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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

weekend box office: ‘Cars’ sputters to the lead

If only Lightning McQueen could learn to Tokyo drift…

When is earning $60 million in a weekend considered disappointing? When you work in Hollywoood. (I have this terrible feeling of deja vu…) Pixar/Disney’s latest, Cars, is seen to have performed a tad below par this past weekend because 1) it didn’t beat the initial weekends of other Pixar flicks, and 2) it failed to quite reach the almost $63 million that was estimated by the studio on early Sunday. Peter Sciretta at /Film has the tortured analysis:

Variety claims that the fact Cars dipped from $19.7 million on Friday to $17.1 million Sunday may indicate that softer word of mouth. No, really? Everyone I’ve talked to about the latest Pixar film has been slightly down on the film. Most of my friends have shown complete lack of interest. True, I live in a liberal city and am not a car or Nascar fan. But we all know that middle america loves the car stuff. It would be interesting to see how much of Pixar’s audience prior to this film came from the coasts as opposed to middle america. Anyone have these figures?

Meanwhile, X-Men: The Last Stand sailed past $200 million this weekend but still hasn’t earned back its reported budget, and this film is treated as the second coming of the Brangelina baby. On the flip side, The Omen is “disappointing” because it made “only” $16 million over the weekend… even though it also made $20 million midweek, between Tuesday — 06.06.06 — and Thursday, which is pretty amazing. Its reported budget is only $25 million, so it’s already, at a cumulative box office take of $36 million, in the black.

I wish I lived in the bizarro world of Hollywood accountants. That would be awesome.

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