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Box Office Update 6/22-6/24: Evan Almighty Survives the Flood

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The most expensive comedy ever made topped the weekend’s box office in its opening frame. While it did take the top spot, it did not open nearly as strongly as the studio hoped or most had expected. I had expected the Steve Carell starrer to open north of $50 million, while it ended up about $20 million shy of that mark. The thought that my prediction may be off kicked in when I went to see it on Saturday and I was one of only a handful of people there. I guess that’s to say that the film was… let’s be nice and say it was underwhelming. The potential was there and sweetness was there, but the story wasn’t.

Coming in second place, which has to be a surprise to the studio, if not me, 1408 pulled in north of $20 million. Not a bad total for a Stephen King originated story, and a little horror/thriller in the wake of Hostel Part II’s failure to ignite the box office. I have not yet seen the film, but it does look to deliver the creepy goods. Hopefully it will pay off when I get to see it.

Now, in what is likely not a surprise to cinema-goers at large, is the large dip that the Fantastic Four sequel has suffered in its second weekend. The first movie is a joke on fans of the comic, and it does not seem like many of them are welcoming the second outing the further we get from its release. I actually enjoyed this sequel, thought it was a fun adventure for the heroic team. Anyway, it dipped over 65% in its second weekend. Then again, that percentage keeps in line with Spider-Man 3‘s second weekend performance. Whatever, I enjoyed this movie and that cannot be taken away.

There was one other new release cracking the top ten, a film that is a questionable summer release and would have likely done better had they released in November or December. The movie is A Mighty Heart, based on the memoirs of Mariane Pearl, whose husband was executed in Pakistan in 2002. Angelina Jolie stars as Mrs. Pearl in a film that is emotional, involving, and well crafted. It is a tough story to watch and has a limited audience to begin with, but it is definitely hurt by a summer release.

Among the returning films, Knocked Up continues to impress, suffering only a small drop each week. It is an impressive feat for an R rated comedy that is filled with more than its share of raunchy humor. I am very happy to see it, as it is one of the best films of the summer and the year thus far. Also faring well is Surf’s Up, a good alternative to the lackluster Shrek the Third and a good stop gap until the brilliant Ratatouille hits theaters next week.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Mr. Brooks (11), Spider-Man 3 (12), and Hostel Part II (13).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Evan Almighty $31,192,615 $31,192,615 1
2 N 1408 $20,617,667 $20,617,667 1
3 1 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $20,009,476 $97,463,035 2
4 2 Ocean’s Thirteen $11,411,268 $91,079,577 3
5 3 Knocked Up $10,977,595 $109,323,845 4
6 4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $7,202,086 $287,001,716 5
7 5 Surf’s Up $6,580,743 $47,193,723 3
8 6 Shrek the Third $5,652,585 $307,807,439 6
9 7 Nancy Drew $4,379,447 $16,067,041 2
10 N A Mighty Heart $3,948,863 $3,948,863 1

Box Office Predictions Recap
I was just a little bit off on my top two predictions, both were well off on the money, and half right on the placement. For the rest of the list, I wad pretty much hit or miss, with pretty good money guesses on 1408 and Knocked Up.
Anyway, here is how I picked the field:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Evan Almighty $31,192,615 $52 million
3 2 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $20,009,476 $35 million
2 3 1408 $20,617,667 $21 million
5 4 Knocked Up $10,977,595 $9 million
4 5

Ocean’s 13

$11,411,268 $8.5 million
6 6 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $7,202,086 $6.5 million
10 7 A Mighty Heart $3,948,863 $6 million
7 8 Surf’s Up $6,580,743 $4.5 million
8 9 Shrek the Third $5,652,585 $4 million
9 10 Nancy Drew $4,379,447 $2.5 million
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