Dan Brown and Catholic Church Declare a Tie
By David Mumpower
May 16, 2009
The rapturous reception to the Star Trek franchise reboot continued this weekend. The 2009 take on a sci-fi staple earned an impressive $43 million, falling only 43% from its $75.2 million debut. As of Friday, Star Trek had already become the most successful film in the franchise in terms of actual domestic revenue. It surpassed previous record holder Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home's $109.7 million. Of course, once we adjust for inflation, there is still a lot of work left to do. The Voyage Home has the 2009 ticket price equivalence of $207.9 million, and it's not even the strongest performer. The first Star Trek movie adaptation (rather shockingly) inflation adjusts to $236.0 million. This franchise once was a juggernaut and J.J. Abrams has done an impeccable job in reminding the world of this fact. With glowing reviews and a ten-day box office total of $147.6 million, it is only days away from surpassing Star Trek: First Contact's inflation-adjusted tally of $149.3 million to become the most successful Trek since the 1980s. A $200+ million domestic take is a mortal lock at this point, meaning this is the rare sci-fi action flick that is not hugely frontloaded. Note that you may see some larger percentage drops listed around the net for Star Trek, but those reflect the $79.2 million number last week that includes $4 million accrued prior to official Friday box office.
Speaking of heavily frontloaded action flicks, Wolverine is dissipating at a rate best described as a snowball in a microwave. A 69% drop last week is followed by another 44% this weekend as the film earns only $14.8 million. The poorly reviewed and received origins film has a running domestic total of $151.1 million, meaning it should avoid the fate of being the least successful X-Men film. The number to beat is the original X-Men's $157.3 million; this too is misleading since that title inflation-adjusts over $200 million, though. Wolverine is performing somewhat similarly (albeit better) to The Scorpion King relative to The Mummy franchise in the way that any success it is having is based largely upon name brand recognition rather than actual film quality. Wolverine's international take guarantees that the $150 production budget is covered, but it's still only a couple of notches above a worst case scenario result. Stating the obvious, the next X-Men film needs to be something other than Magneto or some other origin story.
Rounding out the top five this week are Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Obsessed. The Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy drops a notch from third place last weekend to fourth place this frame with $6.9 million. This is a relatively solid hold as it falls 33% on the heels of an identical 33% drop last weekend, meaning that the poorly (if not loathsomely) reviewed Dickensian yarn is showing legs almost in spite of itself. A running total of $40.1 million puts this squarely on track to surpass $50 million, making it McConaughey's 11th such hit. Like it or not, he's a star. Boop.