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Box Office Update: 7/29-31

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Hollywood has nothing to worry about, they still have a slump to complain about. Ticket sales were down over 21% from the same weekend last year. Of course, it doesn’t help when you have two big budgeted would be blockbusters tank in their opening weekends.

For the good news, Wedding Crashers overtook Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to take over the first place slot. It is a very funny movie that has done a good job at retaining it’s audience, suffering relatively small drops in box office take during its first three weeks. Both of those films are still pulling decent numbers, but they aren’t facing much competition.

None of the three new releases posed much of a threat. I think that Sky High and Must Love Dogs had decent showings for their debut. But, for the second week in a row a film with a big budget, and high expectations, failed to make so much as a splash in the cinematic ocean. That film is Stealth, bad reviews did not help it’s case.

The Island slips further down the list, it’s take dropping over 50% from week one. That is a shame too, as the film is better than that. Although, between it and Stealth, perhaps Hollywood will begin to take the hint that we don’t always want this big budget special effects films, perhaps they could find the inspiration to lower the budgets and increase the quality. Nah, I don’t really think they will either.

Now for a couple of notes for off top 10 films, Batman Begins has slipped out of the top 10 for the first time since it’s release 7 weeks ago, the box office is starting to trail downward as it closes on the $200 million mark. It is currently just shy of $196 million mark, it can make it but it will probably be close. The Devil’s Reject has fallen to 12 in it’s second week, granted this film is not for everyone, but it deserves better than it is getting.

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 2 Wedding Crashers $20,023,159 $115,622,139 3
2 1 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory $16,384,332 $148,095,522 3
3 N Sky High $14,631,784 $14,631,784 1
4 N Stealth $13,251,545 $13,251,545 1
5 N Must Love Dogs $12,855,321 $12,855,321 1
6 3 Fantastic Four $6,912,725 $136,257,616 4
7 4 The Island $5,963,223 $24,319,260 2
8 5 Bad News Bears $5,634,919 $22,667,038 2
9 6 War of the Worlds $5,481,239 $218,369,264 5
10 10 March of the Penguins $4,030,894 $16,330,241 6

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  • I just don’t understand Hollywood. Even if the box office is not that shabby, they all still worry. What do they want anyway?

    Besides, even when films don’t do well in the theaters, that doesn’t mean the end, right? There are overseas box offices too and the lucrative rental of DVD and tapes afterwards.

    I think it’s all a farce anyway. Soon movie tickets will be fifty bucks a piece, and then we can talk about Hollywood being in trouble. Maybe? We’ll have to see about that one.

  • Yeah, they worry way too much. Although, I do like to see the films I like do well.

    Actually, I wish that they would release ticket sales numbers as opposed to dollar figures, I think it would be a more telling number. I mean, when Billboard figures their leaders, it isn’t by dollars but by sales numbers. It could happen that some of these movies would flip based on those figures!

  • I haven’t seen Wedding Crashers yet, but I’m glad to see it doing so well — it will allow comedies to be made that at least are marginally original.

    You’d have to think that a lot of people expected films like Fantastic Four and The Island to be major hits, no?

    Come to think of it: have there been any major blockbusters this summer as yet?

  • Depends on how much you have to make to be a major blockbuster. FF did pretty good out the gate, and has continued to do decently. WotW has cracked the 200 mark. Batman is near the 200 mark. Star Wars is the big winner at over 375. But I guess that’s about it, there are a bunch around 150, but I doubt there will be any more huge films for awhile.

  • This idea of a box office slump is utter garbage. The difference between last year’s B.O. and this year’s B.O. can be explained almost entirely by a single film: The Passion of the Christ. Remove that from the equation, and this year looks normal.

    In other words, last year is the exception, not the rule.

  • True, plus there were something like 4-5 record breaking years in a row. That type of thing can’t continue all the time.

    Although it may be interesting to take a look at the top films for comparable weekends, perhaps comparing the quality of film?

  • Ah, of course, Star Wars.

    Well, I think there’s a lack of quality big budget films this year. Add to that the expense of going to the theater and the popularity of the DVD (and pirating… another X factor) and I think declining sales (particularly when accounting for inflation) are going to be more the norm in coming years.

  • True, I think the onset of digital technology as it becomes more widespread will help theaters. The experience will have to be improved, or therewill be a continued decline. It may sort be a manufactured decline at this point, but potential is there for it to become a real decline. The rise of the home theater hurts theaters.

  • Yeah, exactly. Think about what home gaming systems did to video arcades. If you can get the same or similar experience at home (with a several month delay, of course) without the expense, the hassle of travel, and most importantly: not getting bugged by other people! …a lot of people are just going to stay home.

    Then add the kiddie factor i.e. cost of renting a movie for a family versus cost of taking the fam out to the theater. Huge difference nowadays.

  • All true, but there will always be sickos like me who love going to the theater to see a movie. I have been there so many times this year, just look at the monthly recaps I do! I am averaging over 10 movies a month.

  • Yeah, we definitely notice!

    How much money do you drop, on average, a month at the theater?

    Then there’s the buying of DVD people as well… that gets expensive.

  • To be honest, I really don’t want to know! My DVD collection is also quite large……

  • I tend not to watch things over and over, so Netflix and a recent modest DVR set-up have done me fine. Between that and the cable broadband bill, I can’t imagine spending that much more for entertainment!

    That said, I’m trying to build up certain things. Got the first season of The Sopranos as a gift last year, so that will be an easy thing to stick on the dreaded Gifts List for years to come.

  • There’s a link to my collection over on my blog, if you have a few hours tokill to scroll though it! I could watch a different movie every night for a number of years and not run out!