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Box Office Recap 7/25-7/27: The Dark Knight Continues to Dominate

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Last weekend The Dark Knight ruled them all as it went on an absolutely phenomenal tear through the record books. That trend continued through the week and right into the new weekend. It now holds the new record for second weekend gross, not to mention fastest to $300 million. There have even been whispers that it has its eyes set on Titanic's titanic take of $600 million. Now that has got to be just a dream, but still, Shrek 2's $441 million is clearly within the realm of possibility. If it overtakes that total, it will be the biggest film of the decade. I must say that this is quite a feat and it is nice to see a film deserving of all the attention getting to hold onto these records. Oh yes, the Bat-flick took more than $75 million this weekend, becoming only the second film to cross $70 million in its second week.

This weekend saw two new films enter the fray, neither of which had a chance to overtake the Christopher Nolan helmed behemoth. The best they could hope for were the scraps left behind by The Dark Knight. When you take a look at what these two films ultimately pulled in, scraps is exactly what they got.

The first new film is Step Brothers. It fared rather well, with a gross north of $30 million. The Will Ferrell comedy proved to be a riot and the perfect antidote to the darkness of The Dark Knight. Sure, the R-rated comedy is not for family friendly audiences and did not tell a particularly compelling story, but I could not help but laugh. The pairing of Ferrell and John C. Reilly is just perfect.

The other film to strike fear in the hearts of moviegoers is The X-Files: I Want to Believe. In addition to being saddled with an absolutely terrible title, it also benefited from practically non-existent promotion from Fox. The film proved to be a disappointment (at least for me), and the fans did not turn out as expected. This one will probably wind up on DVD in pretty short order.

For the returning films, aside from The Dark Knight, they performed pretty well. As a matter of fact, The Dark Knight was the only film to drop more than 50% from last week.  On the opposite side, Journey to the Center of the Earth led the charge, dropping a mere 21%.

Next week will see the biggest competition coming from Universal's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which was originally slated to open the week before The Dark Knight, but had its slot swapped with Hellboy II. It ought to open north of $50 million, thus unseating Batman from his perch. The other wide release this coming weekend will be the Kevin Costner political comedy Swing Vote, which looks good but not great.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Get Smart (10) and Kung Fu Panda (11).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 1 The Dark Knight $75,166,466 $313,781,677 2
2 N Step Brothers $30,940,732 $30,940,732 1
3 2 Mamma Mia! $17,746,725 $62,595,465 2
4 N The X-Files: I Want to Believe $10,021,753 $10,021,753 1
5 4 Journey to the Center of the Earth $9,717,217 $60,487,455 3
6 3 Hancock $8,311,123 $206,482,007 4
7 6 Wall*E $6,422,186 $195,308,076 5
8 5 Hellboy II: The Golden Army $5,100,305 $66,059,925 3
9 7 Space Chimps $4,536,838 $16,167,380 2
10 8 Wanted $2,738,550 $128,627,405 5

Box Office Predictions Recap
Well, I nailed the top spot and, with a few minor exceptions, I was pretty solid throughout the list. My biggest and only serious bobble was The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Even with the low level of promotion, I would have thought the film would have been able to get double its actual take. It will end up needing a few weeks just to get to the point I estimated it would hit this week and I now suspect it will not last long in the top ten. I did have one other surprise, that being the small drop for Space Chimps, after it tanked in its opening weekend, I thought for sure it would have a bigger drop. Anyway, next week it will be interesting to see how strong The Dark Knight continues to be.

Here is how the field matched up to my predictions:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 The Dark Knight $75,166,466 $74 million
2 2 Step Brothers $30,940,732 $28 million
4 3 The X-Files: I Want to Believe $10,021,753 $20 million
3 4 Mamma Mia! $17,746,725 $16 million
6 5

Hancock

$8,311,123 $7.5 million
5 6 Journey to the Center of the Earth $9,717,217 $6 million
7 7 Wall*E $6,422,186 $5.5 million
8 8 Hellboy II: The Golden Army $5,100,305 $5 million
9 9 Space Chimps $4,536,838 $3 million

10

10 Wanted $2,738,550 $2.5 million
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