It’s Sunday, which means it’s time to avoid church, peruse the weekend box office receipts, and make ill-informed statements about the careers, franchises, and studios currently taking up residence in theaters across the country. This weekend, Fox’s X-Men First Class took on last weekend’s champion, Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part Two. Would superheroes be able to topple R-rated comedy? Would The Hangover 2 plummet in its second week of release? And how’s Pirates of The Caribbean 4 doing? Find out below, my fellow box office enthusiasts and gentle Examiner readers…
Let’s just get the top ten out of the way right up front. We’ve been hearing complaints from some readers who think we spend too much time (read: upwards of two paragraphs— “Waah! We hate reading!”) getting to the good stuff, so in the interest of giving ’em what they want when they want it, here’s the figures (as always, numbers via Deadline Hollywood; these will update if the numbers change):
1. X Men: First Class: Est Weekend $54m
2. The Hangover Part 2: Est Weekend $33.5M, Est Cume $188M
3. Kung Fu Panda 2: Est Saturday $25M, Est Cume $101M
4. Pirates Of The Caribbean 4: Est Weekend $19M, Est Cume $191.2M
5. Bridesmaids: Est Weekend $12.5M, Est Cume $107.6M
6. Thor: Est Weekend $4.2M, Est Cume $169.1M
7. Fast Five: Est Weekend $3.3M, Est Cume $202M
8. Midnight In Paris: Est Weekend $2.8M, Est Cume $6.8M
9. Something Borrowed: Est Weekend $1m, Est Cume $36.8M
10. Jumping The Broom: Est Weekend $800K, Est Cume $35.8M
There. And you didn’t even have to read two whole paragraphs of set-up. Don’t say we never gave ya nothin’, Slappy.
That handled, let’s get to “Things Worth Noting”: to begin, Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men First Class is doing fairly well, and– if 20th Century Fox is to be believed– they’re earning precisely what they expected to make (the studio’s saying they were aiming for something in the neighborhood of Batman Begins‘ $48.7m, because that was also a reboot-superhero flick without any big-name stars). But are they to be believed? Are we really to think that Fox wasn’t pulling for something more along the lines of the last X-Men film, which debuted to $102.7m back in 2006 despite the inclusion of Brett “Three Fingers” Ratner? That all depends on how cynical you are.
The good news is, X-Men First Class is playing well to audiences (they’ve given it a “B+” CinemaScore in exit polls) and just as well with critics (who’ve got it at a whopping 88% over on Rotten Tomatoes), so there’s a good chance the film will experience a smaller-than-usual dropoff as the weeks ahead roll by. This is, by the way, the biggest opening Matthew Vaughn’s had, so we congratulate him (even if he did get January Jones pregnant– Hey-OH!).
Meanwhile, The Hangover Part Two fell about 65% in its second week of release. So, what does that mean? Well, a few things. For one, a dropoff of that size for a big-ass comedy or a big-ass horror film or a big-ass sequel (basically, anything that might be considered “big-ass”) isn’t unheard of, and is in fact par for the course. For another thing, most of the people that were really, really excited to see The Hangover 2 went to see it on opening weekend, so of course that 5-day stretch (where the film earned $139m) was going to be over-inflated. The real test for the film is how it’ll do now that people are telling their friends about it, and on that front…it’s still hard to tell. Had the film bottomed out with a 75-80% dropoff, it’d be easier to say, “People told others not to see it”, but a 65% drop is too “par-for-the-course” to know how long Hangover 2‘s shelf-life is.
We gotta say, though, that the film’s already earned about $200m Stateside (and another $60m or so overseas), so from here on out, whatever it earns will be in the black. No matter how you cut it– and even if the film dies on the vine over the next few weeks– Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips are going to claim a hit, and they’re right. Critics who went way overboard in bashing The Hangover Part Two are cordially invited to suck it: there’ll probably be a Hangover 3. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that that one doesn’t completely suck (check out our interview with The Hangover 2‘s writer, Scot Armstrong– who had some non-ideas about where Part Three might go– right HERE).
Also scraping up against the $200m mark is Pirates of The Caribbean 4, the adventure-comedy for people that love unnecessary sequels with lifeless scripts and bored actors. The film’s done enormously well overseas (wouldja believe over $540m thus far?), too, so Disney’s probably going to make good on its threat to make Pirates 5 and 6. Look, we didn’t enjoy Pirates 4 here at Comedy Examiner HQ (it was too “crappy” for our tastes), but you can’t deny that people seem to love this franchise, and you can’t question Disney’s interest in keeping the franchise going for as long as these films are pulling down that kinda scratch. All we can do now is pray to the Movie Gods that Disney brings in someone like Guillermo Del Toro (or– and this’d never happen, but just imagine— Quentin Tarantino, or Martin Scorsese, or Edgar Wright, or Zombie Stanley Kubrick) to direct the next installments: Rob Marshall’s film may have gotten asses in seats, but it sure as hell didn’t win the director any new fans (at least, not with critics, it didn’t).
Finally, Bridesmaids is one of the summer’s biggest movies. Yes, it just broke the $100m over the past week, but considering the low, low cost of the film (just $32.5m), this one’s a hit. Bridesmaids is taking its time leaving the top ten, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it clinging to life down there near the bottom another month from now. Like James Wan’s Insidious, this seems to be a crowd-pleasing, strong-word-of-mouth flick, and we congratulate all involved (even though none of ’em got January Jones pregnant– Hey-OH).
Hey, before you take off, check out our reviews of the big summer movies right here. Here’s Bridesmaids, Pirates of The Caribbean 4, The Hangover Part Two, X-Men First Class, and–as an added bonus– our review for next weekend’s Super 8. That’s right: it ain’t out yet, but we’ve still got a review for you. It’s magic.
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