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Men, Dupree are Not So Little while Pirates Procure more Plunder

July 17th, 2006

The news was mostly good over the weekend with practically every film in the top five beating expectations, and the only one that didn't, Pirates of the Caribbean, missing by a rounding error. However, the overall box office was still down a huge 27% from last weekend to $159 million. More significantly, it was down 4% from the same weekend last year breaking 2006's eight-week winning streak. Even so, strong midweek numbers allowed 2006 to stretch its lead over 2005 to a very healthy 6%.

Looking at Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's sophomore stint there is certainly a lot for the studio to be happy with, but its 54% drop-off should end any talk of it breaking Titanic's All Time record. The $62.3 million the film earned was enough to tie the record for fastest to $200 million and put it into first place for the year with a total of $258.4 million, significantly above second place X-Men: The Last Stand. The next milestone for the film is $300 million, which it is all but guaranteed to cross by this time next week. That gives the film the worst case scenario of tying Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith for fastest to $300 million. However, from there things get a little more dicey. Should drop-offs start to accelerate as it loses theatres, then $400 million could be out of reach, but even if that does happen a place in the top ten All Time is in the film's future.

The race for second place was even closer than expected with Little Man topping You, Me & Dupree by a barely measurable $21.6 million to $21.5 million. The two films also earned similar reviews, although Dupree won that race with a mere 21% positive compared to 18% positive for Little Man. With neither film likely to make many critics Top Ten lists, their future's are a little hazy, but both films should end there runs with between $50 and $70 million. In the case of Little Man, this is in line with original expectations, but for You, Me & Dupree it is disappointing.

After a slow start, and a quick decline, Superman Returns recovered somewhat this weekend, down less than 44% to $12.3 million. Overall the film has made $164.3 million, but will struggle to reach $200 million overall; however, I suspect the studio will push the film to reach that goal just so it doesn't lose face, even if it means spending several million more in advertising.

One of the biggest pleasant surprises of the summer so far has to be The Devil Wears Prada. As expected, the film suffered little at the hands of the new competition, down a mere 31% to $10.4 million for a total of $83.5 million. At this pace the fill will have no trouble reaching $100 million, perhaps as early as two weeks from now.

There were two more results of note this weekend. Firstly, Cars surpassed The Da Vince Code on Friday and there's a slim chance that it was the second highest grossing film of the year for a split second before Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest beat them both late in the day. With several more digitally animated films coming out in the next few weeks, Cars will see its box office returns further hampered. However, $220 million is still a great result by any definition of the word.

Lastly, Over the Hedge reached $150 million in the middle of last week. Again, this is a good result, just not up to high expectations.

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