North American box office: ‘Up’ down, gets a headache from ‘The Hangover’
1. The Hangover: $44.99 million (NEW)
actual numbers, not estimates
Good thing I wait for the actual numbers, because that’s where the story is this week. On Sunday, estimates had The Hangover in second place, with Up just squeaking by it to take first place again. But when the real numbers came in late yesterday, it turns out that the estimates had badly misjudged Sunday’s actual ticket sales for The Hangover: they were way higher than the actual numbers for Friday and Saturday would have suggested. Which means that The Hangover’s word of mouth is extraordinary.
Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times sums up the impact of that word of mouth perfectly:
[Warners marketing chief Sue] Kroll knew she hit pay dirt when she went to the hair salon on Saturday. She listened with delight as a pair of women relived the uproarious time they'd had seeing the film with friends the night before. "One of them said, 'I loved that guy who was missing a tooth -- he reminded me of my ex-boyfriend.' " Kroll recalled. "And then she said, 'Everyone loves that movie. My mother's going to see it now too.' "
And here’s where I get depressed: The Hangover may be a hit, but if it might have been a great movies if it had had the balls to be really dark, instead of the faux, safe, pretende “dark light” that it is. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a movie that grandmothers were going to see.
Land of the Lost lost a significant percentage of its estimate, too, once the final numbers were in. I’d say this could signal the end for stupid shit cinema like this, but it won’t.
But look at Star Trek clinging to the Top 5! Terminator Salvation is gone (it dropped another 50 percent to the No. 6 spot; it did pass $100 million this weekend, but it cost $200 million). Drag Me to Hell is gone (it dropped another 57 percent to the No. 7 spot, though it did pass $25 million this weekend; no word yet on its budget, though I’d guess probably not more than $40 million, and probably a lot less). But Trek hangs on. And I do hope that means we get more from J.J. Abrams and his new crew.
My Life in Ruins, which could be said to be Nia Vardalos’s followup to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, tanked, clocking in for its debut at No. 9, taking in only $3.2 million. And it didn’t even deserve that much. But Sam Mendes’s lovely new indie romantic dramedy Away We Go (which I hope to review this week) earned a whopping $32,603 on each of the four screens it debuted on, by far the best per-screen average of the weekend. (The Hangover was a distant second, with $13,759 at each of its 3,269 venues.)
[numbers via Box Office Mojo]
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Tue Jun 09 09, 12:31PM
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by MaryAnn Johanson
Away We Go
Drag Me to Hell
Land of the Lost
Los Angeles Times
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
My Life in Ruins
Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian
· my week at the movies: ‘Away We Go,’ ‘Food, Inc.,’ ‘Lovely by Surprise,’ ‘My Life in Ruins,’ ‘Whatever Works’ (plus ‘Up’)
· June 5: DVD alternatives to this weekend’s multiplex offerings
· question of the day: What movies are you most looking forward to in 2009?
· trailer break: ‘Star Trek’
· what the hell is ‘Fringe,’ anyway?
· My Life in Ruins (aka Driving Aphrodite) (review)
· opening in the U.S. and Canada June 5: ‘Land of the Lost,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘My Life in Ruins,’ ‘Away We Go,’ more
· North American box office: ‘The Hangover’ lingers; aspirin not helping
· North American box office: ‘Avatar’ still shocking and aweing
· June 12: DVD alternatives to this weekend’s multiplex offerings
question of the day: Would you watch TV on your cellphone?
trailer break: ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’