Hope all you Dads out there enjoyed Father’s Day at the movies! The box office turned out exactly the way a lot of people expected it would this weekend. The Incredible Hulk was the top draw at the theaters with a take of $54 million. Kung Fu Panda was next at $34 million, and the other new release The Happening came in at $30 million. Ironically, the opening for this Incredible Hulk was a bit lower than the $62 million the previous Hulk brought in during its open– a sure sign that people were scared off by bad buzz and the stench left over from the previous Ang Lee effort. Not exactly Hulk-a-mania at the theaters.
Needless to say, not a record-breaking weekend. To sum it up, The Incredible Hulk was indeed a Hulk at the cash registers, but the numbers weren’t incredible. So thank you very much, Ang Lee. Thanks for nothing.
Now my opinion. Had it not been for the previous Ang Lee effort this year’s Incredible Hulk, standing on its own, might have done even better. Such as $70 or $80 million, say. Heck, Iron Man took in $100 million during its opening, and Iron Man isn’t as well known a comic-book figure as Hulk is. That goes to show you what months of bad buzz and general dread can do for an opening. Every time I read one of these movie-fan websites, there was moaning about how bad The Incredible Hulk was going to be and constant naysaying. And it all stems from that first Hulk movie as far as I’m concerned.
As for M. Night Shyamalan’s effort The Happening, which had a lot of its own negatives going against it from what I hear about the production, I think it was very fortunate to get to $30 million dollars. Now you watch, this movie will drop like a rock in the next few weeks as the critics weigh in. It was running at 20 per cent at Rotten Tomatoes the last time I looked over there. Anyway, this is shaping up to be not such a great week for M. Night Shyamalan, or for Ang Lee, or these other famed noted directors in Hollywood. Nobody loves these directors anymore. Too bad.
Me, I had the order of finish dead-on but had been a little bullish in my $63 million prediction for the Hulk. Then again, I listened to these folks who said the testing was going to put the box office over $60 million. What rubbish those surveys turned out to be. I don’t know whether to take these surveys or test scores seriously after this weekend.
I am looking at the race for the top summer draw overall and I have to say that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is having quite a bit of trouble making up ground against Iron Man. Indiana Jones 4 is up to $275 million while Iron Man is at $297 million. I would have thought the gap would have been much narrower by now. This weekend Indiana Jones 4 took in 13.5 million while Iron Man took in $5.1 million, so the gap is still closing. But I will say that if Indiana Jones 4 wins the box office race for the entire summer, it won’t be by a lot. By the way, Kung Fu Panda is already up to $117 million.
Here are the damages from this utterly predictable weekend at the box office.
So that is all for this week. Coming up next weekend we have the debuts of the much anticipated (!) (?) The Love Guru, and of course Get Smart. See you then.