Will there be a SATC sequel, and if so, can they find a reason for another wedding sequence?
Thanks in particular to a super Friday, Sex and the City won the weekend box office. The big screen version of the popular HBO series took in $26.9 million on Friday alone, with an estimated $55.7 for the entire weekend. According to Variety, this gave SATC the biggest opening weekend ever for an R-rated comedy (and fifth best opening for any R rated film). It was the biggest opening for a romantic comedy of any rating. Just think how much more money it would have made if a normal running time had allowed for more showings, rather than the extra long 2 hour, twenty five minute length.
Not surprisingly, Friday’s strong showing was powered by an 85% female audience, with 80% of those viewers over age 25. With strong advance ticket sales, the fact that this was shaping up to be a huge event movie (including “girls’ night out” gangs) had been obvious for a while.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came in second, but didn’t exactly shame itself with a $46 million take. Indy looks like it will have continued life with the family audience. It also continues to do well overseas, earning $71.5 million in 8,439 locations. Sex and the City was second internationally, with $39.2 million in 3,537 locations; again, this is much better than average for US romantic comedies.
Back at the American box office, horror movie The Strangers came in third with $20.7 million. This much for the $9 million to make it film was supposedly a surprise, but the buzz around this was strong; I heard a lot of people talking about it. The commercials did a really good job of getting attention and the fact that most of the audience was under 25–both male and female–reveals brilliant counterprogramming. That group had probably already seen Indy last weekend and weren’t necessarily interested in SATC, so a fun scary summer night at the movies was just what they were looking for.
Iron Man continues to perform well, with $14 million for fourth place. Prince Caspian was fifth with $13 million.
Here are the questions now for Sex and the City: as always, how will it hold up in its second week? This year’s other big performers (Indy and Iron Man) have shown signs of holding on past big openings. But SATC, as well as it did on Friday, already dropped 33% by Saturday; does that mean that everyone who wants to see it, all the hardcore fans, have already seen it? Does it have life beyond that audience? Can word of mouth carry it longer?
The next big question whenever a film has a successful opening is whether there’s going to be a sequel. It took a lot of wrangling over scripts and money to re-assemble the TV show’s team for this one; getting everyone together again might be even more difficult, especially when it comes to money…
The next big event movie (so they hope) is The Incredible Hulk, opening on June 13th, two weeks away. So stay tuned to see how Indy and SATC manage as they most likely battle again next weekend.