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Pirates Hit Hard but not Knocked Out

June 5th, 2007

The post-holiday weekend saw a massive collapse at the box office, with receipts down 34% to $135 million. However, that collapse was entirely predictable. On the other hand, the film market fell below the same weekend last year, which is a lot more troublesome. Granted, the drop-off is less than one percent, and year-to-date 2007 is still showing strong growth, but it is concerning nonetheless.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End remained in first place, but it was a phyrric victory as its drop-off was larger than Thursday's worst case scenario. Limp reviews saw the film plummet 61.47% to $44.21 million over the weekend. That does mean it crossed $200 million in just nine or ten days (it depends whether you count last Thursday's showings as opening night or as previews). That's a great start, but the heavy declines is making a lot of analysts predict the film won't make another $100 million during the rest of its run. This should make them pause when considering a fourth film in the franchise, but only for a little bit as the movie will still be massively profitable.

Knocked Up grabbed second place, which was far from a sure thing as many were predicting it would struggle to live up to Judd Apatow's first release. However, the film lived up to our prediction nearly perfectly scoring second place with $30.7 million over the weekend with an impressive multiplier of 3.13. This, and the best reviews for a wide release of the year, seem to indicate strong legs and a $100 million final box office.

Speaking of perfect predictions, Shrek the Third added $28.0 million over the weekend, giving it third place and $255.9 million in total. $300 million is within striking distance, but that's the last major milestone for this film. It is clear that the poor reviews have hurt the film's legs and that could spell serious trouble for Shrek 4 as many fans were turned off by this one and it will be harder to sell them on the next installment.

Mr. Brooks finished within a rounding error of expectations with $10.0 million over the weekend. Given its low per theater average and middling reviews, it is unlikely the film will have great legs; however, the film is aiming for a more mature target audience and that could help.

Spider-man 3 was the fourth film in the top five to match expectations as it earned $7.6 million over the weekend for a total of $318.3 million after a month of release. At this point, the film has already made enough to show a profit, but it has still earned less than expected domestically. (Its international performance is another story.)

The only other wide release was Gracie, but that film proved no more popular than the sport it features. Granted, at 60% positive, the reviews didn't help matters all that much, but they certainly didn't hurt either and the poor showing can not be blamed on the filmmakers. With a per theater average of just $1,165, it won't last in theaters long, but perhaps it can find an audience on the home market.

Bug was the only member of the sophomore class to not remain in the top five as it fell 60.36% to $1.29 million in 1,161 theaters for a total of $6.16 million. On Friday, it will likely lose half of its theater count, and it will be all but done by the weekend after that.

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Filed under: Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Knocked Up, Mr. Brooks, Bug, Gracie