I dipped a pig in shit once. It wasn’t that happy. Actually it looked at me, and the expression was somewhat melancholy, like it was ashamed, but not entirely indifferent.



IT’S THE SUMMER OF 69. ING. INC.

So, summer’s over right, the big money season? Lets look at what they did, shall we


Film Total Opening Weekend Budget (in Millions)
1 The Dark Knight $512,829,031 (likely $530 cume)
$158,411,483 $185
2 Iron Man $318,022,539 $98,618,668 $140
3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter $316,244,191 $100,137,835 $185
4 Hancock  $227,946,274 $62,603,879 $150
5 Wall-E $219,474,267 $63,087,526 $180
6 Kung Fu Panda $214,265,067 $60,239,130 $130
7 Sex and the City $152,606,319 $57,038,404 $65
8 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $141,621,490 $55,034,805 $200
9 Mamma Mia! $136,982,690 $27,751,240 $52
10 The Incredible Hulk $134,533,885 $55,414,050 $150
11 Wanted $134,190,200 $50,927,085 $75
12 Get Smart $128,619,336 $38,683,480 $80
13 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $100,748,215 $40,457,770 $145
14 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan $100,018,837 $38,531,374 $90
15 Tropic Thunder $97,712,057 (likely $120-$130 Cume) $25,812,796 $92

This was the summer of The Dark Knight. It could have been Indy, it could have been Iron Man, it could have been Wall-E. But it wasn’t.
Christopher Nolan’s dark and esoteric… errr, dark and realistic The Dark Knight was the summer stunner. And though it’s not over, it’s at $950 Millon internationally, and could cross the Billion mar before it wraps up. Theatrically, it’s got at least another 10-15 Million in it domestically. This means we’ll get a sequel and we’ll get a Nolan film that should be pure Nolan. Whatever that is, I’m excited.

Iron Man and Indy will have to make due with second and third place. Iron Man has edged out Indy, though they are spitting distance. Both also had excellent international numbers, and were home runs stateside. The bigger success is – of course – Iron Man as its a franchise starter, but that first weekend of May release date really did take it home. These were also home runs, though not out of the park ones (well, maybe Iron Man).

Things start getting less impressive shortly, regardless of the totals. Though Hancock had a troubled production history (Unrated DVD and Blu-Ray version shortly!) Will Smith proved that he is one of the few movie stars working today, and so a film that was greeted with mehs was able to cross over the $200 mark. That’s change we can believe in. Or at least Sony can. Then comes Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda, and no one thought those two would be in spitting distance. KFP was more of a home run because Dreamworks barely seemed to market the thing until just before release, whereas Wall-E was a hometown favorite. Perhaps the more cultured response to Ratatouille, mixed with the slight disappointments of Cars help keep this one from reaching to the stars, or perhaps – as Devin suggested – the love story was a bit off for the youths. A bigger hit than either (at least domestically) was Sex and the City, which delivered more than one might hope for from a TV spin-off. Women went, and they enjoyed themselves. But the animated films have the advantage of doing better business internationally. So Sex was a huge hit at home, but that’s going to be the meat and potatoes. But those numbers are good for it. Much like Mamma Mia! which may do better internationally because of the Abba factor. 

But then in top ten are The Incredible Hulk and Prince Caspian, both of which I tagged losers. When you spend as much as they did, these films should have made more money, unless the ancillaries are that awesome. Two films in the top ten did not make money in the theater. The paradigm is shifting y’all. Then there’s The Mummy 3, which is also a film that cost more than it made, and did a bit better internationally, but again, it’s a long play win.

You could say the summer had some surprise hits in Get Smart and Wanted, as they were not franchise pictures, per say, and Steve Carrell was coming off Evan Almighty and Dan in Real Life. Both came from pre-existing material, though. And Zohan and Tropic Thunder, and Step Brothers all did well for comedies. Of these fifteen only four were original scripts, while five were sequels, with eleven based on pre-existing material Summer is not the time for creativity, I guess.

AND THEN THERE WERE PREDICTIONS

New Tyler Perry! Versus De Niro and Pacino, together again (for the third time, the second time working on screen together, and the first as partners). Who wins? Who cares? There’s a new Coen Brothers film out and that’s the one to see. There’s also The Women, with a cast of women, a remake, and something of counter programming. But at the end of the day, the only one here that will be a true winner is The Family That Preys, as it was likely veddy cheap. Burn After Reading will open respectably, all thigns, but the Coens just won their Oscar, and so the word of mouth will be mixed, regardless of how good it is, while The Women at least gets open, as does Righteous Kill, but only just Tropic Thunder leads the pack of holdovers, and should cross that hundred mark.

So let’s do the do, boo:
1. Tyler Perry’s There’s An Audience For Anything I Do – $14.8 Million
2. Righteous Kill – $13.7 Million
3. The Women – 11.5 Million
4. Burn After Reading – 10.0 Million
5. Tropic Thunder – $4.9 Million

And then on Sunday, I’ll be doing a bunch of transcription, and hopefully not be too sore on the bum-bum.