Sunday, May 03, 2009

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Box Office Cries Wolf

You can withdraw the claws, Hugh Jackman; X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE has done what it was supposed to do despite its widely publicized leak online that has been reportedly downloaded over a million times since last month. You’ll be able to don those muttonchops for years to come.

The first X-Man prequel carved out $87 million. It may not have made IRON MAN numbers ($98 million opening weekend) but it certainly did better than Fox thought it would ($70 million). Of course, Fox was downplaying the numbers so as not to come in below expectations (as if $70 million is some sort of paltry number). They knew the success of WOLVERINE was pivotal. Each previous X-movie had bested the one before and launching into an origins series ensured possibilities for years to come. Not to mention, WOLVERINE is the official launch to the 2009 summer season. No one wants to muck that up. And with the STAR TREK reboot coming next weekend, Fox had to get in big now because there is no room to go any further.

Working the talk show circuit hard this weekend didn’t pay off for Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. (I swear I saw Garner on Regis & Kelly twice!) The ridiculous romantic comedy treatment of the classic Dickens tale, GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST tried for the same counter-programming angle MADE OF HONOR went with last year with similar results. An average of under $5K per screen and a ravishing by the critics pretty much ensures a disappearance as quick as a ghost in the night next weekend.

Debuting with a per screen average nearly matching that of WOLVERINE, the latest Jim Jarmusch film, THE LIMITS OF CONTROL brought in an average of over $18K on just three screens. Michael Keaton’s cinematic return, THE MERRY GENTLEMAN was not so fortunate. On 24 screens, the film brought in just over $3K per screen for a grand total of $54K. Still, that is nothing compared to the 12th place finish of the two year old North American release of BATTLE FOR TERRA. Having premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Lionsgate released the eco-friendly film on over 1000 screens and pulled less than $1000 on average.

NEXT WEEK: As previously mentioned, WOLVERINE takes on Captain Kirk et al in STAR TREK (3,500 screens). NEXT DAY AIR, a movie about a package being wrongly delivered comes out on the wrong weekend (1,000 screens). TWILIGHT vampire hottie, Robert Pattinson gives us LITTLE ASHES - a little gay indie he made when he thought his career was going nowhere (which explains the mustache). And Atom Egoyan releases his Cannes 2008 darling, ADORATION … be sure to look for the Black Sheep interview with Egoyan coming next weekend.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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