The Dark Knight Three-Peats (Probably)
By John Hamann
August 3, 2008
Finishing third is Sony's Step Brothers, which had a so-so second weekend. The Will Ferrell/John C.Reilly comedy earned another $16.3 million and was off a not bad 47%. I say not bad because Will Ferrell can certainly open a film, but has serious trouble in second weekends. Past performances have seen second weekend drops of 53% for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and 62% for Semi-Pro, while Bewitched fell 55% in its second frame and Anchorman fell 51%. Step Brothers is doing okay with a running total of $63 million. It's got a shot at earning $100 million, and will certainly be at least close to reaching that figure.
Fourth is Mamma Mia!, which is showing some of the nicest legs of the summer. Mamma Mia! earned another $13.1 million and was off a solid 26%. Last weekend it was off 36% from its $27.8 million opening, so it is nice to see a film buck the trend of hefty losses. Last year's summer musical, Hairspray earned $9.2 million in its third weekend (off 42%), so Mamma Mia! has a leg up. Hairspray had earned $78.9 million after three weekends, Mamma Mia! has earned $88 million. Look for the Meryl Streep musical to cross the $100 million mark some time in the next couple of weekends.
Fifth spot goes to our next Brendan Fraser entry into the top ten, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Thanks to 3-D availability at some theatres, Journey is proving to be a leggy beast. The New Line/Warner Bros. release earned another $6.9 million from 2,285 venues, and is off a not bad 29%. So far, Journey to the Center of the Earth has earned $73.1 million, and it should finish with about $90 million.
That puts Swing Vote, the Kevin Costner/Disney production in an unlucky sixth spot this weekend, as the political comedy failed to take hold. Swing Vote, self-financed by Costner before being picked up by Disney, earned a slow $6.3 million from 2,213 venues. Costner produced Swing Vote for $21 million, before selling the domestic rights (and a couple of foreign rights) to Disney for $22 million, a figure it will be extremely lucky to match stateside. With ugly reviews (38% fresh at RottenTomatoes), Disney should have stayed away from this mess.
Hancock finishes seventh, as Will Smith's anti-superhero flick continues to grind down. In its fifth weekend, Hancock earned $5.2 million and was off 37% compared to the last weekend's gross, and now has a still impressive cume of $216 million.
Eighth goes to WALL-E, Pixar's latest creation. Pixar and Disney celebrated on Thursday, as WALL-E became Pixar's seventh film (out of a possible nine) to crack the $200 million mark. This weekend it earned $4.7 million, was off 26%, and has now earned $204.2 million.
Ninth goes to the second biggest disaster of the year (next to Speed Racer), X-Files: I Want To Believe. After a not so good opening of $10 million, Mulder and Scully got punished again this weekend, earning only $3.4 million, and finding a searing drop of 66%. I'd say nobody believes any longer, or gives a rat's ass. The total for this one has now reached $17.1 million against a budget of $30 million.
In tenth is Space Chimps, a film few thought would outgross The X-Files, but who knew? Space Chimps grossed $2.8 million this weekend, and was off 37%. It now has a cume of $22.1 million.
With a more normal weekend for The Dark Knight and a less-than-impressive weekend for The Mummy, the box office failed to exceed last year's totals, which were led by The Bourne Ultimatum. The top 12 last year earned $164.7 million, thanks to the almost $70 million earned by Jason Bourne. This year, the top 12 managed $148.8 million. Next weekend brings The Pineapple Express, the latest Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow adventure.
||The Dark Knight
||Warner Bros. Pictures
||The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
||Columbia Pictures (Sony)
||Journey to the Center of the Earth
||Warner Bros. Pictures
||Walt Disney Pictures
||The X-Files: I Want to Believe
||20th Century Fox
||20th Century Fox
||Hellboy II: The Golden Army
||First Independent Pictures
||The Midnight Meat Train
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations