Yeah, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End made tons of money this weekend, set records for the Memorial Day weekend, yadda yadda… we’ll get to that. But first, I have a more pressing question:
How in the world did Wild Hogs find its way back into the top ten this weekend? Seriously, folks, how did this happen? I know Memorial Day weekend is when lots of families go to the movies, but with Spiderman, Pirates, and Shrek all relatively new in theatres, and no significant marketing push that I saw, what made the movie jump 270% this weekend? It actually lost 86 screens from last week, when it ranked seventeenth and brought in a whopping $422k with a per screen average of $824. And yet somehow, after 13 weeks in release, that average went up to $3,380, and it pulled in $1.4 million. Granted, that only puts it right at the ten spot, and surely it’ll fall back down to its proper place next weekend. But still, that means that a whole lot of people took their extra day off and said ‘You know what I want to do with this weekend? Something I’ve been putting off for the last 13 weeks? I’m finally going to see Wild Hogs.’ I mean, look… I’m all for the whole ‘free to be you and me’ philosophy, but I just don’t follow that train of thought. And to top it all off, Tim Allen has somehow parlayed Hogs‘ success into the lead role in David Mamet’s next moive. One more time for the cheap seats: Tim Allen is headlining David Mamet’s next movie.
Of course, only yours truly would look at the weekend’s box office numbers and choose to open with Wild Hogs. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s move on to the other big story this weekend, Pirates of the Caribbean. While it didn’t challenge Spidey 3‘s opening weekend record, as some had anticipated, it did set a Memorial weekend record with $142 million (soundly defeating X-Men: The Last Stand‘s $122 million opening) from 4,362 screen, with a per screen average of $32k. Add in the Thursday preview screenings and it’s made $156 million domestically in five days, plus $245 million overseas for a worldwide total of $401 million. In five days.
That ain’t bad, folks.
It’s much better, in fact, than Shrek the Third is faring. It fell pretty hard in it’s second week, bringing in $69 million over the long weekend, a 43% fall, and raising it’s total to $219 million. That doesn’t sound too bad, and it isn’t, but over the three day stretch it fell 56%, which means word of mouth isn’t resulting in repeat business. My calls for Shrek to overtake Spiderman 3‘s domestic haul may have been premature, but we’ll see.
Speaking of which, Spiderman does continue to fall fast, bringing in $18 million and raising its total to $307 million domestic. That’s a 38% slide over four days, but 51% over the three day period. Still wildly successful (foreign cumes are right at $500 million), no one’s losing their jobs, but a better movie would have made a lot more, and the Sony execs know it.
Bug opened pretty badly in fourth with $4.2 million from 1,661 screens for a $2.5k average. It managed some decent reviews, particularly for Ashley Judd’s performance, but also reinforces my point that, for the most part, counter-programming against big summer blockbusters doesn’t work. Of course, this isn’t stopping Lionsgate from opening Hostel II against Ocean’s Thirteen, or MGM pitting 1408 against Evan Almighty, or WB throwing License to Wed under Transformers‘ tires, all in the next month or so. I guess we’ll find out if I’m right or not then.
One thing I was right about, I’m pleased to report, is Adrienne Shelley’s Waitress, which climbed all the way to number five with $4 million from 510 theatres, a very good $7k average and a $6.5 million total. I just think it’s a great story that Shelley’s last film is finding an audience, and apparently through word of mouth, since I haven’t seen much in the way of advertising for the film. Right behind it was 28 Weeks Later with $3.3 million and $24 million in the bank after three weeks in release. The rule of thumb with sequels is that they’ll do about three quarters of what the original did, and Weeks seems right in line with that.
Disturbia was seventh with $2.4 million and a $74 million total, followed by Georgia Rule with $2.3 million and a painful $16 million total. Lindsay Lohan’s next pic is a thriller (presumably trying to show her ‘range’ by shifting gears from her usual tweener chick-flicks) called I Know Who Killed Me, and it opens against The Simpsons at the end of July. If it tanks, and it very well might, we could be seeing the end of Lohan-mania.
Fracture was ninth with $1.6 million and a $37 million total. The aforementioned Wild Hogs was tenth. And in eleventh place was the other pic I’m pulling for in these weekend numbers, Sarah Polley’s Away From Her, with $970k from 256 theatres, a decent $3.7k average, and a $2.5 million total. Combined with mostly positive reviews, if this film spends a few weeks in the top ten, Sarah will almost certainly have earned another shot at directing. Lindsay Lohan could definitely learn a few things from her.
So that’s it for this week, folks. Tune in next week when the cash drawers are sure to get a bit of a break with the openings of sports drama Gracie, the Judd Apatow comedy Knocked Up (which has great buzz, by the by), and the bizarrely-cast serial killer flick Mr. Brooks, staring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, and Dane Cook. See you then.