Well, I correctly predicted the Top 5 movies in order at the box office this weekend, but I was nowhere near close to what each film actually grossed, so not a stellar weekend on my part. I thought the Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. would lead to bigger numbers, with two big films opening against each other, but in face the box office was just slightly up over last year.
Unrelated fact – Looking back at the 2006 box office in the month of May, we had X:Men: The Last Stand, Mission Impossible III, and The DaVinci Code all out in theatres. The more things change, the more they stay the same. In 2009, we have X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek by J.J. Abrams [who directed MI:3], and the sequel to the DaVinci Code – Angels and Demons – out in theatres. Fun fact, nothing more.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian opened at #1 with $53.5 million [I predicted $68 million]. Reviews were mixed, but it was launched in the most amount of theatres this weekend [4,096], and it had the highest per theatre average [$13,062]. Fox has to be happy about coming out on top this weekend and beating the Terminator franchise. I truly believe that the reason why Ben Stiller’s film won was because it appealed to a broader audience base, and was a sequel to a film from a couple of years ago. We’ll see how well it holds next weekend, when it has to battle Disney/Pixars’s Up, because they will be going after the same audience.
Terminator: Salvation opened at #2 this weekend grossing $43 million [I predicted $62 million]. It opened in 3,530 theatres and had a per theatre average of $12,184. If you include its Thursday opening, the number is $56.3 million. Reviews were mixed, and although it had a big marketing push behind it, Warner Bros. must be a little disappointed with the result. I’m disappointed that Fast and Furious had a $70 million + opening weekend and I thought the Terminator franchise had more support than the Vin Diesel film, so how it did not have a larger opening is beyond me. What will be interesting is how well this film holds week to week. Night at the Museum 2 will have direct competition next week, but Terminator will not. I’m sure Warner Bros. will use the line of losing the battle this weekend, but they will win the war. Only time will tell.
Star Trek had another impressive hold in its third week of release, grossing $21.9 million [I predicted $30.1 million], which was off 49% from last week. It’s the second weekend in a row that Star Trek has had less than a 50% drop off, which is incredibly impressive for a big budget summer blockbuster. It passed X-Men Origins: Wolverine to become the top grossing summer film so far, and only has to beat Monsters vs. Aliens to become the highest grossing film of 2009. Star Trek’s total box office stands at $183.5 million while Monsters vs. Aliens number is $192.9 million.
Angels and Demons fell from the top spot this weekend to #4. It grossed $21.4 million [I predicted $24 million], and was off 53.7% from last weekend. Although it is not living up to The DaVinci Code in terms of numbers, I actually expected a bigger drop. If you compare the second weekends of Angels and Demons to The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons had a better hold over the three day frame. Angels fell 53.7% while DaVinci fell 55.8%. Having said that, if you count the four day holiday, DaVinci only fell 44.9%, so we’ll have to wait and see if Angels and Demons holds up as well. The film’s total gross now stands at $81.5 million.
Dance Flick opened at #5 with $11 million [I predicted $18 million]. Its per theatre average is only $4,536, so it looks like the film will have a short life in theatres, as you want films getting a sizeable release to have a per theatre average above $5,000. The Wayans name brand could not help the film it seems, but I think the genre of parody films needs to go on hiatus for a little while, so we can get the bad taste of other terrible parody films out of our mouth. Wait a few years, nostalgia will kick in, and a film will come out that parodies films and be a box office hit. To see how this is done properly, check out the Star Trek franchise.
So to recap, here were my weekend predictions:
1) Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – $68 million
2) Terminator: Salvation – $62 million
3) Star Trek – $30.1 million
4) Angels and Demons – $24 million
5) Dance Flick – $18 million
And here are the actual numbers:
1) Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – $53.5 million
2) Terminator: Salvation – $43 million
3) Star Trek – $21.9 million
4) Angels and Demons – $21.4 million
5) Dance Flick – $11 million
Next weekend brings us Disney/Pixar’s Up and Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell.