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Sandler’s Click Leaves Room for Superman Returns

Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up for June 23-25, 2006

By John Hamann

June 25, 2006

I need cheering up. Go back in the closet and put on your Underworld costume.

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Adam Sandler's Click arrived at theatres this weekend, with Sony and Sandler looking for a Bruce Almighty type opening. Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler are very different actors, and Sandler will have to settle with his normal type of opening, usually in the high $30 millions or low $40 millions, instead of the big, big time. The other big stories this weekend include the nosedives of last weekend's openers and the hot debut of Waist Deep, the new urban thriller from Focus Features.

The number one film of the weekend is Adam Sandler's Click, but it was far from any type of breakout performance. Click opened to $40 million this weekend (it will most likely dip below that mark when actuals are released), well off the $47 million that The Longest Yard started with in May 2005. The Sony flick opened at 3,749 venues, and had an okay average of $10,669. Click has to be a disappointment for Adam Sandler. This flick had a great, Jimmy Stewart-type premise, but unlike Nacho Libre last weekend, the blanket marketing for this comedy may have turned off audiences. For two months, every sports program on TV has been inundated with Click ads, leaving little about this plot to the imagination. The blanket advertising worked for Nacho Libre because those spots were funny and unique. Click's felt more like the same-old, same-old, and weren't all that funny.

For Sandler, this opening is at the low end of his usual range, which won't be a problem for the folks at Sony. His highest opening came last year with the aforementioned Longest Yard, which took in $47 million. However, as David Mumpower said yesterday in BOP's Friday Box Office Analysis, The Longest Yard debuted over the Memorial Day weekend, giving it an inflated Friday-to-Sunday score, as Monday was a holiday. His second best opening was with Anger Management, which had Jack Nicholson as a co-star. That one found $42.2 million in April 2003. More similar to Click would be the opening of Big Daddy, which took in $41.5 million over the June 25th weekend in 1999. The difference is that adjusted for inflation, Big Daddy's opening in today's market would have equaled about $49.5 million, so Click is even a step back from that. With some of Sandler's choices of late (Spanglish, Click), we can see the young actor trying to turn himself into Jim Carrey. Unfortunately, I don't see Click director Frank Coraci (The Waterboy, Around the World in 80 Days) getting him to a $68 million opening.

Critics hammered Click. Overly sentimental, unfunny, and predictable were what the critics were singing this weekend, which may have reduced Click's opening to that of Sandler's hardcore fanbase only. At RottenTomatoes, 110 reviews were counted, and only 38 liked the film enough to give it up a thumbs up. That's an average of 29%, and not good enough to get any kind of breakout going. The Click opening does leave room for a big Superman Returns start next weekend, but this flick could be seen as good counter-programming versus the Man of Steel. Look for decent if not remarkable legs on this one, and a finish around $120 million.

Landing in second spot is Cars, which is enjoying a top two position for the third straight weekend. Cars scored better this weekend than last, when it dropped a larger-than-expected 43%. This weekend, the Pixar/Disney effort grossed a decent $22.5 million, off a better 33% from the previous frame. In its third weekend, Finding Nemo dropped 39% and lifted its total score to $191.5 million. After three weekends, Cars has earned $155.9 million domestically, still behind most of its predecessors. In the same time frame, The Incredibles was at $177.6 million, and Monsters, Inc. was at $156.3 million. Cars now looks to finish with about $240 million domestic, and will have to hope for some solid international scores to lift it higher.

Third place goes to Nacho Libre, the Jack Black comedy. Nacho got pinned this weekend, losing a huge 57% of last weekend's business. Nacho Libre grossed $12.1 million after opening in the last frame to $28.3 million. Out to 3,083 venues, Nacho had a not-so-hot venue average of $3,937. While obviously no Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho has already earned $52.7 million domestic against a tiny production budget of $25 million. Click cost Sony almost three times as much to make, and while it will win the box office race, it won't finish that much past Nacho Libre.

Waist Deep finishes fourth, as Focus Features has a solid hit with this urban action movie. Waist Deep opened to $9.5 million from an absolutely tiny venue count of only 1,004. That's good for an average of $9,414, the second best in the top ten, and not far behind Click. Critics thought Waist Deep was Click-like. Only 15 reviewers out of 52 liked it enough to give it a thumbs up, but it did have some important fans in some big urban markets. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune all gave it a passing grade, which couldn't have hurt the solid opening of this one. Waist Deep probably won't even be a $30 million film, but with this opening and a little press, it may see some solid DVD sales in a few months. The production budget is unavailable, but an educated guess puts it in the $10-15 million range.

The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift is number five, crashing hard after a middling opening last weekend. Tokyo Drift grossed $9.2 million after debuting to $24 million last weekend. That equals a troubling (but completely expected) drop of 62%. This one will be a memory in a few short weeks, and currently has a gross of $42.6 million. This Universal product will have to hope for big overseas grosses, as the domestic total should tap out before hitting $70 million.




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WB's The Lake House lands in sixth, as the Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock weeper shows some of the better legs in the top ten. The Lake House grossed $8.3 million, off a not-bad 39% from its debut frame. The Notebook, 2004's surprise romantic earner opened to $13.5 million and dropped hard in its second weekend (45%), but recovered nicely in the weekends following with drops of 12%, 14% and 25%. I doubt that will happen here, but this is not an audience I completely understand (let's face it: Love Story was awful, and very successful). Currently, The Lake House sits with $29.2 million, and you will have to check back next weekend to see where this one will end up.

The Break-Up finishes seventh and has a reason to celebrate, sort of. The Break-Up grossed $6.1 million this weekend, down 38% from the previous frame. It did manage to cross the $100 million mark, but it took far too long considering the opening weekend of $39.2 million. The Vaughn/Aniston comedy now sits with a domestic total of $103.7 million, and should finish short of $125 million.

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (only two more weekends until I don't have to think about this one) falls to eighth and is another of last weekend's openers to get crushed in its second frame. Garfield 2 grossed only $4.8 million in its second frame, dropping 35%. This release is proving to be one large, expensive ad for DVD sales, as its total now sits at $16 million.

Ninth and tenth spots belong to some of May's big blockbusters in X-Men: The Last Stand and The Da Vinci Code. X3 earned $4.4 million to finish ninth. It was off 44% from the last frame and now has $224.1 million in the domestic kitty. The Da Vinci Code earned $4 million, off 24%, and has now earned $205.5 million domestic.

Overall, things are okay compared to last year, but that's not saying much. This year, the top ten films at the box office grossed about $120.2 million. Last year, with Batman Begins on top, and Bewitched getting off to a poor start, the top ten at the box office grossed a smaller $113.5 million. In 2004, with Fahrenheit 9/11 at number one, the top ten grossed about $129 million, well ahead of both last year and this year. What this weekend's performance does is leave a lot of room for a huge opening for Superman Returns, which could compete for some records next weekend.


Top Ten for Weekend of June 23-25, 2006
Rank
Film
Number
of Sites
Percentage
Drop
Estimated
Gross ($)
Cumulative
Gross ($)
1 Click 3,749 New $40.0 $40.0
2 Cars 3,949 -33% $22.5 $155.9
3 Nacho Libre 3,083 -57% $12.1 $52.7
4 Waist Deep 1,004 New $9.5 $9.5
5 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift 3,030 -62% $9.2 $42.6
6 The Lake House 2,645 -39% $8.3 $29.2
7 The Break-Up 2,909 -38% $6.1 $103.7
8 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties 2,981 -35% $4.8 $16.0
9 X-Men: The Last Stand 2,408 -44% $4.4 $224.1
10 The Da Vinci Code 1,911 -24% $4.0 $205.5

     


 
 

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