Weekend Wrap-Up

Box Office Labors through Holiday

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

August 31, 2008

Vin and the director were embarrassed to stand near each other.

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The House Bunny and Traitor round out the top five for this weekend. Anna Faris' latest ditzy blonde comedy falls two spots to fourth place with another $8.3 million. The stiff 43% decline from last weekend is alarming for a holiday weekend, but Sony still has earned $28,851,000 from this $25 million production. For a title only ten days into release, that's pretty strong. As for Traitor, the Don Cheadle/Guy Pierce drama, it started slowly on Wednesday and Thursday with only $1.5 million over its first two days. Then, the taut political spy thriller recovered nicely over the weekend by earning $7.9 million, giving it a total of $9.4 million over its first five days. Traitor is already the second most successful film for upstart distributor Overture Films, and it should wind up beating Mad Money's $20.7 million to become their best performer to date.

It wasn't a good weekend for Death Race, as it suffered a 51% drop - pathetic on a holiday-inflated weekend - on its way to $6.2 million and sixth place. The Jason Statham/Tyrese/Joan Allen has a total so far of $23.1 million, and it would be exiting the Top 12 quickly if anything good were hitting theaters over the next few weeks. As it is, it might manage to hang around for a little while. There are conflicting reports on its budget amount, but whether you believe the $45 million number or the $65 million number, this is not a positive result for Universal. It's one of the studios few missteps of 2008.

We see some small smidgen of hope for the human race down in seventh place. Disaster Movie, the latest in a frighteningly long line of "Movie Movies", made a mere $6.2 million over the three-day portion of the weekend. For awhile there, we had to weep for the intelligence of movie-going society as unfunny spoof films managed to bring in enough money to justify another one a few months later. Scary Movie and its sequels started the trend, with $42.3 million, $20.5 million, $48.1 million, and $40.2 million debuts as the series progressed. We also had Date Movie ($19.1 million opening), Epic Movie ($18.6 million opening), Meet the Spartans ($18.5 million) to continue making us sad, but cracks started to show in the genre with the release of Superhero Movie, which started with only $9.5 million. With its $6.2 million opening, Disaster Movie will struggle to match its $25 million budget, which means that studios like 20th Century Fox can stop counting on these as cash cows. Congratulations, North America!

Eighth place brings more good news for Mamma Mia!, as it actually increases 2.4% from last week to have a $4.4 million three-day portion of the weekend. The reason for this is that a "sing-a-long" version of the film hit theaters this weekend, giving people even more incentive to go out and enjoy the glorious musical based on ABBA's songs. Of course, Mamma Mia! was already going gangbusters with regard to its holdover capability, but this weekend is a simply stellar result. It has an impressive grand total of $131.5 million domestic, with worldwide totals of more than $365 million.


Rounding out the top ten are Pineapple Express and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, though the story on how each one achieved its spot is different. Pineapple Express had a 36% drop from last weekend as it earned $3.5 million. The stoner comedy has a running total of $80 million and is nearing the end of its run. Vicky Cristina Barcelona, on the other hand, had virtually no change in its weekend-to-weekend result, earning $3 million. The Woody Allen flick has a solid total of $12.8 million but does still have a little ways to go before it recoups its $22 million budget.

The other two "big" openers this weekend finished outside the top 12. College opened to $2.1 million despite opening in 2,123 venues. This is a nightmarish per-location average of $992. Any exhibitor that booked College this weekend regretted it completely. Joining it in ignominy is Hamlet 2, which brought in $1.7 million from 1,597 playdates. Its per-venue average of $1,064 is only an eyelash better, meaning that 3,720 movie theaters were virtually empty this weekend. Hamlet 2 has a running total of $2.75 million and neither title is going to be a box office factor from this moment on.

Receipts for the top 12 combined for receipts of $75,204,495, down 22.7% from last year's $97.3 million when Rob Zombie's Halloween led the box office. The estimated revenue for the summer is $4.13 billion, and 2008 has a current total of $6.85 billion, down 1.2% from last year's $6.93 billion. Attendance is down just under 4.5%. The Dark Knight can do only so much.

Top Weekend Box Office for 8/29/08-8/31/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Tropic Thunder DreamWorks $11,500,000 $11,518,611 - 29.2% $86,634,000
2 Babylon A.D. Twentieth Century Fox $9,700,000 $9,484,627 New $11,541,571
3 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. Pictures $8,750,000 $8,622,879 - 18.2% $504,798,337
4 The House Bunny Columbia Pictures (Sony) $8,300,000 $8,317,426 - 42.8% $29,728,944
5 Traitor Overture Films $7,900,000 $7,868,465 New $11,507,654
6 Death Race Universal Pictures $6,228,335 $6,304,635 - 50.0% $24,739,285
7 Disaster Movie 20th Century Fox $6,170,000 $5,836,973 New $6,945,535
8 Mamma Mia! Universal $4,418,160 $4,211,495 - 2.4% $132,512,495
9 The Pineapple Express Sony/Columbia $3,500,000 $3,535,220 - 35.2% $80,832,163
10 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Warner Bros. Pictures $2,910,000 $2,711,145 - 52.1% $30,672,432
11 Vicky Cristina Barcelona The Weinstein Company $3,003,000 $2,815,506 - 6.3% $13,309,881
12 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Universal $2,595,195 $2,629,455 - 37.1% $98,671,990
  Also Opening/Notables
  College MGM $2,105,000 $2,153,109 New $2,619,730
  Another Gay Sequel Tla Releasing N/A $21,086 New $26,155
  Sukiyaki Western Django First Look Studios $10,236 $9,856 New $12,172
  The Longshots Dimension Films, MGM $2,406,000 $2,310,498 - 43.4% $8,190,879
  Hamlet 2 Focus Features $1,700,000 $1,698,820 +286.2% $3,152,510
  The Rocker 20th Century Fox $1,000,000 $969,878 - 63.2% $5,845,395
  Mirrors Twentieth Century Fox $2,825,000 $2,751,301 - 45.1% $25,395,133
  Bottle Shock Freestyle Releasing $528,935 $547,225 - 16.0% $2,619,905
Bottle Shock Freestyle Releasing $528,935 $547,225 - 16.0% $2,619,905
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
Continued:       1       2



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