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B.O. Analysis May 17: 'Angels & Demons' and Dollars, Oh My

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May 17, 2009 | 10:28am EDT

[IMG: L Angels & Demons beat the Vulcans and Romulans in a box-office death match as Star Trek is nudged out of the top spot in a very close race.

A terrific opening for Sony/Columbia’s Angels & Demons as the summer-movie season keeps marching toward that revenue record I’ve been talking about for a couple of months. Great product is driving this incredible momentum as evidenced by the miniscule summer blockbuster second weekend drop of Star Trek of only 45 percent! This is almost unheard of for a film that opened so huge, but with a level of quality that transcends the genre, the film will have “legs” — or as Spock would say: “live long and prosper” at the box office.

Angels & Demons, the action-packed follow-up to 2006's mega-hit The Da Vinci Code, earned $48 million this weekend with $16.6 million on Friday, $17.8 million on Saturday and $13.6 million on Sunday. Back on May 19 of 2006, The Da Vinci Code opened with a massive $77 million and went on to earn $217 million in domestic receipts and over $750 million worldwide! Da Vinci captured the zeitgeist of the moment and carried with it the momentum of the massive sales of the Dan Brown novel. Still, this is a great result for Angels, and it also does not hurt that Tom Hanks is back (and with a better haircut) along with director Ron Howard, hot on the heels of his amazing direction of Frost/Nixon.

Star Trek landed in second in a near-photo finish as the well-reviewed and well-liked film beamed up another $43 million in intergalactic loot, closing in on the $150 million mark domestically. A “tribble-sized” second weekend drop made it a formidable competitor in this robust marketplace, and it should continue to generate solid returns in the weeks to come.

In third is Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine with an impressive third weekend take of $14.8 million and a domestic cume of $151.1 million. After a steep 69 percent second weekend drop, just a 44 percent third weekend drop indicates that audiences are enjoying the X-Men ride as part of their summer movie diet.

Matthew McConaughey just will not budge out of the top five as Warner’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past continues to reap the benefits of being a very non-summer-style film amidst the season; the number-four flick rang up another $6.8 million, reaching the $40 million plateau.

Rounding out the top five is Sony/Screen Gems' Obsessed, which audiences seem to be obsessed with as it remains a mainstay in rank. Its fourth weekend of release draws an impressive $4.5 million against a tiny 31 percent drop and a total of $62.6 million for the hugely profitable adult drama.

No discussion of this weekend would be complete without a mention of one of my favorite films of the year, Summit Entertainment’s The Brothers Bloom. Released in just four theaters, the film earned $82,000 and posted an impressive per-theater average of $20,500. The film expands into a wider release on the 22nd and the 29th of May, and I urge everyone to go see this unique and hugely entertaining comedic romp.

The second “up” weekend in a row puts the year-to-date box office at a solid 16 percent advantage at this point over last year and attendance at 13.25 percent ahead as we look forward to another huge weekend as Warner’s Terminator Salvation and Fox’s Night at the Museum 2 prepare to continue this massive winning streak at the nation’s theaters.

THREE-DAY ESTIMATES:

1. NEW! Angels & Demons (Sony/Columbia) - $48M; 3527 theaters; $13,609 PTA

2. Star Trek (Paramount) - $43M; 3860 theaters; $11,140 PTA; -43%; $147.6M cume

3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Fox) - $14.8M; 3892 theaters; $3,803 PTA; -44%; $151M cume

4. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (Warner Bros.) - $6.8M; 3150 theaters; $2,178 PTA; -33%; $40M cume

5. Obsessed (Sony/Screen Gems) - $4.5M; 2634 theaters; $1,727 PTA; -31%; $62.5M cume

6. 17 Again (Warner Bros.) - $3.4M; 2450 theaters; $1,388 PTA; -20%; $58.3M cume

7. Monsters vs. Aliens (Paramount) - $3M; 1951 theaters; $1,538 PTA; -8%; $190.5M cume

8. The Soloist (Paramount) - $2.4M; 2022 theaters; $1,199 PTA; -39%; $27.5M cume

9. Next Day Air (Summit) - $2.2M; 1139 theaters; $2,003 PTA; -45%; $7.6M cume

10. Earth (Disney) - $1.6M; 1584 theaters; $1,061 PTA; -37%; $29M cume

MORE BOX OFFICE:

LAST WEEK'S B.O.: Star Trek Beams Up Millions!

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