WEEKEND ESTIMATES: 'TDK' Soars to $76M weekend and Overtakes 'Iron Man' in Just 10 Days!; Ferrell's 'Step Brothers' Strong with $30M; 'X-Files' a Box-Office No-Go with $10M!
by Steve Mason
SUNDAY 8:00 a.m. (Pacific):
3-DAY STUDIO ESTIMATES
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) — $75.63 million, $17,322 PTA, $314.24 million cume
2. Step Brothers (Sony) — $30 million, $9,696 PTA, $30 million cume
3. Mamma Mia (Universal) — $17.86 million, $5,974 PTA, $62.71 million
4. The X-Files: I Want To Believe (20th Century Fox) — $10.2 million, $3,202 PTA, $10.2 million cume
5. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros.) — $9.41 million, $3,502 PTA, $60.18 million cume
6. Hancock (Sony) — $8.2 million, $2,478 PTA, $206.37 million cume
7. WALL-E (Disney) — $6.34 million, $2,085 PTA, $195.23 million cume
8. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal) — $4.93 million, $1,634 PTA, $65.89 million cume
9. Space Chimps (20th Century Fox) — $4.37 million, $1,723 PTA, $16 million cume
10. Wanted (Universal) — $2.72 million, $1,554 PTA, $128.6 million cume
FRIDAY 9:00 p.m. (Pacific): By Monday morning, The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) will likely be the No. 1 movie of 2008. Even the rosiest of forecasts could not have anticipated that the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman Begins sequel would surpass Marvel's Iron Man (Paramount) and Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (Paramount) in only 10 days, but it appears that the dark superhero/crime thriller hybrid will do just that.
After grabbing a remarkable $238.61 million in its first seven days, easily besting the previous mark set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Disney) by $42.6 million, The Dark Knight seized an estimated $23 million on its second Friday. That makes for a new eight-day cume of $261.61 million, about $50 million more than Dead Man's Chest generated in eight days. That is almost 20 percent better than Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow sequel at the same point in its release.
None of the usual rules seem to apply to this comic-book adaptation, but I am targeting $77 million for this three-day weekend. If the number holds, The Dark Knight will have $315.61 million banked by Monday morning, which should be just enough to push past Iron Man. Warner Bros. has also taken firm hold of the No. 2 spot in studio market share with $883 million or so. They are within $225 million of Paramount, which will have sold $1.1 billion in tickets.
It once appeared that Paramount, with back-to-back-to-back $200 million grossing movies, would easily be the No. 1 studio in 2008, but the outrageous success of The Dark Knight has made it a real horse race. Paramount has surefire hits Tropic Thunder (Aug. 15) and Madagascar 2 (Nov. 7) still to come, while Warner Bros. counters with Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Aug. 15) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Nov. 21).
The race could come down to which studio can come up with another breakout hit. Maybe D.J. Caruso's reteaming with Shia LeBeouf on Eagle Eye (Dreamworks/Paramount) performs like Disturbia? Or Ridley Scott's Body of Lies, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, breaks out like last year's American Gangster (Universal)?
Will Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay, who previously joined forces for Anchorman and Talladega Nights, have scored again. Step Brothers (Sony), the generally well-reviewed R-rated comedy, has scored a very strong $11.75 million on Friday. That should translate to an estimated $32.2 million for its opening weekend and a solid No. 2 finish. It also marks the all-time third-best opening for the former Saturday Night Live star Ferrell, trailing only Talladega Nights ($47 million) and Blades of Glory ($33 million).
Mamma Mia! (Universal) is proving to be sturdy in its second weekend. The ABBA-inspired Broadway adaptation has females 25-plus singing in the aisles with an estimated $5.5 million on Friday. Meryl Streep's first movie musical should finish the weekend with $17.6 million or so, for a 10-day cume of $62.44 million. This picture will have no trouble pushing past $100 million.
The reboot of Chris Carter's The X-Files has stumbled out of the gate with an estimated $4 million on opening day. The hit TV series wrapped up its television run in 2002, but the show enjoyed its best ratings in 1998. There have long been questions about how relevant Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) would be among Under 25 moviegoers, and the Fox marketing folks have done everything they could to lure a new generation of fans. In the final analysis, The X-Files: I Want To Believe will manage only $11 million or so for its opening three days.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros.) is proving to be a durable family-friendly summer movie with another $2.7 million on Friday and a likely $9.25 million for the weekend. That will give the Brendan Fraser 3D adventure a new domestic cume of just over $60 million. Meanwhile, Will Smith's Hancock (Sony) is holding very strong at No. 6, picking up $2.6 million on Friday for a new cume of $200.67 million. The three-day should be an estimated $7.7 million, and the Peter Berg-directed superhero flick should finish as one of the five highest-grossing movies of the summer.
EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY FRIDAY ESTIMATES
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) — $23 million, $5,268PTA, $261.61 million cume
2. Step Brothers (Sony) — $11.75 million, $3,798 PTA, $11.75 million cume
3. Mamma Mia! (Universal) — $5.5 million, $1,851 PTA, $50.38 million
4. The X-Files: I Want To Believe (20th Century Fox) — $4 million, $1,570 PTA, $12 million cume
5. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros.) — $2.72 million, $1,014 PTA, $53.49 million cume
6. Hancock (Sony) — $2.6 million, $786 PTA, $200.77 million cume
7. WALL-E (Disney) — $1.9 million, $624 PTA, $190.78 million cume
8. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal) — $1.49 million, $496 PTA, $62.45 million cume
9. Space Chimps (20th Century Fox) — $1.42 million, $561 PTA, $13.05 million cume
10. Wanted (Universal) — $824,000, $469 PTA, $126.71 million cume
EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY 3-DAY ESTIMATES
1. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) — $77.4 million, $17,728 PTA, $316 million cume
2. Step Brothers (Sony) — $32.2 million, $10,407 PTA, $32.2 million cume
3. Mamma Mia (Universal) — $17.6 million, $5,888 PTA, $62.4 million
4. The X-Files: I Want To Believe (20th Century Fox) — $11 million, $3,454 PTA, $11 million cume
5. Journey To the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros.) — $9.25 million, $3,441 PTA, $60.02 million cume
6. Hancock (Sony) — $7.7 million, $2,327 PTA, $205.87 million cume
7. WALL-E (Disney) — $6.46 million, $1,834 PTA, $195.34 million cume
8. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal) — $4.7 million, $1,561 PTA, $65.66 million cume
9. Space Chimps (20th Century Fox) — $4.27 million, $1,684 PTA, $15.9 million cume
10. Wanted (Universal) — $2.72 million, $1,547 PTA, $128.6 million cume