Wall-E + Wanted = Wow
By John Hamann
June 29, 2008
Reviews for Wanted started out spectacularly as the week broke, but began to edge toward middling as the more conservative critics got their licks in. It finished positively and received an excellent grade for an R-rated action film. Wanted's fresh rating was 75%, with 100 critics liking it. Previously scheduled for March, Universal made the shrewd move to move this one up to summer, positioning it against WALL-E, instead of some similar summer action fare. Universal has always had a tight grip on summer; last year, they opened four films over the summer months to more than $30 million each, and had three consecutive $50 million plus openers in 2003. Still to come this summer for Universal are another Mummy movie, Hellboy 2, and Mama Mia!
Finishing third is Get Smart, last weekend's number one film. Get Smart earned $ 20 million and fell 48% - which isn't bad considering the top two movies grossed more than $120 million. Budgeted at about $80 million, Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson have now seen $77.3 million cross the till. Get Smart could cross the $100 million mark next weekend, and will be on its way to about $135 million.
Kung Fu Panda took its licks from WALL-E this weekend. The Paramount/DreamWorks release earned $11.7 million in its fourth weekend, and was off 46% from the previous weekend. This was an expensive effort for the studio, as Panda carried a production budget of $130 million, but it has topped that domestically with a $179.3 million gross so far. It will approach $200 million in the next two weekends. Additionally, Kung Fu Panda has also earned over $75 million overseas, and hasn't opened in many key markets.
The Incredible Hulk got blasted again, as it would have been another victim of the incredible top two scores this weekend. The Ed Norton flick earned only $9.2 million and was off another large 58% from the previous weekend, when it fell 60%. At least it did somewhat better than the Ang Lee version of The Hulk, as that one earned $8.2 million in its third weekend. Because these two films have grossed such similar amounts (The Incredible Hulk is at $115.5 million, The Hulk at $117 million), Marvel may have to make some hard decisions about how they use the big green guy in the future. At this point, they may have destroyed The Hulk brand.
Dropping to sixth - and unfortunately not further - is The Love Guru, Mike Myers' most recent mistake. The Love Guru earned $5.4 million and was off 61% from its $13.9 million debut last weekend. Why are people seeing this dreck? The amount stolen so far has reached $25.3 million.
Finishing seventh is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which is already in its sixth weekend of release. Indy and friends earned $5 million this time out, will cross the $300 million mark tomorrow. Currently it sits with $299.9 million. It took Iron Man 48 days to achieve the same feat Indiana Jones managed in only 40 days.
Eighth goes to everyone's favorite whipping boy, The Happening, which fell three spots from fifth last weekend. After dropping 66% in its second frame, The Happening earned only $3.9 million and fell another 63%. After debuting to over $30 million, this one has only been able to double that score in the 14 days since. When the bad guy in a movie is the wind, I'm not sure how it can cost $60 million, but this one did. It has a gross so far of $59.1 million. Maybe next summer we will get a movie about M. Night Shyamalan transforming into Uwe Boll.
Ninth goes to Sex and the City, the same spot it finished in last weekend. Sex grossed $3.8 million, was off 42%, and brings its total up to $140.1 million.
Finally in tenth is one of Adam Sandler's weaker efforts, You Don't Mess With the Zohan. The big Z earned another small gross of $3.2 million and was off 57% from the previous frame. After opening to $38.5 million, the comedy has dropped by 58%, 54% and now 57%. The total for Zohan now sits at a puny-for-Sandler $91.2 million.
Box office totals are simply spectacular for this weekend, and things should only get better as we head toward the July 4th holiday. Last year, with Ratatouille at number one, the top 12 films at the box office earned $146.8 million. This year, the top 12 films did about $30 million better, turning in a top 12 score of $179.2 million. Next weekend, we get Hancock, the latest Will Smith entry, and while the anti-superhero film is currently not reviewing all that well, it will still be a force over the long holiday weekend, thanks to the Will Smith brand alone.
||Walt Disney Pictures
||Kung Fu Panda
||The Incredible Hulk
||Universal Pictures, Marvel Studios
||The Love Guru
||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
||Twentieth Century Fox
||Sex and the City
||New Line Cinema
||You Don't Mess With the Zohan
||The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
||Walt Disney Pictures
||The Last Mistress
||Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations