First off, happy Memorial Day everybody! Enjoy barbequing with your family and taking your day off! As for me, I’ll be finishing two essays and studying for finals. Fun, right? But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Once again, it’s that time of the week when the movie theaters of America tally up the numbers and we arrive at who made the most money. Is it a trivial system? Yes. We should probably be counting by number of tickets sold due to the marginally different ticket prices around the country and the 3-D surcharge bonus that 2-D films don’t get. But, it’s the system we have. So, this week, as we are breaking into a sprint towards the summer season, we saw the arrival of a long dead franchise, the fourth weekend of a powerhouse blockbuster, a horror film that offended survivors of a natural disaster more than it scared them, and we also got the little indie film that could. Who won?
It was Barry Sonnenfeld’s third entry in the franchise that nobody asked to be continued, Men In Black, that took the top spot this weekend, finally dethroning The Avengers of its “king of the world” status. Men In Black III opened to a solid $70,000,000 estimate for the long holiday weekend. It was undoubtedly helped by the fact that reaction didn’t suck and it had the 3-D (and IMAX) surcharge behind it. Is this opening enough to warrant a MIB IV? You never know, considering MIB III also took in a hefty $132,000,000 interationally. However, due to rumors of a highly inflated budget due to a delayed production schedule and the fact that, while the film was good, it didn’t make me (and I assume most people) want another one, it seems unlikely. Anyways, MIB III serves as a nice capper to the franchise. So let it die, Sonnenfeld. Let it die. Coming in behind MIB III was the 3-D blockbuster extravaganza that everybody loves to love, The Avengers. It came oh-so-close to a
$50,000,000 fourth weekend, which is incredible in its own right. However, the Joss Whedon-directed comic book movie didn’t stop there with the film managing to become the fourth film ever to gross over $500,000,000 domestically. With the crowded movie season ahead of us, it seems unlikely that The Avengers will reach the coveted #1 worldwide spot that Avatar currently holds at $2.7 billion, but it has had one hell of a run. The other major release this weekend, Chernobyl Diaries, faltered behind The Avengers, Battleship, and The Dictator to open at #5 with a mere $9,300,000. What does this mean? Stupid horror movies aren’t getting any money anymore because there’s just too damn many of them. People don’t want to see another rip-off rushed into production after the Paranormal Activity franchise churned out three mega-successful movies. Maybe this will stop all these horror movies from being made. I’m just kidding… it’ll never stop. However, what can be hailed as the biggest story this weekend is the success of Moonrise Kingdom, the latest film from quirky indie director Wes Anderson. How good did it do? It opened to over $500,000 at #14. Now, you may be thinking that isn’t good at all. Now, take this into consideration: this film was only playing in four theaters. That is a massive per-theater average, with Moonrise Kingdom not only becoming Anderson’s biggest opening, but also becoming the biggest indie film opening ever.
Next weekend, we see the arrival of Snow White and The Huntsman, which has shocked me with decent early reviews. Here are my predictions for next weekend, so check in next time to see how right (or how wrong) I am. I predict that coming in first will be Snow White And The Huntsman with a perfectly passable $50,500,000. Men In Black III will drop down to second place with around $30,000,000 while The Avengers will trail closely with $25,000,000.
What do you think next weekend will bring in terms of box office? Leave your predictions in the comments and if you get it, you’ll get a shout-out in the next box office report.