Super 8 Solid for Spielberg and Abrams
By John Hamann
June 12, 2011
Why didn't some other blockbuster come along and try to muscle out Super 8 out of the weekend? Respect. With the dynamic duo of Spielberg/Abrams opening this one, studios stayed away from what is Spielberg’s weekend. For Abrams, this is only the third film the Lost creator has directed, joining Mission Impossible III, which disappointed in 2006 with a $47 million opening and $133 million domestic finish (luckily for Paramount the overseas grosses doubled the domestic take), and of course 2009's Star Trek reboot which remains in my mind as one of the better films over the last few years. As a producer, Abrams turned Cloverfield into a $170 million worldwide hit (against a $25 million budget), but took a hard loss last year with Morning Glory, as that one under-performed with $31 million, despite starring Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford. The future is bright for Abrams, although it's very sequel-filled. He's got Mission Impossible IV coming out at Christmas with Brad Bird directing, a Star Trek sequel set for next year, and a Cloverfield sequel set for a couple of years down the road.
Finishing a more distant second than it would have liked is X-Men: First Class. After an okay $55 million opening weekend and a solid Monday to Thursday where it pulled in almost $20 million, First Class dipped over its second weekend. The gross this weekend came in at $25 million, down a disappointing 55% from its opening weekend. Yes, blockbusters have a tendency to drop large in their second weekends, but with X-Men's muted opening and extremely strong reviews, one could see Fox hoping for a much better hold in its second frame. An X-Men film has never seen a second weekend drop below 50%, and this is a marked improvement over X-Men: Wolverine and Last Stand, as both of those films fell dramatically, losing 65-69% of their first weekend audience in the second weekend. The $160 million reboot has now earned $99 million domestically, and a similar amount overseas. First Class will end up as a winner for Fox, but it isn't going to be the lotto result they were hoping for.
Third spot goes to The Hangover Part II, now in its third weekend. With its huge opening and big second weekend fall behind it, the sequel was looking to even out a bit this weekend, which it did. The Hangover Part II took in $18.5 million and fell a much better 41% (last weekend it fell 64%). The poorly reviewed comedy still has another weekend before the R-rated Bad Teacher from Sony hits screens, as I don't think Mr. Popper's Penguins will have that much of an affect. Like the original, The Hangover Part II is putting up some pretty dramatic numbers. It now has a domestic running total of $216.6 million, and overseas it has taken in over $150 million.
Fourth goes to Kung Fu Panda 2, which is all of a sudden nipping at The Hangover's heels. Kung Fu Panda 2 took in $16.6 million, down only 30%. After a 50% dip last weekend, I thought the mighty Panda was not going to show any legs whatsoever, but should now see at least one more weekend above $10 million, if not two. After three weekends of release, the Jack Black/Angelina Jolie voiced film has pulled in $126.9 million on the domestic side, and has earned more than $150 million overseas. The first Kung Fu Panda earned $215 million domestically, and over $400 million overseas.