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Box Office Analysis, June 15: 'Hulk' Opens Big and Green

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Jun 15, 2008 | 10:13am EDT

Marvel Studios is batting 1.000. After the spectacular success of the newly minted studio’s first self-financed and self-produced comic book adaptation Iron Man (Paramount), they have given new life to Bruce Banner and his famously angry alter ego.

I am told that Incredible Hulk (Universal) was down slightly from Friday-to-Saturday for a likely $20M, which translate sto $54M for the three-day, which is much stronger than Universal had been hoping for. One source told me that "mid-$40s and long legs" would be a triumph. If this number holds, The Incredible Hulk will be the all-time 11th-best opening for a comic book adaptation.

That is less than 2003's Ang Lee version of Hulk, but it is the all-time sixth-best opening for a non-sequel comic book adaptation, which is impressive. It is also the all-time best opening for Edward Norton and director Louis Leterrier.

Kung Fu Panda, the latest animated film from Dreamworks, was predictably strong, grabbing $15M on Saturday, and the Paramount release should post a $34.2M second weekend.

Undoubtedly, the biggest surprise of the weekend has been The Happening (Fox). Studio execs all over town were calling for an opening in the high teens. Instead, I am told that the M. Night Shyamalan thriller may have scored another $11.5M on Saturday, and it should finish the weekend with about $30.5M, far higher than competing studios were predicting. It appears as though The Happening will post the all-time, third-best Shyamalan  opening.

REVISED THREE-DAY ESTIMATES

1. NEW! Incredible Hulk (Universal): $54.5 million; $15,560 PTA; $54.5 million cume

2. Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks): $34.3 million; $8,298 PTA; $117.9 million cume

3. NEW! The Happening (Fox): $30.5 million; $10,214 PTA; $30.5 million cume

4. You Don't Mess with the Zohan (Sony): $16.4 million; $4,737 PTA; $68.7 million cume

5. Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount): $13.5 million; $3,561 PTA; $275.3 million cume

6. Sex and the City (Warner Bros.): $10.1 million; $3,228 PTA; $119.9 million cume

7. Iron Man (Paramount): $5.1 million; $2,135 PTA; $297.4 million cume

8. The Strangers (Rogue Releasing): $4 million; $1,700 PTA; $45.3 million cume

9. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Disney): $3 million; $1,302 PTA; $131.7 million cume

10. What Happens in Vegas (20th Century Fox): $1.7 million; $1,195 PTA; $75.7 million cume

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