|Film||Four Day Weekend Total||Per Screen||Total|
|3||Balls are Furry||$13,837,000||$4,533||$16,798,000|
|4||The Bourne Ultimatum||$13,193,000 (+5.8%)||$4,010||$202,613,000|
|5||Rush Whore 3||$10,375,000 (-11.4%)||$3,449||$122,231,000|
|6||Mr. Bean’s Holiday||$8,101,000 (-18.1%)||$4,589||$21,101,000|
|7||The Nanny Diaries||$6,356,000 (-15.0%)||$2,411||$16,507,000|
Ben Stiller joked during his appearance on Extras that Along Came Polly was the highest grossing film to open on President’s Day weekend, and such points out the slight absurdity of Rob Zombie’s Halloween now holding the title of “The Highest Grossing Opener for Labor Day Weekend.” Especially since the weekend has never been considered much of an earner. That’s not to take away the accomplishment – in the face of the film leaking onto the internet and mostly poor reviews (and perhaps also logic), the film scored enough to get over thirty million in its four day (though actuals may be less kind). Which may make it The Da Vinci Code of horror remakes in the sense that most people didn’t care for the movie but went anyway, but just the same, people went. And it can’t just be fanboys hoping to see Danielle Harris nekkid.
Perhaps some of this is due to the record temperatures in certain parts of the country (I’m surprised no one in LA has burned down Sal’s Famous). I know that unbearable heat has sent me to the theater to see films as poor as 2 Fast 2 Furious, Van Helsing and Troy simply to duck out of the dog days if only for a couple of hours. But I don’t mean to take away the victory for Zombie and co. though I do wish to remind everyone engrossed in the victories and fallings of BO (as I am so want to do) that gross doesn’t mean anyone liked it or didn’t like it (all it means is that people went), and the film partly got by on brand name recognition, which was cleansed of its Busta Rhymes sins up by the reboot (to embrace entirely new sins). It should also stoke the fires for the upcoming Friday the 13th remake, and likely to get New Line motivated to remake Nightmare on Elm St. In the end, we are the rejects. The proof of any success will be if it can withstand a 70% decline next weekend, though even that is standard operating procedure.
It’s also worth noting that Balls of Fury had an off season success, in that the film sat around for a long time and people didn’t much care for it, but that summer heat and the threat of amusing people doing amusing things was enough to propel it to third place. At this point, all that empathy given to Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant’s for-hire work can no longer be considered valid. These guys are good with improv and two or three minute sketches, but feature-length has not been their forte within the studio system or even with a certain amount of autonomy. They may be great gag writers, but gags don’t sustain narratives. The 30 it gets to should cover most expenses if Universal was smart (and by smart I mean cheap). Death Sentence lived up to its title. It’s DOA.
Otherwise the performers performed, with Superbad inching that much closer to the nine digit mark, Bourne crossing into $200 territory, and Rush Hour 3 cresting over $120 (perhaps $140 isn’t out of reach), while Bean played remarkably strong for what it is, and The Nanny Diaries didn’t just eat it. I doubt it’s a word of mouth hit, but if it got to thirty, well, that might mean something not so horrible. War will quietly make it’s 20-25, while Stardust is pretty much done, but could get to a near 40. Since Paramount only invested half of the film’s $70 million budget, that means it should prove remunerative by DVD. Again, it’s about the small victories.