a surprising $30 million last weekend, it tanked in its second weekend, falling an almost inconceivable 67%, while earning only $10 million. This, ladies and gentlemen, is word-of-mouth at its finest, as those suckers lured by a fantastic marketing campaign last weekend warned their friends heading into the second weekend, and hence the drop. The Happening has now earned $50.3 million, and will beat its production budget of $60 million, but not by much.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull falls only one place to sixth this weekend, despite two new openers. The Crystal Skull pulled in another $8.4 million in its fifth frame, but tumbles 43% compared to last weekend. It's going to be close, but I don't think it's going to catch the Iron Man total. Currently, Indiana Jones sits with $290.8 million, and will be at $300 million by this time next week.
Seventh goes to Adam Sandler and You Don't Mess With the Zohan, which has fallen very quickly from its second place debut only two weekends ago. Zohan earned $7.2 million in its third frame and was off 56%. It had a per venue average of only $2,196 - which means it's going to hemorrhage screens next week. It looks like Zohan will challenge I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry as his lowest comedy earner since Little Nicky. The hairdressing flick now has a total of $84.1 million.
Sex and the City finishes in eighth place, as the girls try to recover from their 54% plunge last weekend. This time out, Sex earns $6.5 million, and drops a much better 34%. The total for the $65 million New Line production sits at $132.4 million, and should finish with about $150 million.
Ninth this weekend goes to Iron Man, which has now been in theaters for eight weekends. Iron Man earned another $4 million, after crossing the $300 million mark on Wednesday. Iron Man now has a total of $304.8 million, and should get ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl ($305 million finish) and Independence Day ($306 million finish) by this time next weekend.
Our tenth place finisher is the surprise horror hit The Strangers. It made $1.9 million and will exit the top ten after this week, but no one ever expected it to do this well. Its grand total of $49.6 million is quite strong - and by the time it's done, it should come pretty close to matching the much higher-budgeted The Happening's domestic take.
Overall, things aren't as hot this weekend as they have been over the last two months. Even so, this frame was still ahead of last year, when Evan Almighty got off too a slow start, and John Cusack's 1408 surprised. During the same weekend last year, the top 12 films earned about $124 million versus this year, when the top 12 earned a much more solid $136.9 million, and increase of about 10% over 2007. Box office revenue for 2008 is at exactly the same amount as it was this time last year with $4.4 billion. Ticket sales are down 2.3% because of inflation, however. As I mentioned earlier, next weekend brings us Angelina..... I mean the weekend brings us Pixar's Wall-E and Wanted, the graphic novel-based action movie, making for what should be a very strong weekend.
||The Incredible Hulk
||Universal Pictures, Marvel Studios
||Kung Fu Panda
||The Love Guru
||Twentieth Century Fox
||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
||You Don't Mess With the Zohan
||Sex and the City
||New Line Cinema
||The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
||Walt Disney Pictures
||What Happens in Vegas
||20th Century Fox
||Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
||Sony Pictures Classics
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations