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Box Office Update 6/13-6/15: Hulk Smash Puny Panda

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Five years ago, Ang Lee brought the first big screen take on the big green superhero. I liked the film, although a good portion of the movie-going public really did not care for it. That failure made the opening of this new version something of a question mark. There was the hope that the movie would open strongly, but there is still a bad taste left from the first Hulk-based flick (not in my mouth, anyway).

Well, the movie has opened, and it opened well; not as strong as Lee’s film, bet definitely well. On top of the strong number one at the box opening, it turned out to be a good movie, so hopefully it will get some good word of mouth and enjoy a good run on the big screen.

The Incredible Hulk proved to be a successful open, easily taking the top spot away from last week’s top film, Kung Fu Panda. While Kung Fu Panda did not retain its number one status, it was no slouch. It held strong, taking in $33.6 million. This is one that should do well until Wall*E arrives at the end of the month. It is a truly excellent film providing entertaining characters, strong animation, and a good story. Plus, it is playing on IMAX screens, and looks spectacular on that giant screen.

There was one other new film in wide release this weekend. M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to The Lady in the Water is here; it is called The Happening and it opened strong. It opened stronger than I thought it would. It is interesting that while public opinion of his past few movies has been mixed, to put it nicely, he still can open a movie. I have not yet seen the film, but cannot help but be intrigued by the focus on the rating in the ads. It seems like they were setting it up to take the blame if it failed. Hopefully it will pay off when I see it. M. Night needs to get back on track.

Among the rest of the returning films, most did quote well with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Iron Man leading the pack. Both films have struck a chord with audiences around the country and continue to bring people out to the Cineplex. To that end, Iron Man will cross the $300 million mark sometime this week, easily outstripping the ultimate box office take that was expected of it. See what happens when you make a good movie? The people will come. As for Indiana Jones, it will likely hit that same mark next weekend.

Next week will see a spy spoof and a Mike Myers film open, and they aren’t the same movie! Who would have thought they’d see the day? Well, the former is Get Smart, starring Steve Carell, and the latter is The Love Guru. Both are likely to open well, with neither being particularly great.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Baby Mama (11) and Made of Honor (13).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N The Incredible Hulk $55,414,050 $55,414,050 1
2 1 Kung Fu Panda $33,612,594 $117,289,932 2
3 N The Happening $30,517,109 $30,517,109 1
4 2 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan $16,370,344 $68,760,685 2
5 3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $14,741,834 $276,524,265 4
6 4 Sex and the City $9,788,353 $119,522,016 3
7 6 Iron Man $5,620,375 $297,918,329 7
8 5 The Strangers $4,024,485 $45,287,220 3
9 7 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $3,165,013 $131,904,474 5
10 8 What Happens in Vegas $1,667,587 $75,755,145 6

Box Office Predictions Recap
Weekends like this only come around once in a long, long while. I was able to successfully predict the top ten finishers this weekend, and if that isn’t enough, all of my gross predictions were all in the correct ballpark. There were a couple that were getting close to going out of the ballpark, but the only one that surprised me was The Happening. I did not think this had a $30 million open in it and I do not think it will have much in the way of legs, so I still feel good about my prediction.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 The Incredible Hulk $55,414,050 $54 million
2 2 Kung Fu Panda $33,612,594 $35 million
3 3 The Happening $30,517,109 $25 million
4 4 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan $16,370,344 $20 million
5 5

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

$14,741,834 $11 million
6 6 Sex and the City $9,788,353 $9 million
7 7 Iron Man $5,620,375 $5 million
8 8 The Strangers $4,024,485 $4 million
9 9 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $3,165,013 $2.5 million
10 10 What Happens in Vegas $1,667,587 $1.5 million
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