The Dreamworks/Paramount comedy Tropic Thunder received a nice 17 percent bump on from Friday's $8.2M and should finish the weekend with about $26M according to studio estimates. That means that the Ben Stiller-directed movie satire has actually scored a better three-day than last weekend's R-rated Pineapple Express (Sony), which generated $23.24M Friday-thru-Sunday.
There was clearly some concern after Thunder opened with $6.5M Wednesday and dipped to $4.5M on Friday, far behind Pineapple's $12M Wednesday and $6M Thursday, but the picture recovered nicely over the traditional three-day. It seems clear now that the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy was helped by getting a jump on the Beijing Olympics by two days, and the Under 25's that rushed to see the movie are not traditional Olympics fans anyway.
The more sophisticated Tropic Thunder, with excellent reviews, was definitely competing more directly with NBC's Olympics coverage. Thunder reached $37M for five-days despite competing with Michael Phelps' history-making 8 gold medal performance, Nastia Luken and Shawn Johnson finishing 1-2 in the women's gymnastics all around and other marquee events like the 100 meter dash won by Ussain Bolt of Jamaica in world record time on Saturday. With only a week of the Olympics to go and very light competition on the release schedule over the next month, Tropic Thunder should easily top $100M while Pineapple Express seems more likely to stall out around $70M-$75M.
Mega-hit The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) was No. 2 for the weekend adding an estimated $16.79M according to Warner Bros. That was stronger than fellow Warner Bros release Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which dropped over 18 percent on Saturday, and will wrap the weekend with just $15.5M. It appears that the LucasFilm animated film will struggle to reach $40M domestic.
R-rated horror film Mirrors (Fox) played better than expected after a $4.25M Friday. The movie was essentially flat day-over-day and should have $11.12M banked by Monday morning. That makes it the fifth-best horror opening of 2008, following The Strangers, Prom Night, The Eye and One Missed Call.
At No. 5 is the aforementioned Pineapple Express, which tailed off a dramatic 57 percent to $10M. Two other new wide releases struggled. Fly Me To the Moon, the animated 3D family film from Summit, was unable to grab as many 3D locations as they had hoped and scored a $2M opening weekend. Meanwhile Overture's Henry Poole Is Here starring Luke Wilson managed just $800,000 at 527 locations.
REVISED THREE-DAY ESTIMATES
1. Tropic Thunder (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $26M, $7,833 PTA, $37.03M cume
2. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $16.79M, $4,676 PTA, $471.49M cume
3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros) - $15.5M, $4,491 PTA, $15.5M cume
4. Mirrors (Fox) - $11.12M, $4,176 PTA, $11.12M cume
5. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $10M, $3,255 PTA, $62.93M cume
6. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $8.6M, $2,599 PTA, $86.64M cume
7. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $6.49M, $2,345 PTA, $116.41M cume
8. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $5.93M, $2,184 PTA, $32.14M cume
9. Step Brothers (Sony) - $5M, $1,888 PTA, $90.88M cume
10. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Weinstein) - $3.71M, $5,361 PTA, $3.71M cume
*Fly Me To the Moon 3D (Summit) - $2M, $4,424, $2M cume
*Henry Poole is Here (Overture) - $800,000, $1,518 PTA, $800,000 cume
Whereas The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) was an underdog to win last weekend versus The Mummy 3 (Universal), I am installing the Christopher Nolan-directed comic book adaptation as the betting favorite to win both the traditional 3-day and the Wednesday-thru-Friday 5-day frames this weekend--although it could be close.
Two new movies are opening Wednesday (August 6) in the hopes of getting a jump on the Friday night Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. NBC’s prime-time coverage over the next 3 weeks will smartly feature many of the high profile swimming events, including those featuring Michael Phelps, and gymnastics, with Shawn Johnson’s pursuit of the Women’s All-Around, but the Olympics have begun to increasingly skew 25 Plus. Given that, both Sony and Warner Bros have picked a good spot for their respective releases.
Pineapple Express, Sony’s R-rated stoner comedy, is aimed at Males Under 25, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, a youth-oriented chick flick from Warner Bros, is reaching for Females Under 25. I do not believe, however, that the pageantry of the Opening Ceremonies, including a celebration of the history of Chinese culture, will do much to dampen the box office performance of these 2 new releases.
The Judd Apatow-produced Pineapple Express looks very solid in industry tracking, especially with the big money young male demo, and this marijuana-fueled comedy has an outside chance to upset The Dark Knight. Both movies are likely to finish in the same range with a traditional 3-day of $24M-$29M and a Wednesday-thru-Friday 5-day of $35M-$40M. Ultimately, I suspect that the Caped Crusader will defeat the Seth Rogen/James Franco toker jokefest, but Express will be a strong #2.
Pants 2 is the probable 3rd-place finisher for the weekend. The 2005 original opened on a Wednesday and managed a 3-day of $9.83M and a Wednesday-thru-Sunday of $13.57M. The modestly-budgeted, good-hearted “girl power” movie went on to $39M domestic. This sequel will enjoy a big step up at the box office.
With America Ferrera, now a star thanks to Ugly Betty, Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively and Amber Tamblyn all returning, the new Traveling Pants seems destined to break $20M for the 5-day with something in the $19M-$22M range. The 3-day weekend should be $13M-$16M.
The Mummy 3 (Universal) will suffer a severe drop with a $13M-$16M Friday-thru-Sunday and something near $20M for 5-days. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor fell apart on Monday with just $4.24M, and that suggests a 65%+ drop-off from the film’s $44.7M 3-day opening.
FINAL 3-DAY PREDICTIONS FOR AUGUST 8-10
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $28M
2. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $25M
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $15.5M
4. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $14.75M
5. Step Brothers (Sony) - $8.5M
6. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $7.5M
7. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros) - $4.5M
8. Swing Vote (Disney) - $3.7M
9. WALL-E (Disney) - $2.9M
10. Hancock (Sony) - $2.7M
FINAL 5-DAY PREDICTIONS FOR AUGUST 6-10
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $37.6M
2. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $35M
3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $21.5M
4. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $21M
5. Step Brothers (Sony) - $11.6M
6. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $11.2M
7. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros) - $6.65M
8. Swing Vote (Disney) - $5.2M
9. WALL-E (Disney) - $4.3M
10. Hancock (Sony) - $3.8M
Top Story: Cage, Presley Officially End Marriage
Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley have made their divorce final, ending lengthy legal proceedings which outlasted the actual marriage itself, Reuters reports. Cage filed for divorce in November 2002 from Presley, after being married for only three months. According to an Extra report, citing court papers filed on Monday, the two "amicably resolved" their brief marriage, with neither receiving any kind of spousal support and each maintaining all assets acquired prior to their marriage. It was a third marriage for Presley, who was married to Michael Jackson for less than two years and who previously had two children with musician Danny Keogh. Cage was also previously married to actress Patricia Arquette.
Madonna Sidelines L.A. Concert
An ailing Material Girl had to cancel her second Los Angeles concert due to the stomach flu, Reuters reports. A statement posted on her Web site said Madonna was ordered to rest by her doctor but would be "back at 100 percent" by Wednesday. Madonna, 45, kicked off her Re-Invention tour in L.A. Monday night.
West Wing's Janney Gets Engaged
Emmy-winning actress Allison Janney, known as the sharp C.J. Cregg on NBC's The West Wing, is engaged to marry actor Richard Jenik, The Associated Press reports. The couple live in Los Angeles and have dated for two years, a spokesman for Janney said Wednesday. A wedding date has not be set as yet.
Charges Against Simmons Cleared
An assault charge against exercise guru Richard Simmons, who was accused of slapping a man at an airport, has been dropped, AP reports. Simmons, the outlandish 55-year-old known for his exercise videos, was accused of slapping a 6-foot-2, 250-pound traveler, who recognized Simmons in March at an Phoenix, Ariz., airport as they were waiting for a flight to Los Angeles and made an off-hand comment about Simmons' exercise videos, police said.
Marvel, Lions Gate Make Direct-to-DVD Pact
Marvel Enterprises Inc., which controls a library of more than 4,700 comic book characters, has chosen Lions Gate Entertainment to make at least eight direct-to-DVD animated features. Marvel and Lions Gate are expected develop eight 66-minute animated features for release on DVD beginning next year, focusing first on comic book characters such as Captain America, the Hulk, Thor and Iron Man. Per the agreement, Lions Gate will provide Marvel with licensing fees for character rights and fund all of the development, production, distribution and marketing for each title. According to Reuters, some Wall Street analysts predict this new line of animated home videos could sell as many as 1 million DVD units each.
MTV Names More Presenters for Movie Awards
More presenters have been announced for the 2004 MTV Movie Awards, which will be broadcast on the network June 10. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Vin Diesel, Paris Hilton, Ice Cube, Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Perry, Queen Latifah and Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans have been added to the list of previously announced presenters Snoop Dogg, Dave Chappelle, Kirsten Dunst, Eve, Jimmy Fallon, Kate Hudson and Scarlett Johansson. Lindsay Lohan, the 17-year-old star of Mean Girls is set to host the show, with musical performances by D12, the Beastie Boys and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
CBS Ends TV Season on Top
CBS will finish the TV season--which officially ends today--as the nation's most popular network, the AP reports. According to Nielsen Media Research, CBS has averaged 13.1 million viewers this season--up 4 percent over last year. Fox's American Idol, however, was the favorite show of the season, averaging 25.8 million viewer, winning by a slim margin over CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which averaged 25.6 million viewers. And while NBC was down 5 percent among total viewers, the network proclaimed a season victory in the only demographic it worries about: the 18-to-49-year-old viewer. Fox was the nation's third-place network, second among 18-to-49-year-old viewers, while ABC followed in fourth place.
Just for Laughs Festival Announces Lineup
Wayne Brady, Caroline Rhea, Tim Allen, Tom Arnold and Jackie Mason are among the comics scheduled to perform at Montreal's 22nd Just for Laughs Festival, which runs July 15-25. Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Mila Kunis, the voices behind the animated show Family Guy, will do a live script reading of the show, which has become one of the biggest-selling TV DVDs. The festival will also host the world premiere of Evil Dead 1 & 2: The Musical, a comedy based on the director Sam Raimi's campy horror classics. New on this summer's roster is Late Nite Down Under, a spotlight on the funniest acts from Australia and New Zealand, including performances by Colin Hay of '80s pop band Men at Work, and the North American premiere of James Campbell's stand-up comedy for kids ages 5 and older.
Role Call: Harrison Ford Takes To Outer Space with Goodspeed
Harrison Ford is set to star in Godspeed, an outer space-set thriller being put together by James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainmen