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Chuck and Harry Finish One-Two but Hairspray is the Real Winner

July 24th, 2007

As expected, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix traded spots during the weekend. However, they both finished lower than expected in raw dollars. Fortunately Hairspray and the rest of the films were able to compensate. The overall box office was down 14% from last weekend to $155 million, but that was still up close to 3% compared to the same weekend last year.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry opened in first place over the weekend with $34.2 million in 3,495 theaters. This was a little lower than expected, but still within the historical averages for Adam Sandler and Kevin James and even with terrible reviews it should still have the legs to reach $100 million. This isn't too much more than its estimated production budget of $80 to $90 million, and quite a bit below original expectations. However, it could still show a profit if its international and home market numbers are better than expected.

While I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry pushed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to second place on Friday, it was able to regain the lead on Saturday and Sunday. That said, it wasn't able to catch up to the buddy comedy and had to settle for second place over the weekend with $32.5 million. This was down a surprising 57.84% from its opening weekend, despite a Wednesday opening to soften its initial Friday to Sunday numbers. There are a couple of bright spots to consider though. First of all, the film will have little trouble reaching $250 million domestically, which is more than enough to guarantee a profit. Secondly, this massive decline could have been caused by the release of Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows. If this is true, the film should rebound this weekend, making the $260 million The Chamber of Secrets earned well within reach and perhaps earning a total above the franchise's average so far. Even if that's not the case, this film will be amazingly profitable. In fact, if you take into account the film's international numbers, it will be able to cover it's production cost, the production cost of The Half Blood Prince, and The Deadly Hallows. Quite a feat.

As expected, Hairspray placed third over the weekend, but its opening of $27.5 million was well above expectations. Add in some of the best reviews for a wide release this year, and this film could be a surprise $100 million hit. However, there are some troubling signs already. For instance, the film had a disappointing internal multiplier of just 2.50, well below the 2.72 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry managed. Perhaps it will take a bit for word of mouth to develop, but in this marketplace films don't have that long to make their mark. We'll find out by this time next weekend which way it will go.

The Transformers also beat expectations, pulling in $20.5 million over the weekend for a total of $263.0 million after three weeks of release. This puts $300 million firmly in the film's sights, which would make it the fourth movie to reach that milestone this year, and that's a new record.

Ratatouille added $10.9 million on 3,402 screens over the weekend for a total of $165.5 million. In comparison, Cars made $14.6 million during its fourth weekend of release and had reached a running tally of $182.6 million. $200 million for Ratatouille isn't out of the question, but I'm growing weary of its continued weakness. It is important to note that $200 million for a G-rated movie is very impressive and the last non-Pixar G-rated film to reach $200 million was The Lion King.

Finally we get to the sophomore class, which has just one film this weekend, Captivity. That film had one of the worst week-to-week drop-offs of all time, down 77.71% to just $319,000 over the weekend for a total of just $2.4 million. By next weekend it will be just a memory.


Filed under: Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ratatouille, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Hairspray, Captivity