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Box Office Update 5/29-5/31: Up Takes Off

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Leading this week's chart is the latest masterpiece from the creative geniuses that make up Pixar. Up becomes the latest release from the animation company to receive rave reviews and be rewarded with a strong opening weekend. Simply put, Up is one of the best films to reach screens this year and is one of Pixar's best yet. The film is real and magical at the same time. It is the rare film that engages emotionally as well as viscerally. Up is a great experience for the entire family.

Coming in a distant second is Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The movie is still performing well and is likely to continue making a mint, despite not being as successful as its predecessor. Sure, it has a few laughs, but with a lead who seems disinterested and a story that insists that "more" and "bigger" are important plot elements, it fails to create a memorable experience.

Falling from second to third is Terminator: Salvation. While the sci-fi actioner is not nearly as bad as many would like you to believe, it is not a great one either. It appears that poor word of mouth will do the film a disservice and it is going to drop precipitously, evidenced by the 62% drop it suffered in this, its second weekend of release.

Finishing in fourth with the second best per-theater average of the top ten is Sam Raimi's return to horror, Drag Me to Hell. The horror/comedy mash up that actually works. The movie is an absolute blast filled with energetic camera work, B-movie sensibilities, and what just may be the best in-car fight ever filmed.

Star Trek came in fifth place and continues to perform strong. The science fiction film has become the first of 2009 to cross $200 million and is the current top money maker of the year. I have seen the movie three times, and each time has been just as excellent. J. J. Abrams has delivered a film that has action, thrills, laughs. and fun characters. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?

The remainder of the top ten is the same as last week, just shifted down. Next week will finally see the exit of Obsessed from the top ten, as well as Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, both of which will likely go on to do well on DVD and Blu-ray.

Next weekend will see new competition from the new Will Ferrell comedy, and latest re-imagination to hit the screen, Land of the Lost. We will also get our first look at the R-rated comedy of The Hangover. On a smaller scale, Nia Vardalos returns to the big screen with My Life in Ruins, along with Richard Dreyfuss, Harland Williams, and Rachel Dratch.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: 17 Again (13) and Monsters vs. Aliens (14).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Up $68,108,790 $68,108,790 1
2 1 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $24,353,868 $104,150,268 2
3 2 Terminator: Salvation $16,433,365 $90,949,924 2
4 N Drag Me to Hell $15,825,480 $15,825,480 1
5 3 Star Trek $12,613,727 $209,313,884 4
6 4 Angels & Demons $11,353,340 $104,913,439 3
7 5 Dance Flick $4,743,636 $19,084,907 2
8 6 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $3,873,377 $170,843,712 5
9 7 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $1,911,401 $50,021,779 5
10 8 Obsessed $657,001 $67,500,481 6

Box Office Predictions Recap
Let me begin this section by apologizing for the way off predictions. I realized as I went to put this column together that after I slotted the films I completely forgot to adjust my dollar amounts from last week. The end result are guesses that make me appear to not have a clue, which is true in some cases. In any case, I did do a pretty good job getting the positions correct, with my lone mistake being underestimating Dance Flick/overestimating Wolverine. However, at this stage of their big screen life, I guess it matters little.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Up $68,108,790 $82 million
2 2 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $24,353,868 $68 million

3

3 Terminator: Salvation $16,433,365 $24 million
4 4 Drag Me to Hell $15,825,480 $22 million
5 5 Star Trek $12,613,727

$15 million

6 6 Angels & Demons $11,353,340 $7.5 million
8 7 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $3,873,377 $3.5 million
7 8 Dance Flick $4,743,636 $2.75 million
9 9 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $1,911,401 $2 million
10 10 Obsessed $657,001 $1.5 million
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