Weekend Wrap-Up

The Dark Knight in a League of His Own

By John Hamann

July 27, 2008

He's above the law.

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That leaves X-Files: I Want To Believe in a very disappointing fourth spot. Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully could only drum up $10.2 million from 3,185 venues, giving it a disappointing average of $3,203. In 1998, when X-Files: Fight the Future opened, it debuted to $30 million, a figure 20th Century Fox had to be looking for with this release. Too much time had passed, and without even syndicated reruns, the core audience had moved on to bigger things like The Dark Knight or Space Chimps. Personally, my cash was part of that $30 million that first X-Files film pulled in, and after that, I was pretty much done with anything X-Files. Why Fox decided to greenlight this is quite easy (it had a production budget of only $30 million), but they had to know they were setting themselves up for failure. Maybe this one will find an audience on DVD, but I have to doubt it, as it came in at 33% fresh at RottenTomatoes.

Fifth place goes to Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is enjoying a decent run, thanks to some theatres showing this one in 3-D. Journey earned $9.4 million in its third weekend, and was off an excellent 24% from its $12.3 million showing last weekend. From New Line, this flick stars no one except Brendan Fraser, and costs were kept down to $45 million, which means Journey is going to be a win in the end of the studio. So far, Journey to the Center of the Earth has earned $60.2 million.

Sixth goes to Sony and Will Smith's Hancock, which, unlike Hellboy II, is not getting hammered by The Dark Knight. Hancock earned $8.2 million in its fourth weekend and drops 42% after falling a severe 56% in the last frame. The good news for Sony is that Hancock drove through the $200 million mark on Thursday, and now has a cume of $206.4 million, against a production budget of $150 million.


Seventh goes to WALL-E, which is now in its fifth weekend. WALL-E earned $6.3 million and was off 37% compared to the previous frame. WALL-E has seen drops of 48%, 42%, 46% and now 37% - drops that are way too high for the usual Pixar film. Still, a current domestic gross of $195.2 million is great, and it will slightly surpass Ratatouille's final gross of $206 million, which is in the lower echelon of Pixar releases.

The basement spots include reservations for our eighth place finisher Hellboy II: The Golden Army ($4.9 million, 51% drop, $65.9 million total) Space Chimps in ninth ($4.4 million, 39% drop, $16 million total), and Wanted in tenth ($2.7 million, 46% drop, $128.6 million total). The saddest news here is the fall of Hellboy II, which opened to $34.5 million only two weekends ago.

Last year over the same weekend, the box office was very strong due to the release of The Simpsons Movie, which debuted to $74 million, as well as five other films earning $10 million or more. The top 12 films last year combined to earn a very strong $172 million. This year, with The Dark Knight on top, and Step Brothers providing strong support, the top 12 earned $173 million. Next weekend should be strong again. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor takes an early August date this time out instead of an early May date, but its success could be powerful. Check back next weekend to see how it all turns out.

Top Weekend Box Office for 7/25/08-7/27/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $75,630,000 $75,166,466 - 52.5% $313,781,677
2 Step Brothers Columbia Pictures (Sony) $30,000,000 $30,940,732 New $30,940,732
3 Mamma Mia! Universal $17,865,250 $17,746,725 - 36.1% $62,595,465
4 The X-Files: I Want To Believe Fox $10,200,000 $10,021,753 New $10,021,753
5 Journey to the Center of the Earth Warner Bros. Pictures $9,415,000 $9,717,217 - 21.3% $60,487,455
6 Hancock Sony/Columbia $8,200,000 $8,311,123 - 40.8% $206,482,007
7 WALL•E Walt Disney Pictures $6,349,000 $6,422,186 - 36.2% $195,308,076
8 Hellboy II: The Golden Army Universal Pictures $4,934,430 $5,100,305 - 49.6% $66,059,925
9 Space Chimps 20th Century Fox $4,375,000 $4,536,838 - 36.8% $16,167,380
10 Wanted Universal $2,727,470 $2,738,550 - 46.0% $128,627,405
11 Get Smart Warner Bros. $2,300,000 $2,272,394 - 44.9% $124,186,385
12 Kung Fu Panda DreamWorks $1,030,000 $1,055,932 - 43.3% $208,997,686
  Also Opening/Notables
  Brideshead Revisited Miramax Films $332,000 $339,616 New $339,616
  Man on Wire Magnolia Pictures $46,000 $51,392 New $51,392
  American Teen Paramount Vantage $42,827 $45,589 New $45,589
  Csny DÉjÀ Vu Roadside Attractions N/A $32,910 New $32,910
  Boy A The Weinstein Company $11,405 $13,024 New $14,746
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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