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Four Fantastic over Father's Day

June 19th, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer set a record for best Father's Day opening and overall the box office reached just over $145 million, which was 7% more than last weekend. But that's still lower than the same weekend last year by just over 4%. On the one hand, the box office is still healthy and undoubtedly more records will fall this year. On the other hand, there are some troubling signs and perhaps the irrational exuberance is starting to wear off.

There will be a third installment in the Fantastic Four franchise, that was pretty much guaranteed when Silver Surfer opened with a record-setting box weekend. The $58.1 million earned was not only the biggest Father's Day weekend ever, it was also ahead of Fantastic Four's opening and studio estimates. Even more impressive, the film's internal multiplier of 2.64 is just ahead of the original's (albeit by less than a rounding error). This, combined with the slightly better reviews could help mitigate the impact of the sequel effect, giving the film a final box office of more than $150 million. Given the massive increase in production budget, it won't be as profitable as the previous film, but that won't stop the studio from making another one, and reports are that it is already in the works. I suggest using the super-powered Russian monkeys as the villains.

Ocean's Thirteen has showed some staying power over the past week, especially its midweek numbers, and hit $70.4 million at the box office after a $19.7 million sophomore stint. The film will have no problem reaching $100 million at this pace, but the $125 million earned by Ocean's Twelve is likely out of reach. On the other hand, the weak American dollar could help the film's international numbers and that could be the difference between being the weakest of the three films and not.

Knocked Up beat predictions, again, down just 28% to $14.1 million over the weekend for a total of $90.0 million after three. The film is still earning more than The 40-Year Old Virgin comparing corresponding weekends, but that will likely change next weekend. As for the film's long term chances, it will hit $100 million by this time next week, while it could beat the $109 million that 40-Year Virgin made by the week after that. After that, things get a little more cloudy, but $125 million looks safe at this point.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End also beat expectations with $12.4 million while its total has reached $274.1 million. Expect a few more ads in the coming weeks to help it get over $300 million.

Surf's Up grabbed fifth place with $9.3 million, which was down 48% from its opening. That's high for a kids film, and suggests a short run and it won't add much to $34.6 million running tally.

The fickle female 'Tweens stayed home and Nancy Drew suffered as a result. Over the weekend, the film pulled in $6.8 million, which is less than Emma Roberts' previous film and any talk of a franchise is probably over. On the other hand, the film's reviews and its lower than expected production budget (reported at $20 million), could help it show a profit sometime during its home market run.

The other wide release of the week was DOA: Dead or Alive, which failed to reach even its lowest expectations. In fact, it was beaten by the opening of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, and that film is certainly in a niche market. The $261,000 DOA made over the weekend was less than the cost of the physical prints, by a huge margin. Reviews were not great, but weren't the worst of the week and the film should find an audience on the home market.

The only film in the sophomore class not to reach the top five was Hostel II, which fell 63% to $3.0 million over the weekend and $14.2 million in total. Even with a sub $10 million production budget, this film will struggle to make a profit any time soon.

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Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Knocked Up, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ocean's Thirteen, Surf's Up, Nancy Drew, Hostel: Part II, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, DOA: Dead or Alive