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Weekend Box Office — August 31-September 2, 2007 + Labor Day

MGM (Weinstein)’s Halloween scared audiences into the box office over the weekend, debuting in first place with a strong $26.36 million from 3,472 theaters. The Rob Zombie directed horror film, a pseudo remake of the 1978 John Carpenter classic, now holds the record for biggest opening in the series, ahead of 1998’s Halloween H20 ($16.19 million). Though critics and fans don’t seem enamored with the quality of the film, it certainly has done well at the box office, a fact I’m sure MGM (Weinstein) is quite pleased with.

It also now holds the record for biggest Labor Day weekend (Labor Day numbers are included below).

Year-to-year the top 10 box office was up by ­17.2%.

There were two other new releases in the top 10 this weekend. In third place was Rogue Pictures’ Balls of Fury, which actually opened on Wednesday. The comedy, which is getting terrible reviews (26% at Rotten Tomatoes) and poor word of mouth (46% from RT Users), still managed a decent debut with $11.35 million from a healthy 3,052 theaters. That puts its total cume through 5 days of release at $14.31 million.

The other new release in the top 10 was Fox’s Death Sentence. The Kevin Bacon starring action thriller landed in eighth place with $4.23 million from 1,822 theaters.

Moving to the holdovers, Superbad dropped one spot and 30.9% to take second place with $12.47 million from an expanded 3,002 theaters (+54). The Judd Apatow produced comedy has raked in $89.30 million through its 17 days of release. That puts it almost right in line with the Universal’s Knocked Up (which was written/directed by Apatow). Knocked Up had $90.02 million in receipts through its first 17 days of release (currently sits at $148.13 million). Though Superbad started off in a better position with its opening weekend vs. Knocked Up ($33.05 million vs. $30.69 million) it has not managed to hold on as strongly. Using those figures, expect Superbad to finish out at around $135-140 million. Still a great figure for a film with the tiny budget of only $20 million.

The Bourne Ultimatum took fourth place with $10.41 million from 3,290 theaters (down two spots and only 16.5%). That’s an incredibly strong holdover performance for the film, and bodes well for continued success as it finishes its run over the next several weeks. It’s total cume through 31 days is $199.83 million.

Rounding out the top five was Rush Hour 3 in fifth place with $8.58 million from 3,008 theaters. The latest buddy comedy dropped two spots and 26.8% in its fourth week, a good holdover performance. It stands at $120.42 million through 24 days of release. If only it hadn’t cost so much ($140) and the studio not tied to paying quite exorbitant wages ($25 million salary and 20% of gross for Tucker; $15 million salary and 15% of gross for Chan; $5 million salary and 5% of gross for director Ratner), this would be a mild hit for the studio, especially factoring it other auxiliary sources of income.

Moving to the bottom five of the charts, we come to Mr. Bean’s Holiday in sixth place with $5.98 million from an expanded 1,765 theaters (+51). That’s a drop of 39.5% and two spots from its opening week, moving its total domestic cume to $18.98 million through 10 days of release. No worries though for Universal, as it’s done great business overseas and is well past $200 million worldwide ($189.48 million overseas, $208.46 million worldwide).

The Nanny Diaries dropped one spot and 31.4% to seventh place with $5.14 million from 2,636 theaters (+7). Through 10 days of release it’s taken in $15.29 million.

WAR was not able to stave off a steep second week decline, as it dropped four spots and 57.4% to land in ninth place with $4.18 million from 2,277 theaters ($17.02 million through 10 days of release).

And lastly in 10th place was the Paramount fantasy film Stardust (down two spots and 20.6%) with $3.07 million from 1,766 theaters. I’ve said many times that Warner Bros. goofed on the marketing of this film, though that’s not to say it’s an easy film to market. Holdover performances have been solid, as evidenced by this week’s small drop, but it can’t overcome it’s very weak opening. Through 24 days of release, it’s taken in $31.08 million.

A few other interesting facts about the weekend (look below the list for the Labor Day numbers):

  • Halloween had the best per theater average of any movie in the top 10, with $7,592/theater out of 3,472 sites.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum was the film with the smallest drop week-to-week of any movie in the top 10, with its 16.5% drop.
  • Stardust had the lowest per theater average of any movie in the top 10 ($1,740/theater from 1,766 sites).
  • WAR was the film with the largest weekly loss at 57.4%.
  • And lastly, year-to-year (vs. September 1-3, 2006) the top 10 films were up by $13.49M or 17.2% ($78.29M vs. $91.78M). That weekend saw Buena Vista’s Invincible hold off two new releases in its second week. It’s $12.15 million was enough to overcome the $10.46 million generated by Lionsgate’s Crank (second place) and the $9.61 million tallied by Warner Bros.’ The Wicker Man (third place).

On Labor Day, Halloween added another $4.23 million, bringing its 4-day holiday cume to a Labor Day record $30.59 million. Transporter 2 held the previous record when it opened in 2005 to the tune of $20.10 million.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office — August 31-September 2, 2007 (Actuals)
(TW) — (LW) — (Movie) — (Weekend) — (% Change) — (Theaters) — (Domestic)

1. – N – Halloween – $26,362,367 – % – 3,472 – $26,362,367
2. – 1 – Superbad – $12,466,846 – -30.9% – 3,002 – $89,301,641
3. – N – Balls of Fury – $11,352,123 – % – 3,052 – $14,312,851
4. – 2 – ‘Ultimatum’ – $10,412,835 – -16.5% – 3,290 – $199,832,950
5. – 3 – Rush Hour 3 – $8,575,000 – -26.8% – 3,008 – $120,416,000
6. – 4 – ‘Mr. Bean’ – $5,983,365 – -39.5% – 1,765 – $18,983,795
7. – 6 – ‘Nanny Diaries’ – $5,135,267 – -31.4% – 2,636 – $15,286,643
8. – N – Death Sentence – $4,231,321 – % – 1,822 – $4,231,321
9. – 5 – WAR – $4,184,444 – -57.4% – 2,277 – $17,023,846
10. – 8 – Stardust – $3,074,156 – -20.6% – 1,766 – $31,083,010

Top 10 Labor Day Box Office — September 3, 2007 (Actuals)

1. – Halloween – $4,229,392 – 3,472 – $30,591,759
2. – Superbad – $3,385,509 – 3,002 – $92,687,150
3. – ‘Ultimatum’ – $2,977,505 – 3,290 – $202,810,455
4. – Balls of Fury – $2,759,331 – 3,052 – $17,072,182
5. – Rush Hour 3 – $2,265,000 – 3,008 – $122,695,339
6. – ‘Mr. Bean’ – $1,950,325 – 1,765 – $20,934,120
7. – ‘Nanny Diaries’ – $1,432,640 – 2,636 – $16,719,283
8. – WAR – $1,142,353 – 2,277 – $18,166,199
9. – Death Sentence – $1,105,936 – 1,822 – $5,337,257
10. – Stardust – $1,061,090 – 1,766 – $32,144,100

Source: [Box Office Mojo]