Daily Box Office Analysis for August 5, 2008

By David Mumpower

August 6, 2008

Don't make me stick my groin out any further, mister!

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For the 18th time in 19 days, The Dark Knight has finished in first place. On Tuesday, the film declined from $6,287,429 to $5,661,240, a fall of 10.0%. Its running tally of $405,699,734 allows it to slide past Spider-Man to become the most successful comic book adaptation of all time. It has simultaneously become the number seven movie ever (not adjusting for ticket price inflation).

The latest Batman outing should surpass Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest for sixth place by Saturday and will probably bring its total all the way up to third place by either Sunday or Monday. In order to pass E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, it needs a total in excess of $435.1 million. Another $9 million over the next two days would put it at $415 million entering the weekend, meaning The Dark Knight would need only $20.2 million to earn third place. That would be a drop in excess of 53%, which seems like (beyond) a worst case scenario for a title whose IMAX exhibitions are still running at near capacity.

Meanwhile, the movie is off 41.2% from last week, meaning it's still not hitting the pace needed to surpass Titanic. If that ever changes, I'll let you know, but we discussed a scenario last week that would give the title a final domestic tally of $518 million. The Dark Knight is currently $4 million off on that pace, much less the one needed for $601 million. Also, ERC pointed out a fascinating stat in their latest newsletter. While the performance of the latest Batman is record shattering, we can easily put it in perspective with one simple trivia note. Adjusted for inflation, the final domestic tally of Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace is $600.6 million, right in Titanic range...if we don't adjust Titanic for inflation. If we do (and this is my calculation, not theirs), its total shoots all the way up to an unconscionable $907 million. Even at $7.08 a pop, that's a *lot* of tickets to sell. I don't think a Beatles reunion featuring back from the dead John Lennon could do that.

The rest of the top ten was quite dull yesterday. The films in second and third place had the largest drops. Step Brothers lost a step by falling 12.3% to $2,460,950, giving it a running total of $68,437,780. It also had the third largest Tuesday-to-Tuesday drop within the top ten after The Dark Knight (which isn't playing by the same rules) and X-Files : I Want To Believe, which is down 53.2% to $458,790. Mulder and Scully's latest outing is already almost done at $17,942,219. I blame Cancer Man.

The second largest drop went to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which fell 11.5% to $3,761,455. As we discussed yesterday, it's showing all the early warning signals of a fast fade. Its current box office of $48,467,550 means it will need until Saturday to get to the point where tracking had projected it would be after opening weekend.


Not all of the news was bad yesterday, though. Space Chimps continued to subvert expectations by spiking 18.1% to $540,439, putting it ahead of X-Files once and probably for all. It's probably going to wind up (barely) north of $30 million, which is pretty strong for a $7.2 million opener.

Mamma Mia! was also up quite a bit yesterday, earning $2,250,575, an improvement of 7.3% from Monday's $2,097,470. With current domestic revenue of $91,818,170, it should achieve the $100 million milestone by Saturday. As a point of comparison, Hairspray had $82.4 million after the same 19 days in release. Given that it wound up earning $118,823,091 domestically, Universal has to like their situation here. Of course, Mamma Mia! has already surpassed Hairspray once we factor in international receipts. It's sitting at $234.3 million while Hairspray wound up with $206.8 million.

Top ten box office yesterday continued to be mediocre. Combined receipts of $18,403,522 were down 6.0% from Monday's $19,568,620. The good news is that two new entrants arrive in the marketplace today. Pineapple Express and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 should make tomorrow's numbers much more impressive.

Daily Box Office for Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Daily Change Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $5,661,240 - 10.0% - 41.2% $405,699,734
2 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Universal $3,761,455 - 11.5% N/A $48,467,550
3 Step Brothers Columbia Pictures (Sony) $2,460,950 - 12.3% - 39.3% $68,437,780
4 Mamma Mia! Universal $2,250,575 + 7.3% - 30.0% $91,818,170
5 Journey to the Center of the Earth Warner Bros. Pictures $1,036,408 + 2.9% - 30.4% $74,971,115
6 WALL•E Walt Disney Pictures $786,793 + 3.7% - 27.2% $205,623,556
7 Swing Vote Touchstone Pictures $753,018 + 3.6% N/A $7,710,399
8 Hancock Sony/Columbia $693,854 - 3.4% - 38.7% $217,295,054
9 Space Chimps 20th Century Fox $540,439 + 18.1% - 30.4% $22,969,211
10 The X-Files: I Want to Believe 20th Century Fox $458,790 - 0.7% - 53.2% $17,942,219
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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