Follow us on

Simpsons Rake in the D'oh!

July 30th, 2007

Practically every film in the top five beat expectations, including The Simpsons Movie, which crushed expectations. This helped push the overall box office to $185 million over the weekend and that was roughly 19% higher than the last weekend and a stunning 40% higher than the same weekend last year. With one or two more summer releases that could top $200 million, this has been a very lucrative season and one that helped to put 2007 in the record books.

Not only did The Simpsons Movie handily beat Thursday's expectations, it also beat Sunday's studio estimates by more than $2 million. The film pulled in $74.0 million over the weekend in 3,922 theaters, which was the fifth biggest opening of the year, and the fourth biggest July opening of all time. It was also the best opening for a 2-D animated film of all time, the third best opening for an animated film, and matched its production budget. No matter how you break it down, this was a huge win for the studio regardless of what happens during the rest of its run. Speaking of which, next weekend it will be a battle between the film's unbelievably strong reviews and the Fanboy Effect. If the two forces can cancel each other out, the film should be well on its way to $200 million, and could even become the fifth film of 2007 to reach $300 million. If it is to reach $300 million, it will have to avoid 50% drop-offs like The Transformers has managed so far. I'm not confident it can do that, but we'll know more as midweek numbers start coming in.

Well back in second place was I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which continued to show the strong legs associated with Adam Sandler flicks. During its sophomore stint, the film was down just 44.11% to $19.1 million for a 10-day total of $71.7 million. Original expectations had the film bringing in $150 million during its run, but the film started slower than expected, which puts that figure out of reach. However, it should still cross $100 million with ease and make enough money to show a healthy profit after its initial release into the home market.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix also beat expectations over the weekend, adding $17.7 million over the weekend to its total of $242.4 million. Right now, the film is tracking for a total of $275 million, which would put it ahead of The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban while putting it in line with the franchise average so far.

Hairspray matched Thursday's expectations perfectly with $15.9 million over the weekend and $59.7 million in total. Its 42.13% drop-off was the best in the top five, but not significantly better than the other two holdovers. After 10 days, it seems likely that the film could cross $100 million, assuming it keeps up its current pace. I don't see much in the way of direct competition in the coming month, which is good news, and this time next week we will have a much more solid picture of its chances.

No Reservations' opening was in line with expectations, more or less. It was expected to open with just over $12 million but had to settle for just under with $11.7 million. This is in line with other summer romantic comedies like Must Love Dogs. Nothing special, but with solid reviews for its genre, it should have little trouble matching its production budget, and will eventually show a profit.

Up next for the new releases was I Know Who Killed Me, which went a long way to killing Lindsay Lohan's career. The film wasn't screened for critics, which was a smart plan as they viciously attacked it. Moviegoers still stayed away anyway, and it earned just $3.5 million. In two weeks it will be just a bad memory and in two years so will Lindsay Lohan.

Who's Your Caddy matched low expectations both with critics and at the box office. It barely managed to crack 10% positive reviews while pulling in just $2.8 million at the box office. It could come out on DVD before September and most people would still have completely forgotten about it by then.

Sadly, neither limited release expansion held up as well as expected with Rescue Dawn earning $1.7 million and Sunshine taking in $1.3 million. I don't think either will expand to any significant degree after that, but Rescue Dawn could hang on long enough to earn some measure of mainstream success.


Filed under: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Hairspray, No Reservations, I Know Who Killed Me, Who's Your Caddy?, Rescue Dawn, Sunshine