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Transformers Hang on to Top Spot

July 7th, 2009

New releases were not as strong as expected, and Independence Day itself hurt a little more than I was expecting, but the overall box office was still solid at $162 million. Granted, this was nearly 19% less than last weekend, but more importantly it was 1.4% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has made $5.44 billion, which is 11.6% ahead of last year's pace.

Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen remained in first place over the three-day weekend, earning an impressive $42.32 million, which pushed its total to $293.36 million after twelve days. This was on the low end of expectations, but still impressive. Some are comparing the movie's run to that of The Dark Knight, which seems a little unrealistic. After all, that film had more than $333 million after 12 days of release, and much better word-of-mouth. That said, at this pace Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen will easily top original expectations and has a shot at $400 million domestically. This is more than enough to ensure the franchise continues, but if the reviews don't improve, it will have definitely peaked at the box office.

Ice Age - Dawn of the Dinosaurs missed expectations and had the slowest opening weekend of the franchise at just $41.69 million. In fact, the film earned less over five days ($66.73 million) than the previous installment earned in three days ($68.03 million). Part of this has to do with the competition, as the first two films were released in the spring and had the family market all to themselves. Part of this has to do with the reviews, which were the weakest in the franchise. This is still a good opening, and even with direct competition barely more than a week away, the film should have no problem reaching $100 million by this time next week, and should match its combined budget with ease. This movie will show a profit, it's just a matter of when. Had it matched expectations, that could have happened as early as its domestic run. Now, it should reach it during it international run, or during its initial push into the home market, at the latest.

Coming in third throughout its first five days in theater was Public Enemies, which earned $25.27 million from Friday to Sunday and $40.14 million since Wednesday. This is actually better than average for both Johnny Depp and Christian Bale and shows they can be box office draws outside of blockbuster franchises. As for the film's long term chances, its reviews finished the weekend at 65% positive, which should help it earn solid legs at the box office. Just over $100 million is a reasonable target, which would make it the biggest hit in Michael Mann's career, and give it a shot at profitability during its initial push onto the home market, perhaps a little sooner.

Speaking of $100 million, The Proposal is less than a week away from reaching that milestone after earning $12.86 million over the weekend. Its running tally currently sits at $94.34 million, making it the biggest Romantic Comedy of the year, just ahead of He's Just Not That Into You. The film should finish its run with about $125 million, which would make it the biggest hit in Sandra Bullock's career, while it is the second biggest hit for Ryan Reynolds... this summer.

The Hangover has managed to do what very few R-rated movies have ever done: reach $200 million. It matched expectations nearly perfectly over the weekend with $11.27 million to lift its total to $205.04 million after a month of release. By this time next week it could be in the top five on the list of top-grossing R-Rated movies, overtaking Saving Private Ryan, as well as 300 and The Wedding Crashers.

Moving onto the sophomore class, My Sister's Keeper was down 54% during its second weekend of release, which is high for this type of movie. It did add $5.79 million to take its total to $26.52 million, but it will have trouble earning enough to be considered a mid-level hit.

One last note, Up overtook The Incredibles for second place all-time on the Pixar list with $264.82 million. It should reach $275 million before too long, but that's about as far as it will go.


Filed under: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Up, The Hangover, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Proposal, Public Enemies, My Sister's Keeper