‘Hulk’ Smashes The Competition; ‘American Idol’ Movie Flops

Comic adaptation takes in nearly $63 million to become #1 movie in America.

Marvel Comics’ green goliath is fond of saying “Hulk smash!,” and this weekend his movie counterpart did just that, laying waste to tanks, helicopters and box-office records as “Hulk” took in nearly $63 million to become the #1 movie in America.

Director Ang Lee’s dark psychodrama about a scientist’s rage-fueled alter ego enjoyed the biggest June opening in history, according to studio estimates. (Click for photos from “Hulk.” ) “Hulk” is now the seventh consecutive Marvel film to debut at #1 and the third Universal film in the last six weeks to open with more than $50 million (along with “Bruce Almighty” and “2 Fast 2 Furious”).

Marvel Films CEO Avi Arad has said he intends to build a Hulk franchise, which now seems certain in light of the weekend’s box-office numbers. “I haven’t given [sequels] much thought,” said “Hulk” star Eric Bana recently, who is contractually obligated to at least one. “But I am obviously signed on to the idea of it.”

Meanwhile, the “American Idol” movie “From Justin to Kelly” was a flop, debuting outside the top 10 with less than $3 million. (Click for photos from “From Justin to Kelly.” ) And, relative to the success of films like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Old School,” the Kate Hudson/ Luke Wilson romantic comedy “Alex and Emma” was also a disappointment, opening at #7 with $6.2 million. (Click for photos from “Alex and Emma.” )

The #2 movie over the weekend was “Finding Nemo” with $20.5 million, a drop of 28 percent from last weekend when the film reclaimed the #1 spot from “2 Fast 2 Furious” (see ” ‘Nemo’ Finds #1 Again As ’2 Furious’ Falls Fast” ). “Nemo” has made $227.9 million in the last four weeks, already passing the box-office totals of its Disney/ Pixar brethren “Toy Story” and “A Bug’s Life.”

“2 Fast 2 Furious” dropped another 45 percent, taking in $10.4 million to land at #3. The sequel to 2001′s “The Fast and the Furious” has made $102.1 million in three weeks. (Click for photos from “2 Fast 2 Furious.” )

The rest of the weekend’s top 10: Jim Carrey’s “Bruce Almighty” at #4 with $10 million ($210.7 million, five weeks); “The Italian Job” at #5 with $7.2 million ($67.6 million, four weeks); “Rugrats Go Wild!” at #6 with $6.6 million ($23.5 million 2 weeks); “Hollywood Homicide,” which reportedly cost $75 million, at #8 with $5.8 million ($21.4 million, two weeks); “Dumb and Dumberer” at #9 with $4.7 million ($19.9 million, two weeks); and “The Matrix: Reloaded” at #10 with $4 million ($264.5 million, six weeks).