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Pixar Wrestles Crown from Jack Black

June 19th, 2006

Every film in the top five missed our Friday predictions this weekend and this led to a small 1.4% drop off from last weekend. Overall, box office was in $152 million. On the other hand, this was up by 11.6% from the same weekend last year. Strangely, even though the weekend numbers were better this year, the 2006 summer season still slipped behind last year's pace $1.19 billion to $1.34 billion. This was in part due to Batman Begins strong midweek opening.

While Cars was able to take a victory lap this week, its sophomore stint drop-off was the highest in Pixar's history (not counting the post-holiday performance of Toy Story 2). On the other hand, a sub 44% drop-off to $33.7 million in this day and age is still very good, and helped it become the sixth movie of the year to cross $100 million and the 50th Disney movie to reach that milestone, which is a record for the industry. With $117.1 million already in the bank and more and more kids getting out of school for the summer holidays, Cars should have little problem reaching $200 million at the box office and earn a profit before its theatrical run is over. That will still be considered a disappointment by some.

Nacho Libre was the toughest competition for Cars, and it finished first on Friday. But a low internal multiplier prevented it from keeping that lead as it slipped to second over the weekend with $28.3 million, just a shade below our predictions. Reviews remained a problem over the weekend with the film ending up with just 37% positive, but that is the best of the new releases and the second best in the top five. Given the film's combined budget, it will need to make approximately $90 million domestically to show a profit, or about $120 million including international numbers. The former target is most likely out of reach, but the latter is not. Add in home market numbers and the studio should be very happy with the end result.

The same cannot be said for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The film, which cost $75 million to make, brought in just $24.0 million over the weekend. If we assume it has the same legs as the previous installment, which seems fair given its equally weak reviews, it will earn just over $60 million in total. It could do significantly better internationally, but it will still be hard-pressed to show a profit in the short term.

Next up is The Lake House, which barely topped the worst case scenario, earning $13.6 million over the weekend. Sandra Bullock movies tend to have long legs, as do films aimed at a more mature audience, but I don't think this is the case here. The biggest factor working against it are the reviews; while they did climb over the weekend, a score of just 34% positive isn't enough to overcome such a slow start.

Rounding out the top five was The Break-Up with $9.8 million, putting it a week away from cracking $100 million during its theatrical run and on pace to match original expectations, or at least come close enough to call it a victory.

The final new release of the week was Garfield's A Tail of Two Kitties with $7.3 million. The film earned nearly the same reviews as the original, but will struggle to earn as much over its entire run as the first film earned during its opening weekend. I guess this is a case of, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I won't get fooled again."

Moving onto the sophomore class, The Omen was down nearly 65% to $5.6 million, which is even more substantial a drop-off considering it was a midweek opening. At this pace it should overtake the original shortly, but that's hardly reason to celebrate given the 30 year gap between the two movies. On the other hand, A Prairie Home Companion held up much better, down 38% to $2.8 million over the weekend and $9.1 million in total; however, that was still enough to knock it out of the top ten.

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Filed under: Cars, The Break-Up, Nacho Libre, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Omen, The Lake House, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, A Prairie Home Companion