Well, Spiderman 3‘s opening weekend records held off the first serious contender, and look to stand for at least another week as Shrek the Third opened very well- but not record-setting well- with $122 million from 4,122 screens and a $29k average.
Spiderman 3‘s claims to history may very well fall next weekend when Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End opens, or later to Michael Bay’s Transformers… but I’m seriously betting that they won’t last through the summer.
That said, though, I’m also betting that Shrek will wind up with the higher domestic gross, and maybe the higher worldwide gross. Either way, it’ll definitely make more money.See, Spidey‘s falling fast. This weekend it fell to second place with $28.5 million, down 51%, for a $281 million total. It’ll creep over $300 million domestic. Foreign cumes are much more impressive: $465 overseas (so far) for a worldwide total of $746 million. But Shrek has the advantave of a trim 85 minute run time, which allows for more shows per day, a much leaner $160 million budget, and family films almost always have very good legs, especially since neither Spiderman 3 nor POTC are necessarily aimed at the same audience. I bet Shrek does at least $350 million domestic, and approaches $800 worldwide. And even though the reviews are mediocre, I bet Jeff Katzenburg is feeling pretty good about his decision to film Shrek 3 and 4 simultaneously. That helps keep costs down, solidifies the casts’ availability, gives Dreamworks another tentpole already in the can for next summer, and all but guarantees a jump in DW Animation’s stock.
I don’t know if the movie’s any good, but it’s good business, that’s for sure.
28 Weeks Later held up reasonably well for a horror film, falling 47% in its second week to $5.1 million and raising it’s total to $18 million. With direct competition from William Friedkin’s Bug next weekend, Weeks won’t come close to predecessor Days $45 million domestic, but will still be profitable around $25-$30 million. And just briefly, while we’re on the subject, do you think Friedkin feels bad that every time he comes out with a new movie, they always market as being from the director of The Exorcist or The French Connection, thus completely ignoring the dozen or so mediocre-to-downright-contemptible movies he’s made over the last thirty years (that’s right, kids- The Exorcist was released in ’73, meaning To Live and Die in LA is the only worthwhile Friedkin venture since Nixon was in office). I’m sorry, but at some point (and that point was Jade) you have to stop touting your movies as being “From the Oscar-winning director of The French Connection,” because even if it’s technically true, somehow it still feels dishonest.
Disturbia and Fracture are quickly becoming those movies about which I have nothing left to say. I guess the lesson is that competently made genre films aimed at different audiences can hang around forever. Since studios generally get higher percentages of ticket revenue the longer a film is in theatres, I’m surprised we don’t see more of these, especially aimed at older audiences, who rarely turn out for opening weekend but wait for good word of mouth. Oh, wait… I guess that means they have to be good movies. Or “execution-dependant”, in studio speak. In any event, Disturbia fell just 21% to $3.7 million and raised its total to $71 million. Fracture fell 22% to $2.2 million and a $34 million total.
Delta Farce was seventh with $1.8 million, down 45%, and a $6 million cume. The Invisible was eighth with $1.3 million and a $17 million cume, followed by Hot Fuzz with $1.2 million and a $21 million total. Blades of Glory crept back into the top ten with $1 million and a $115 total.
Before I go, remember a few weeks ago I mentioned two smaller films that I thought might go somewhere? Well, one of them, Adrienne Shelley’s Waitress, was actually projected to be in the top ten yesterday with a $1.08 million haul (Blades and Next wound up just edging it out in the final numbers, but the difference was only a few thousand dollars) from just 116 theatres for an impressive $9k average and a $2.1 million total. And in fourteenth was Sarah Polley’s Away From Her with $685k from 174 theatres and a less impressive but still decent $4k average. As they continue to expand, look for them to find their way into the top ten, and maybe into your local multiplexes. Both films are supposed to be very good, and if you’re not interested in Pirates, say, either might be a good change of pace that could use your support. Just throwing it out there.
In any event, that’s it for this week. Tune in next week when the aforementioned Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End tries to be the third three-quel to top the charts in four weeks, and poor William Friedkin’s Bug (a horror film based on a play?) just tries to stay above water. See you then.