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The Independence Day holiday frame saw a rare tie for first place as Paramount and Fox both reported a $42.5M estimate for the Friday-to-Sunday span for their summer sequels Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, respectively. Final grosses to be reported on Monday will determine the true box office champ. Universal's gangster drama Public Enemies opened in third with strong results as studios provided many different moviegoing options which ticket buyers were excited to see.
The robots of Transformers dropped a steep 61% in the second weekend giving Paramount an eye-popping $293.5M total after just 12 days. That puts Michael Bay's tentpole pic at number 30 on the all-time domestic blockbusters list tied with 1999's The Sixth Sense. Ticket prices, of course, were much lower a decade ago when Haley Joel Osment was seeing dead people. Fallen also leaped past Pixar's Up to become this year's largest grosser and will top the $300M mark on Monday or Tuesday.
This weekend Robots ruled the box office as the highly-anticipated action sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen generated the second biggest opening in history with a gargantuan $201.2M in its first five days, according to studio estimates, sending the overall marketplace to its highest gross of the year. The eye-popping figure included $112M over the traditional Friday-to-Sunday period plus an additional $89.2M since its Wednesday launch. Playing ultrawide in 4,234 theaters including 169 IMAX screens, the Paramount release averaged a stunning $26,453 over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a gigantic $47,531 over five days. The only other film to ever gross more in its first five days was last summer's The Dark Knight which hauled in a slightly better $203.8M from 4,366 venues. The first Transformers bowed to $155.4M in 6.5 days and needed 12.5 days to break the double-century mark on its way to a $319.2M finish.
Sandra Bullock showed North America who's boss with her return to romantic comedy in The Proposal which gave the actress the biggest opening of her career and her first number one hit in over a decade. Rival comedy Year One enjoyed a respectable debut in fourth place while holdover sensations The Hangover and Up continued their amazing runs with small declines once again. Thanks to four funny films topping $20M a piece, the overall marketplace inched ahead of last year's levels for the first time in four weeks putting the industry in a good position with Megan Fox and the Autobots on the horizon. Moviegoers gave a very loud yes to Bullock this weekend as The Proposal powered ahead of expectations to open to an estimated $34.1M to easily lead the box office race. The bow nearly doubled the $17.6M of her 2007 thriller Premonition to set a new record for the actress who since the mid 1990s has routinely opened films in the $13-17M range. It was also the largest opening for any romantic comedy this year beating the $27.8M of February's He's Just Not That Into You which boasted more starpower with Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, and Drew Barrymore. Proposal averaged a scorching $11,163 from 3,056 locations.
Much like McG's endless grey landscapes, it was a cold, bleak dawn at the Australian box-office this weekend for Terminator Salvation, as the sequel collapsed against the debut of Todd Phillips' dude-com, The Hangover. The Vegas-set romp mirrored its recent US success by opening with an estimated $3.4 million in takings, while Salvation dipped 64 per cent. The $11 million cume for the Terminator sequel is still decent, demonstrating the fact that, contrary to US figures, the film is performing robustly in international markets. Then again, Angels and Demons has made more money than Star Trek here -- so what do local audiences know?
Moviegoers could not get enough of Mike Tyson's tiger as the raunchy Vegas-set comedy The Hangover spent a second weekend at number one, dropping a remarkably low amount, and is on course to become the top-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Also holding up well was the toon titan Up which remained in second place with a small decline of its own as it attempts to become Pixar's biggest blockbuster ever. Among new releases, Denzel Washington's hostage thriller The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 landed in third place with a respectable bow while Eddie Murphy's family comedy Imagine That was dead on arrival with one of the worst openings of the year.
This weekend audiences embraced two very different films as the animated blockbuster Up from Disney/Pixar won a close race to retain its position at number one while the raunchy new comedy The Hangover opened stronger than expected finishing close behind in second place. Will Ferrell's time travel action-comedy Land of the Lost had trouble finding audiences with a disappointing third place debut. With big Hollywood actors asking for more and more money, moviegoers spent their cash on two crowd pleasers lacking any major star names.
It was a close race for the box office crown but despite losing the Friday battle, muscular Saturday and Sunday sales lifted Up to another weekend in first place with an estimated $44.2M. Off only 35%, the PG-rated hit has now upped its ten-day cume to a robust $137.3M. If the estimate holds, it will be the largest second weekend gross for any film since last summer's The Dark Knight.
Pixar and Disney celebrated their tenth straight number one smash with the 3D flying house flick Up which enjoyed a strong opening atop the North American box office. The new horror film Drag Me to Hell played well to those looking for a scare with its third place finish. Most holdovers fell by more than 50% from last weekend's holiday session but overall sales for the top ten still matched up to last year.
Moviegoers spent the weekend with a grumpy old man and an adventurous young scout as the animated film Up debuted at number one with an estimated $68.2M from 3,766 locations. Averaging a stellar $18,109 per location, the PG-rated film continued Pixar's lucky streak which has seen every one of its offerings debut at number one in its first weekend of wide release. Grosses were boosted by extra surcharges that theaters collected for the 3D presentation, the first ever for Pixar. For example, New York City's Lincoln Square theater charges $12.50 for regular tickets, but $16.50 for Up in 3D.
Fox won the holiday battle of the sequels as the adventure comedy Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian debuted at number one over the long Memorial Day frame easily outgunning its rival, the Warner Bros. sci-fi actioner Terminator Salvation, which opened in second place. Holdovers fared well as the Top 20 films pulled in $220M from 30 million tickets sold virtually matching last year's holiday weekend.
This weekend Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard reteamed for their second Robert Langdon adventure Angels & Demons and reached number one with an opening that was respectable, but not spectacular. More impressive was the remarkable second weekend hold that the sci-fi actioner Star Trek enjoyed close behind in the runnerup spot. A mere $5M separated the two films even though Trek has been in theaters a week longer. With only one new opener, most holdovers saw relatively low declines as for the first time since early February, no film in the top ten dropped by more than 50%. Taking over the top spot this weekend, Angels & Demons debuted with an estimated $48M from 3,527 theaters for a solid $13,609 average per location.
This weekend a classic franchise was reborn as North American moviegoers came out in strong numbers for the new Star Trek which grossed an estimated $76.5M over its extended three-and-a-half-day debut. The impressive figure consists of roughly $4M from early showtimes that began at 7pm on Thursday evening and $72.5M across the standard Friday-to-Sunday period.
The $125M Paramount production was a gamble that paid off as the franchise was left for dead after the last installment, 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, grossed a dismal $43.1M striking out with fans worldwide. The new Trek averaged a solid $18,836 over the three-day period from 3,849 theaters including 138 Imax venues. The $72.5M figure represented the biggest opening ever in franchise history more than doubling the $30.7M of 1996's First Contact, the previous best in the eleven-pic series. But comparisons are not fair since previous films were made for the die-hard fans and enjoyed much lower ticket prices. The new Trek was a reboot with a new younger cast that played to fans and to general action audiences too.
Fox's super hero spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine crushed the competition and ruled the global box office kicking off the summer movie season with a scorching debut. The romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past opened reasonably well in second place helping the overall marketplace match the same weekend a year ago when Iron Man got 2008's record summer season started.
Singer-actress Beyoncé Knowles crushed the competition with a sizzling opening for her new romantic thriller Obsessed which powered well past expectations to lead the North American box office over the final weekend before the much-anticipated start of the summer movie season. Also performing well were two other new releases - the Channing Tatum drama Fighting and the nature documentary Earth. Not drawing big crowds was the star-combo of Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx in The Soloist which bowed in fourth place. Most holdovers fell sharply losing 50% or more of their business, but the top ten hit the $100M mark surging more than 30% ahead of last year's levels ending a record April and a busy spring with a bang.
This weekend Zac Efron scored his second number one opener in six months as his non-musical high school comedy 17 Again debuted powerfully in the top spot to lead the North American box office to another impressive year-over-year gain. Russell Crowe's murder thriller State of Play bowed in second place while Jason Statham's action sequel Crank High Voltage limped to a weak sixth place opening. Efron proved that he could draw a sizable crowd of paying customers outside of his safe Disney zone with 17 Again which premiered with an estimated $24.1M winning this weekend's box office race by a wide $10M margin.
This weekend the queen of teendom Miley Cyrus flexed her muscles again at the multiplexes with Hannah Montana The Movie which defeated all competitors for a squeaky clean number one debut over the Easter holiday weekend. Former chart-toppers Fast & Furious and Monsters vs. Aliens kicked in over $20M a piece powering the overall marketplace to its best showing ever for the bunny holiday.
Disney ruled the North American box office with an estimated $34M opening for Hannah over the Friday-to-Sunday period as the actress/rocker's fan base came out in droves. The G-rated film about the popular television character's reconnection to her roots averaged a powerful $10,904 from 3,118 theaters. It was the second biggest opening ever over the Easter holiday frame trailing only 2006's Scary Movie ($40.2M). Hannah also scored the fifth largest April debut after Fast & Furious ($71M), Anger Management ($42.2M), Scary 4, and The Scorpion King ($36.1M).
The turbo-charged racing sequel Fast & Furious crushed its competitors and blew away all industry expectations with a launch that shattered the April opening weekend box office record. And with the animated hit Monsters vs. Aliens still doing solid business in its second frame, the overall marketplace powered its way to the highest-grossing April session ever. Together, the two juggernauts grossed more this weekend than the entire marketplace did during this same frame in 2008 continuing a scorching hot year for movie ticket sales.
This weekend Moviegoers still love Nicolas Cage action flicks as the actor's latest film, the doomsday thriller Knowing, easily beat out two other new releases to capture the top spot at the North American box office. Opening in second and third respectively were the buddy comedy I Love You, Man starring Paul Rudd and the Julia Roberts-Clive Owen spy pic Duplicity. With the trio of new titles pulling in over $57M, most holdovers suffered sizable drops as the overall marketplace lagged behind last year's numbers by a slim margin.
This weekend Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the North American box office with his Disney adventure film Race to Witch Mountain which opened strongly at number one. The comic book saga Watchmen plunged in its sophomore frame settling for second place while the new horror entry The Last House on the Left bowed impressively in third. Existing films held up very well as five of the seven holdover titles in the top ten dipped by less than 30%. However, the overall marketplace fell from last year's levels for the first time in six weeks. Dwayne Johnson scored his sixth career number one opener for a lead role with Race to Witch Mountain which easily claimed the top spot with an estimated $25M. Playing to a broad audience, the PG-rated adventure averaged an impressive $7,844 from 3,187 theaters and did especially well with family audiences. The debut beat out the launch of Johnson's last Disney vehicle with director Andy Fickman The Game Plan which bowed to $23M on its way to a solid $90.6M which amounted to four times the debut weekend figure. Race was inspired by the Witch Mountain franchise Disney had in the late 1970s.
The adult-themed superhero film Watchmen seized control of the North American box office posting the biggest debut of the year with an estimated $55.7M in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead), the R-rated film based on the acclaimed 1986 comic series averaged a muscular $15,413 from 3,611 theaters. It was the third best March opening ever trailing 300 ($70.9M) and Ice Age: The Meltdown ($68M) and the sixth largest bow for an R-rated film after The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8M), The Passion of the Christ ($83.8M), 300, Hannibal ($58M), and Sex and the City ($57M).
Despite the arrival of rocking teens, Tyler Perry enjoyed a back-to-back stint at number one with the hit comedy Madea Goes to Jail which led a sluggish frame despite suffering a sizable sophomore drop. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience debuted in second place while many holdovers posted small declines remaining popular with moviegoers once again.
THIS WEEKEND Tyler Perry once again showed why he is the King (and Madea his Queen) of the box office as Madea Goes to Jail slaughtered the competition this weekend. Holdovers were mixed and the only other new release landed with a soft thud. Taking his rightful place atop the box office charts, Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail ruled the roost this weekend bringing in a stunning $41.2M, according to estimates, for a per screen average of $20,236. Perry's fans have obviously been hungering for another round of Madea and they came out in droves to see her. Madea Goes to Jail replaces Madea's Family Reunion as Perry's biggest opening weekend gross. That film opened three years ago to a $30M bow and $13,688 average. Perry's last two films have been relative disappointments (relative only within the Perry universe) but Madea has set him back on track. In fact, Madea Goes to Jail this weekend alone has made more money than Perry's last film The Family That Preys, did in its entire run late last year, when it finished with $37.1M.