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Pirates, Little Men, and Dupree

July 13th, 2006

There are a lot of questions about this weekend's box office; which film will finish in first place is not one of them. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will repeat as overall box office champion, but there is a question of how far it will fall during its second weekend of release. Also, the two new wide releases are tracking with nearly identical numbers and that should set up a real race for second place.

After its record-destroying opening weekend, there's a lot of questions surrounding Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's sophomore stint. With such a huge opening, a massive drop-off is expected, and the reviews do suggest it won't have nearly the legs of the original. However, the film's mid-week numbers have been very strong, and it broke Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith's record for best non-holiday Monday with $18.1 million compared to $14.4 million and went on to earn the best Tuesday box office, breaking the recent record set by The Omen $15.7 million to $12.6 million. The next records the film could break are Fastest to $200 million, currently at 8 days, and Best Opening week, currently at $192.1 million held by Spider-man 2. It could break both of those records before the weekend starts, and if it does, it could break the record for all-time biggest Second Weekend. Even if it doesn't, it should still finish in the top three on that list.

At the high end, it could earn just over $72 million with a low end just under $50 million. The most likely scenario has Pirates earning $63 million over the weekend, and easily taking the lead for the 2006 box office race.

The race for second place involves You, Me & Dupree and Little Man, neither of which seems to be getting much love from moviegoers or critics. Looking at the evidence logically and it would seem like You, Me & Dupree has the edge, however slight it may be. The cast, while not the biggest box office draws, certainly have their share of hits. The reviews, while not the best are almost guaranteed to be better than Little Man, which wasn't screened for critics. I think it is fair to assume the studio was hoping for the $30 to $40 million opening and a final box office north of $100 million. It won't get there. In fact, some are suggesting that it might not get to $40 million in total. I think it will open with $20 million and have a reasonable run and eventually show a profit but won't help anyone's career.

Agree? Disagree? Put your prognosticating to the test and enter our Dupree & Me Contest today.

Little Man it a little more difficult to predict, partially because it is such a stupid looking movie, but I'm sure that's what the Wayan Brothers were going for. Aim for stupid, and you are almost guaranteed not to miss. There's a difference between stupid-funny and so stupid your audience leaves, but no matter how many times I think they've crossed that line, the audience keeps coming back to see these two. The studio is making a huge push for this movie and the ads are everywhere. This amount of buzz is sure to get a few people into theatres but it will still not make as much as their previous film, but it will be close with $18 million. On the other hand, this film could explode over the weekend pulling in $40 million, or more. The amount of money gone into promoting the film is huge, and it could really surprise analysts.

Superman Returns is sure to tumble to fourth place with barely more than $10 million at the box office. That would give the film just over $160 million after three weeks of release. And while that is a good figure, one has to assume that when the studio gave this movie a budget of over $200 million, they were expecting a lot more in return than this.

Lastly we have The Devil Wears Prada. The film continues to impress, especially its midweek numbers; it nearly caught up to Superman Return on Wednesday and was behind the super hero flick by less than $20,000. With the two new releases having no crossover appeal with this movie, it should be the least affected by them and therefore see the smallest drop-off in the top five. This will help it earn $9 million during the weekend pushing its total to more than $80 million.


Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Superman Returns, The Devil Wears Prada, You, Me and Dupree, Little Man