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Ship Sinks while Secret Agents Swim

May 15th, 2006

It was a bad week for new releases with no newcomer able to beat expectations. Even though the holdovers held up well the overall weekend box office numbers sank. In total, theatrical releases earned $100 million, which was down 9.7% from last week and more importantly 2.7% from last year. This was the first year-to-year drop-off in eight weeks, although it was relatively small. In fact, had either Poseidon or Just My Luck matched expectations, the total box office would have seen a small growth. The small decline wasn't enough to put a dent in 2006's lead over 2005, which remains at 6%.

Mission: Impossible 3 was able to take top spot on the overall charts with $25.0 million, which is exactly what was predicted on Thursday. This is actually better than the previous films fared during their sophomore stints, but this film didn't have to deal with post-holiday drop-offs so the comparison is not quite exact. With the competition heating up, the film will likely see a large drop in its theatre count this weekend and by the time X-Men: The Last Stand opens, it may lose more than 1,000 theatres.

Poseidon missed expectations over the weekend, opening with $22.2 million. Add in terrible reviews, extreme competition, a production budget of at least $160 million and this film really lived up to its genre. Even with holidays coming up, the film will struggle to earn half of its production budget and unless the film excels internationally, the studio will end up losing a bundle on this one.

Continuing the year's tradition of really bad movies doing really well at the box office, R.V. dipped by less than 10% during its third weekend of release, which is nearly unheard of in this day and age. It added just a hair shy of $10.0 million to its total of $43.3 million and even with Over the Hedge opening on Friday, the film should have enough legs to top its production budget and eventually show a profit.

Lindsay Lohan better start choosing better roles, and fast, or she will be completely forgotten by moviegoers very soon. Just My Luck, which can generously be described as fluff flopped over the weekend, earning just $5.7 million, which is less than half of Thursday's prediction. Add in the worst reviews of her career and this will easily be her biggest bomb. On the plus side, she is in two movies that have the potential to be critical darlings, but I don't think she has the voice to play a singer in A Prairie Home Companion or the acting chops to keep up with her co-stars in Bobby. We shall soon find out if I'm right or not.

An American Haunting remained in the top five during its second weekend of release with $3.6 million for a total of $10.8 million so far. United 93 at $3.5 million, Stick It at $3.2 million and Ice Age: The Meltdown also at $3.2 million were a rounding error away from fifth place. One a side note, that last film should come close enough to $200 million that the studio might try and give it a push to top that milestone.

Finally, there's Goal! The soccer film generated the best reviews out of the three wide releases, but missed the top ten with a mere $1.9 million in 1,007 theatres. The trilogy cost about $100 million to make, but at this point I can't see it having any real chance of earning that back.

Moving onto the sophomore class, the only member not to place in the top five was Hoot. Last week the film broke records for the worst weekend opening for a film playing in 3,000 or more theatres. This weekend it didn't collapse like some were expecting as it fell just 32% to $2.3 million. However, with a per theatre average of just $760 and direct competition next weekend, it could lose more than 2,000 theatres on Friday.


Filed under: Ice Age: The Meltdown, Mission: Impossible III, R.V., Poseidon, United 93, Stick It, Just My Luck, Hoot, Goal! The Dream Begins, An American Haunting