By David Mumpower
July 1, 2009
Depp's post-Sparrow career has been exceptionally consistent, save for The Libertine. Ignoring his one arthouse performance, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Secret Window, Finding Neverland, Sweeney Todd and The Corpse Bride all finished in the $50 million range. That's great news as long as a film doesn't have a $100 million budget, but since Public Enemies does, Universal is clearly hoping for a performance more in line with Depp's biggest non-Pirate themed hit, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Neither its $56.2 million debut nor its $206.5 million final domestic take appears likely here, though. Those are instead Ice Age 3's hopefuls. While the combination of Depp and Bale is an enticing one on paper and I'm down for any Michael Mann film (serious, ANYTHING he does), this project isn't showing the signs needed for it to break out. It looks like a period piece version of Inside Man in terms of box office. I expect a $27 million opening weekend plus about $9 million more of Wednesday/Thursday revenue. Like most of Mann's work, I expect this to be a better movie in terms of quality than box office performance.
As for the second weekend of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it's unfortunate that this forecast has to be written in time of Wednesday publication. Later in the week, we'll have a much better idea of what to expect with regards to its legs. What I do know for certain from Monday numbers is that it fell almost 54% from Sunday with $14,853,940. Just to put that in perspective, consider that it shakily claimed $200 million over its first five days in theaters (why must you turn this place into a den of lies, Paramount bean counters?). That was only $3.7 million behind the mind-boggling five-day total The Dark Knight managed last summer. If we compare the films' first Mondays, however, the difference is a full $10 million. Do I expect Transformers 2 to be matching The Dark Knight step for step in its first set of weekdays? Of course not. I do, however, feel that it's not the best news on the planet that the first weekday for Transformers 2 doesn't beat any of the first ten days of The Dark Knight.
If we're comparing it to mortal films, its first Monday does beat Shrek the Third and Spider-Man 3. It loses to both Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, albeit artificially in one of the instances. The first Monday for At World's End was Memorial Day. Dead Man's Chest unequivocally clocks Transformers 2, though. It earned $18.1 million on its first Monday, a full 22% better. Given that the third Shrek and Spider-Man films are not considered leggy while Dead Man's Chest wound up with roughly $416 million, there is some middle ground here for Revenge of the Fallen in this regard. I'm inclined to believe this one will have a second weekend hold on a par with Dead Man's Chest percentage wise since it's dealing in smaller numbers. There is still the issue of July 4th being a Saturday, though. Because of that, I'm downgrading it a bit to a 58% drop and a second weekend of $45.8 million. As for My Sister's Keeper, if you honestly care about what its second weekend makes and you don't work for Warner Bros., it's time for you to go outside. Don't fear Mister Sun. He's your July 4th friend.