Weekend Box Office (June 15 - 17, 2007)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Fox scored its first number one hit in five months with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer which grossed $58.1M on its opening weekend, according to final studio figures, tripling its nearest competitor's sales. Carrying a milder PG rating into 3,959 theaters, the super hero sequel averaged a sturdy $14,663 and edged out the $56.1M bow of the first Fantastic Four pic from July 2005. A sequel has now topped the box office for seven consecutive weekends.

Reviews were mixed, but were better than for its predecessor which was critically panned. The sequel brought back director Tim Story along with the four main cast members Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis. However, the iconic Marvel Comics character Silver Surfer was prominently added to the film, and even to its title, to help bring back comic fans who may have had a bad taste after the first Fantastic pic. Laurence Fishburne provided the voice for the computer-generated space traveler.

The latest summer sequel kicked off the weekend on Friday with $22M, dipped an understandable 11% to $19.6M on Saturday, and dropped only 17% on Sunday to $16.4M. Fox also reported that Rise of the Silver Surfer opened in 32 overseas markets with a combined $25.4M this weekend although most were minor territories. Russia, Italy, and the United Kingdom were among the only major international markets that launched this frame with more to come in the weeks ahead.

Ocean's Thirteen enjoyed a good hold in its second weekend dropping only 45% to $19.7M in its sophomore frame. Warner Bros. has now made off with $70.4M in ten days. Threequels often drop by 55% or more and Ocean's Twelve even fell by 54% in its second try. That caper sequel grossed $18.1M in its second weekend and bagged a similar $68.5M worth of loot in its first ten days. Thirteen, which will not benefit from holidays like Christmas and New Year's prolonging its run, could be on track to finish with $105-110M domestically which would still be the lowest in the Ocean's series.

Universal's sleeper hit Knocked Up continued to capitalize on strong word-of-mouth and held onto third place with $14.1M, off only 28%, for a $90M cume. The R-rated smash will join the century club next weekend making it the studio's first $100M hit since its last June romantic comedy offering The Break-Up.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End followed dropping 41% to $12.4M in its fourth adventure. Cume stands at $274.1M which is up 31% from 2003's Curse of the Black Pearl after its fourth weekend, but down 24% from last summer's Dead Man's Chest at the same point. At World's End did manage to rise to number 32 on the all-time domestic blockbusters list sailing past the $267.7M of 2001's Shrek.

A trio of kidpics followed. The animated penguin movie Surf's Up sank 48% in its second weekend to $9.3M giving Sony a not-so-cool $34.6M after ten days. A final gross of about $60M could result. Shrek the Third landed in sixth place with $9M, off 41%, for a $297.2M total. Knocking on the triple-century mark, the Paramount release now stands at number 24 on the all-time list just behind the first Pirates film which banked $305.4M four years ago.

Moviegoers passed on solving a mystery with Nancy Drew which opened poorly in seventh with only $6.8M. Averaging a weak $2,616 from 2,612 theaters, the PG-rated film starring Emma Roberts failed to make a dent in the summer box office this weekend. Nancy opened in the same neighborhood as other films aimed at tween girls like Ice Princess, Little Black Book, and Aquamarine which all bowed to roughly $7M a piece.

Lionsgate saw its horror sequel Hostel Part II tumble 63% after its weak opening to $3M this weekend. With only $14.2M taken in thus far, the torture pic should finish with just under $20M, or less than half of the $47.3M of the first Hostel flick from last year. MGM's Mr. Brooks grossed $2.9M, off 41%, pushing the cume to only $23.5M for the Kevin Costner thriller.

Spider-Man 3 rounded out the top ten with $2.5M falling 42% from last weekend. With $330M after its seventh frame, the Sony sequel climbed to number 15 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters right behind Finding Nemo which took in $339.7M in 2003.

Opening dead on arrival was the new actioner D.O.A.: Dead or Alive which bowed to $260,713 from 505 theaters for a pathetic $516 average. The Weinstein Co. title was released with little fanfare and should see most of its business on DVD. Meanwhile the new Bollywood musical Jhoom Barabar Jhoom debuted to $455,257 from 83 prints for a $5,485 average.

A pair of hits fell from the top ten over the weekend. Fox Searchlight's indie darling Waitress grossed $1.3M, down only 21%, for a $14.1M cume to date. A final tally of $17-20M from a limited national release is likely. Paramount's Shia LaBeouf thriller Disturbia collected $251,249 in its tenth frame pushing the stellar cume to $78.3M. Look for a $79M final which will serve as an appetizer to the studio's next Shia offering - Transformers opening July 3.

The top ten films grossed $137.8M which was down 2% from last year when Cars remained at number one with $33.7M; but up 8% from 2005 when Batman Begins debuted in the top spot with $48.7M over three days.

Compared to projections, Rise of the Silver Surfer opened a couple of notches above my $53M forecast while Nancy Drew debuted below my $12M prediction.

For a NEW review of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Evan Almighty, 1408, and A Mighty Heart all open.

Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines

# Title Jun 15 -17 Jun 8 -10 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Fantastic Four: Rise of the SS $ 58,051,684 3,959 1 $ 14,663 $ 58,051,684 Fox
2 Ocean's Thirteen 19,724,405 36,133,403 -45.4 3,565 2 5,533 70,429,741 Warner Bros.
3 Knocked Up 14,069,880 19,643,080 -28.4 2,907 3 4,840 90,016,695 Universal
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: AWE 12,411,786 21,143,905 -41.3 3,329 4 3,728 274,145,510 Buena Vista
5 Surf's Up 9,254,793 17,640,249 -47.5 3,531 2 2,621 34,625,490 Sony
6 Shrek the Third 9,003,044 15,317,614 -41.2 3,505 5 2,569 297,245,100 Paramount
7 Nancy Drew 6,832,318 2,612 1 2,616 6,832,318 Warner Bros.
8 Hostel Part II 3,026,131 8,203,391 -63.1 2,350 2 1,288 14,208,497 Lionsgate
9 Mr. Brooks 2,902,024 4,911,319 -40.9 1,923 3 1,509 23,523,243 MGM
10 Spider-Man 3 2,505,151 4,304,986 -41.8 1,822 7 1,375 330,021,137 Sony
11 Waitress 1,258,470 1,600,600 -21.4 615 7 2,046 14,071,871 Fox Searchlight
12 La Vie En Rose 660,278 179,848 267.1 77 2 8,575 2,806,173 Picturehouse
13 Once 543,334 494,340 9.9 120 5 4,528 2,503,419 Fox Searchlight
14 Wild Hogs 502,325 428,028 17.4 378 16 1,329 165,788,226 Buena Vista
15 Paris Je T'aime 487,780 441,235 10.5 200 7 2,439 2,783,486 First Look
16 Jhoom Barabar Jhoom 455,257 83 1 5,485 455,257 Yash Raj
17 Pathfinder 261,096 52,475 397.6 46 10 5,676 10,232,081 Fox
18 DOA: Dead or Alive 260,713 505 1 516 260,713 Weinstein Co.
19 Disturbia 251,249 523,504 -52.0 283 10 888 78,289,474 Paramount
20 Away From Her 215,158 301,136 -28.6 203 7 1,060 4,114,817 Lionsgate
Top 5 $ 113,512,548 $ 109,878,251 3.3
Top 10 137,781,216 129,422,051 6.5
Top 20 142,676,876 132,833,534 7.4
Top 20 vs. 2006 142,676,876 148,839,647 -4.1

Last Updated: June 18, 2007 at 10:45PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Friday at 9:50am ET.