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Wolverine Win Weekend, Can't Take Down Iron Man

May 4th, 2009

The first weekend of summer was a success, mostly. Overall the weekend ticket sales amounted to $158 million, which was 39% more than last weekend. It was below the same weekend last year, but by less than 1%. Year-to-date 2009 has now made $3.25 billion, which is 16% more than last year's pace, If 2009 can simply maintain pace with 2008 over the summer, most in the industry will be ecstatic, so this is a fine start.

Wolverine was able to top the weekend box office with an impressive $85.06 million, which was more than the rest of the film's combined made. It also had a better internal multiplier than some were expecting. That said, its reviews might be a problem, and its opening was behind the pace set by Irom Man last year. I don't think it will be one of the monster hits of the year, in fact, it might not pull in $200 in total. It should more than match its production budget of $150 million domestically, and worldwide it might do the same. That will mean it will have to wait till its initial push into the home market to show a profit, but that will still please studios, perhaps enough for a sequel or a spin-off.

As expected, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past placed second over the weekend, but it missed Thursday's prediction by a significant margin with just $15.41 million in 3175 theaters. Reviews improved over the weekend and are now at 30% positive. That's not great, but not fatal for the genre either. There's little in the way of direct competition, and with a little luck it might match its production budget domestically, while showing a profit sometime during the film's home market run.

Obsessed matched expectations perfectly with $12.05 million over the weekend and now has $46.85 million after two. Poor reviews and strong competition hurt, but the film has likely already made more than the studio expected when it scheduled it for the last weekend in April, so it can be seen as a solid, midlevel hit.

The logjam for fourth place was a little more diverse than expected with 17 Again beating expectations with $6.36 million over the weekend and $48.50 million after two. Again, a solid, midlevel hit.

Monsters vs. Aliens surprised placing fifth with $5.80 million after the weekend giving it a running tally of $182.41 million. At this pace, it could still reach $200 million in total, but it might take a small push by the studio to get there.

Other in that group was The Soloist with $5.65 million, Earth with $4.34 million, Hannah Montana the Movie with $4.16 million (this film wasn't supposed to be in the race), Fighting with $4.01 million, while State of Play rounded out the top ten with $3.72 million.

Finally we get to Battle for Terra, which had more in common with Delgo than most analysts expected. It barely managed to top the low end of lowered expectations opening with $1.08 million in 1160 screens, which placed it well below the Mendoza line. It did have the best reviews of the week, but they were still only mixed and will in no way be enough to save this film. I would be amazed if it is playing in more than a handful of theaters by the end of the month.


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Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hannah Montana the Movie, Obsessed, 17 Again, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, State of Play, Earth, The Soloist, Fighting, Battle for Terra