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Hot-Blooded Weekend

July 21st, 2009

The year-to-year box office comparison has been hit hard over the weekend due to the competition from The Dark Knight, which opened this weekend last year. That film alone made $158.41 million over three days. This year, the total box office was $160 million, or 38% lower than last year. It was 12% more than last weekend, and 2009 is still ahead of 2008 by a 10% margin, $5.98 billion to $5.44 billion. But there's no chance things will rebound this coming week.

After smashing records for midnight showings, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince cooled off somewhat during the rest of its five-day weekend. Even so, it made $77.84 million from Friday to Sunday and $158.02 million since Wednesday. This is nearly $20 million more than The Order of the Phoenix made during its first five days, but less than $1 million more than it made over the weekend. This suggests that despite better reviews, this film will have weaker legs. In fact, Half-Blood Prince may have already made well over half of its final domestic box office. This means it could be difficult for it to match the $292.00 million the previous installment made, while the record for the franchise, $317.56 million made by The Philosopher's Stone, is likely safe. On the other hand, profitability is assured. In fact, by the time it reaches the home market, it could have made enough profit to pay the production budget of the final two films.

Strong competition and weak reviews didn't hurt Ice Age - Dawn of the Dinosaurs, as the film added $17.56 million to its running tally of $151.87 million, thereby remaining in second place for the third weekend in a row. This should help it on its quest to reach $200 million.

Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen also topped expectations with $13.69 million over the weekend and $363.81 million after four. The film should come close to $400 million, which means even if it cost more to make than reported, it will have no trouble showing a profit before it reaches the home market.

Bruno fell nearly 73% to just $8.32 million over the weekend. However, this is a film that cost very little to make, and it is likely already profitable. Sacha Baron Cohen had already retired this character, but even if he had not, I think this result would have made it very hard to get another movie like this made.

The Proposal and The Hangover were in a virtual tie for fifth with $8.29 million and $8.18 million respectively. The Proposal lifted its total to $128.08 million after a month of release. Meanwhile, The Hangover continues to stretch its record for an R-rated comedy with a total of $235.74 million. Both films have made tremendous amounts of money so far.

Looking to the sophomore class, I Love You, Beth Cooper held up better than expected at just 44% down; however, it still only made $2.77 million over the weekend for a total of $10.36 million after two. That said, it only cost $18 million to make, which means it will make a profit sometime during its home market run.


Filed under: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Hangover, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Proposal, Brüno, I Love You, Beth Cooper