Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

August 2, 2008

Yes, I really did have a movie come out this weekend.

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The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Well, it appears to be a sequel that nobody really wanted, but the third Mummy film does take the throne away from The Dark Knight after two weekends, with a Friday take of $15.5 million. Of course, this does not even come close to the $24.1 million The Mummy Returns took in on its opening day back in 2001. It does beat The Mummy's $14.9 million from nine years ago, but that movie, not being a sequel (and actually being, you know, kinda fun and good) managed a 2.9 multiplier, something I don't expect Tomb of the Dragon Emperor to duplicate. Even The Mummy Returns' weekend multiplier was 2.82, and I just don't see that happening here, either, since the box office has changed so much since then.

I'm going with a multiplier of 2.6, which is just enough to push Tomb of the Dragon Emperor over the $40 million mark for the weekend. It might not be the top film of the weekend, though...

The Dark Knight

Returning back to earth after two weeks in the stratosphere, The Dark Knight ends up in second (likely for just one day, see below) after falling 45% from last Friday with $12.8 million, which is still really good. Dreams of toppling Titanic died this week, but it will be sitting just under $400 million by the end of the weekend, making it the eighth most successful film of all time after only three weekends. Second all-time domestically is stll in play here, and we'll keep watching this carefully.

Barring a surprisingly high weekend multiplier for The Mummy, The Dark Knight should end up with a third weekend at the top, barely, with $41.4 million.


Swing Vote

It's August, but there's already a bunch of voter fatigue, as Swing Vote pretty much flops miserably, with just $1.9 million. While it was an original (if outlandish) concept, and doesn't really look all that bad, here's more proof that movies are escapist entertainment. Nobody wants to be reminded of what's going on in the news when they pay their nine bucks to go to the movies. Call it $5.5 million and out on DVD by the real election.

Notable Holdovers

Step Brothers falls 58% from last Friday, which is generally on par with Ferrell movies, though there have been very good holds (Blades of Glory) and bad ones (Semi-Pro), this pretty much falls in the middle. Step Brothers should have a second weekend of about $14.8 million.

The plunge of the week goes to The X-Files: I Want To Believe. After savagely underperforming last weekend, it then goes and nosedives 76% to $1 million on Friday. Yikes. $20 million is almost out of the question now, as incredible as that might seem. Expect less than $3 million for one of the worst-timed film ideas in recent memory.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 The Dark Knight 41.4
2 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 40.3
3 Step Brothers 14.8
4 Mamma Mia! 12.1
6 Swing Vote 5.5
5 Journey to the Center of the Earth 6.3
7 Hancock 4.4
8 WALL-E 4.3
9 The X-Files: I Want to Believe 2.9
10 Space Chimps 2.3



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