The Box-Office Top Five
#1 “The Hangover” ($45 million)
#2 “Up” ($44.3 million)
#3 “Land of the Lost” ($19.5 million)
#4 “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” ($14.7 million)
#5 “Star Trek” ($8.4 million)
The box office enjoyed a photo finish this weekend. As of Sunday night, “Up” was widely being reported as having held its top spot with $44.3 million, the first film of the summer to hold #1 two weeks in a row.
But never discount an R-rated raunchfest, or a late Sunday-night surge. “The Hangover” had enough of a drunken buzz to overtake “Up,” and once the numbers were recounted, it was found to have brought in an impressive $45 million, exceeding industry predictions of a $20 million opening and becoming a personal best for director Todd Phillips. Warner Bros. has already enlisted Phillips and his “Hangover” cast for a sequel.
Though it failed to stay at #1, “Up” was still flying high this weekend, and the latest Disney/Pixar effort brought in another $44.2 million, making its 10-day take a sturdy $137.3 million. While all of Pixar’s efforts have done blockbuster business, only “Finding Nemo” held on as strongly with audiences as “Up” seems to be doing.
Unfortunately for Universal and Will Ferrell, “Land of the Lost” didn’t enjoy similar success. The comedy adventure suffered from mixed reviews and marketing, and brought in only $19.5 million on its opening weekend. It reportedly needed to have a debut of $30 million to recoup costs, and will likely go down as one of summer’s biggest flops.
The studio isn’t having much luck with its other big summer release, “Drag Me to Hell,” which failed to benefit from good reviews and word of mouth. Sam Raimi’s horror flick slid from the top five in its sophomore week to land squarely at #7 with $7.3 million, for a total gross of $28.5 million.
Of the Memorial Day releases, only “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” held steady, bringing in another $14.7 million and enjoying a total of $127.3 million. While it’s lagging behind the first installment, “Museum” is still doing better than its holiday rival, “Terminator Salvation.” The fourth “Terminator” film fell to #6, bringing in only $8.2 million, with an 18-day cumulative of $105.5 million. But “Star Trek” continues to hold strong, keeping its seat at #5 with $8.4 million and enjoying membership in the $200 million club after reaching a total gross of $223 million.
Though business was down about 5 percent from last year, there was still enough to go around for those seeking the peace and quiet of a limited release. Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go” debuted in only four venues in New York and Los Angeles, but it brought in an impressive $143,260, about $35,815 per venue. It has a slightly better forecast for wide release than Nia Vardalos’ latest Greek comedy, “My Life in Ruins,” which opened in 1,164 theaters to bring an acceptable $3.2 million.
Paramount aims for the kids with the Eddie Murphy comedy “Imagine That,” while Sony offers the thriller “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington.
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