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Millions Accept Box Office Proposal

June 23rd, 2009

It was a better-than-expected weekend at the box office as every film in the top five matched or exceeded expectations. This led to an overall industry haul of $151 million, which is 9.6% higher than last weekend and 5.6% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has earned $4.78 billion, which is 10.5% higher than 2008's pace.

The Proposal topped the high end of Thursday's predictions with $33.63 million over the weekend. This is easily the best opening in Samdra Bullock's career, and one of the best openings for a romantic comedy ever. Given the film's reviews, which are good for its genre, and the lack of direct competition in the upcoming weeks, it should become the 13th $100 million movie of the year (at least if you rank them by release date), the fifth such film in Samdra Bullock's career and the second such film for Ryan Reynolds this year. After a bit of weakness in the market, it is nice to see surprise hits like this come along.

Wow. The Hangover beat the high end of expectations, again, down just 18.4% to $26.75 million over the weekend for a total of $152.82 million after three. At the moment, $200 million is the low end of expectations for its final domestic total, while there's a chance it could reach $250 million. This would make it the biggest R-rated comedy of all time, and one of the biggest R-rated films, and one of the biggest comedies of all time. All on a budget of between $25 and $35 million. I can't get over how profitable this movie will be.

Up added $23.49 million over the weekend and now has $226.27 million in total. At this pace, it could become the biggest hit of the year by this time next week, overtaking Star Trek. However, depending on how well Transformers opens, it is very likely it won't last there long. Also of note, it became Pixar's sixth-biggest hit of all time over the weekend by topping WALL-E, while it is about a week away from passing Cars and catching up to Toy Story 2. At this point, $250 million in guaranteed, while $300 million is not out of the question. (It will be very hard to get there, especially with upcoming direct competition, but I wouldn't dismiss the prospect either.)

On the one hand, Year One, came as close as a movie can to matching expectations without actually matching expectations. After all, $19.61 million would round up to $20 million, which is what we predicted on Thursday. On the other hand, this is lower than original expectations, and with reviews that won't impress anyone, and the competition, and it is unlikely to last in theaters long enough to match its $60 million production budget. It could still show a profit if it does well internationally and on the home market, but that is far from certain at this point.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 managed to avoid a 50% drop-off by falling to $12.03 million over the weekend. This was (nearly) perfectly in line with Thursday's prediction, while its total of $44.07 million is off the pace needed to match original expectations.

As for the sophomore class, Imagine That held on well, down just 40%. But this is a case of too little too late, as the movie added just $3.29 million to take its running tally to $11.54 million. It will likely lose most of its theater count this weekend and it should disappear almost entirely by the first weekend in July.

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Filed under: Up, The Hangover, The Proposal, The Taking of Pelham 123, Year One, Imagine That