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Bourne's Ultimate Opening

August 7th, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum helped 2007 continue its record setting pace and helped the overall box office hit $178 million over the past weekend. That was down 4% from last weekend, but the summer is slowing down and these declines and expected. On the other hand, it was up an amazing 27% from the same weekend last year.

Studio estimates had The Bourne Ultimatum topping $70 million over the weekend, barely, and any time studios release an estimate that is just over a milestone, one has to be suspicious. And sure enough, Monday's box office numbers had it opening just below the $70 million mark with $69.3 million. That is still a record for an August opening, however, beating Rush Hour 2 by under $2 million. The Bourne franchise has shown better than expected legs and with outstanding reviews it should have little trouble becoming the 8th film to hit $200 million this year, which would tie the record.

I knew the Fanboy Effect would be a factor during the sophomore stint of The Simpsons Movie, but I thought the excellent reviews would at least be a mitigating factor. However, in the end the film fell 66% to $25.1 million over the weekend for a 10-day total of $128.1 million. Unless it bounces back next weekend with a sub-50% drop-off, it could have trouble just reaching $175 million during its domestic run, and even if it does, $200 million could be out of the question.

Expectations were soft for Underdog but the Disney marketing machine couldn't help the film match them as it opened with just $11.6 million in more than 3000 theaters. Add in some of the worst reviews of the summer and a lowly per theater average this film could see a serious drop-off next weekend and a massive loss in theater count the weekend after.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was a little stronger than expected, adding $10.6 million over the weekend for a $91.8 million total. It should hit $100 million by this time next weekend.

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix matched expectations perfectly with $9.5 million and is less than $1 million away from topping The Chamber of Secret's final box office total of $262 million. At this pace, The Order of Phoenix should match the franchise average at $280 million while the franchise should top $2 billion in total after all seven movies are released.

I mentioned Hairspray as a likely top five finisher on Thursday, but while it came within a rounding error of expectations at $9.2 million, it missed the top five. It could still reach $100 million, but it will be very close.

The next wide release wasn't able to match expectations. In fact, Hot Rod missed the worst case scenario, pulling in just $5.3 million. In retrospect, this is not surprising given its connection to Saturday Night Live and its trailer, which as far as I could tell, was devoid of humor. In two weeks the film will be nearly out of theaters.

Bratz came awfully close to matching expectations with $4.2 million over the weekend, but that's hardly a reason to celebrate. With a weak per theater average and the worst reviews in the ten, this film will be removed from theaters as soon as the theater owners are contractually able to.

As expected, El Cantante missed the top ten but its opening weekend of $3.2 million gave it the second best per theater average out of the new wide releases this week. In fact, at $5,908 it could encourage some expansion. On the other hand, its reviews suggest short legs.

Moving on to the sophomore class, only one film managed to hold on well. That film was No Reservations, which fell just under 44% to $6.6 million over the weekend and $24.2 million in total. On the other hand, I Know Who Killed Me suffered a nearly 67% drop-off to $1.2 million for the weekend and $6.2 million in total while Who's Your Caddy fell more than 60% to $1.1 million over the weekend and $4.8 million in total. Both results should end careers.

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Filed under: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Simpsons Movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Underdog, No Reservations, Hot Rod, Bratz, El Cantante, I Know Who Killed Me, Who's Your Caddy?