Better hope that your agent secured a percentage of the gross for you, little fella.
Apparently many people went to the movies this weekend.
New releases Wall*E and Wanted racked up the big bucks, putting this year’s total box office over 2007′s total from this time last year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the extraordinarily well-received (and charmingly short) Wall*E took in $62.5 million from 3,992 locations. Wanted made almost as strong a showing at $51.5 million off 3,175 screens. Kids, this is called counterprogramming, and when it works, everyone is happy.
Wall*E, which will undoubtedly be called”this generation’s ET,” had the second-best June opening on record, after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It also had the third best opening for a Pixar film after The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. What’s really going to be fascinating is how it holds up over the next few months, and especially over the next week. Remember, kids are out of school now, which means that they’ll be able to go to a movie on a rainy day, or just any day when an activity is desperately needed. I’ll be interested in seeing the numbers of individual days broken out from teh total. Though it’s not like it solely needs to depend on kids–THR says that 22% of couples who saw the film this weekend went without children. Hey, Hollywood, here’s a novel thought–make a good movie and lots of people will come to see it. Shockingly, a desire to spend money on a good product stretches across all age groups and genders. Hwood, I’m only giving you this info because I love you. Now all we have to do is hope Pixar plays it smart and, like ET, avoids the sequel temptation.
Wanted took the coveted and highly precise “best opening for an R-rated film in June” crown. From the demographics file, 52% of the audience was male, which means that, shockingly again, almost half the audience was women. What?! Women coming to see a decently reviewed action picture? How is that possible? Women are supposed to be satisfied with warmed over lousy romantic comedies. Expectations are shattering everywhere. Again, good movie–even reasonably decent– equals audiences. So how will it do next week against big action-adventure competition Hancock? The early reviews for Hancock has been negative but it does star box office lock Will Smith, who would be a tough test for anyone, including Angelina Jolie with a gun.
Get Smart came in third with $20 million, and Kung Fu Panda was fourth, with $11.7 million. Considering that Wall*E is aimed at the same demographic as Panda, this has to be considered a victory for the animated martial arts flick. Now in it’s fourth weekend, it’s held on better than expected (or at least than I expected). The Incredible Hulk was fifth with $9.2 million. Don’t even ask about The Love Guru.
The aforementioned Hancock is getting a jump on the Hollywood weekend with a Wednesday opening. Let’s see how it challenges this week’s two powerhouses. Another interesting opener is the nationwide release of Kit Kittredge: American Girl. It’s another family film that seems to have a strong built in audience, but will it get lost in the Wall*E maelstrom? This movie has done well in extremely limited release but really seems like more of a winter movie. Hang on, Kitt–there’s always video.