It all started last Wednesday when a little film called Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had some midnight screenings and earned $16 million. This would prove to be an auspicious start as the second film in the franchise went on to earn $60.6 million on Wednesday alone and thus posted the biggest Wednesday gross ever and the second biggest single-day gross for any film in box-office history! Thursday proved that Wednesday was no fluke as the film grabbed another $28.6 million. Friday added another $36.7 million, and thus by the time Saturday morning rolled around, the film had earned $126 million in its first three days! Saturday saw an uptick indicating great word-of-mouth with a whopping $40.6 million.
The numbers are jaw-dropping: $112 million for Friday through Sunday and $201,246,000 in its first five days. This is the best five-day opening ever for a film debuting on Wednesday and the second-best first five days EVER behind only Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight and its amazing first five-day haul of $203.8 million. IMAX deserves much credit as the giant-screen situations contributed a giant-sized $14.4 million to the five-day total. With great word-of-mouth already in evidence, look for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to continue its dominance at the nation’s theaters.
At number three is everyone’s favorite band of misfits as Warner Bros.’ The Hangover absolutely refuses to leave the party with a mere 36 percent drop, a $17.2 million weekend and a box-office total that stands at $183.2 million on its way to an incredible $200 million plus gross. The end credits sequence is not to be missed and is most likely inspiring repeat business for the modestly budgeted Todd Phillips R-rated comedy.
In fourth is the beloved Up from Disney/Pixar, and the film now becomes the highest grossing film released this year with $250.2 million and a fifth weekend take of $13 million and a minuscule drop of 44 percent.
Rounding out the top five is Warner Bros.’ My Sister’s Keeper. This is a nice counter-programmed film for those looking for a more substantive movie-going experience. Directed by Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook), Keeper earned $12 million in just over 2,600 theaters.
Notable news in the indie world (yes, there is life beyond the blockbusters in the summer) includes the debut of the amazing The Hurt Locker from Summit Entertainment. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days), this is the best of the Iraq war films, and with $144,000 from just four theaters, it is clear that the $36,000 per-theater average reflects a situation where the critics can have a positive impact on the box office. Universally praised for its gritty realism and great performances, The Hurt Locker will hopefully find an audience as it expands into wider release.
An absolutely fantastic weekend at the box office as the power and continued viability of the theatrical movie-going experience is demonstrated in a profound way. Lumiere himself is up there somewhere proud to know that after projecting the first film to a paying audience way back in the year 1895, that in 2009, people still love to line up, sit down in a darkened movie theater and watch a movie projected on the big screen. And we still have Harry Potter on the way …
1. NEW! Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount) – $112M; 4234 theaters; $26,453 PTA; $201.2M cume (five-day total)
2. The Proposal (Disney) – $18M; 3058 theaters; $6,039 PTA; -45%; $69M cume
3. The Hangover (Warner Bros.) – $17.2M; 3525 theaters; $4,884 PTA; -36%; $183.2M cume
4. Up (Disney) – $13M; 3487 theaters; $3,741 PTA; -44%; $250.2M cume
5. NEW! My Sister’s Keeper (Warner Bros.) – $12M; 2606 theaters; $4,616 PTA
6. Year One (Sony/Columbia) – $5.8M; 3024 theaters; $1,918 PTA; -70%; $32.3M cume
7. The Taking of Pelham 123 (Sony/Columbia) – $5.4M; 2995 theaters; $1,803 PTA; -55%; $53.4M cume
8. Star Trek (Paramount) – $3.6M; 1823 theaters; $1,978 PTA; -35%; $246.2M cume
9. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Fox) – $3.5M; 2250 theaters; $1,556 PTA; -55%; $163.2M cume
10. Away We Go (Focus) – $1.6M; 495 theaters; $3,390 PTA; +93%; $4M cume
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