Weekend Wrap-Up

Pixar Dominates Box Office With Up

By John Hamann

May 31, 2009

I can see the hairs in your nose! Moreso!

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Well back in fourth is Terminator Salvation, now an official disaster at the domestic box office. The only thing that was going to save Terminator was a $20 million plus second weekend, and the answer again for this franchise is Fail. Terminator Salvation earned $16.1 million in its second frame, and was off 62%, which will pretty much end the story, as this one now looks to finish with as low as $125 million – a number I was thinking it might pull down over opening weekend only a month ago. McG is turning into a franchise killer, as he laid the Charlie's Angels franchise to waste with two ridiculous films. So now we follow the money. The rumor mill says that Halcyon Films (the production company behind Salvation) sold the domestic rights to Warner Bros. to distribute in North America for $50 million, and sold the foreign rights to Sony for $75 million. Now these two studios will have to pay for promotion and prints as well, so I am imagining both deals for the studios are not good, as we have to remember that theaters keep about half the grosses on average. Terminator Salvation is looking like the film to end the franchise at this point, and we will most likely have to wait a decade for the reboot, and for someone to finally do it right. Sigh.

Fifth goes to Star Trek, one of the few bright spots from the month of May. After earning $22.9 million over the long weekend, Star Trek held up okay, earning $12.8 million and dropping 44%. The JJ Abrams flick crossed the $200 million mark on Friday, its 22nd day, which ties The Incredibles and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It has a gross so far of $209.5 million, and if Trek can hold steady, it could reach $240 million.

Angels & Demons, like Terminator Salvation, is a franchise killer. After a 53% drop last weekend, things aren't improving much for the Tom Hanks starrer (find other work Tom, and hurry). Angels & Demons earned a slim $11.2 million, and drops a better – but still not great – 48%. It looks like A&D will finish similar to Terminator Salvation, but it will at least do better overseas. It has already earned over $160 million from foreign box office, and has a running domestic total of $104.8 million. The Ron Howard flick cost $150 million to make before prints and advertising.


Seventh is Dance Flick, and, as expected, the comedy fell on its face, earning $4.9 million and dropping 54%. This one cost Paramount $25 million to make and has now earned $19.2 million.

Eighth goes to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This franchise needs to thank its fanbase, as they opened this one to $85.1 million, which saved the franchise. After drops of 69%, 44% and 45%, Wolverine earns $3.9 million in its fifth weekend and drops 52%. It has a domestic total of $170.9 million, and a foreign total of $161 million.

Ninth and tenth are the also-rans. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past earned $1.9 million and has a total of $50 million. Tenth is Obsessed, which earned $665,000 and has a total of $67.5 million. Both will be gone next weekend when three new releases arrive.

Overall this weekend, and just like the last frame, things versus last year are remarkably similar. Over the same frame last year, Sex and the City dominated the box office with a $57 million opening, leading the top 12 to $164 million. This year, with Up on top, the top 12 films earned $163 million. Next weekend brings the dreadful looking Land of the Lost, the funny looking Hangover, and the My Big Fat Greek Wedding-looking My Life in Ruins.

Top Weekend Box Office for 5/29/09-5/31/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Up Walt Disney Pictures $68,200,000 $68,108,790 New $68,108,790
2 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 20th Century Fox $25,500,000 $24,353,868 -55% $104,150,268
3 Terminator Salvation Warner Bros. N/A $16,433,365 -61% $90,949,924
4 Drag Me to Hell Universal Pictures $16,628,040 $15,825,480 New $15,825,480
5 Star Trek Paramount $12,800,000 $12,613,777 -45% $209,313,884
6 Angels & Demons Sony/Columbia $11,200,000 $11,353,340 - 48% $104,913,439
7 Dance Flick Paramount Pictures $4,900,000 $4,743,636 -55% $19,084,907
8 Wolverine Fox N/A $3,873,377 -52% $170,843,712
9 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past New Line Cinema $1,905,000 $1,911,401 - 50% $50,021,779
10 Obsessed Screen Gems $665,000 $677,001 - 66% $67,500,481
11 The Brothers Bloom Summit Entertainment $652,000 $627,971 +63% $1,360,130
12 The Soloist DreamWorks Pictures $500,000 $485,215 - 43% $30,251,623
  Also Opening/Notables
  Munyurangabo Film Movement N/A $1,703 New $1,703
  Monsters vs. Aliens DreamWorks $315,000 $320,040 - 78% $194,421,864
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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