Weekend Wrap-Up

Summer Is Over at the Box Office

By John Hamann

August 24, 2008

What do you mean, pull the rope and see what happens?

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Fourth goes to The Dark Knight, as the Chris Nolan flick finds one more weekend with its nose above $10 million, its sixth consecutive. The Dark Knight earned $10.3 million and was off a slim 37% as word-of-mouth continues to propel the caped crusader toward box office glory. After getting by Star Wars: A New Hope last weekend in the grand total department, there are no more worlds for The Dark Knight to conquer, as it sits in second place all time, and has no chance of catching Titanic. Its cume has now reached $489.2 million domestic, and it has $330 million and counting from overseas grosses. I'm looking for The Dark Knight to finish with about $515 million in domestic earnings.

There's good news in fifth place, as the George Lucas cash grab gets pummeled. Star Wars: The Clone Wars dropped a massive-for-animation 61% and earned only $5.7 million. The fanboys have seen this cheap knockoff of Star Wars, and the rest of the country is abandoning it as it heads off to the DVD bin at Walmart. Good riddance - give it a cume so far of $25 million.

The Pineapple Express finds itself in sixth spot, as we are seeing surprisingly large tumbles for this Judd Apatow comedy. Pineapple earned only $5.6 million in its third weekend, and was off 43%. The good news for Sony is that Pineapple had matched its production budget after five days, and its total now of $73.9 million is almost three times better than its $25 million production budget.

You know the box office is slow when last weekend's poorly accepted horror flick slides only three spots from fourth to seventh. That was the story for Mirrors, Kiefer Sutherland's shot at the horror genre, as it earned $4.9 million and fell a predictable 56%. IMDb lists a production budget of $35 million for this one, an amount this one isn't going to find on the domestic front. Mirrors has a total so far of $20.1 million.

Eighth goes to The Longshots, Ice Cube's latest feature. Directed by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame, The Longshots failed miserably this weekend, earning only $4.3 million. MGM failed to market this one whatsoever, and this is the result. It showed up as only 38% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and seems to be August filler at best.


The leggy Mamma Mia is in the number nine spot this weekend. The Meryl Streep musical earned another $4.3 million in its sixth weekend, and was off only 29%. Mamma Mia! Has become a phenomenon both domestically, where it's earned $124.5 million, and overseas, where it has taken in more than $200 million. Mamma Mia! Cost Universal, Playtone (Tom Hanks' production company) and Littlestar Productions only $50 million to make, and has earned $325 million worldwide.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor manages to hold onto a top ten spot (thanks to some extremely weak openers). Tomb earned $4.1 million and was off 50%. The domestic total has only reached $93.8 million, but Universal doesn't care. It has grossed over $200 million from overseas theatres, and will finish with over $300 million in worldwide sales.

Finishing outside of the top ten is Rainn Wilson's The Rocker, which completely caved in over the last five days. It opened on Wednesday with a sad opening day total of $577,000, and that spelled out how the weekend was going to be. The Rocker had a three-day total of $2.8 million, and has earned $3.8 million since opening on Wednesday.

In limited release this weekend, Hamlet 2 got off to a so-so start, earning $435,294 from 103 venues. That gives it a venue average of $4,226, which means it might not get a chance for much further expansion.

Overall, the box office was where it usually is for a late August weekend. The top 12 films this weekend earned $88.3 million, which is about equal to where we were last year over the same weekend. A year ago, the top 12 was led by Superbad's second weekend, and earned $88.9 million.

Top Weekend Box Office for 8/22/08-8/24/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Tropic Thunder DreamWorks $16,100,000 $16,272,195 - 37.0% $65,839,915
2 The House Bunny Columbia Pictures (Sony) $15,100,000 $14,533,702 New $14,533,702
3 Death Race Universal Pictures $12,292,860 $12,621,090 New $12,621,090
4 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $10,305,000 $10,542,424 - 35.6% $489,416,885
5 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Warner Bros. Pictures $5,660,000 $5,661,456 - 61.3% $24,999,054
6 The Pineapple Express Sony/Columbia $5,600,000 $5,452,163 - 44.4% $73,780,191
7 Mirrors Twentieth Century Fox $4,875,000 $5,010,663 - 55.1% $20,211,066
8 Mamma Mia! Universal $4,303,100 $4,314,840 - 29.2% $124,469,900
9 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Universal $4,068,960 $4,177,950 - 49.1% $93,921,245
10 The Longshots Dimension Films, MGM $4,304,000 $4,080,687 New $4,080,687
11 Vicky Cristina Barcelona The Weinstein Company $3,003,000 $3,005,031 - 20.0% $8,571,505
12 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Warner Bros. Pictures N/A $2,807,076 - 51.5% $38,319,055
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Rocker 20th Century Fox $2,750,000 $2,636,048 New $3,686,460
  Hamlet 2 Focus Features $435,294 $439,925 New $439,925
  I.o.u.s.a. Roadside Attractions $60,000 $61,313 New $61,313
  Trouble the Water Zeitgeist N/A $28,606 New $28,606
  Fly Me to the Moon Summit Entertainment $1,435,000 $1,422,547 - 25.1% $4,172,139
  Bottle Shock Freestyle Releasing $719,928 $651,671 + 66.1% $1,671,490
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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