Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 The Proposal $34,114,000 $11,163 $34,114,000
2 The Hangover $26,855,000 (-18.1%) $7,575 $152,919,000
3 Up $21,336,000 (-30.6%) $5,568 $224,113,000
4 Year One $20,200,000 $6,684 $20,200,000
5 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $11,300,000 (-51.7%) $3,672 $43,332,000
6 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $7,300,000 (-24.1%) $2,465 $155,953,000
7 Star Trek $4,700,000 (-13.8%) $2,037 $239,444,000
8 Land of the Lost $3,976,000 (-55.8%) $1,350 $43,672,000
9 Imagine That $3,100,000 (-43.7%) $1,030 $11,351,000
10 Terminator Salvation $3,070,000 (-35.9%) $1,599 $119,513,000


This just in: JJ Fad (and just as quickly out).

There is no denying that this is the summer of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. They wrote Star Trek, they executive produced The Proposal, and they wrote Transformers 2. Their roles on The Proposal as executive producers may have been small, but it’s likely their smallest film of the summer. And depending on word of mouth, and their ability to stay effective counter-programming/date night material, this opening bodes well for $100-$120 Million final total. And if word of mouth kicks in like it has with some other pictures, it could get to $150.

I think what we’re seeing this year is a paradigm shifting. Where once people might wait for DVD, or purchase a film they love, nowadays, I think people are reacting that seeing a film in the theater or purchasing it are equivalent. And with netflix giving people the world’s biggest video library, owning films is now moving back into the hands of the collectors. With the re/depression America is currently in, leaving the house has likely been a little more appealing, regardless if you’ve got six channel surround or not. I think this, though, works against blockbusters, in that their appeal has always been the immediate. And if people have felt burned by the impulsive purchases of the past – though there’s still an audience for that – The Hangover only dropped 18% this weekend. This sort of behavior, even with a film people like, has not been the norm. But we’ve seen a number of films behave this way exactly. And The Hangover is going to get past $200 Million. It’s outpacing the similar Wedding Crashers.

Now, in years past if a film was a runaway word of mouth hit you’d have 0% drops, or increases, if a film played because there wasn’t that home video window. And we may yet see that in the future, but as great as that would, studios are not really prepared for that with their constant stream of product and release windows. But when a film plays these days, it’s doing a lot more up front business. Likely this is because the back end has bend falling off. DVD numbers are rather difficult to get a hold of for that very reason. The reason why this hurts blockbusters is that it means people are no longer as committed to opening weekends, and blockbusters are built on that first weekend. Especially if they’re not very good. The question is: will this effect Transformers 2 in any way, especially since word of mouth is mixed to negative currently? The answer: not on your life (though Michael Bay having a hissy about the film’s marketing suggests not everything is kosher). But the term front loaded comes to mind.

Also playing strong is Up, which may have a shot at $300 million . $250 is a done deal. If it continues to drop small it’s got a chance. It’ll be interesting to see next week if Transformers sucks the air out of other titles. It may not.

Year One looked troubled, and Jack Black is not much of a selling point these days, the schtick hasn’t changed much since High Fidelity. So it’s possible that Michael Cera brought them in, who does his schtick, which audiences haven’t grown tired of. $20 feels like a victory for the film, as it’ll probably lead to a $40 -$50 endgame. That’s in no way great, but it’s better than Walk Hard. Sony’s got two mildplays with it and Pelham, which dropped 50% and probably won’t get much past $60 million, if that. Pelham might do slightly better overseas, but Year One won’t. Perhaps Sony’s The Ugly Truth will play as an audience favorite.

Night at the Museum is hanging in there, like that cat on a branch, but it’s time is coming to an end, though it still did $7 Million this weekend. So Bill Hader’s got two in the top ten. Star Trek‘s winding down, but $250-$260 Million is on the way. Land of the Lost gets to $50, but that’s about it, while Terminator Salvation is going to cross $120, and die.

Imagine That will do slightly better than Meet Dave.

Some time on Thursday, I should write something about robots.