Weekend Box Office (August 31 - September 3, 2007)
by Gitesh Pandya
THIS WEEKEND A record summer box office ended on a high note with a record Labor Day weekend led by Rob Zombie's new take on the horror classic Halloween which scored the biggest opening ever for this holiday frame. The R-rated creepfest grossed $30.6M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday period, according to final studio figures, for MGM and The Weinstein Co. from an ultrawide 3,472 theaters for a powerful $8,811 average. That was enough to slash through the previous holiday best of $20.1M from 2005's Transporter 2 by a stunning 52%. Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the pic scored $26.5M and a $7,622 average. The gross for the Michael Myers fright pic surged ahead of industry expectations and ranked as the best horror opening since Saw III's three-day tally of $33.6M from last Halloween.
Marking the end of summer and a time when students begin going back to school, Labor Day weekend is typically the weakest of all the holiday weekends during the year. But the overall summer movie season was anything but. The domestic box office generated over $4 billion led by seven blockbusters that crossed the $200M mark with four sailing past the $300M milestone. Both were new industry highs. Overseas, the box office was on fire with sequels dominating international multiplexes.
Top Ten Global Summer Blockbusters
|1||Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End||958|
|2||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||912|
|4||Shrek the Third||757|
|6||The Simpsons Movie||482|
|8||Die Hard 4.0||356|
|10||The Bourne Ultimatum||278|
Sony's two-time champ Superbad held up well in its third frame this weekend and grossed $15.9M for a 18-day cume of $92.7M. Another comedy aimed at young people, Balls of Fury, opened in the third spot with $14.1M from 3,052 locations for a decent four-day average of $4,624. Since its Wednesday launch, the ping pong pic has taken in $17.1M for Focus.
For the fourth consecutive weekend the threequels The Bourne Ultimatum and Rush Hour 3 were back-to-back on the charts. The Matt Damon assassin smash took in $13.4M for a total of $202.8M while the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker action-comedy dropped to $10.8M for a $122.7M sum. Bourne crossed the $200M mark on Labor Day.
Following in sixth was Universal's Mr. Bean's Holiday with $7.9M for $20.9M to date. The Nanny Diaries fell to $6.6M for MGM giving the comedy just $16.7M in ten days. Kevin Bacon stumbled into eighth place with his vigilante thriller Death Sentence which bowed to $5.3M from 1,822 sites for an average of only $2,929 for Fox.
Jet Li and Jason Statham followed in ninth with War which crumbled in its sophomore frame to $5.3M giving Lionsgate $18.2M in ten days. Paramount's fairy tale adventure Stardust rounded out the top ten with $4.1M for a $32.1M total.
Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The Simpsons Movie laughed up $3.6M and boosted its sensational domestic haul to $178.5M on its way to what should be a final tally of about $185M. Overseas, the Fox smash broke through the $300M barrier this weekend and hopes to see its global gross surge past $500M.
New Line's hit musical Hairspray posted another strong performance banking $3.6M over four days to raise its cume to $112.4M. A final domestic gross of at least $120M seems likely. Not faring well was the Nicole Kidman sci-fi thriller The Invasion which tumbled down to $1.5M for a poor $14.1M total after 18 days. Paramount should end up snatching a miserable $16M.
Total North American grosses for some of the summer's older hits include $310.6M for Transformers, $286.8M for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, $201.2M for Ratatouille, and $116.6M for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
The top ten films grossed $114.1M over four days (a new Labor Day weekend record) which was up 28% from last year when Invincible remained in first place with $15.4M in its second session; and up 25% from 2005 when Transporter 2 opened in the top spot with a then-record $20.1M.
Compared to projections, Halloween surged ahead of my $20M forecast while Balls of Fury and Death Sentence both opened close to my respective predictions of $14M and $7M.
For a review of Balls of Fury visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when 3:10 to Yuma, Shoot 'Em Up, and The Brothers Solomon all open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Aug 31 - Sep 3||Aug 24 - 26||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Halloween||$ 30,591,759||3,472||1||$ 8,811||$ 30,591,759||MGM|
|3||Balls of Fury||14,111,455||3,052||1||4,624||17,072,182||Focus|
|4||The Bourne Ultimatum||13,390,340||12,472,215||7.4||3,290||5||4,070||202,810,455||Universal|
|5||Rush Hour 3||10,839,063||11,706,643||-7.4||3,008||4||3,603||122,695,339||New Line|
|6||Mr. Bean's Holiday||7,933,690||9,889,780||-19.8||1,765||2||4,495||20,934,120||Universal|
|7||The Nanny Diaries||6,567,907||7,480,927||-12.2||2,636||2||2,492||16,719,283||MGM|
|11||The Simpsons Movie||3,630,550||4,317,689||-15.9||2,066||6||1,757||178,526,451||Fox|
|13||Harry Potter and the Order...||2,575,376||2,402,412||7.2||1,017||8||2,532||286,825,495||Warner Bros.|
|16||Ladron Que Roba A Ladron||2,032,967||340||1||5,979||2,032,967||Lionsgate|
|17||I Now Pronounce You Chuck...||1,699,625||2,033,570||-16.4||1,076||7||1,580||116,637,095||Universal|
|20||The Invasion||1,492,403||3,093,428||-51.8||1,375||3||1,085||14,104,358||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 84,784,972||$ 61,933,096||36.9|
|Top 20 vs. 2006||136,831,023||117,649,777||16.3|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: September 4, 2007 at 7:15PM ET
Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Friday at 9:50am ET.