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Box Office in Dangerous Territory

September 8th, 2008

After the summer comes the fall, which was certainly true this past weekend. Bangkok Dangerous and rest of the market only pulled in just $68 million over the weekend, which is 45% lower than last weekend. However, while that's a huge drop-off, more importantly it is nearly 15% lower than the same weekend last year and the ninth weakest weekend since 2000, and worst weekend in five years. Year-to-date, 2008 is now behind 2007 by just over 1% at $6.75 billion to $6.82 billion, but hopefully it will bounce back next weekend. I can't imagine it will be worse.

Bangkok Dangerous became the weakest number on opener since Dickie Roberts made $6.66 million back in 2003 and it failed to match lowered expectations. Over the weekend the film made $7.78 million in 2,650 theaters, which was the best per theater average in the top ten. However, it was also the only new release in the top ten, so that feels like damning it with faint praise. With reviews that are barely above single digits, there's little reason to believe the film will do well over the coming weeks, and with four wide releases this coming weekend and four more the next, it could fall out of the top ten in record tying time. Then again, with weak competition, it might hold strong like Dickie Roberts did. We will have a better idea by this time next week.

Tropic Thunder matched expectations perfectly with $7.23 million over the weekend for a total of $96.54 million. This puts the film less than a week away from reaching $100 million while it could reach $125 million in total. That might be a little optimistic, but not out of the question.

The Dark Knight Also matched expectations perfectly with $5.52 million over the weekend and now has a hair under $512.00 million in total. The only question left for the film is will the studio re-release it for Oscars and will that be enough for it to reach Titanic's total? The more it earns now, the more realistic that scenario becomes.

House Bunny beat expectations by a tiny, tiny amount and just missed third place with $5.51 million. In fact, it was less than $3,000 behind The Dark Knight over the weekend. The film has now pulled in $36.61 million and with its strong holds (the second best drop-off in the top ten) it is on pace to reach $50 million, more or less. That's a great run for a film that only cost $25 million to make.

The Traitor rounded out the top five with $4.27 million over the weekend and $17.27 million in total. By this time next week, it could match its production budget, while it should show a profit sometime during its home market run.

Moving onto the sophomore class, Babylon A.D. fell from second to sixth with $4.18 million over the weekend and $17.38 million in total. For a film that cost $45 to $70 million, this is a disastrous result. On the other hand, Disaster Movie didn't collapse as fast as many thought it would. Even so, it was down 48% to $3.03 million over the weekend and now has $10.60 million in total. College fell even harder, down 56% to just $953,000 over the weekend. The film now has $4.11 million after 10 days, and might not be remembered by the time it reaches the home market.

To end on a high note, both The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and You Don't Mess With the Zohan reached $100 million over the weekend, becoming the 14th and 15th such films to do so in 2008. Additionally, Tropic Thunder and Step Brothers should reach that milestone next weekend while fellow Brendan Fraser flick, Journey to the Center of the Earth, is on pace to reach $100 million, or at least come close enough that the studio pushes it over the top.

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Filed under: The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, You Don't Mess With the Zohan, The House Bunny, Traitor, Babylon A.D., Bangkok Dangerous, Disaster Movie, College