Daily Box Office Analysis for August 25, 2008

By David Mumpower

August 26, 2008

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Tropic Thunder finished in first place yesterday with a paltry sum of $1,897,596. It's the end of the summer as we know it. How do you feel?

The dog days of August mean that temperatures are scorching, kids are back at school and few people are interested in going to movie theaters. If this point is up for debate, simply consider that Tropic Thunder's "winning" total was the smallest for the number one film on a Monday since April 28th when Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay earned $1,318,461. The good news is that Babylon A.D. is opening in theaters this weekend and with such lofty praise from its director, it's certain to be a blockbuster!

All kidding aside, we are moving toward the time of year wherein movie releases are...well, let's say of questionable quality. Okay, I know what you're thinking about August, so let's say even more so. September is generally the worst month on the schedule not named January...and January has been catching up in recent years. October is only marginally better unless you don't like horror movies, in which case it's much, much worse. Having said all of that, the plan this year is for Daily Box Office Analysis to continue into the Fall, but I'm probably going to have to come up with some ideas on how to make it more interesting. My sparkling wit and personality can do only so much for titles like Ghost Town and Bangkok Dangerous. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it and see Nicholas Cage's inconsistent hairline staring back at us.

Until then, the story this week is combination of Tropic Thunder and four new openers, two of which were rejected more soundly than the musical career of Heidi Montag. That's going to make for a slow news week. The only truly interesting topic - for those of you who love Anna Faris the way I do, anyway - is the performance of The House Bunny, which finished second yesterday with $1,503,894. With a fiscally pragmatic budget of just under $25 million, a four-day total of $16,037,596 is best case scenario for Sony. As I said in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback, I also feel it's time to acknowledge that Faris, while completely typecast, has become something of a box office draw in ditzy blonde roles. In a way, she has taken the Christina Applegate character from Married with Children and made an entire career from it.


Other than Tropic Thunder's 13 day total of $67,737,511 and The House Bunny, this is a grim week. Death Race, the second biggest opener, fell 64% from Sunday's $3,543,995 to Monday's $1,266,000. Is anyone here surprised that it's showing early signs of flaming out quickly? That's like predicting that The Rocker (already out of the top 10) was going to bomb. The same can be said of The Longshots, which is also out of the top ten after only three days. So, we have The House Bunny, the flameout of Death Race and two complete box office non-factors to discuss in upcoming days. Don't take this personally, but I'm not exactly cherishing our time together this week.

When in doubt, talk about The Dark Knight. That's what I always say and have for almost two months now! Still in fourth place after 39 days in release (and upwardly mobile this week at that), it earned $1,183,256, down 61.6% from Sunday's $3,077,188. Week over week, it is down 44.0%, which is higher than I had hoped would be the case as it continues to make a respectable run at Titanic's mark. Unfortunately, it needs Mamma Mia! numbers (down only 28.2% Monday over Monday) instead of what it is actually doing. On the plus side, a running total of $490,600,141 means it will become the second release to cross the $500 million barrier sometime this week. I'm projecting Sunday but Saturday is an outside possibility. It is 81.7% of the way to the iceberg movie's $600,788,188. After 39 days in release, Titanic was at $276,501,108, only 56.4% of what The Dark Knight has done in the same time frame.

Overall revenue for the top ten yesterday was a pathetic $9,127,541. This is less than The Dark Knight made on its own on its 12th day in release. We are down 33.3% from last Monday's $13,690,081 and fading fast. By the way, your eyes are not deceiving you on the point. That is a full $4.5 million in lost revenue in only seven days.

Daily Box Office for Monday, August 25, 2008
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Tropic Thunder DreamWorks $1,897,596 - 47.2% $67,737,511
2 The House Bunny Columbia Pictures (Sony) $1,503,894 New $16,037,596
3 Death Race Universal Pictures $1,266,000 New $13,887,090
4 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $1,183,256 - 44.0% $490,600,141
5 The Pineapple Express Sony/Columbia $765,153 - 51.0% $74,545,344
6 Mamma Mia! Universal $666,050 - 28.2% $125,135,950
7 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Warner Bros. Pictures $577,141 - 57.8% $25,576,195
8 Mirrors Twentieth Century Fox $527,935 - 55.0% $20,739,001
9 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Warner Bros. Pictures $377,216 - 57.8% $38,696,271
10 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Universal $363,300 - 60.7% $94,284,545
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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