Box Office Guru Wrapup: Moody Superheroes Rule the Box Office

While the Human Spaceship Belly Flops

A week before The Joker unleashes chaos, moviegoers passed the time by driving the comic book sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army to a number one debut while also showing up in solid numbers for the 3D adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth. On the other hand, Eddie Murphy's new comedy Meet Dave was totally ignored and suffered a dismal debut becoming the summer's biggest flop. Holdover pictures in the top ten performed well with each dropping by less than 50%.

One superhero with an attitude problem replaced another in the top spot as Universal's actioner Hellboy II debuted ahead of the pack with an estimated $35.9M in its first weekend of release. Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth), the PG-13 film opened 55% better than the $23.2M bow of its 2004 predecessor which Sony released. It went on to gross a mediocre $59M but grew its audience on DVD and cable. Golden Army averaged a sturdy $11,200 from 3,204 theaters. Budgeted at $85M, the new Hellboy took advantage of a built-in audience of fans and the starpower that its director has generated after winning three Oscars for Labyrinth. Reviews were very favorable and the studio is keeping the door open for a sequel, even though del Toro will spend the next three years in New Zealand making back-to-back Hobbit films.


Close behind in second place was Will Smith's latest blockbuster Hancock which dropped 47% to an estimated $33M to boost its cume to a robust $165M after twelve and a half days. That's an exact match to the total that 2005's sci-fi action offering from Independence Day weekend War of the Worlds took in after its second session. The Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise collaboration suffered a bigger drop of 53% and a smaller sophomore take of $30.5M, but did not have the extra revenue from night-before-opening previews like Hancock.

It was a strong hold for Smith especially with the solid debuts of two new action films. Hancock also gave the superstar actor his fifth consecutive $150M+ blockbuster further cementing his status as the most bankable star in Hollywood. The road ahead could be a rough one though given Friday's eagerly-awaited launch of the competing superhero juggernaut The Dark Knight, but a final domestic tally in the neighborhood of $250M could result. Overseas, the badass crimefighter soared to $180.2M in sales catapulting the worldwide cume to an eye-popping $345M in less than two weeks. The $150M production could fly to $500-600M globally.


Opening well in third place was the 3D adventure tale Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Brendan Fraser with an estimated $20.6M. The New Line/Warner Bros. film launched in 2,811 theaters and averaged a solid $7,321 per site. However, the grosses from 3D and traditional 2D theaters were like night and day. A whopping 70% of the total venues did not have equipment to offer the film in 3D and those theaters averaged only about $2,000 each. But the 854 sites that did screen the PG-rated film in 3D averaged close to $20,000 per playdate and accounted for more than 80% of the weekend business. Most of those charged higher ticket prices too which helped to boost the grosses. Reviews were generally good for the $60M-budgeted project. Journey also had a limited international premiere grossing $4.2M from five markets led by $2.1M in the United Kingdom and $1.5M in Brazil.


Disney and Pixar followed in fourth with WALL?E which grossed an estimated $18.5M in its third frame dropping 43%. The decline was bigger than Ratatouille's 38% dip during its third session a year ago this same weekend. The robot pic opened $16M better than the rodent comedy, but now their third weekend tallies are nearly identical as WALL?E's legs have not been as sturdy. Still, look for this latest animation gem to roll its way to roughly $220M domestically.


Angelina Jolie had an eventful weekend welcoming in two new babies and also having twin films in the top ten. Her action thriller Wanted placed fifth with an estimated $11.6M, down 42%, boosting Universal's cume to $112M. The actress also voiced Tigress in Kung Fu Panda further down on the chart. Jolie has now upped her counts for both children and $100M career blockbusters to six each.

Get Smart came in sixth with an estimated $7.1M, down only 36%, and reached $111.5M after 24 days for Warner Bros.

Stealing the 'Flop of the Summer' title from Speed Racer, Eddie Murphy stumbled into seventh place with a disastrous opening for his new comedy Meet Dave which grossed just $5.3M, according to estimates. The PG-rated film landed in 3,011 theaters and averaged a puny $1,760. It was the third worst opening in box office history for a film released in more than 3,000 theaters and certainly the poorest for a pricey star vehicle. The only films to open worse were last year's The Seeker: The Dark is Rising ($3.7M from 3,141 sites) and 2006's Hoot ($3.4M from 3,018 playdates).

Carrying a budget of roughly $60M, buzz was always bad for Meet Dave and the concept of Murphy playing a human-looking spaceship operated by a mini crew inside of him, with a captain also played by the funnyman, did not fly with audiences. Competition also played a part as every film that ranked higher also offered action, comedy, or both. Dave's opening was a far cry from the solid $34.2M debut that Murphy's comedy Norbit scored last year and joins the Oscar-nominated comedian's hall of box office shame along with The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Holy Man, and Best Defense.


Kung Fu Panda dropped 41% to eighth place with an estimated $4.3M sending the martial arts toon across the $200M mark with a total to date of $202M. The Paramount/DreamWorks pic is running 8% behind the pace of Disney/Pixar's Cars from 2006 and will probably finish with roughly $215M. The Abigail Breslin pic Kit Kittredge: An American Girl held up well in its second weekend of wide release slipping just 29% to an estimated $2.4M. Though it enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten, it still has only collected $11M to date and seems headed for a $18-20M finish.

Rounding out the top ten was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with an estimated $2.3M in its eighth weekend, down 40%, raising the overall tally to $310.5M. The Harrison Ford adventure sequel is now within striking distance of fellow Paramount release Iron Man's $313.4M and could become the new top grosser of 2008. Warner Bros. fully intends to make it a three-picture race with The Dark Knight which could very well reach the same stratosphere by month's end.

Three films fell from the top ten this weekend. Universal's The Incredible Hulk took in an estimated $2.2M, off 55%, for a $129.8M sum. That puts the new green guy a scant 1% ahead of Ang Lee's Hulk at the same point in its 2003 run. Factor in higher ticket prices and the new Hulk has actually attracted fewer fans than the old one did, and cost a bit more. Budgeted at $150M, The Incredible Hulk should end up with about $135M edging out the $132.2M gross of Hulk, but will sell 13% fewer tickets. Overseas, the Edward Norton pic smashed the $100M mark boosting the international cume to $101.3M and the global tally to $231M.


The much more profitable Sex and the City banked an estimated $1.7M, down only 28%, and raised its total to a stellar $148.2M. A final domestic haul of $155M seems likely for the New Line film distributed by Warner Bros. The overseas performance for the $60M production has been sensational with $220.5M taken in to date accounting for 60% of the global haul of $369M. Astounding industry observers, Sex has become the fourth biggest global blockbuster of 2008 after the Paramount triumvirate of Indiana Jones, Iron Man, and Kung Fu Panda.

The summer's other fashion-related comedy You Don't Mess With the Zohan fell 46% to an estimated $1.1M giving the Adam Sandler vehicle $96.9M so far. The Sony release should inch its way to the $100M mark making it the comedian's lowest gross for a broad comedy since 2000's Little Nicky.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $140.9M which was down 17% from last year when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opened in the top spot with $77.1M; and off 5% from 2006 when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest spent a second weekend at number one with $62.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Comments

mariner fan

Lucas Rydell

Hellboy2 was good but the 1st one was better cant wait for the dark knight!!!!

Jul 13 - 04:10 PM

curtis

filmboy O'Bryant

WOW at Hancock. 600 millio WW is out of this world for a movie that is not based on a anything. Will You are a beast. Poor Wall E. looks like Adults was the only giving that film good WOM because alot of kids says it is to boring. that might explane its legs.

Jul 13 - 04:32 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

I am glad HB II did good, it was really good and I cant wait for the 3rd one too bad it wont be out for another 4 years though... I am happy MEET DAVE did bad Eddie Murphy sucks now, maybe this will teach him to stop doing kids movies. Im also happy Wanted is doing really well since it was pretty cool, and a I wouldnt mind a trilogy. Cant wait til next friday OMG TDK is finnaly almost here! I feel bad that HB II will probably get crushed next weekend and every other movie I have liked this summer so far too, but hopefully HB II pulls in enough for a 3rd one which it needs!
Next weekend
The Dark Knight- 140 Million Total- 325 Million
Mamma Mia- 22 Million Total- 68 Milllion
HB II- 15 Million Total- 82 Million
Hancock- 10 Million Total- 225 Million

Jul 13 - 05:10 PM

Young Turk

Joe Massino

and lazy parenting might have something to do with that as well....

Jul 13 - 05:35 PM

zooman

Alex Reyes

yeah parents are lazy and evil and kids are stupid, I mean they dont get to be educated anymore by a mouse hitting a cat with a hammer and having to laugh of that as if it were the only joke relatable to them, or well theres also that one joke of a bunny getting dressed as a woman for a laugh..

and there were neat, if not extremely smart, disney movies that of course were not that competitive in the box office, but that just showed how much time parents spent with their children.

yep, those were smarter more caring times, I pity today's dumbing society....

Still, Wall E is a great movie, but it does lack a narrative that is made expressly for kids, and thatīs ok. Many kids still do like it, and it is doing more than pretty well for a movie that is not that commercially manufactured for kids and still plays in that market.

Jul 14 - 08:03 AM

IMAmoose24

Eric Schulze

Damn, i was hoping for at least a 45 mil opening for Hellboy. It sure as hell deserves at least that much. God did I have fun at that movie. GO SEE HELLBOY TO HOLD YOU OFF TILL THURSDAY NIGHT!

Jul 13 - 06:26 PM

nogard46

joe smith

its hard to come down on little kids not accepting Wall-e, there is no way any kid, I'm talking about under 18 can even begin to grasp the concept in Wall-e. I'm making generalization but have anyone whos met a kid thats experienced extreme loneliness? I'm talking about so lonely you are talking to yourself, or pretending to talk to people, so lonely it hurts? And you know any kid whos fallen so hard in love they follow them around, and would do anything to spend time with this person, including not eating, not sleeping?? And most kids have they seen an american landfill? have they seen how much waste we are already producing?

Kids got the movie they wanted to see this summer, and it was called Kung Fu Panda. I enjoyed KFP but it was very shallow and even the moral of the story seemed very flaky, almost nonexistent.

Wall-E is an instant classic, it will stand the test of time, along with other Sci Fi greats, 2001, ET, Bladerunner.

Jul 13 - 06:34 PM

Greg_Arious

Josh Cane

I like sci fi movies but HB2 was too much for me. I think it got such a high rating simply because of its director because there was nothing special about it. Eagerly awaiting TDK! If that lets me down Ill cry.

Jul 13 - 07:50 PM

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

Finally! Clear the way for the juggernaut that is TDK in only 3 days!!!.

My prediction for The Dark Knight:

OW - $130 million
Total - $350 million

Jul 13 - 07:59 PM

TombstoneLawDog

Daniel Klein

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie...

WHAT IN RIGHTEOUS GREEN F#CK WERE YOU THINKING?!

I hold with my post on the other string- HB1 was better than 2. Kudos to big Willy for Hancock. In NO WAY a great movie, but fun just the same.

Jul 13 - 07:59 PM

wordweaver12

Afrika welang

Just the results I expected. As far as Hellboy is concerned, I won't exactly call 35 million "ruling the box office". For a big budget movie of that magnitude, that is a mighty disappointment. Expect Hellboy ticket sales to drop dramatically next week.

Jul 13 - 09:45 PM

CoUcH ToMaToE DoUgIe

Shawn Amoroso

I agree wordweaver, Hellboy 2 box office was shocking to me

considering how great it was but hell we can't get too mad at the viewing

audience. For once they made Eddie Murphy suffer for making a horrible film,

perhaps they are making up for their cardinal sin {spending ten bucks on

Norbit ;)


Also, I'm wondering how the r.t. community is feeling about the possibility

of Iron Man losing the domestic box office title to Indy IV ? I know how

much everyone hated it and the fact it may pass arguably the best film of

the year seems very unsettling to me. Mind you, i didn't hate Indy IV but it

has no business being the highest grossing movie of the year. Well, even if

that does happen I hope a certain caped crusader saves the day by earning

well over a final domestic total of 315 million.

Jul 13 - 10:05 PM

CoUcH ToMaToE DoUgIe

Shawn Amoroso

It's really sad if kids think Wall*E was boring but director

Andrew Stanton will have the oscar at the end of the year to recognize his

second masterpiece{first one was Finding Nemo}. Also, I'm desperately rooting

Wall*E to pass Kung Fu Panda in the box office race. Both quality movies but

Wall*E deserves every title belt recognizing it as the best animated movie

and one of the top five movies of the year. Honestly, I don't its crazy to

say that for the second year in a row Pixar has made one of the top five

movies of the year! Can't wait for the best movie of the year premiering on

Friday!

Jul 13 - 09:58 PM

CoUcH ToMaToE DoUgIe

Shawn Amoroso

I agree wordweaver, Hellboy 2 box office was shocking to me

considering how great it was but hell we can't get too mad at the viewing

audience. For once they made Eddie Murphy suffer for making a horrible film,

perhaps they are making up for their cardinal sin {spending ten bucks on

Norbit ;)


Also, I'm wondering how the r.t. community is feeling about the possibility

of Iron Man losing the domestic box office title to Indy IV ? I know how

much everyone hated it and the fact it may pass arguably the best film of

the year seems very unsettling to me. Mind you, i didn't hate Indy IV but it

has no business being the highest grossing movie of the year. Well, even if

that does happen I hope a certain caped crusader saves the day by earning

well over a final domestic total of 315 million.

Jul 13 - 10:05 PM

Modano

T H

I really hope TDK passes every movie this year and makes lots of moolah, but I'm kinda worried. From the reviews, which are good, they seem to hint that this movie is not for kids. But hell, some dad posted earlier he was gonna take his 3 y/o to see it! Plus at 2.5 hrs, that takes away some showings each day. But there was also that story saying they had to open up 6am showings because they were selling out all the midnight ones. If it truly lives up to the hype, I'll be seeing it multiple times. The last time I did that was...Batman Begins!

Jul 13 - 10:49 PM

balanceman

Steve Baltich

I can't believe Hancock is grossing these kind of numbers. Not a good message to be sending the studios. How bad of a movie does Will Smith have to make before people will not see it? Even with terrible reviews he can still bank at the box office. He is a great actor though.

Very excited for the Dark Knight. Hope the movie lives up to the hype. Hope the action/fighting scenes are edited better this time. Nolan style of editing is very frustrating to watch.

Jul 14 - 01:17 AM

elliot_

elliot silva

sometimes we just can't go by the critics and u should know that! hancock is very funny! and definetly a great blockbuster movie! and not another sequel or something you already heard about! its not a classic but it really is an enjoyable movie to see with friends or family

Jul 14 - 04:04 AM

Comment

Craig Smith

TDK will open with $121 million

Jul 14 - 01:43 AM

elliot_

elliot silva

sometimes we just can't go by the critics and u should know that! hancock is very funny! and definetly a great blockbuster movie! and not another sequel or something you already heard about! its not a classic but it really is an enjoyable movie to see with friends or family

Jul 14 - 04:04 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

why WOULDN'T kids think walle is boring? it sucked. you nerds need to stop watching SH3T and saying "oooh, its artsy!". it sucked. get over it...

i might catch helloboy 2...i might not. really wasn't impressed with the first and if the first was "better"...not sure its worth seeing in the theater. rental...

Hancock proves you can still be a mediocre movie and sell. now Will, i dare you to do an Uwe Boll film. if THAAAAT flick would make over 100...it means Smith is the black jesus, cuz no way a normal guy can consistently sell bs THAT well...

saw Journey this weekend, wasn't too shabby. decent 3d flick...

Jul 14 - 06:00 AM

Laramy87

Darryl Laramy

Hellboy 2 was good... i thought it would have made a bit more than what it did oh well!!!!!

Dark Knight will beat last years Spiderman 3 opening weekend, and become the highest opening weekend movie ever

Jul 14 - 06:09 AM

zooman

Alex Reyes

am I the only one who got really bored by Hellboy 2 and its oh so annoyingly stupid line after line of dialogue that at least got to have a few cool looking things as visual background here and there? Dont get me wrong, Im happy it did decently in the box office, considering other box office successes, but I dont think it deserves more than that, and less so so much praise.

Jul 14 - 07:53 AM

zooman

Alex Reyes

yeah parents are lazy and evil and kids are stupid, I mean they dont get to be educated anymore by a mouse hitting a cat with a hammer and having to laugh of that as if it were the only joke relatable to them, or well theres also that one joke of a bunny getting dressed as a woman for a laugh..

and there were neat, if not extremely smart, disney movies that of course were not that competitive in the box office, but that just showed how much time parents spent with their children.

yep, those were smarter more caring times, I pity today's dumbing society....

Still, Wall E is a great movie, but it does lack a narrative that is made expressly for kids, and thatīs ok. Many kids still do like it, and it is doing more than pretty well for a movie that is not that commercially manufactured for kids and still plays in that market.

Jul 14 - 08:03 AM

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