Film Weekend Per Screen Total 
1 The Incredible Hulk $54,538,000 $15,560 $54,538,000
Kung Fu Panda  $34,321,000 (-43.0%) $8,298  $117,998,000
3 The Happening $30,500,000 $10,214 $30,500,000
4  You Don’t Mess with the Zohan $16,400,000 (-57.4%) $4,731 $68,790,000
5  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $13,547,000 (-40.6%) $3,561  $275,329,000
6  Sex and The City $10,185,000 (-52.0%) $3,228 $119,919,000
7 Iron Man $5,130,000 (-31.4%) $2,134 $297,428,000
8 The Strangers $4,097,000 (-54.2%) $1,700 $45,360,000
9 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $3,004,000 (-46.9%) $1,301  $131,744,000
10 What Happens in Vegas $1,700,000 (-50.5%) $1,195 $75,788,000

This just in: Gas prices have risen dramatically in the last couple of weeks. For quite some time, $4  gallon seemed inevitable but teased with, whereas recently $4 gas prices went from “well, you can put a finger in” to “12 inch studded dildo.”  Five dollars a gallon is around the corner. Trust me, you don’t want to know the metaphor for five.

Ang Lee’s altogether-too-maligned Hulk (don’t believe I love it, look here) opened to $63 million and finished out around $130 with a reported budget of around $137. The “sequel” opened to $54.5 Million, cost $150 million, and will be considered fairly successful. That’s show business, and that’s partly because of ancilaries (read: DVD and Blu-ray) and international, and partly due to it not going to drop like a fucking stone next week (thankfully, all the new releases are comedies and should keep it from more than a 50-60% drop), as the Ang Lee Hulk was almost completely rejected by the mainstream film-goers. But they were wrong.

Speaking of rejected by the public, 20th Century Fox knows how to sell a turd, and so they got their Happening open to a little over $30 Million. No one called that, though I should have known better as I’ve written a number of columns suggesting that critical concensus has little to no impact on the mainstream. An R rating and Marky Mark got it open, and though I heard that drunken audiences everywhere are calling this the Rock N Roll Nightmare of the A list/B Film set, or at least that what some chewers told me yesterday after the Blade Runner event on the Warner Brothers lot. If you weren’t there, you missed a beautiful thing, and I only wish I had more time to socialize with the Chud contingent. And it’s fair to say a Chud reader (a chewer, if you will ) asked the best question of the Q and A set. That said, The Happening cost around $60 and that’s what it will make domestically. It’s not an embarassment, and M Night went on the lowered expectations tour before the film came out. But the man has no golden-boy (or Pony boy) status to claim any more. As much as he may have said he figured out how to write blockbusters every time, the audience is not only listening but wary. Or – that is to say – Paramount is smart to have him do Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Shyamalan is smart to do it as well. Hopefully… it’ll work. The show’s not bad, so that’s something.

You want to know how the nine digit cross-over has become devalued like the American dollar? Kung Fu Panda is already at $117. I’m not saying that to begrudge or be snide about the film’s success… far from it, I’m just saying – back in my day when a film crossed into the $100 range in meant that it was a huge hit. Like, that everyone on your block had seen it, and that kid who saw everyhing saw it twice. Now, not so much. But Dreamworks is in a good position to get this film to $200 plus. This may very well be the summer of kids films. Which is fitting, it is summer.

Zohan played well to certain audiences (aka me and Beaks), but may not have been a core-Sandler favorite, and doesn’t have the real sweetness of his date movie films. With next week’s new comic duo, Zohan will likely take it in his stuffed shorts and so getting to nine digits will be the good enough (though slightly low for a Sandler vehicle). Indy keeps having manageable drops, but it should also be shedding prints shortly, so it and Iron Man (which only dropped 31%) will be neck and neck for the summer’s highest grosser until……..

“Pitful Earthlings… Who will save you now?”

(drum beat)

(Freddie Mercury voice) “WALL…….. E E E E E! Savior of the universe! (Brian May’s guitar kicks in) WALL” (drum continues).

But he’s a just a man. He’s just a man. Wait. What? Sex and the City keeps falling off, but considering it was reasonably cheap, it’s hugely profitable at this point, and we may see another one in two year, or so. Why not? Like Herpes, the show is the gift that keeps on giving.  Currently Get Smart is tracking higher than The Love Guru. Which shocks me because (on a whole) America has bad taste and I would suspect that Mike Myers’ tired schtick would get the flyovers in a titter. But we shall see, or – as David Poland like to say – what is there to say about that.

On a personal note (spotlight, please) I would like to wish Jeremy a nice Bon Voyage. As some of you may know Jeremy “Mr. Beaks” Smith is returning to his old stomping grounds of www.isntitcoolnews~angelfire/, and if he wasn’t my close, personal friend (not to get too Sammy Maudlin) I would probably be more melancholly about this. Instead, I’m just pleased to usher him out. If only there was a song I could sing about how it can be difficult to say aideu to yesterday. If only.