That big Hulk of a guy not only got mad, he got super green, making a heap of cash at the box office this weekend. The latest Marvel comic actioner raged its way to the No.1 spot, debuting with a smashing $62.6 million.*
The opening for the not-so-jolly green giant, however, didn't quite reach the same levels as Marvel Comics' flagship Spider-Man, which set a three-day opening record of $114.8 million last year. The Hulk also trails the most recent Marvel entry, X2: X-Men United, which opened with $85.6 million last month. Among all films to open so far this year, The Hulk weighs in at No. 5, Reuters reports.
Still, The Hulk's massive numbers make it the biggest June opener of all time, followed by Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me with opened in 1999 at $54.9 million and Scooby-Doo, which opened in 2002 at $54.1 million.
Last week's topper, the briny Finding Nemo, managed to keep afloat in the second spot with $20.5 million. The high octane 2 Fast 2 Furious crossed the finish line in third place with $10.3 million, while the comedy with a higher power Bruce Almighty commanded fourth with $10 million. Rounding out the top five was the heist thriller The Italian Job stealing $7.2 million.
Other newcomers this week included the romantic comedy Alex & Emma, which swooned its way into seventh place at $6.2 million, and the American Idol ultra-pop flick From Justin to Kelly, which boogied in at No. 11 with $2.8 million.
THE TOP TEN
Universal Pictures' PG-13 The Hulk crushed the competition to take the No. 1 spot with an ESTIMATED $62.6 million at 3,660 theaters. Its per theater average of $17,104 put it well above the other films on the top 10 list.
The story follows a brilliant genetic scientist working with cutting-edge technology who absorbs a normally deadly dose of gamma radiation. When combined with his own altered DNA, the radiation turns him into an impossibly strong, rampaging creature known as the Hulk.
Directed by Ang Lee, it stars Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte.
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo fell a spot to second place this week with an ESTIMATED $20.5 million (-28%) at 3,404 theaters (-21 theaters; $6,022 per theater). Its cume is approximately $228 million.
Directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, it features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe and Brad Garrett.
Universal Pictures' PG-13-rated action-packed sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious slipped to No. 2 in its third week with an ESTIMATED $10.3 million (-45%) at 3,140 theaters (-278 theaters; $3,280 per theater). Its cume is approximately $102.1 million, making it the ninth film released in 2003 to cross the $100 million mark.
Directed by John Singleton, it stars Paul Walker, Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser and Devon Aoki.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 Bruce Almighty dropped to fourth place in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $10 million (-30%) at 3,074 theaters (-403 theaters; $3,253 per theater average). Crossing the huge $200 million mark, its cume is approximately $210.7 million.
Directed by Tom Shadyac, it stars Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated actioner The Italian Job surprisingly climbed up the ladder this week from seventh to fifth in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $7.2 million (-25%) at 2,095 theaters (-602 theaters; $3,449 per theater). Its cume is approximately $67.6 million.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Edward Norton.
Paramount's PG rated animated feature Rugrats Go Wild fell two spots to No. 6 with an ESTIMATED $6.6 million (-42%), staying at 3,041 theaters ($2,190 per theater). In the film, Nickelodeon regulars the Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys team up to get off a deserted island. So far, it's accumulated approximately $23.5 million in two weeks.
Directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng, it features the voices of Michael Bell, Jodi Carlisle, Nancy Cartwright, Lacey Chabert, Melanie Chartoff, Cheryl Chase, Tim Curry, Elizabeth Daily and Bruce Willis.
Warner Bros.' PG-13 soppy romance Alex & Emma debuted in seventh place with an ESTIMATED $6.2 million at 2,310 theaters, averaging $2,701 per theater.
The film revolves around a novelist with a serious case of writer's block who hires a stenographer to help him finish his book, which he has 30 days to write or be killed by some nasty Cuban loan sharks.
Directed by Rob Reiner, it stars Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson and Sophie Marceau.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Sony Picture's PG-13 cop comedy Hollywood Homicide sank to eighth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $5.8 million (-48%) at 2,840 theaters ($2,042 per theater). The film, about a veteran police detective and his fresh-faced partner who are more interested in their side jobs than in the high-profile gangland-style murder they are currently investigating, has taken in approximately $21.4 million thus far.
Directed by Ron Shelton, it stars Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett.
New Line's PG-13 comedy Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd dropped three notches to ninth place in its second week with a dismal ESTIMATED take of $4.2 million (-61%) at 2,609 theaters ($1,639 per theater). The prequel to the 1994 Dumb & Dumber reveals how mentally challenged best friends Harry and Lloyd became pals, and has accumulated approximately $19.9 million.
Directed by Troy Miller, it stars Eric Christian Olsen, Derek Richardson, Eugene Levy and Cheri Oteri.
Warner Bros.' R rated sci-fi sequel The Matrix Reloaded dropped to No. 10 in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $4 million (-30%) at 1,850 theaters (-500 theaters; $2,189 per theater). Its cume is approximately $264.5 million.
Directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, it stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving.
20th Century Fox's PG-rated musical romp From Justin to Kelly debuted with an ESTIMATED $2.8 million at 2,001 theaters, averaging $1,437 per theater.
The top two contenders from the first season of American Idol, winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini, team up in this Grease-like beach musical, playing a pair who sing, dance and fall in love during Spring Break on Miami Beach.
Directed by Robert Iscove, it also stars Katherine Bailess, Anika Noni Rose, Greg Siff and Brian Dietzen.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $141.9 million, up 22 percent from last week's take of $116.2 million.
The Top 12, however, were down 5 percent from last year's $150.2 million total.
Last year, Fox's PG-13 Minority Report premiered at the top of the box office with $35.6 million at 3,001 theaters ($11,888 per theater), while Buena Vista's PG-rated animated Lilo & Stitch debuted at a close second with $35.2 million at 3,191 theaters ($11,050 per theater); Warner Bros.' PG rated Scooby-Doo came in third place with $24.4 million at 3,447 theaters ($7,101 per theater).
Like Sandy and Danny in Grease From Justin to Kelly's two main characters (American Idols Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini) are worlds apart: Justin's a party promoter hanging out in Miami for Spring Break; Kelly's a small-town Texas girl dragged there by her more adventurous friends. They fall madly in love after a 30-second dance number then spend the rest of the movie trying--and failing--to hook up. Contrary to the marketing behind this movie though that's where the comparisons with Grease end. From Justin to Kelly isn't a musical--it's a music video complete with MTV-style Spring Break beach parties and cellular phone "texting" as the driving force behind what little plot there is. It has the potential to be almost cultishly kitschy if the songs were even remotely interesting but they're just more of the same trite pop garbage we've come to expect from our American Idols. The songs have no connection to one another or to the plot itself and the lyrics rarely reflect the situation the characters are supposed to be singing about. Even if the songs were great and this film had a plot (they're not and it doesn't) the dance numbers look like they were choreographed by a kickboxing instructor not a dancer. On the plus side choreographer Travis Payne's athletic style may singlehandedly bring breakdancing back from its shallow '80s grave.
From Justin to Kelly is so bad it would be comical if the exploitation of two actually talented singers hadn't been so utterly complete. I mean we didn't really expect them to act but at least give them something to work with in between songs. Instead even the songs are crap and the dialogue that writer Kim Fuller (Spice World) gives the stars isn't just trite--it often makes no sense whatsoever. To wit: "We met at the beach. My friends call me Kelly for short." Short for what? Kelly? The transitions from dialogue into the songs are even worse if that's possible particularly for poor Justin. "There's definitely something going on between us you know?" he says then immediately bursts into song barking out the lyrics with such diva-esque force that if he'd really been singing to his lover he'd have burst her eardrums. Clarkson belts everything out with equal vigor--including her supposedly sweet solo number designed apparently to be a modern-day version of Olivia Newton-John's heartbreaking "Hopelessly Devoted to You." She's yawping so loudly that it's impossible to believe this is a devastated young girl who's lost her love. The only scene that remotely showcases Kelly's vocal talents comes when her good-girl character decides to let loose and party hardy at the pool with a big musical number "Must Be the Madness " which pays a bit of homage to its predecessors Saturday Night Fever and Grease.
Like the shifts from dialogue into song director Robert Iscove's shifts from scene to scene are abrupt to the point of disturbing; it's as if his editor made this pic in a DIY editing suite like iMovie with too-slow dissolves and a few thinly veiled blue screens. You expect the sign of the true amateur to appear at any moment: the ubiquitous "star wipe." And it would be remiss not to mention the completely ridiculous hovercraft race between Justin and his rival the interestingly named Luke--given the obvious if grossly misguided allusion to the pod race in Phantom Menace. There are only two reasons this movie gets even half a star. One is the fact that a minor character actually calls Justin "Sideshow Bob " a reference to the character from The Simpsons whom the almost American Idol oddly resembles instead of whispering it behind his back. The other is the bikinis which are incredibly let's say creative. But the rest of the costumes border on the ridiculous; in one splashy pool party number Clarkson's wearing a skirt made entirely of--get this--men's ties. By the time the big finale rolls around--a rendition of K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)"--you'll be thinking that's the way you like this movie too--over.