The Top Five
#1 “The Simpsons Movie” ($71.6 million)
#2 “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” ($19 million)
#3 “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” ($17 million)
#4 “Hairspray” ($15.6 million)
#5 “No Reservations” ($11.8 million)
All good things come to those who wait, and for fans of “The Simpsons,” this weekend was nothing short of, as Mr. Burns would say, “excellent.” After 18 years and 400 episodes, “The Simpsons” exploded onto the big screen, opening to $71.6 million, and ensuring that for Homer, Bart, Marge and the rest of the gang, this was the “Best. Weekend. Ever.”
The impressive haul for “The Simpsons Movie” was also the fifth best opening weekend of the year and the fifth best opening weekend of all time for movies released during the month of July (falling just below this year’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” in both categories). The flick made more during its opening frame than “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles” or “Ice Age” — in fact, more than any other animated movie not named “Shrek.” That’s a whole lot of donuts.
Homer’s odyssey sent last week’s winner, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” to second place. With $19 million over the weekend, the comedy boosted its two-week total to a respectable $71.6 million … which means it may very well wind up being star Adam Sandler’s lowest grossing comedy since “Little Nicky” in 2000. The problem as we see it? Too much Kevin James and not enough Jessica Biel.
Have audiences, meanwhile, had enough of Harry Potter? Not in book form, clearly — the seventh and final novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” broke virtually every sales record known to mankind — but after a magical opening, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” continued to drop faster than Dumbledore’s body from the Astronomy Tower. (Oh boy, that was cold — apologies.) In its third weekend, the Boy Who Lived scored $17 million, a nearly 50 percent drop from last week. His new three-week total is $241.8 million.
Meanwhile, stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart should have tipped the maître d’, as their comedy, “No Reservations,” got the table near the kitchen, coming in fifth place with $11.8 million. The weekend’s other new releases, “I Know Who Killed Me,” starring Lindsay Lohan as a stripper, and “Who’s Your Caddy,” an urban update of “Caddyshack,” came in ninth and 10th place respectively.
How’d We Do?
Get ready for a night on the town, Mr. Loder! The second “Hot Fuzz” director Edgar Wright insisted MTV News legend Kurt Loder accompany him on a date should he win our contest — well, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t hoping for him to win all weekend. While his guess of $52 million was considerably off the mark, Wright was still the closest … Now all we have to do is tell Kurt.
After 40 weeks, here are our standings:
Prognosticator (Weeks Won)
Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (21)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (10)
Celebrity guest (8)
Next weekend’s box office is “Bourne” again, with the release of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third and final chapter in the popular action series. Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne can fight his way out of tight spots, but can he claw through a weekend this crowded? Also getting wide releases are “Underdog,” a live-action version of the animated canine superhero; “Bratz,” a live-action version of the popular toy line; “Becoming Jane” with Anne Hathaway as a young Jane Austen; and “Hot Rod” with “Saturday Night Live” comedian Andy Samberg.
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