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Will Rules the Weekend, but Overall Box Office Not that Super

July 8th, 2008

Hancock lived up to expectations, but it was the only film in the top five that did so. This led to overall box office receipts of just $160 million over the weekend, which was 8% lower than last weekend and 14% lower than the same weekend last year. This is the first time in a month that 2008 hasn't kept pace with 2007, and year-to-date 2008 has again fallen behind 2007, $4.81 billion to $4.84 billion. There's a strong case for mitigating circumstances, however, as July 4th landed on the Friday and Independence Day is not a holiday that is normally associated with strong box office numbers. So 2008 could regain its lead if The Dark Knight proves to be a big hit.

Hancock matched expectations nearly perfectly with $41.27 million during the week and $62.60 million over the weekend for a total of $103.88 million. This is the second best weekend opening for a Will Smith film, and it is already his 12th $100 million hit. This puts him in a four-way tie for fifth place all-time while his six $100 million hits in a row is just one behind the record set by Tom Hanks. The future for Hancock, however, is not as strong. Last year Transformers made $155 million during its first 6 days of release, but barely made more than that over the rest of its run. And, that film earned better reviews. Hancock should make another $100 million during its run, which would make it the fourth $200 million hit in Will Smith's career, but it won't be a monster hit and compete with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or Iron Man for top spot on the yearly chart.

Despite earning some of the best reviews of the year, WALL-E only had a mediocre hold over the weekend, falling 48% to $32.51 million. This did lift the film's total to $127.20 million after ten days, which makes it the ninth $100 million hit of the year and pushes it to seventh biggest on the yearly chart. It is also still on pace to reach $200 million, which would make it the seventh Pixar film in a row to do so. This is an amazing track record that can't be ignored.

Wanted suffered even more over the weekend, down more than 60% to $20.05 million over the past three dates a total of $90.19 million after 10. That said, it has already earned more than its reported production budget, and it is on pace to top original expectations, so it has to be seen as a financial success regardless of what happens from now on.

Get Smart also missed expectations, but with $11.11 million over the weekend, it was much closer than the previous two films. This was also enough to lift the film's running tally to $98.10 million, which puts it on pace to reach $100 million by Tuesday, perhaps a day sooner.

Kung Fu Panda was able to remain in the top five one more week thanks to weaker than expected competition. Over the past three days the film added $7.32 million for a total of $193.22 million while it should reach $200 million by this time next week.

The final "wide" release of the week was Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, but it might not be strictly accurate to call the film a wide release. First of all, it has been in theaters for two weeks now; secondly, it only expanded into 1,843 theaters. And given how well it did in theaters, that's as wide as it will go. Over the weekend, the movie made a mere $3.30 million, which gave it a per theater average below the Mendoza Line, while in total is has made just $5.82 million. Had the movie made that over three days, it still would have been seen as a disappointment. On the plus side, the reviews are still very good, but that seems immaterial at this point. There's little chance theater owners will be keeping the movie around long enough for the word-of-mouth to build, but at least it has a shot on the home market.


Filed under: Hancock, WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda, Wanted, Get Smart, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl