Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sandra Bullock doubles her best? Proposal defeats Hangover, but Year One hangs on. Friday box office in review...

I wrote last week that, while Sandra Bullock's movies often show solid long-term playability, that they don't have boffo opening weekends. Up until today, her biggest opening weekend was Premonition, which opened with $17.5 million back in March, 2007. In general, Bullock's pictures just stuck around for awhile, which is how The Lake House opened to $13 million and made it to $53 million, or Two Weeks Notice opened with $14 million and made it to $94 million. I'll have to wonder what kind of legs The Proposal will display, since it's about to become Bullock's first boffo opening weekend.

Armed with a national sneak preview, a lack of romantic comedies, and an easy-to-explain premise, The Proposal opened with $12.5 million last night. That nearly doubles her previous opening day-best, the $6.5 million that Premonition opened to two years ago. Whether or not The Proposal can make it to a weekend total of $34 million+, hence doubling her previous opening weekend best, is an open question. I can't imagine much front loading on this one, so we'll see. Either way, this is a massive win for Disney, for Sandra Bullock, and for continually rising star Ryan Reynolds. Anything over $31 million will put it in the top-ten romantic comedy openings of all time, and it should clear its $40 million budget by the start of next weekend at worst. More to come when the weekend figures roll in.

Bruised but not beaten was The Hangover. While it will likely not three-peat at the top of the box office, it still did another $8.4 million for its third Friday. That's a mere decline of 17% and follows a full week of $5 million+ days. Among other achievements, it will have likely outgrossed Knocked Up by the weekend's end. It's getting a little redundant to again praise both the movie and its box office performance, so let's just pat it on the back, wait for it climb further up the all-time R-rated list, and move on.

Shocking pretty much everyone with taste, Harold Ramis's critically ravaged Year One pulled in $8.5 million on opening night. Apparently the star-driven marketing campaign offset the dreadful buzz and hideous reviews (I know, that's business as usual...). I'm guessing that The Hangover will end up number two by weekend's end regardless. This is a serious blow to box office analyst Scott Mendelson, who expected to take advantage of the empty early afternoon theaters to take his daughter Allison to a movie, expecting the film to be just the thing to put her to sleep. I can only assume that it's playing to pure Jack Black fans and/or very young audiences, which may actually allow said film blogger to take advantage of the noisy children and thus blend in with his blabbermouth toddler.

Pixar's Up dropped a mere 30% from last Friday, for $6.1 million. It crossed the $200 million mark on Thursday and it passed Ratatouille today. Now it's just a question of how quickly it can surpass the rest of the non-Nemo Pixar films (second place is The Incredibles with $261 million). It's still pacing at about $5 million behind Finding Nemo, so it might just have to settle for merely grossing $300 million. Oh, and at this pace, it will surpass Star Trek by mid-July, if not July 4th weekend to take the 'top film of 2009' crown, which will only be threatened by Transformers 2 and Harry Potter 6.

Speaking of Star Trek, it just surpassed the adjusted-for-inflation figure for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. At $235.9 million, it today sits as the most successful Star Trek film of all time, no matter how you slice it. In other news, The Taking Of Pelham 123 dropped a stunning 61%, for a Friday gross of $3.2 million. It opened just fine last weekend, but it seems that the core adult audience has been siphoned off by The Hangover, Up, and The Proposal. Oh well, it will rent like gangbusters and both stars will be just fine in the long run.

That's pretty much all that's fit to print. I'll try to update tomorrow or Monday when the weekend numbers come in.

Scott Mendelson


R.L. Shaffer said...

I'd say The Proposal was less a Sandra Bullock vehicle and more a Ryan Reynolds picture, despite the number two billing. Hell, even my Mom thinks he's hot.

Bullock seemed completely swappable with any other actress here. This film still would have made money.

Plus, the trailer highlighted a shirtless Reynolds -- thats why the ladies are coming in droves -- that and the crazed Betty White fans ;)

Cindy said...

I saw The Proposal last night and was pleasantly surprised. It was very enjoyable despite its implausability. Betty White was hysterical and Mary Steenburgen never looked better. But RL is right. Reynolds is adorable!

bowler said...

i think Reynold and Bullock did they best they could have done with a generally predictable storyline... they made it worth watching

bowler said...

i think Reynold and Bullock did they best they could have done with a generally predictable storyline... they made it worth watching


Related Posts with Thumbnails