Box Office Analysis, June 1: ‘Sex and the City’ Is a Surprise Success

SUNDAY 9:00 a.m. (Pacific): Warner Bros. has told me this morning that Sex and the City scored an estimated $17.7M on Saturday, and they are calling for $55.7M for opening weekend. That marks a 35 percent drop from Friday-to-Saturday as this 2 Quadrant phenomenon proved to be incredibly front-loaded. The truth is that anything more than $30M for the weekend would have been a triumph.

The top two grossing playdates for Sex and the City were both in Manhattan. Regal’s E-Walk in Times Square checks in at $195,000 thru Saturday followed by AMC’s Lincolne Square Theatres with $181,000. The third-best playdate appears to be The Arclight in Hollywood with $144,000.

Carrie Bradshaw & friends actually finished second to Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount) on Saturday as he Lucasfilm property grabbed $19.84M. That should translate to a $46M second weekend.

By Monday morning, Sex and the City will be the biggest opening in film history for a movie headlined by a woman, surpassing Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie, which scored $47.7M. It is also important to note that these are not ingénues. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon are all in their 40s. To date, the best opening weekend for a movie with a 40+ actress as the true lead was the 1996 version of 101 Dalmations, which featured Glenn Close. That family film grabbed $33.5M in its opening frame. 

Rogue’s The Strangers, starring Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, has scared up another $7.76M on Saturday, and the slasher pic is headed for a well-above-expectations $20M for the weekend. Iron Man (Paramount) continues to impress with an estimated $6.51M Saturday, which will likely translate to $14.8M and a staggering new cume of $277.43M. Prince Caspian (Disney) plodded to just $5.86M on its third Saturday, and it will wrap the three-day with about $13.31M. With a new cume of $111.87, this very expensive sequel is a long shot to exceed $140M domestic.

Sex and the City will coast to the best per theatre average for the weekend with $18,000+. U2 3D from National Geographic, in its 19th week in release, will enjoy a great three-day PTA of $12,500 or so at eight locations along with IFC’s Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, with about the same PTA on two screens. Indy 4 appears headed for the fourth-best weekend PTA , followed by the Will Ferrell-produced The Foot Fist Way (Paramount Vantage) with an estimated $9,375 PTA at four locations. 


1. Sex and the City & The City (Warner Bros) – $55.7M; $16,968 PTA; $55.7M cume

2. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (Paramount) – $46M; $10,788 PTA; $216.8M cume

3. The Strangers (Rogue Releasing) – $20.7M; $8,394 PTA; $20.7M cume

4. Iron Man (Paramount) – $14M – $3,836 PTA – $276.6M cume

5. Prince Caspian (Disney) – $13M – $3,424 PTA – $115.6M cume

6. What Happens in Vegas (Fox) – $6.8M – $2,220 PTA – $66M cume

7. Baby Mama (Universal) – $2.2M – $1,245 PTA – $56.1M cume

8. Speed Racer (Warner Bros) – $2.1M – $1,034 PTA – $40.5M cume

9. Made of Honor (Sony) – $2M – $1,050 PTA – $42.9M cume

10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Universal) – $1M – $1,316 PTA – $60.42M cume