Weekend Wrap-Up

Memorial Day Weekend Disappoints at Box Office

By John Hamann

May 24, 2009

I'm a two-time Academy Award nominee. Why am I in this with you?

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Angels & Demons expectedly takes it on the chin, as the Tom Hanks thriller gets washed out by openers and competing holdovers this weekend. Angels earned $21.4 million this weekend after debuting in the last frame to $46.2 million. It drops 54%, which we could say is actually better than expected. There is more good news for Sony, Columbia and Hanks, as A&D has already surpassed $100 million in overseas grosses, so the $150 million spent on this one may not be such a bad investment (it's this year's Troy). On the domestic front, A&D has earned $81,5 million, and we will get a better understanding of where it's going to finish next weekend.

If any film in the top ten beat expectations, it's Dance Flick, the latest super-stupid parody film from the Wayans boys. Dance Flick earned $11.1 million over its opening frame from 2,450 venues. While not the big grosses seen in the Scary Movie franchise, or even the medium grosses from Wayans flicks like Little Man or White Chicks, it does improve on films like Superhero Movie ($9.5 million opening) and Disaster Movie ($5.8 million opening). The budget for this one came in at a modest $25 million, so this is a good start.

Sixth goes to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as Hugh Jackman and company get pushed to the back of the pack. Wolverine earned $7.8 million in its fourth frame, and has another large drop compared to last weekend at 47%. The good news for Fox is that Wolverine has finally outgrossed its production budget ($150 million) domestically, as it has earned $163.1 million. The even better news is that it has earned a similar amount overseas.


Seventh goes to Ghost of Girlfriends Past, the rom-com that has held on longer than it has any right to. The Matthew McConaughey starrer earned $3.7 million in its fourth weekend, and now has a running total of $45.9 million. Just keep thinking, in a few more weekends, it will be gone.

The lower rungs are filled with non-factors. Eighth is Obsessed, and despite losing 1,031 venues this weekend, the Beyonce thriller still earned $2 million. It was off 56% and now has a running total of $65.9 million against a budget of only $20 million. Ninth is Monsters vs Aliens, which continues to claw its way towards $200 million. MvA earned $1.3 million, was off 58% and has a total so far of $193 million. Tenth is 17 Again with Zac Efron. The Warner Bros. flick grossed $1 million and was off 70%. It has a total of $60.3 million.

Overall, things are the opposite of where they should be. The top 12 took in a much lower than expected $168.3 million from Friday-to-Sunday, well off of the record of $199 million set in 2007, and just a touch higher (.48%) than the $167.5 million earned over the same weekend last year. At least next weekend looks 'Up", as Disney and Pixar open Up in 3,700+ cinemas. Add to that Sam Raimi's return to horror with Drag Me To Hell, a horror flick that actually looks scary.

Top Weekend Box Office for 5/22/09-5/24/09 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 20th Century Fox $53,500,000 New $53,500,000
2 Terminator Salvation Warner Bros. $43,010,000 New $56,382,000
3 Star Trek Paramount $21,951,000 - 49.0% $183,585,000
4 Angels & Demons Sony/Columbia $21,090,000 - 54.4% $81,200,000
5 Dance Flick Paramount Pictures $11,113,000 -47% $11,113,000
6 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Fox $7,800,000 New $163,053,737
7 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past New Line Cinema $3,720,000 - 44.1% $45,858,000
8 Obsessed Screen Gems $2,000,000 - 56.4% $65,900,000
9 Monsters vs. Aliens DreamWorks $1,345,000 - 57.7% $192,991,000
10 17 Again New Line Cinema $1,005,000 - 70.2% $60,314,000
11 The Soloist DreamWorks Pictures $823,000 - 65.7% $29,219,000
12 Next Day Air Summit Entertainment $600,000 - 73.3% $8,912,102
  Also Opening/Notables
  The Girlfriend Experience Magnolia Pictures $165,000 New $165,000
  Easy Virtue Sony Classics $115,989 New $115,989
  O'horten Sony Classics $25,908 New $25,908
  The Boys: the Sherman Brothers' Story WALT DISNEY $13,900 New $13,900
  The Brothers Bloom Summit Entertainment $363,000 +301.5% $486,388
  Earth Disneynature $470,000 New $30,416,000
  Fighting Rogue Pictures $132,825 - 88.1% $22,653,825
  Hannah Montana: The Movie Walt Disney Pictures $439,000 - 72.8% $76,826,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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