Sunday, July 02, 2006

Man of Steel Faces the Woman of Prada


The first half of the summer of '06 ended with a bang as the pre-4th of July weekend saw two very different adaptations bring a large and diverse audience of moviegoers into theatres. Although the week began with everyone talking about Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, 20th Century Fox's attempt at counterprogramming certainly had a lot more tongues wagging over the weekend.

After grossing over $32 million on Wednesday and Thursday, Warner Bros' Superman Returns was able to top the weekend with approximately $52.1 million in over 4,000 theatres, an average of $12,829 per theatres. Its total of $84.3 million in five days exceeded that of Batman Begins and Peter Jackson's King Kong in their first five days, but it's pretty disappointing compared to the $200 million plus price tag it cost to tell the Man of Steel's latest adventure. It wil hope to build on any word-of-mouth in the next few days before Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest takes over next weekend.

Based on the bestselling novel by Lauren Weisberger, 20th Century Fox's The Devil Wears Prada paired Anne "The Princess Diaries" Hathaway with Meryl Streep for a comedy set in the world of fashion. Women flocked to it in droves this weekend, allowing it to make roughly $27 million in roughly 1,200 fewer theatres than Superman, averaging $9,483 per theatre. It's safe to assume that the stronger choice kept women away from the superhero movie, despite WB's attempts to sell them on the romance and relationship between Superman and Lois Lane.

With two dominant forces entering the box office, many of the returning movies lost screens and took substantial hits this weekend.

Dropping down to third place, Adam Sandler's new comedy Click, which opened at #1 last weekend with $40 million, made less than half that in its second frame, grossing another $19.4 million to bring its total just under $78 million.

Disney/Pixar's animated comedy Cars also dropped down two places to 4th with roughly $14 million, having accumulated $182 million in its first four weeks in theatres.

In fifth place, the Paramount/Nickelodeon comedy Nacho Libre, starring Jack Black, also dropped 51%, making $6.2 million in its third weekend with its total gross nearing $65 million.

Despite the stronger "chick flick" entering theatres, Warner Bros' romantic drama The Lake House, reuniting Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, held up better than other movies, dropping less than 50% with an additional $4.5 million, its box office take reaching $38.7 million.

Also in its third weekend, Univeral's threequel The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift dropped three places to 7th, where it grossed another $4.4 million, bringing its total box office up to $51.7 million.

Tyrese Gibson's urban gangster drama, Waist Deep, took the biggest plunge in the Top 10, with $3.3 million, 65% less than its opening weekend take, and also dropping three positions.

The Jennifer Aniston-Vince Vaughn comedy The Break-Up made another $2.8 million this weekend. Its $110 million gross makes it the top non-animated comedy of the summer.

Sony's The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks, held onto its place in the Top 10 with another $2.3 million and a total gross of $209.7 million.

Two Fox sequels rounded out the Top 12 with X-Men: The Last Stand making $2 million and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties making slightly less after each of them lost over 800 theatres this weekend. X-Men has grossed $228.5 million compared to Garfield's $21.5 million.

THINKFilm's Strangers With Candy, based on the Comedy Central show of the same name, opened in two locations in New York City on Wednesday, where it earned $70.6 thousand, while the Sony Classics environmental doc Who Killed the Electric Car? made less than that in four times as many theatres.

The roughly $136 million earned by the Top 10 was more than the same weekend last year where Tom Cruise and Stephen Spielberg's War of the Worlds dominated with just under $65 million on the 4th of July weekend.