Hooking up? No problem. “Meet cute” at the book shop? Happens all the time. Finding the right one, falling in love, and getting married? What else are you gonna do? But compiling the ultimate list of the Freshest romantic comedies of all time? It’s complicated.
For our list of the 200 best romantic comedies of all time, we searched high and low throughout movie history for every permutation of (hilarious) courtship and love captured on camera. We have the dazzling wit of the early studio system (His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby), the realistic cynicism of the ’70s (Annie Hall, The Goodbye Girl), and the sweeping romance in-between (The Apartment, Roman Holiday). There was plenty to find in the John Hughes, teen-driven era (Say Anything…, Pretty in Pink), and the bubbly ’90s decade that followed (Groundhog Day, Four Weddings and a Funeral, While You Were Sleeping). Then we dabbled in 21st century raunch (Knocked Up) and twee ((500) Days of Summer), leading into our current era of new voices declaring that they too are entitled to their own messy relationship stories (The Big Sick, Crazy Rich Asians).
And in our most recent major update, we’ve added the latest and greatest, including Charlize Theron’s first dip into the genre (Long Shot), indie darlings (Palm Springs), and the farcical (Isn’t It Romantic). We also expanded our reach in LGBTQ (Happiest Season, Edge of Seventeen, Get Real, Life Partners, Saving Face) and African-American films (Top Five, The Best Man). And expect to see more international rom-coms, with plenty of additions among Spanish-language (You’re Killing Me Susana, Everybody Loves Somebody) and French cinema (Romantics Anonymous, The Spanish Apartment).
The only stipulation for a rom-com to get a shot at love on this list was achieving a minimum of 20 reviews, and then we sorted the qualifying titles with our weighted formula, which takes into account factors like the number of reviews movies received and their year of release. And because we want you feeling red, and not seeing red, we want to prepare you for some of the relatively low placements for beloved classics like Pretty Woman, Love Actually, and Sleepless in Seattle. The Tomatometer, just like the heart, does not deceive.
Ready to dive into the sea of love? Then continue on with open arms into Rotten Tomatoes’ 200 best romantic comedies of all time!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is fast approaching but did you know that its cast members have previously acted in other movies outside the franchise? And that some of them were good? We take the 10 biggest stars of Marvel’s intergalactic, planetary adventure and give you some Fresh and Certified Fresh movies of theirs that you may have missed. Put these on the mixtape!
Film: Wanted (2008, 71%). This adaptation of the Mark Millar comic stars James McAvoy as an underachieving, over-medicated corporate drone who’s enlisted by the mysterious Angelina Jolie to join a secret fraternity of assassins, hone his hidden superhuman strength, and avenge his father’s murder.
Role: A movie starring Angelina that made $350 million worldwide isn’t your normal “hidden gem,” but amidst the bullet curving and car chases it’s easy to forget Pratt’s role. He plays McAvoy’s delightful douchebag co-worker and memorably takes a keyboard to the face. Pratt essentially played the same dude in the first season of Parks & Recreation before the character was re-written, turning him into a TV fan favorite and eventual legendary space outlaw.
Film: Infinitely Polar Bear (2015, 82%). Sometimes when Mark Ruffalo gets mad, he turns into the green smashing Hulk. And sometimes he goes to the hospital and has his kids taken away from him, as in this bipolar disorder-addressing drama from Maya Forbes.
Role: Saldana plays Ruffalo’s long-suffering wife, who moves herself and the kids into an apartment as her estranged husband gets help to get it together. Ruffalo puts in another of those highly-tuned sensitive performances, which Saldana matches scene for scene.
Film: The Midnight Meat Train (2008, 73%). The movie biz carves up another Clive Barker adaptation, this time telling the drenched tale of people getting butchered on a subway and the amateur photographer who makes it his quest to expose the truth.
Role: Cooper plays the photographer, who becomes intensely obsessed with figuring out why the murders are taking place, at great risk to his health and relationship with his girlfriend. Studio politics effectively reduced this movie to being dumped directly to video, though it’s grown a small cult due to its unflinching gore and its mega-black ending.
Film: Slither (2006, 87%). Guardians director James Gunn’s feature debut is a nasty little horror-comedy about a small town overcome by an alien parasite that begins its colonization of Earth by possessing a philandering car dealer. Before long, everyone’s pets are missing, the local livestock are turning up mutilated, and neighbor-on-neighbor violence is at an all-time high.
Role: Rooker stars in Slither as Grant Grant, aka patient zero himself, the car dealer who becomes infected by an extraterrestrial slug and, in turn, whose mistress becomes the hive queen. The problem is, Grant still retains some of his human memories, and all of them lead back to his not-so-doting wife (Elizabeth Banks), who’s understandably less than thrilled to come home to a horribly disfigured man slowly transforming into a tentacled monster. It all amounts to a raucous mix of uncomfortable laughs and the ridiculous kind body horror that would make David Cronenberg proud.
Film: Bone Tomahawk (2015, 91%). This surprisingly confident debut by writer/director S. Craig Zahler seamlessly introduces elements of horror into a deliberately paced Western about a local sheriff who leads a small party of gunslingers to face off against a tribe of ruthless cannibals after some of his townspeople are abducted.
Role: Russell’s filmography is vast and varied, but this underseen thriller (and Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, both from 2015) arguably makes the best use of his late-period gruffness and magnificent facial hair, and he is terrific as the sheriff who sacrifices everything for his town. The whole thing is a tightly wound slow build to a grisly, violent climax, and there are a few things in there you won’t be able to unsee.
Film: Inherent Vice (2015, 73%). After the gold rush of the hippie era, reality and hard living sets in as 1970 rolls on in California. Perpetually stoned private dick Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is hired to solve a beguiling case while avoiding the LAPD and a life of responsibility.
Role: Del Toro plays Doc’s attorney and occasional informant Sauncho. He gives a classically mumbly Benicio performance, but attach that to the film’s outsized characters and byzantine plot and it all weaves into a piquant psychedelic tapestry.
Film: Waitress (2007, 89%). Adrienne Shelly’s smart and heartfelt romantic comedy centers on an unhappily married waitress (Keri Russell) who dreams of opening her own bakery and finds something akin to hope when her unwanted pregnancy leads to an affair with her equally married new physician.
Role: Having done some space swashbuckling of his own (on FOX’s TV series Firefly and its follow-up feature film Serenity), as well as co-starring in another gem on this list (Slither), Nathan Fillion brings his effortless charisma to this decidedly understated charmer as the aforementioned doctor, striking up such a natural chemistry with Keri Russell that, maybe just for a little while, infidelity doesn’t seem like such a bad thing after all.
Film: Reversal of Fortune (1990, 92%). In the famous murder case of 1990, Claus von Bulow stands on trial, accused of sending his wife into a diabetic coma after pumping her with an overdose of insulin.
Role: Close plays Claus’ wife Sunny and spends the entire movie with her eyes closed and her tongue hanging out of her mouth. Just kidding, reverse that: there’s plenty of Close and Jeremy Irons going at it in a dramatic exploration of this tense marriage.
TV Series: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015, 68%). Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer play American and Russian secret agents who begrudgingly join forces during the Cold War-era ’60s to track down a nuclear weapon in this Guy Ritchie adaptation of the classic TV series.
Role: Debicki wears killer dresses and assembles even deadlier bombs as one of the two major villains in this movie, which is celebrated for its action scenes and quirky humor (at least for a movie with this many explosions), though it struggled at the box office.
Film: Nighthawks (1981, 70%). Originally conceived as a third French Connection, the film deals with urban terrorism in New York as Rutger Hauer, in his first English role and one year before the legendary Blade Runner, runs New York through the wringer.
Role: Stallone is an NYPD detective named Deke DaSilva, tasked with taking down the sadistic Hauer in a city still at the height of its grime and grit. The film was plagued with production problems and multi-hyphenate Stallone took over directing duties briefly.
If you’re looking for a good time on DVD this week, you’re in luck — as long as you navigate the minefields of the rotten (Mr. Bean’s Holiday, Hot Rod) and the even worse (Lindsay Lohan‘s career-murdering I Know Who Killed Me) to pick up a genuine charmer (Waitress), a solid familial tale (The Namesake), a mind-boggling anime import (Paprika), or our personal pick, the return of Futurama (Bender’s Big Score)!
Small town waitress Jenna (Keri Russell) desperately wants out of her abusive marriage and her dead-end life, passing the time baking delicious and whimsically-named pies while dreaming of leaving town. When she finds out she’s pregnant, everything changes, thanks to a secret romance with the local OB-GYN (Nathan Fillion), a chance at winning a $25,000 at a pie bake-off, and the newfound joys of motherhood. Bolstered by a warmly quirky supporting cast, this southern charmer comes to DVD as a bittersweet coda to the life of writer-director and co-star Adrienne Shelly, who was tragically killed last year. Months after her death Shelly’s film was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival and picked up for distribution, and opened to critical acclaim the following spring.
Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) returns to form with this solid adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, about the culture clash between two generations of an Indian immigrant family. Comic actor Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) goes dramatic as American-born son Gogol, who struggles to balance his dueling identities and his relationships with two different women; Indian cinema stars Irfan Khan and Tabu play the beleaguered traditionalist parents, who find that their children have grown up very differently than they had imagined.
When a mind-invading device goes missing, doctors enlist Paprika, an electronic persona, to navigate the hallucinogenic dream world and find the culprit. Director Satoshi Kon employs eye-popping visuals and a surrealist touch to invoke the experience of sub-conscious reverie in his artful (if nonsensical) adaptation of the 1993 science fiction novel of the same name. Four featurettes on the disc give insight into the production of the film, but this one is worth it for the film alone.
Good news, Futurama fans! In this first of four new films, evil aliens send misanthropic robot Bender back in time to help them take over Earth, sparking a chain of events that could change the course of history; more importantly, series fans get the return of characters like Zapp Brannigan, Nibbler, Robot Santa, Al Gore as himself, and Kwanzaabot, voiced by the inestimable Coolio. Cast and crew commentary, featurettes, a full 20 minutes of Hypnotoad and more await you in the bonus menu. And remember, the return of the Best. Animated. Series. Ever. hinges on the sales of this and the next three Futurama DVDs, so if you really care about the fate of Planet Express and its dysfunctional delivery crew, snap up this release! (And check out our chat with director Dwayne Carey-Hill and producer Claudia Katz!)
This slow-simmering noir follows a slick-talking salesman (Guy Pearce) whose ominous visit to a roadside fortune teller (J.K. Simmons) portends success — and death — on the horizon. Critics were split on whether first time director Mark Fergus (screenwriter of Children of Men and the forthcoming Iron Man) effectively builds tension in his story or deflates it, but the cast in this indie thriller is certainly notable. Besides, it’s supporting actor William Fichtner‘s birthday today, if that’s enough of a reason to give this flick a chance.
Mr. Bean’s Holiday
The irrepressible Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) returns to theaters a full decade after his first big-screen endeavor (Bean), and despite improving upon that 36 percent Tomatometer effort, he’s still got the scribes befuddled. This time the silent funnyman finds himself on a prize vacation to Cannes, France, recording his travels en route to the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. If you’ve seen any of the classic television show, you already know what you’re in store for; if not, be happy knowing there will be no more additional Bean movies to suffer through.
Saturday Night Live enjoyed an energy boost when the Lonely Island comedy trio of Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, and Andy Samberg signed on (what fan could live now without SNL‘s brilliant Digital Shorts?), but their first feature film — about an aspiring stuntman named Rod — failed to capture the hearts of the critical mass. We say, what up scribes? Hot Rod‘s got a killer 1980s hair metal soundtrack, a punch-dancing sequence, and enough silly laughs to make us want to drop a Hamilton on some crazy delicious cupcakes.
Canadian horror, eh. A half-blood werewolf boy is the key to ending an age-old curse in one small town, but a band of bloodlusting lycans aim to keep the curse alive. Howlingly bad? You be the judge (or trust us, and listen to the critics on this one).
We know, we know. Who would have thought that a stereotype-reinforcing, live action version of a children’s toy line aimed at pre-teen mallrats could be anything but stellar fare?
Ouch. Lindsay Lohan‘s latest couldn’t even beat the irredeemable Bratz movie’s Tomatometer (some might say it single-handedly killed her career). Comparisons to movies like Boxing Helena and unnecessarily gory torture porn flicks don’t help, either. Sadly, we know as well as TriStar Pictures that the extended stripper sequence will boost DVD sales exponentially…
Take aim, home theater enthusiasts. May your DVD-hunting arrows fly true.
Fox scored its first number one hit in five months with "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" which grossed an estimated $57.4M on its opening weekend, tripling its nearest competitor’s sales.
Carrying a milder PG rating into 3,959 theaters, the super hero sequel averaged a sturdy $14,499 and just barely 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 is projected to drop by another 19% on Sunday to $15.8M. 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 47% to an estimated $19.1M in its sophomore frame. Warner Bros. has now made off with $69.8M 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 an estimated $14.5M, off only 26%, for a $90.5M 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 43% to an estimated $12M in its fourth adventure. Cume stands at $273.8M 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 47% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.3M giving Sony a not-so-cool $34.7M after ten days. A final gross of about $60M could result. "Shrek the Third" landed in sixth place with an estimated $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 $7.1M, accoridng to estimates. Averaging a weak $2,732 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 64% after its weak opening to an estimated $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 an estimated $2.8M, off 43%, pushing the cume to only $23.4M for the Kevin Costner thriller.
"Spider-Man 3" rounded out the top ten with an estimated $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 an estimated $232,000 from 505 theaters for a pathetic $460 average. The Weinstein Co. title was released with little fanfare and should see most of its business on DVD.
A pair of hits fell from the top ten over the weekend. Fox Searchlight’s indie darling "Waitress" grossed an estimated $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 an estimated $250,000 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 an estimated $136.8M 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.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Hollywood served up more of the same dishes and moviegoers said enough is enough and found their weekend entertainment elsewhere. The latest star-studded heist sequel "Ocean’s Thirteen" managed to open at number one, but with the weakest debut of the franchise.
"Surf’s Up," the second animated penguin movie in seven months, attracted a mild debut while the horror sequel "Hostel Part II" was butchered on its opening weekend. Overall, the marketplace generated the worst showing for the second weekend of June since 2003.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Al Pacino made off with the North American box office crown with "Ocean’s Thirteen" which debuted on top with an estimated $37.1M. Averaging a solid $10,401 from 3,565 locations, the Warner Bros. release bowed a bit below the openings of the previous installments in the heist franchise. 2001’s "Ocean’s Eleven" debuted to $38.1M and a $12,393 average while its 2004 sequel premiered to $39.2M and a $11,901 average. Both opened in early December.
"Thirteen"’s top spot debut marked the sixth consecutive weekend when a threequel ruled the charts. Given higher ticket prices, additional theaters, the more high-profile summer launch, and the publicity generated from the much-hyped world premiere at Cannes, "Ocean’s Thirteen" was expected to open stronger by some in the industry. However, competition for adults was stronger with this chapter with holdovers "Pirates" and "Knocked Up" grossing a combined $41M. Plus the non-stop assault of sequels may have made some moviegoers sick of paying to see the same characters in the same situations again and again. Reviews were mostly upbeat for the PG-13 caper pic.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" tumbled another 52% in its third frame and dropped down to second place with an estimated $21.3M pushing its cume to $253.6M. Both previous Captain Jack films, 2003’s "The Curse of the Black Pearl" and 2006’s "Dead Man’s Chest," did better in their third weekends with $23.1M and $35.2M, respectively. The latest Disney pic now stands at number 38 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after 2001’s "Monsters, Inc." which grossed $255.9M. At its current rate of decline, "At World’s End" now has no guarantee of reaching the $300M mark which was always seen as an easy milestone before the film’s release. As with the "Spider-Man" franchise, the third chapter should become the lowest-grossing installment in the series domestically.
But just like with the webslinger, international business is on fire for the latest "Pirates" which grossed an estimated $51.3M overseas this weekend, down 50%. That puts the overseas tally at $493.5M and the global gross at a colossal $747M.
Universal’s hot comedy "Knocked Up" delivered a solid hold in its second weekend thanks to strong word-of-mouth. The R-rated pic collected an estimated $20M, off 35%, for a ten-day cume of $66.2M. By comparison, director Judd Apatow’s last film "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" opened weaker and dipped only 24% to $16.3M in its second weekend for a total of $48.6M in its first ten days. "Knocked Up" is proving that a film that is good and original can attract a large paying audience and should go on to gross more than "Ocean’s Thirteen" this summer despite having a smaller budget and no bankable stars. A final gross of about $120-130M could result for the pregnancy comedy quadrupling its $30M production cost.
The penguin toon "Surf’s Up" opened in fourth place with a mediocre launch. Sony’s big summer family pic took in an estimated $18M from an ultrawide 3,528 theaters for a decent $5,102 average. The PG-rated film tells of a young penguin who competes in a surfing competition and was made in a mockumentary style. The debut was weaker than last year’s animated releases from the studio – "Open Season" ($23.6M) and "Monster House" ($22.2M). "Surf’s Up" also bowed to less than half of the $41.5M that last November’s penguin pic "Happy Feet" took in on its debut frame. Sony saw a six-week gap between the openings of the summer megatoons "Shrek the Third" and Pixar’s "Ratatouille" and positioned its entry right in the middle.
Close behind in fifth was rival toon "Shrek the Third" with an estimated $15.8M in its fourth frame. Off a reasonable 44%, the Paramount release has grabbed $281.9M to date putting it at number 29 on the all-time domestic list. A final gross of around $320M seems likely. The latest ogre now stands as the second biggest DreamWorks film ever after "Shrek 2" ($436.7M) and the third largest hit in Paramount history after "Titanic" ($600.8M) and "Forrest Gump" ($329.7M).
Yet another horror failure followed in sixth place. Lionsgate’s "Hostel Part II" opened to an estimated $8.8M from 2,350 theaters for a weak $3,723 average. That was less than half of the $19.6M bow that the first "Hostel" generated in January 2006 on its way to a solid $47.3M domestic gross. The R-rated sequel once again examines the torture of American students in Slovakia, only with female victims this time. "Part II" even opened weaker than other recent horror sequels like "28 Weeks Later" and "The Hills Have Eyes II" which both bowed to just under $10M each. With so many fright flicks flooding the multiplexes recently and moviegoers ignoring most of them, Lionsgate has to be a bit worried about getting genre fans back into theaters for the fourth consecutive Halloween with its "Saw IV."
The Kevin Costner thriller "Mr. Brooks" fell 50% to an estimated $5M and placed seventh with a $18.7M total. "Spider-Man 3" dropped 45% to an estimated $4.4M in its sixth mission giving Sony $325.7M to date. That keeps the third webslinger adventure at number 17 on the all-time domestic list just behind "The Lion King"’s lifetime cume of $328.5M. A $335M final seems likely.
Enjoying the smallest decline in the top ten once again was Keri Russell’s comedy "Waitress" which dipped only 18% to an estimated $1.7M pushing the cume to $12M for Fox Searchlight. Paramount’s "Disturbia" rounded out the top ten with an estimated $550,000, down 51%, giving the thriller $77.8M to date.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $132.5M which was down 8% from last year when "Cars" opened at number one with $60.1M; and off 1% from 2005 when "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" debuted in the top spot with $50.3M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Disney still claimed the most popular film in the land with "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" despite a drop that was sizable even by tentpole standards. Universal generated a stronger than expected debut for its new adult comedy "Knocked Up" which pushed its way into the runnerup spot sending Shrek the Third down to third in weekend number three.
For the first time in over a year, three different films grossed over $25M each in the same weekend. But the overall marketplace posted numbers typical for early June and did not flex the kind of muscles the industry would expect when three of the most expensive films ever made were all playing simultaneously.
Johnny Depp was still king of the world and collected an estimated $43.2M for "At World’s End" in its second weekend in theaters. Down a sharp 62%, the latest high seas adventure has now taken in a solid $216.5M worth of treasure in ten-plus days of release. The drop was identical to the fall that "Spider-Man 3" suffered in its sophomore session last month but larger than the 54% decline witnessed by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" last July.
Sophomore drops for other effects-driven action pictures debuting over the Memorial Day holiday frame include 67% for last year’s "X-Men: The Last Stand" and 60% for 2004’s "The Day After Tomorrow." Those two films saw their ten-day cumes account for 75% and 70% of their final cumes, respectively. Based on its opening and sophomore drop, "At World’s End" may end up with $310-320M domestically. Though it would be significantly behind the $423.3M of "Chest," the third chapter will still collect a lot of loot in North America.
Just like with "Spider-Man 3," "At World’s End" is holding up better in offshore markets. The Captain Jack saga grossed an estimated $105.4M internationally this weekend dropping only 46% from last weekend’s Friday-to-Sunday period. That puts the overseas tally at an amazing $408.8M after less than two weeks and the worldwide cume at a towering $625.3M with 65% coming from abroad. Chest saw 60% of its sales come from international waters. "At World’s End" looks to be on course to gross at least $850M globally and could certainly sail past the $900M mark too.
Delivering a healthy opening in second place was the new pregnancy comedy "Knocked Up" with an estimated $29.3M in its first weekend. Averaging a very fertile $10,200 from 2,871 theaters, the R-rated pic debuted 37% stronger than writer/director Judd Apatow’s last film, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which bowed to $21.4M from a similar number of theaters in August 2005. After a month of big-budget sequels, Knocked Up served as a breath of fresh air in the marketplace. Critical praise, a lack of comedies for adults, and a marketing campaign that reminded moviegoers of the director’s last work all helped to bring in ticket sales that led to the best per-theater average of any wide release.
Universal’s research showed that 57% of the audience was female and 56% was over the age of 30 for the Seth Rogen–Katherine Heigl comedy. "Knocked Up"’s long-term playability looks strong given that 92% of audiences polled rated the film "excellent" or "very good." "Virgin" went on to gross five times its opening weekend take ending up with $109.3M. Especially impressive was "Knocked Up"’s ability to approach the opening weekend numbers of recent comedy hits like "Blades of Glory" ($33M debut, $9,791 average) and "Norbit" ($34.2M, $10,904) despite its harsher rating and lack of any bankable A-list star. Plus its $30M production budget will make it easy to become a profitable venture for the studio as an invite to the century club seems guaranteed.
The ogre sequel "Shrek the Third" fell 50% in its third weekend and finished in third place with an estimated $26.7M. It was a steep drop for this kind of picture at this point in time especially since there was little new direct competition. By comparison, weekend declines of other recent animated films from DreamWorks on the weekend after Memorial Day were 24% for last year’s "Over the Hedge," 41% for 2005’s "Madagascar," and 47% for 2004’s "Shrek 2" which was greatly affected by the record $93.7M debut of the third "Harry Potter" film. Still, "Shrek the Third" boosted its total to $254.6M landing it at number 37 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters, a hair behind rival toon "Monsters, Inc." which took in $255.9M in 2001. At its current pace, a final domestic tally of $320-330M could result for the newest ogre tale.
MGM went after older adults with its crime thriller "Mr. Brooks" and saw a mediocre fourth place debut. The Kevin Costner–Demi Moore pic bowed to an estimated $10M from 2,453 locations for a mild $4,085 average. Studio research showed that 57% of the audience was female and 67% was over the age of 30.
Dropping down to fifth place in its fifth frame was "Spider-Man 3" which grossed an estimated $7.5M, off 48%. Sony has boosted its North American haul to $318.3M putting it at number 17 on the list of all-time domestic hits just ahead of the $317.6M of 2001’s "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone." A final gross of $330-340M seems likely. The international total for the third webslinger has climbed to $526M putting the global gross at an amazing $844M making it the biggest "Spider-Man" ever worldwide beating out the $822M of the first in the series. The first two installments made roughly 52% of their global box office from overseas markets, but "Spider-Man 3" has really exploded abroad with 62% of its current tally coming from outside of North America.
Overall, the box office was healthy this weekend. However, by comparing the top ten cume to the weekend after the Memorial Day holiday in recent years, it’s hard to detect that we have three juggernauts in the current marketplace. The $123.6M collected this weekend is slightly behind the same frames in 2006 and 2005. The tally is below those of 2004 and 2003 when big hits like "Harry Potter" and "Finding Nemo," respectively, opened in those years. The threequels all opened big, but are falling faster than even normal tentpole films do. And at their current trajectories, "Spider-Man 3" looks to remain the top-grossing of the trio domestically.
Fox Searchlight’s indie hit "Waitress" dropped one spot to sixth with an estimated $2M from 605 theaters for a mild $3,347 average. Despite adding 95 theaters, the film dropped by 34% and was probably affected by "Knocked Up" doing so well with young adult women. But the distributor is being patient knowing that good word-of-mouth will allow many more to eventually find it and will add another 100 screens on Friday. Cume stands at $9.5M.
Girl power was also behind the number seven film, the soccer drama "Gracie," which opened to a poor estimate of $1.4M. Averaging a weak $1,171 from 1,164 theaters, Picturehouse’s PG-13 pic played mostly to teen girls.
Crumbling 63% in its second weekend was the Ashley Judd horror flop "Bug" with an estimated $1.2M in eighth place. With a measly $6.1M in ten days, look for the Lionsgate thriller to quickly finish its run with only $8M.
Another fright flick collecting an estimated $1.2M over the weekend was "28 Weeks Later" which fell 53% and boosted the cume for Fox to $26.6M. Rounding out the top ten was the hit voyeur thriller "Disturbia" with an estimated $1.1M in its eighth frame, down 42%, for a $76.7M total for Paramount.
Opening in limited release was the Russian fantasy thriller "Day Watch" with an estimated $46,000 from only five theaters for a solid $9,265 average. The effects-driven sequel to "Night Watch" has grossed over $30M in Russia making it one of the all-time biggest blockbustrs in that market. Fox Searchlight will expand to eight more cities on Friday.
Three films were pushed out of the top ten this weekend. Buena Vista’s hit comedy "Wild Hogs" grossed an estimated $819,000, down 43%, and boosted its stellar total to $164.4M. A final domestic haul of $167M is likely. Universal’s "Georgia Rule" saw its female audience stolen by the studio’s new pregnancy comedy this weekend. The offscreen antics of its younger actress last week didn’t help sales either. "Rule" tumbled 69% to an estimated $581,000 raising the disappointing cume to only $18.1M. A $19M final seems set. New Line’s Anthony Hopkins–Ryan Gosling thriller "Fracture" grossed an estimated $500,000, off 60%, for a $38.1M total. Look for a decent $39M final.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $123.6M which was down 4% from last year when "The Break-Up" opened at number one with $39.2M; and off 2% from 2005 when "Madagascar" climbed into the top spot with $28.1M in its second weekend.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Movie fans filled up multiplexes around the world giving "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" the largest global opening in box office history. In North America, the latest Johnny Depp adventure broke the record for the biggest Memorial Day weekend debut ever while still competing with fellow big-budget threequels "Shrek the Third" and "Spider-Man 3."
Ashley Judd’s new horror film "Bug" was mostly ignored but Keri Russell’s indie comedy "Waitress" made a splash expanding into national release and climbing all the way up to number five despite playing in just a fraction of the theaters of the other big holiday offerings. Overall, moviegoers spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on tickets for the top ten films over the long four-day weekend making it the highest-grossing Memorial Day frame ever.
Disney launched its assault on the summer box office with "At World’s End" which easily topped the charts and grossed an estimated $142.1M over the Friday-to-Monday holiday frame and a total of $156.1M since its early opening on Thursday night with 8pm shows. The amount was similar to the $153.8M that its predecessor "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" collected in its first four days last July. That film did not have an early Thursday debut and was not over a holiday weekend, but faced less competition in the marketplace. "At World’s End"’s four-day figure set a new record for the holiday easily beating the $122.9M of "X-Men: The Last Stand" from a year ago.
Over the Friday-to-Sunday period, the new "Pirates" tale took in $115.1M making it the fourth biggest opening weekend ever behind "Spider-Man 3," "Dead Man’s Chest," and "Shrek the Third." "At World’s End"’s journey began on Thursday with $14M from shows beginning at 8pm. Friday saw $43M in ticket sales starting from 12:01am showtimes, Saturday dipped 11% to $38.2M, Sunday eased another 11% to $33.8M, and Monday is estimated to drop by 20% to $27M. The new "Pirates" set sail in a record 4,362 theaters in North America and averaged $26,377 over three days, $32,566 over four days, and $35,776 overall including Thursday.
"At World’s End" reunited the cast and crew of the first two films in the series including actors Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Geoffrey Rush along with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski. Critics were harsh on the new installment and especially thought it was too long at 2 hours and 47 minutes. The pic’s B+ grade from over 19,000 users of Yahoo Movies suggests that fans are moderately satisfied with the latest Jack Sparrow tale.
Across the world, Disney claimed the all-time opening record with an estimated haul of $401M in ticket sales over six days from Wednesday through Monday. The first handful of countries bowed the effects-driven pic on Wednesday and by Saturday it was playing in 102 international territories where it looted an estimated $245M by the end of Monday. That was enough to break the old records set just three weeks ago by "Spider-Man 3" of $231M international and $382M global over its own six-day launch.
"Shrek the Third" fell sharply in its second weekend and claimed second place with a still-impressive $69.1M over the four-day weekend, according to estimates. The Friday-to-Sunday tally of $53M represented a disturbing 56% fall from its opening weekend. "Shrek 2," which also opened a week before the Memorial Day holiday frame, suffered a more manageable 33% drop over the three-day portion of its sophomore session. "Third" has not been as well-liked by moviegoers and faced tougher competition with "Pirates" launching. After 11 full days of release, the latest ogre tale has commanded $219.4M and seems on course to finish its North American journey in the neighborhood of $330M.
Swinging down to the number three position was the month’s first threequel, "Spider-Man 3," with an estimated $18M over four days. The super hero saga’s three-day portion dropped a troubling 52% but the cume after 25 days is now a towering $307.6M. The new Spidey crossed the $300M mark on Sunday after only 24 days and now sits at number 21 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after "Independence Day" which took in $306.2M in 1996, when ticket prices were much lower. A final North American haul of about $340M still seems likely. The latest webslinger sequel also pulled in $19.1M over the three-day weekend internationally to push the overseas gross to $499M. That puts the global gross at a stunning $806M and counting. By next weekend, the Venom pic will become the top-grossing "Spider-Man" film ever in terms of worldwide box office.
May’s trio of hotly anticipated threequels has definitely generated lots of cash at the domestic box office with a combined cume to date of $683M. Corresponding totals for the top three May releases by Memorial Day over the past three years were $384M for last year, $394M for 2005, and $481M for 2004. However, moviegoers are not going crazy over any of them and seem to be left with lukewarm feelings which is hurting the long-term prospects. Many even feel that each is the worst installment in its own trilogy. Second weekend drops were mighty large for "Spider-Man 3" and "Shrek the Third" and "At World’s End" might play out the same way. In fact, it’s possible that none of the big threequels will reach the $350M mark domestically. If ticket buyers start feeling sequel fatigue this early with so many familiar characters and stories, it could pose a problem to the many summer sequels still on tap for the three months ahead. Films offering something new and fresh may just grab the attention of the public soon.
Lionsgate opened its new horror film "Bug" in fourth place but was met with a dismal $4.2M, according to estimates. The Ashley Judd starrer averaged a poor $2,529 from 1,661 sites over four days. Over the Friday-to-Sunday span, the R-rated chiller grossed $3.3M and averaged a dismal $1,993.
Fox Searchlight’s indie sensation "Waitress" jumped into the top five this weekend as it expanded from 116 to 510 theaters across the country grossing an estimated $4M. The Keri Russell comedy averaged a solid $7,843 over four days and played as the alternative for adult audiences not interested in third helpings of bloated Hollywood franchises. With $6.5M after only its third weekend, "Waitress" could become a sleeper hit this summer and its high chart position will certainly help it nab more media attention this week. Over three days, the Sundance title grossed $3.1M and averaged $6,078.
The horror sequel "28 Weeks Later" ranked sixth with an estimated $3.3M over four days to push Fox’s total to a decent $24.4M. "Disturbia" collected an estimated $2.4M in seventh place boosting its cume for Paramount to a sturdy $74.9M.
Universal’s dramedy "Georgia Rule" followed with an estimated $2.4M giving the Jane Fonda-Lindsay Lohan pic a weak $16.8M to date. Moviegoers spent an estimated $1.6M on Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling as their thriller "Fracture" spent its sixth weekend in the top ten for a $37.1M sum. Disney’s comedy "Wild Hogs" jumped back into the top ten with an estimated $1.4M raising its stellar cume to $163.3M. Remaining holdover films earned less than $1M each over four days.
In the arthouses, Fox Searchlight’s musical romance "Once" expanded and was still a potent player. The Irish film grossed an estimated $433,000 over four days from only 20 sites for a sturdy $21,626 average over the long weekend. Cume is now $537,000 and the distributor will widen this Friday into ten additional cities to roughly 60 playdates total.
Miramax saw strong results for the debut of its Italian film "Golden Door" which opened to an estimated $37,000 from a pair of houses. Averaging $18,500 per location, the immigrant tale expands further on Friday.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $247.8M over four days which was up 8% from last year when "X-Men: The Last Stand" opened at number one with a then-record $122.9M; and up 11% from 2005 when "Star Wars Episode III" remained on top with $70M.
Movie fans came out in droves this weekend to see their favorite green ogre’s newest adventure as "Shrek the Third" easily captured the box office crown and broke the record for the biggest opening ever for an animated film.
That sent the super hero saga "Spider-Man 3" down to the runnerup spot but the overall marketplace once again beat last year’s levels for the third straight weekend giving the summer movie season an explosive start.
Executives at DreamWorks Animation and Paramount were drinking green champagne this weekend thanks to "Shrek the Third" which debuted to an astounding $122M, according to estimates, over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $122.9M since its early launch at 10pm on Thursday night in about 1,000 theaters. Invading 4,122 total locations, the PG-rated toon averaged a stunning $29,597 per cinema and surpassed the $108M bow of 2004’s "Shrek 2" which previously held the record for the biggest animated opening. That film, which was the first in history to break the 4,000-theater threshold, debuted on a Wednesday and captured $129M over its five-day premiere period. The next biggest toon opening is $70.5M for the 2004 Disney/Pixar vehicle "The Incredibles" which just shows how different the league that the "Shrek" franchise lives in is.
"Third" also set new opening weekend records for both DreamWorks and Paramount beating "Shrek 2" and "War of the Worlds" ($64.9M), respectively. The ogre sequel also generated the third best opening of all-time trailing only "Spider-Man 3"’s $151.1M from earlier this month and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’s" $135.6M from last July. That ranking should slip another spot next weekend after the new "Pirates" film sets sail.
The new ogre sequel grossed $907,000 on Thursday from night-before showings beginning at 10pm, hauled in $38.5M on Friday (its true opening day), surged 22% to $47M on Saturday, and is estimated to dip 22% on Sunday to $36.5M. "Shrek 2," which opened on the same exact weekend three years ago, also suffered a 22% Saturday-to-Sunday dip in its debut frame. The production budget on the new installment is estimated to be $160-170M.
Reuniting the voice talents of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas, "Shrek the Third" adds some new characters including a teen would-be king voiced by Justin Timberlake. The slender 92-minute film was not very well-liked by critics and earned the worst reviews for the franchise just as "Spider-Man 3" did a couple of weeks ago. However, moviegoers again disregarded the critics and came out for some early summer fun dropping some mighty big bags of cash at multiplexes nationwide. "Shrek" dominated the attention of ticket buyers and accounted for about 70% of all sales for the Top 20.
Studio research showed that Fiona’s hubby appealed to all audience segments becoming a true four-quadrant pic. Females made up 51% of the crowd and those over and under the age of 25 were evenly split. Teens, young adults, and families all came out in strong numbers. Those polled by CinemaScore gave the toon a B+ grade which is decent, but not spectacular. A fourth chapter of "Shrek" is already in development for a planned 2010 release.
Dropping 51% in its third weekend was two-time box office champ "Spider-Man 3" with an estimated $28.5M. Sony’s webslinger sequel flew to $281.9M (including Imax grosses) from North America and averaged $6,591 from a record high 4,324 theaters. After 17 days, the Venom pic shot up to number 28 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters just ahead of "The Matrix Reloaded" which grossed $281.5M in 2003. Given its rate of erosion and upcoming competition from Captain Jack, the third webcrawler still looks on a course to conclude its domestic run with $340-350M.
"Spider-Man 3" continues to rank number one in most international territories and grossed $49.6M overseas this weekend pushing its offshore cume to a scorching $465M and the global gross to a towering $747M. The latest Peter Parker tale has now become the top-grossing "Spidey" film overseas surpassing the $418M for the first film in 2002 and the $410M of "Spider-Man 2" in 2004. The third chapter has really taken off internationally as overseas box office accounts for 62% of the global tally. The first two super hero installments saw about 52% of their worldwide groesses come from outside of North America.
Fox’s horror sequel "28 Weeks Later" dropped one spot to third place with an estimated $5.2M bringing the ten-day total to $18.6M. The well-reviewed virus thriller declined by 48% which is impressive for a fright flick. Still, "Weeks" looks to finish with about $30-32M or about one-third less than the $45.1M of 2003’s "28 Days Later."
Only scraps were left for the other films playing at multiplexes as the rest of the movies in the top ten attracted weekend ticket sales of less than $4M each. Three-time chart-topper "Disturbia" took in an estimated $3.7M, off only 22%, for a $71.3M cume for Paramount. The sleeper hit should find its way to around $80M.
Universal’s Jane Fonda–Lindsay Lohan pic "Georgia Rule" dropped 48% to an estimated $3.5M in its second weekend pushing its ten-day total to a weak $12.6M. Look for a disappointing $20-22M final for the R-rated film which few have been showing interest in. New Line’s "Fracture" dipped just 17% to an estimated $2.5M putting the sum at $34.7M. A final tally of roughly $40M should result.
The Lionsgate comedy "Delta Farce" followed its dismal bow with a troubling 46% fall to an estimated $1.8M this weekend for a miniscule total of $6.1M in ten days. It will try to limp to a $10M overall gross. Following in eighth place was Buena Vista’s "The Invisible" with an estimated $1.3M, down 44%, putting the cume at $17.7M. The supernatural thriller will probably end up with about $21M. British import "Hot Fuzz" continued to have good legs dipping only 27% to an estimated $1.3M pushing the total to $21.1M. Focus will try to get to $25M.
Two very different films tied for tenth place with estimates of $1.1M a piece. Fox Searchlight enjoyed continued success with the expansion of the Keri Russell starrer "Waitress" which widened from 65 to 116 theaters for a solid $9,784 average serving up moviegoers in the top ten for the first time. That doubled the comedy’s cume to $2.2M. This Friday, "Waitress" will expand again to most markets across the country reaching over 500 theaters playing as an indie alternative to the mindless popcorn films of early summer. Paramount’s big-budget action flop "Next" fell 35% giving the Nicolas Cage actioner an embarrassing $16.6M to date. A $19M final seems likely.
Tumbling out of the top ten this weekend was Disney’s animated comedy "Meet the Robinsons" which fell a steep 71% thanks to the ogre’s arrival to an estimated $521,000. The G-rated toon has grossed $95.3M after its eighth weekend and may be headed for a $97M finish.
Meanwhile in just two theaters, Fox Searchlight saw a powerful debut for its musical romance "Once" which grossed an estimated $60,511 for a sizzling $30,256 per site. Showered with praise from critics, the R-rated film premieres in eleven new cities on Friday.
Yari Film Group had a mild debut for its ensemble drama "Even Money" which bowed to an estimated $26,013 from six playdates for a not-so-impressive $4,336 average.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $170.8M which was up 12% from last year when "The Da Vinci Code" opened at number one with $77.1M; and up 10% from 2005 when "Star Wars Episode III" debuted on top with $108.4M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Peter Parker suffered a massive sophomore slide, but "Spider-Man 3" still dominated the box office around the globe spending a second weekend at number one with no other film coming anywhere near its stellar numbers.
Among the frame’s four new releases, the zombie thriller "28 Weeks Later" fared best with a decent bow in the runnerup spot while the Jane Fonda–Lindsay Lohan pic "Georgia Rule" was mostly ignored and opened with disastrous results. Two other new comedies "Delta Farce" and "The Ex" barely registered a blip on the radar.
Sony was still crushing its competitors this weekend with "Spider-Man 3" which tumbled 60% to an estimated $60M in its second try in theaters. After ten days, the PG-13 hit has amassed a stunning $242.1M from North America and is still running ahead of its two predecessors. Ten-day cumes for 2002’s "Spider-Man" and 2004’s "Spider-Man 2" were $223M and $225M, respectively. However the new Venom installment is eroding faster as is often the case with the third part of a franchise. After the first three days, "Spider-Man 3" was an impressive 32% ahead of the first webslinger pic which opened on the exact same weekend in 2002. After seven days the lead was cut to 20% and now after ten days the gap has been reduced to 9%.
For the weekend, "Spider-Man 3" accounted for a stellar 64% of the box office for the top ten and grossed $17.1M on Friday (down 72% from its record-shattering opening day last week), $25M on Saturday (down 51% from last Saturday), and is projected to gross $18M on Sunday (down 55% from a week ago). The 60% second weekend drop is not uncommon for high-profile tentpole sequels with mammoth debuts. Some other sophomore drops include 53% for "X2: X-Men United," 54% for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," 63% for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," and 67% for "X-Men: The Last Stand."
Where is part 3 headed in the long run? It would make sense to look at other action films that kicked off the summer movie season on the first weekend of May. The shares of the total cume collected in the first ten days were 64% for last year’s "Mission: Impossible III," 69% for 2003’s "X2," and 71% for 2004’s "Van Helsing." Based on its trajectory and the competitive road ahead, "Spider-Man 3" could be headed for a finish of about $340-360M domestically. That would make it the lowest-grossing Spidey film in North America, however the overseas markets are a different story.
"Spider-Man 3" grossed an estimated $85.4M internationally this weekend to boost its overseas haul up to a mammoth $379.6M for a colossal global gross of $622M. Next weekend, the Sandman entry will surpass the international takes of $418M and $410M for the first two Spider-Man flicks to become the top performer of the franchise outside of North America. With the "Spider-Man" fan base already maxed out domestically, Sony made a strategic move to grow the brand around the world by hosting several star-studded international red carpet premieres and opening the film in most countries days ahead of the United States leading to a substantial increase in moviegoer excitement in all markets. "Spider-Man 3" still stands a very good chance of becoming the biggest grossing film of the trilogy on a global scale with the North American shortfall being overshadowed by gains overseas. With a reported production budget of $258M, the super hero film should surpass the $900M mark worldwide this summer.
Flesh-eating zombies took control of second place this weekend as the horror sequel "28 Weeks Later" opened with an estimated $10M representing a solid, but somewhat weaker-than-expected debut. The R-rated gorefest averaged a decent $4,342 from 2,303 playdates and delivered a gross almost equal to the $10.1M that "28 Days Later" achieved in its opening frame in June 2003. That sleeper hit bowed in a thousand fewer locations with 1,260 theaters and scored a more potent $7,986 average. Adjust for four years of ticket price increases and "Weeks" generated an opening weekend average half that of "Days." The new chapter earned very high praise from most critics, but being the fourteenth horror film of 2007 probably hurt its cause as many genre fans have overdosed on frightfests. If the estimate holds (Fox estimated a rather slim 26% Saturday-to-Sunday drop), "Weeks" will become the first non-Spidey film to reach double digits on opening weekend since "Fracture" from mid-April.
The star-driven chick flick "Georgia Rule" was dead on arrival at the box office debuting to an estimated $5.9M from 2,523 theaters for a flimsy $2,330 average. The R-rated film stars Lindsay Lohan as a rebellious teen left with her no-nonsense grandmother (Jane Fonda) for the summer. Felicity Huffman plays the alcoholic middle mom in the family. "Georgia" played more to the Fonda crowd than to the Lohan audience. Studio research from Universal showed that a whopping 81% of the turnout was female, 79% was white, and 70% was over the age of 30.
"Georgia Rule" imploded at the box office since it repelled its two main consumer groups. Older women pay attention to reviews and critics were brutal in reviewing the dramedy. And younger teen girls who track Lohan obsessively couldn’t get in thanks to the harsh R rating. The opening was less than half the amount that the studio saw earlier this year when it targeted the same audience with the same number of theaters with the Diane Keaton–Mandy Moore pic "Becasue I Said So" which bowed to $13.1M over Super Bowl weekend. The Fonda flick was released over the Mother’s Day frame, but most daughters chose to give their moms the gift of not seeing "Georgia Rule."
Paramount’s hit teen thriller "Disturbia" enjoyed the best legs in the top ten dipping only 18% to an estimated $4.8M. Although in its fifth weekend, the Shia LaBeouf hit has the second largest theater count of any film and is playing in 3,106 locations that are still holding onto the durable thriller. Cume to date is $66.3M.
The military comedy "Delta Farce" bombed in its opening weekend grossing only $3.5M, according to estimates, landing in fifth place. The PG-13 pic averaged a dismal $1,813 from 1,931 locations for Lionsgate. Reviews were understandably pitiful.
New Line’s Anthony Hopkins–Ryan Gosling drama "Fracture" dipped only 22% to an estimated $2.9M in its fourth frame and upped its cume to $31M. The horror flick "The Invisible" dropped to seventh with an estimated $2.2M, down 33%, for a $15.5M total.
Sliding only 25% in its third round was the action-comedy "Hot Fuzz" with an estimated $1.7M for Focus putting the sum at $18.9M. Nicolas Cage followed with his sci-fi flop "Next" which took in an estimated $1.6M, down 45%, for a total of $14.6M. Rounding out the top ten with an estimated $1.6M as well was the Disney animated hit "Meet the Robinsons" which fell 39% for a sturdy $94.1M cume. The 3D comedy will enjoy its status as the year’s top-grossing toon for just one more week since "Shrek the Third," which opens on Friday, could march past it after only one weekend in theaters.
Debuting with miserable results outside of the top ten was the Zach Braff–Amanda Peet comedy "The Ex" which opened to an estimated $1.3M from 1,009 locations for a pathetic $1,288 average. The PG-13 date flick was released by MGM and earned poor reviews. With "The Ex," Hollywood has now seen a disturbing twelve wide releases over the last eight weeks fail to open to at least $5M. Numerous movies with little to offer paying moviegoers are being slaughtered in an overcrowded marketplace.
Three star-driven vehicles dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Will Ferrell’s blockbuster comedy "Blades of Glory" grossed an estimated $1.4M in its seventh lap and boosted its cume to $113.8M. Off 41%, the $60M-plus DreamWorks/Paramount pic looks to skate to a $116-118M finish. Ice Cube’s comedy sequel "Are We Done Yet?" fell 46% to an estimated $950,000 giving Sony $47.4M to date. The family film looks to end with just under $50M putting it 40% behind its predecessor "Are We There Yet?" which pulled in $82.3M two years ago. Warner Bros. has collected a measly $5M in ten days for its Eric Bana–Drew Barrymore poker pic "Lucky You" and will probably fold with an embarrassing $7M.
Arthouse darling "Waitress" starring Keri Russell expanded successfully in its second weekend serving up an estimated $636,000 from 65 sites for a solid $9,788 average. Fox Searchlight widened the acclaimed film from just four locations last weekend and pushed its cume to $788,000. A special Mother’s Day gift bag promotion across the country is expected to strengthen Sunday sales. This Friday, the comedy expands in its existing markets adding 57 theaters and on May 25 it will widen to 400-500 total theaters nationwide for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $94.1M which was up 16% from last year when "Mission: Impossible III" stayed at number one with $25M; and up a scant 3% from 2005 when "Monster-in-Law" debuted on top with just $23.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
In the most lopsided box office victory in history, the hugely anticipated super sequel "Spider-Man 3" swung into theaters and monopolized the marketplace breaking the all-time records for both opening day and opening weekend in the process.
Sony unleashed its summer behemoth worldwide and also shattered the record for the biggest global debut ever as it conquered the box office in over 100 countries. The summer movie season could not have asked for a better way to begin.
Following a tidal wave of hype, "Spider-Man 3" exploded on the scene and grossed an eye-popping $148M during its opening weekend in North America, according to estimates, breaking the previous record of $135.6M set last summer by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest." The super hero flick opened in 4,252 theaters (also a record) and averaged a staggering $34,807 for Sony. The smash hit also set a new Imax record with $4.8M from those large-format engagements beating 300’s old mark set two months ago by 33%. Imax presentations, despite their higher ticket prices, were reportedly sold out from coast to coast.
Overseas, "Spider-Man 3" began its global assault on Tuesday May 1 in several key nations in Asia and Europe and has since grossed a mammoth $227M from 105 international territories putting its worldwide cume at a gargantuan $375M in a mere six days. In less than one week around the world, "SM3" has already reached nearly half of the total global gross of "Spider-Man 2" which hauled in $784M in 2004.
Domestically, the new webslinger adventure kicked things off on Friday with a record $59.3M in its first day beating the former record "Chest" set with $55.8M. Both figures included shows beginning at midnight on Thursday night. "Spidey" dropped 14% on Saturday to $51M and the studio estimated that Sunday sales will fall by only 26% to $37.7M. Final figures will be released on Monday after Sunday sales are tabulated. According to Sony research, the opening weekend audience skewed towards young men as expected. Males made up 54% of the crowd while 63% were under the age of 25.
"Spider-Man 3" reunited director Sam Raimi with his key actors Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco. Joining the cast were Topher Grace, Thomas Haden Church, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Critics had mixed feelings with many calling it the worst of the series. Part "3" scored a 62% Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com compared to 90% for the first "Spidey" flick and 93% for the second installment. Moviegoers, however, did not care as they showed up anyway in unprecedented numbers proving that "SM3" was indeed a critic-proof blockbuster. The film’s long-term success will rely more on word-of-mouth from fans, rather than a thumbs up or down from reviewers. Users of Yahoo! Movies have given it a mild B grade from over 17,000 votes which could mean that fans are not exactly ecstatic.
"Spider-Man 3" carries a reported production cost of $258M, although many industry watchers believe it to be much higher. Despite its sky high budget, the PG-13 film has enjoyed such a strong start that it has a good chance of surging past the $822M worldwide gross of the first "Spider-Man" and could even approach the $1 billion mark. Buzz from fans will of course be a major factor in helping the Venom pic spread.
Competition, or a lack of it, was a key contributor to the record opening. There were absolutely no other films that energized audiences as every wide release failed to reach an average of even $2,000. That allowed the newest "Spider-Man" pic to account for a jaw-dropping 80% of the entire box office pie and dominate the marketplace with ease. Led almost exclusively by Peter Parker and friends, the top ten powered its way to an incredible $174M — its highest level since the "Pirates" sequel bowed last summer. It was an astonishing reversal from the previous weekend when the box office slumped to a seven-month low.
With nothing else worthy to program, multiplexes had no problem opening up screens. Sony did not report its official screen count but industry insiders note that it was over 10,000. By comparison, screen counts for previous blockbuster openers were 9,400 for "Star Wars Episode III," 8,500 for "Dead Man’s Chest," and 7,500 for the first "Spider-Man" which opened five years ago this same weekend and also broke the all-time opening weekend record. The extra screens for the new film allowed Sony to absorb all demand right away and leave almost nothing on the table.
Next weekend, "Spider-Man 3" will have little to worry about as nothing huge is opening, but the week after that is when "Shrek the Third" launches, followed seven days later by "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" over the lucrative Memorial Day holiday frame. Peter Parker will grasp tightly onto his records for now since Captain Jack Sparrow would like nothing more than to swipe them once again.
A few moviegoers did in fact choose to see other films this weekend in auditoriums which offered plenty of space. Three-time chart-topper "Disturbia" was bumped to the number two spot, but held up well considering the new competition. The Paramount thriller dropped by only 37% to an estimated $5.7M and boosted its 24-day cume to $59.9M, or about what Spidey did in its first day. New Line’s courthouse thriller "Fracture" followed with an estimated $3.4M in its third weekend, down 50%, and lifted its sum to $26.5M.
The teen horror flick "The Invisible" ranked fourth and tumbled 60% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $3.1M. Buena Vista has scared up $12.3M in ten days and looks headed for a $16-18M finish. Nicolas Cage suffered the worst drop in the top ten as his latest action film "Next" crashed 61% and took in an estimated $2.8M this weekend. With a poor ten-day tally of $11.8M, Paramount will sputter to a horrendous $14-16M for the pricey star vehicle.
The much-delayed poker drama "Lucky You" had the unlucky fortune of opening against "Spider-Man 3" and suffered an embarrassing debut as it failed to average even $1,000. The Curtis Hanson-directed pic bowed to an estimated $2.5M from 2,525 locations for a dismal $996 average. The Warner Bros. release starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore met with bad marks from critics and total apathy from ticket buyers.
3D toon "Meet the Robinsons" fell 49% to seventh with an estimated $2.5M in its sixth frame for an impressive cume of $91.8M. Also in its sixth weekend, fellow spring hit "Blades of Glory" collected an estimated $2.3M, down 55%, giving Paramount $111.6M to date.
The action-comedy "Hot Fuzz" tumbled 58% in its third weekend to an estimated $2.1M. Focus has grossed $16.1M thus far. Rounding out the top ten was Sony’s "Are We Done Yet?" which dropped 51% to an estimated $1.7M leading to a total of $46.1M.
A pair of well-reviewed arthouse films aimed at adult women debuted to solid results in limited release as alternatives to the Spidey action. Fox Searchlight opened its Sundance acquisition "Waitress" to an estimated $91,000 from only four theaters in New York and Los Angeles averaging a potent $22,868 per location. The Keri Russell starrer directed by the late Adrienne Shelly will expand to 21 cities on Friday for a total of 62 theaters. Cume since the Wednesday launch is $111,000. The Alzheimer’s drama "Away From Her" from actress-turned-director Sarah Polley bowed to an estimated $56,000 from four locations for a sturdy $14,000 average for Lionsgate.
A pair of underachievers fell out of the top ten this weekend. Sony’s motel terrorfest "Vacancy" dropped a steep 65% to an estimated $1.5M upping its cume to only $16.4M. The Lionsgate action pic "The Condemned" crumbled even further collapsing 72% in its second weekend to an estimated $1.1M for a weak ten-day sum of $6M. Final grosses should end up with disappointing totals of $19M and $7M, respectively.
The top ten films soared to an estimated $174.1M which was up an astounding 85% from last year when "Mission: Impossible III" opened at number one with $47.7M; and up a staggering 129% from 2005 when "Kingdom of Heaven" debuted on top with just $19.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the late
Adrienne Shelly has succeeded with uncommon grace and warmth in
covering all bases with Waitress. Queens born writer, director,
co-star, and original Hal Hartley screen muse Shelly’s last film just before being brutally murdered this past November, is a wacky homage to the frustrated hopes of blue collar women that seduces the audience with scrumptious pie recipes as creative expression of
Keri Russell is Jenna, the small town Southern beauty stuck in virtual captivity by her controlling and abusive husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto). Jenna buries her pain in turning out tempting pies at the local diner where she works, along with her mutually supportive friendships with fellow waitresses sassy Becky (Cheryl Hines) and shy, self-effacing Dawn (Adrienne Shelly).
When Jenna finds herself pregnant in a loveless marriage after Earl
gets her drunk one night, she visits the handsome new gynecologist in town, Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion). In a most unusual case of two for the price of one, Jenna gets prenatal care along with lots of lusty tender loving care from the smitten doc.
And when words fail to evoke the often indescribable lunacy, the eloquent savory pies speak for themselves. ‘I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie: made of scrambled eggs with a smoked ham center.’ Or, ‘I Can’t Have No Affair Because I Don’t Want Earl To Kill Me Pie: done up with custard meringue – hold the banana.’ A calorie-free delectable treat of a movie.
"Lucky You," a dramedy set in the high-stakes world of professional poker (starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore), is one of this week’s two new wide releases. But when the other one features Tobey Maguire in red spandex ("Spider-Man 3," also starring Kirsten Dunst), what more do you really need? And how do the critics feel about it?
After a three year wait, a budget approaching $300 million, and about that many Internet rumors and news postings, the wait is over: "Spider-Man 3" is here. The third installment finds Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) wrestling with a bevy of problems: an angry best friend (James Franco), a man made of sand (Thomas Haden Church), a slimy nemesis (Topher Grace), and an unhappy fiancée (Kirsten Dunst). Though critics are still wowed by Sam Raimi’s action sequences and clever mix of comedy and melodrama, some say it’s overstuffed and lacks the emotional punch of the first two Spidey flicks. At 64 percent on the Tomatometer (and a rotten 45 percent among Cream of the Crop critics), this "Spider-Man" isn’t totally amazing.
America is currently obsessed with Texas Hold ‘Em, so, with that in mind, Curtis Hanson has anted up the poker drama "Lucky You." Eric Bana stars as professional gambler Huck Cheever, a commitment-challenged goof who’s good at bluffing but terrible at the game of lurve. The pundits say "Lucky" is dramatically inert, lacking insight into neither the world of cards nor relationships, and they’re not sure what to make of Drew Barrymore, who doesn’t have much to do with her role. At 41 percent Tomatometer, "Lucky" is cursed.
Also opening in limited release: "Waitress," the final dramedy from the late Adrienne Shelley, is at 91 percent on the Tomatometer; "Away From Her," a love story about Alzheimer’s from actress-cum-director Sarah Polley, is at 89 percent ; "Paris, Je T’aime," an anthology of short films about the City of Lights featuring at least one director you like, is at 73 percent; "Civic Duty," a thriller dealing with timely issues of paranoia and terrorism, is at 77 percent (check out RT’s interview with star Peter Krause); "The Treatment," a rom-com starring Chris Eigeman and Famke Janssen, has 71 percent; and "The Flying Scotsman," a biopic about Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree, is at 38 percent.
And before we forget any further, props must be given to ManofStee1 and returning member -eternity- for coming closest to guessing "Kickin’ It Old Skool"’s percentage in last week’s Guess That Tomatometer game. And for "The Invisible," mizzoucritic came closest to guessing its 23 percent Tomatometer.