Now, everyone be honest, who thought that this far into their respective theatrical engagements that Angels & Demons would be outrunning Terminator: Salvation? This week, the fifth for the Hanks film and fourth for the action film, sees the robots losing the war by nearly $10 million dollars. Yes, I know there is a week between them, but looking at their recent takes, I do not think the Christian Bale starring film will be able to catch up. The science fiction sequel has certainly not lived up to expectations. If there is a golden lining for the lucrative franchise, it is that it is going strong overseas and will almost assuredly to do very nicely on the home video market.
As for this week, the drunken party movie, The Hangover, retains its top spot, against all predictions. Who in their right mind would think an R-rated comedy about guys who get drunk, lose a friend, and set out to find him in Las Vegas would be the top grossing film two weeks in a row? Now, who even had it lined up for one week at the top? Not I, I can tell you that much. What makes it notable is that it is a funny, fresh, comedy that opened to good reviews and has received strong word of mouth. This is proof that worthy films will rise to the top, that the people will react in a positive manner to a good movie. If you haven't seen it, make sure you do, you will not be disappointed.
Coming in at a close second is Pixar's Up. A film that is running stronger than I expected through the first three weeks of its tenure. This movie is the first recipient of a five-star review this year, and it is well deserved. The film is alternatingly sad, funny, and action packed. It is not your typical animated film and I am glad to see it doing so well, with three weekends north of the $30 million mark — this is a good sign for its continued success at the box office. This is one to bring the family to see.
The third place film is the highest placed film from this weekend's freshman class. It is also the movie I fully expected to eke out a victory. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a remake of the 1974 film (and 1998 TV movie), opened up lower than expected. I guess folks were not all that interested in the verbal sparring between Denzel Washington and John Travolta. Perhaps it was Travolta as the bad guy that no one wanted? The film proved to be a moderately enjoyable experience, albeit quickly forgettable.
There was one other new release this week and it is already being considered a bomb. The latest Eddie Murphy family comedy, Imagine That, finished in sixth place, just narrowly beating out the still going strong Star Trek for the position. I guess families have chosen with their wallets and have decided seeing Pixar's latest animated feature, concerning and elderly man, an Asian-American Boy Scout, and a talking dog, to be the preferable experience to seeing Murphy play a businessman who has to decide between work and his daughter. I cannot say I blame them.
The last film of note is the previously mentioned Star Trek. The movie was originally slated to open this past Christmas, but seeing potential bigger money in the summer, the movie was pushed to May and plugged in right after Wolverine. Many did not see this as a good sign. In retrospect, it turned out to be a great idea as it opened strong and has continued to do solid business each week. This has to be a credit to JJ Abrams and his team for making the franchise cool again, making a quality fan and opening up the universe to a new generation of fans.
Next week sees Jack Black and Michael Cera entering the fray in the new Harold Ramis comedy Year One. Joining the original road trip is the romantic comedy The Proposal, featuring the pairing of Sandra Bullock and Ryan "Deadpool" Reynolds.
Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: My Life in Ruins (11) and Dance Flick (13).
|This Week||Last Week||Title||Wknd Gross||Overall||Week in release|
|3||N||The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3||$23,373,102||$23,373,102||1|
|4||4||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||$9,616,907||$143,463,712||4|
|5||3||Land of the Lost||$8,994,030||$34,820,550||2|
|9||8||Angels & Demons||$4,111,457||$123,211,661||5|
|10||7||Drag Me to Hell||$3,932,585||$35,214,475||3|
Box Office Predictions Recap
All right. I was a little bit off this week. Not too bad, but enough for it to be another underperforming week of predictions. I did not think for a second that we would have a $30 million film this week, much less two. This week may not have featured any big releases, but that does not mean it is without its interesting tales of box office success.
Here is how the field matched up to my predictions:
|3||1||The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3||$23,373,102||$27 million|
|3||The Hangover||$32,794,387||$20 million|
|6||4||Imagine That||$5,503,519||$15 million|
|5||5||Land of the Lost||$8,994,030||
|4||6||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||$9,616,907||$8 million|
|7||7||Star Trek||$5,454,563||$5 million|
|8||8||Terminator: Salvation||$4,787,487||$4 million|
|10||9||Drag Me to Hell||$3,932,585||$3.25 million|
|9||10||Angels & Demons||$4,111,457||$3 million|