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Box Office Update 8/29-9/1: Tropic Thunder Still at the Top

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I hope all of you had a great Labor Day! I also hope that at least a few of you got out to the movies. Looking at this week's takes, it appears that a few did. I was right there with you, although I crammed in all my viewing on Saturday, while using Sunday to have a fun barbecue with the family, a safe distance from my computer. So what did I do on Labor Day itself? Why, I caught up on the weekend's reviews! Still, it was nice spending time away from the PC long enough to hang with family and eat a ton of great food!

While I was consuming mass quantities, Tropic Thunder was busy fighting to retain its place atop the box office charts. It was a hard battle, but it fared admirably in the face of much competition, including a resurgent The Dark Knight. When going by the four day figures, the star-studded satire held strong. I am actually surprised by its resilience. I like the film, think that it's very funny and does a great job hitting its target square on the nose, but after its slightly lackluster opening, I suspected it would fall quicker than it has. It's nice to see good films hold strong.

Coming in hot behind Tropic Thunder is the latest Vin Diesel actioner, the horribly lackluster Babylon A.D. The film seems like a complete underachiever. Although it seemed to do well in its opening frame, this is almost guaranteed to drop like a stone. Well, if there is anything right with the world. It is, quite simply, a bad movie that even had its own director speaking out against it.

Two other new releases were able to break into the top ten. The first is Traitor, which came in fifth. This was, hands down, the best quality film released this weekend past. It is a brave portrayal of a Muslim man, strong in his faith, faced with difficult decisions with long reaching ramifications. It is not destined to be a big money maker, but it did open stronger than I was expecting, much to my delight. Do yourself a favor, go see this movie, if you haven't already.

The other new release to chart is Disaster Movie, a movie I expected to open stronger but was happy to see that it is crashing. This is a film I actively avoided; if you have seen the commercials, you understand why. Hopefully, this will just fade away, never to be heard from again. For that matter, College, another parody, crashed even harder, failing to get anywhere near the top ten.

As for the retuning films, The Dark Knight continues to amaze. It actually saw a bump in business over last week (at least looking at the four-day holiday). It has now passed the $500 million line, making it only the second film in history to do so. Yes, you could argue all manner of numbers to make it seem less successful, but there is no denying that it has gone well beyond expectations. The same could be said of Mamma Mia!, which continues to pull in audiences.

Next week will only see new competition from a single film, Bangkok Dangerous, the remake of the Thai film directed by Danny and Oxide Pang (who also directed the original).

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (13), Mirrors (14), and The Longshots (15).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 1 Tropic Thunder $14,602,121 $86,935,945 3
2 N Babylon A.D. $11,541,571 $11,541,571 1
3 4 The Dark Knight $11,127,290 $504,798,337 7
4 2 The House Bunny $10,177,701 $29,728,944 2
5 N Traitor $10,006,327 $10,006,327 1
6 3 Death Race $7,889,755 $24,739,285 2
7 N Disaster Movie $6,945,535 $6,945,535 1
8 8 Mamma Mia! $5,421,815 $132,512,495 7
9 6 Pineapple Express $4,448,782 $80,832,163 4
10 5 Star Wars: The Clone Wars $3,764,410 $30,672,432 3

Box Office Predictions Recap

I look at this weekend's figures, and I don't even want to talk about my guesses in regards to the actuals. I really should have known better. I have been doing this for a few years and I still have no idea how the numbers will land. I do well when the figures are obvious. One day I will learn to put my figures on the right pulse rather than my own.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
2 1 Babylon A.D. $11,541,571 $17.5 million
7 2 Disaster Movie $6,945,535 $14 million
1 3 Tropic Thunder $14,602,121 $10 million
3 4 The Dark Knight $11,127,290 $7 million
4 5 The House Bunny $10,177,701 $7 million
15 6 College $2,619,730 $6 million
6 7 Death Race $7,889,755 $6 million
5 8 Traitor $10,006,327 $5 million
17 9 Hamlet 2 $2,126,310 $3.5 million
8 10 Mamma Mia! $5,421,815 $3 million

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