Sunday, August 10, 2008
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Pineapples and Pants
I thought for sure this would be the week. It was pretty amazing last weekend when a franchise as big as THE MUMMY 3 couldn’t beat it but you’ve got to fall sometime. With two brand new, anticipated films debuting in wide release, I figured THE DARK KNIGHT was a goner but I was mistaken. Despite grossing ahead of the bat on Friday, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS was unable to keep its hold throughout the weekend, allowing THE DARK KNIGHT to pull in another $26 million and remain the king of the box office for a fourth weekend in a row.
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS debuted Wednesday to the biggest August Wednesday opening of all time. This might sound impressive but really, we’re talking about $12 million here. THE DARK KNIGHT made $18 million in its first Wednesday, five days after its initial release. Still, it isn’t fair to compare any film to THE DARK KNIGHT. In total, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS has earned just over $40 million in five days. Compared to past Apatow productions, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS has earned more in five days than all but SUPERBAD, including the $200+ million grossing KNOCKED UP and this year’s FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. This proves it; audiences love schleppy guys who sit around talking smack. When will the Apatow tide turn?
This week’s other major release is the sequel, THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2. Now I am not a teenage girl so this movie has zero appeal for me but though the girls didn’t come out in HANNAH MONTANA numbers, the film still built on its predecessor. The film is tracking about $4 million ahead of the last film’s 5-day take and will likely top out at about $50 million if all holds well. Given the first film’s modest take and the equally modest take of the sequel, I’m still not sure why these pants are seeing more of the world than I am.
There are two films outside the Top 10 that pulled in higher averages than any film in the Top 10. The first is the Ben Kingsley/Penelope Cruz spring/fall romance, ELEGY Debuting on six screens, the film pulled in a per screen average of $17K. The second is the Patti Smith documentary, DREAM OF LIFE. The film is playing on just one little screen and pulled in over $8K on average. I guess Patti would appreciate the smaller platform. Also making an impression on people’s taste buds is the winemaking ensemble piece, BOTTLE SHOCK. Bowing on 48 screens and featuring a cast as diverse as Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman, the film pulled in over $6K per screen and will be expanding its tasting next week.
Meanwhile, on the expansion front, a couple of promising possibilities seem to be stalling. While both BRIDESHEAD REVISITED and AMERICAN TEEN saw their grosses blow up over 200% last week, this week, they each saw declines as they continued to expand. Then there’s MAN ON WIRE. This documentary about tightrope walker, Philippe Petit, is treading very slowly across its own wire, expanding by 55 screens this week and subsequently posting an increase of over 450%. Distributor Magnolia best not get too aggressive; it’s a long way to fall.
NEXT WEEK: TROPIC THUNDER, the APOCALYPSE NOW style, comedic spoof starring and directed by Ben Stiller looks like it will finally take down the bat as it opens early on Wednesday. Keifer Sutherland is back in theatres in the horror, MIRRORS. George Lucas continues to squeeze every last drop of Star Wars gold with the animated CLONE WARS. More importantly though, Woody Allen is back with VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA. Let’s see if great buzz and a much talked about kiss between Penelope Cruz and Scarlet Johansson can help it beat the big guys despite opening on a fraction of the screens.
Source: Box Office Mojo