Daily Box Office Analysis for August 18, 2008

By David Mumpower

August 19, 2008

Gee, I've never seen Kiefer Sutherland hold a gun before.

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The Dark Knight hasn't been in first place for five consecutive days now. Given that it finished outside the top spot only five times during its first 26 days in release, this is a newsworthy item. The number two film domestically finishes up its first month in theaters in second place with $2,112,206. That gives it a grand total of $473,194,356 in a single month. People always talk about unbreakable box office records and the like. I'm not saying that performance will never be matched as inflation and evolving behavior prevents wise men from using finality in such discussions as these. I will say that I think that this total may prove to be every bit as lasting as Titanic's $600.8 million during its entire domestic run has been. Only one previous film had earned this much money, and it needed 89 days (i.e. almost three full months) to do so.

At this point, Batman Begins Again has earned 78.8% of what Titanic made and needs another $127.7 million to break the record. The odds of this happening during its initial release are roughly the same as my beloved Atlanta Braves making the playoffs. For those of you who don't follow baseball, they are 12 games out of first place with 37 games to play and their top four starters have all had season ending arm surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews. What I'm saying about the Titanic thing is that it's looking bleak.


With regards to Star Wars: the Clone Wars, the news could be better. After earning $6.2 million on Friday, we all expected this title to be heavily frontloaded. A weekend multiplier (opening weekend box office total divided by Friday box office total) of 2.35, however, is nothing short of disastrous for a sub-$20 million opening. The suspicion would be that it is not long for movie theaters, and that was confirmed a bit yesterday with a 60% drop from Sunday. Another $1,366,530 in the coffers gives it a running total of $15,977,803 and a sum as paltry as even $30 million should not be taken for granted. This one appears to be following the X-Files: I Want to Believe playbook for flaming out. Mirrors, which opened $3.4 million lower at $11.2 million, earned $1,171,954 and may catch it as soon as today. It too was down 58.8%, however, so that is far from guaranteed.

Combined box office for the top ten earned $13,690,081 worth of revenue yesterday. We are officially up to the portion of August box office that sucks.

Daily Box Office for Monday, August 18, 2008
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Tropic Thunder DreamWorks $3,590,742 New $40,436,330
2 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $2,112,206 - 43.6% $473,194,356
3 The Pineapple Express Sony/Columbia $1,560,231 - 59.5% $64,301,020
4 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Warner Bros. Pictures $1,366,530 New $15,977,803
5 Mirrors Twentieth Century Fox $1,171,954 New $12,333,028
6 Mamma Mia! Universal $928,285 - 33.2% $116,942,000
7 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Universal $924,825 - 53.4% $87,170,600
8 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Warner Bros. Pictures $893,155 - 52.9% $32,895,867
9 Step Brothers Columbia Pictures (Sony) $691,296 - 52.0% $91,387,234
10 Vicky Cristina Barcelona The Weinstein Company $450,857 New $4,206,432
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

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