SUNDAY CENTS: Bad ‘Hangover’ for new openers and holdovers

Posted by · 1:11 pm · June 14th, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 123After denying “Up” the bragging rights of a repeat at the top of the box office at the last minute, “The Hangover” has accomplished that feat itself.

The R-rated comedy dropped a minuscule 26% to add another $33.4 million to the bank and give it a very real shot at $200 million-plus. That’s a benchmark reserved for very few comedies and only the best of the best like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Crocodile Dundee.”  Speaking of those two, it’s a pity Nia Vardalos didn’t look to Paul Hogan’s career for a glimpse at the dangers of repetitive ethnic-centric comedy. If there’s a bigger success story than “The Hangover” this summer, we are in for some big shockers.

Speaking of shockers, I saw the movie this week and I didn’t like it at all. Aside from some fresh stuff from Zach Galifianakis, it was pretty stale to me. It’s no “Wedding Crashers,” that’s for sure.

“Up” also held up extremely well, dropping only 31% and staying in the runner-up spot with $30.5 million. It now seems likely to pass “Cars” and wind up the sixth highest grossing Pixar film when all is said and done.* I’ve always said that miscarriages in cartoons equals big bucks and finally somebody listened.

The first debut doesn’t show up until third place and it’s “The Taking of Pelham 123”. A $25 million debut is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Tony Scott and Denzel Washington but if only they hadn’t pissed off the millions of Walter Matthau purists, they might have had a case for the top spot. As it stands, this is neither here nor there and everyone keeps living their lives.

Eddie Murphy fared much worse as he registered his second straight $5 million debut thanks to “Imagine That.” That figure will not even cover Murphy’s salary (nor will the eventual total). Don’t be surprised if he brushes off that “Nutty Professor 3” script in the next few weeks.

“Land of the Lost” crashed and burned by dropping 51% from an already pathetic debut, cementing its status as the first major flop of the summer. I could have told Universal that the difference between $50 million and $250 million is talking animals. One trailer with the T-Rex in sunglasses quipping, “Welcome to the Land of the Lost” and you’ve got a blockbuster. You’re welcome Hollywood.

Prehistoric comedy gets another chance to shine next weekend with “Year One,” which is tracking surprisingly low. It looks funny to me but a weekend of maybe $17 million seems to be in the cards.

Looking stronger is “The Proposal,” which has absolutely no competition in the date crowd market and should probably see Sandra Bullock’s best debut ever. I’m marking it down for $27 million but $30 million or more isn’t out of the question.

What do you guys think?  Here are the weekend’s top domestic grossers, courtesy of Exhibitor Relations:

Weekend of Friday, June 12, 2009

* I use adjusted figures when analyzing box office data.

→ 16 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

16 responses so far

  • 1 6-14-2009 at 1:12 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Wedding Crashers is an awful, awful movie.

  • 2 6-14-2009 at 1:29 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Them’s fighting words Kris

  • 3 6-14-2009 at 1:46 pm

    Mr. Gittes said...

    I remember Roger Ebert’s review of Wedding Crashers being spot on. You know a movie is terrible when Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell fail to steal the show, not even with a single line. Joe Dirt is funnier than Wedding Crashers. Really.

    “You’re talking to me all wrong… It’s the wrong tone. You do it again and I’ll stab you in the face with a soldering iron. Hey, tell me, does your mother sew? BOOM. Get her to sew that!” – Walken in Joe Dirt.

  • 4 6-14-2009 at 1:46 pm

    red_wine said...

    Whoever thought that The Hangover would be a blockbuster? Its like the 3rd surprise smash after Paul Bart and Taken. And beating Up twice! But somehow the failure of Ferrell’s and Murphy’s new movies makes me happy, I always wondered who went to see their movies.

  • 5 6-14-2009 at 1:58 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    I know this is getting old, but what the hell is Eddie Murphy doing? Or better yet, what the hell is Paramount doing?

    My dog knew “Imagine That” was going to bomb, come on. Did they not see “Daddy Day Care” or “Meet Dave” ????

    I also saw “Pelham” yesterday and it blows. I think Tony Scott employed a figure skater to operate his damn camera — senseless antics with souped-up 21st century satelitte flourishes and all that bullshit. I’d like to nominate it for most pointless remake of the decade. Just see the damn original. It’s got a badass score, and Owen Roizman beats the shit out of Tony Scott.

  • 6 6-14-2009 at 3:59 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    Im a huge fan of the original Pelham One Two Three and I must say despite reservations I really liked Tony Scott’s re-imagining. Washinton and Travolta are at the top of there game. Denzel in my opinion is the most likeable leading man in film today. This was a solid movie that was very well acted. It NOT the greatness of the original but its a solid R-rated entertainment that is miles better than most of the dreck released this summer! 8 out of 10 from me! Take the ride.


  • 7 6-14-2009 at 4:44 pm

    brian said...

    Hard to root against Sandra Bullock. She’s just so damn likable. No interest in her movie, but hope it does well. And Year One looks terrible. No story in the trailers whatsoever. No real jokes. Both leads doing exactly what you’d expect from them but without any reason to care. I’m waiting for Cera to play a serial killer in a movie. That’d be worth $12.50.

  • 8 6-14-2009 at 5:20 pm

    The InSneider said...

    EntertainmentToday… Denzel and Travolta at the top of their game? You should be committed. We won’t bring up movies like Glory or Training Day or Pulp Fiction. But Pelham 123 sucks compared to Broken Arrow, Face/Off, Crimson Tide and Man on Fire. Get a clue. Tony Scott’s remake failed.

    As for Wedding Crashers, I’m with Chad that it’s a good movie overall, but I understand where Tapley’s coming from b/c the last 20 minutes are AWFUL.

  • 9 6-14-2009 at 5:48 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    The InSneider-
    Actually Ive been locked up for the last four years( its called marriage) so YES I am unstable but I don’t agree with you. If your looking for everything to be Oscar worthy your wasting your time going to the movies. I don’t need to get a clue as I fully endorse Tony Scotts remake. It was a solid film and YES very well acted. I agree Face/Off and Crimson Tide are really good films but so is this. Maybe not as good as those two but its well worth a moviegoers time at the theater. I spoke to at least ten people who were in the audience and they all liked it alot. To each there own. Back to my cell!


  • 10 6-14-2009 at 6:12 pm

    Jorge said...

    I’m with anyone who agrees that The Hangover was an OK film, thats it. I wasn’t rolling in my seat with laughter – as I would’ve hoped – but it had some amusing/charming moments. I think its riding on the buzz, or the Las Vegas thing.

    I wish Judd’s movies could do as good as The Hangover, since they’re MUCH better, and much more worthy of The Hangover’s success.

  • 11 6-14-2009 at 9:11 pm

    Rob said...

    Yeah, “The Hangover” is a surprisingly underwhelming, forgettable movie with just a handful of chuckles. I even gave the movie a second shot and felt the exact same way. My initial split-second reaction upon exiting the theater was that I got a “Wedding Crashers” vibe off of it (i.e. I’m the only one in the room who doesn’t think it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen), though I think “Hangover” is a mite better.

  • 12 6-14-2009 at 9:23 pm

    Glenn said...

    I thought “The Hangover” was a great night at the movies, and a far better investment of my money than any of the big FX blockbusters (only one of which I’ve found interesting enough to see and then I didn’t even like it – “Star Trek”).

  • 13 6-15-2009 at 6:32 am

    Mike_M said...

    Saw Hangover on Wed, it was funny, some of the story was too outlandish for me though. Most of it seemed it lick it could have been close to happening, but then other parts were too made it, so that didn’t put it in the love category for me (still thing Old School is his best, along with the Phish Doc Bittersweet Motel).

    Also saw Land of the Lost yesterday, amusing, I enjoyed it, though not a great movie. PG-13 did not good for it though. Either be PG and go after the Night of the Museum crowd or a hard-R with nudity and more vulgarity and it would have done better.

  • 14 6-15-2009 at 7:16 am

    Bill M said...

    I’m gonna have to call you on this. Up becoming the 6th highest grossing Pixar??? The way it’s holding I think 6th is very much on the low end of what it will do.

    Toy Story 2 – 245 (I don’t see that too difficult to beat this number)

    Finding Nemo – 340 (obviously this will be Pixar’s #1 grosser unless Up does some real crazy things this summer like not being affected by Ice Age’s release & getting big boost numbers on July 4th weekend)

    The Incredibles – 260 (should be a little harder but I see up much closer to 300 than 250)

    Cars – 244 (another one that it will pass).

    Nemo is the only Pixar I see Up having extreme difficulty out-grossing. It’s arguable about The Incredibles if it will get so much past 250. But you can’t argue that Up won’t gross 250 million. It’s at 187 this weekend, with only 30-35% drops with two full weekends before Ice Age 3.

  • 15 6-15-2009 at 11:08 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Again, I use figures adjusted to today’s ticket prices so that puts films like The Incredibles and Toy Story 2 over the $300 mil mark.

  • 16 6-16-2009 at 10:54 am

    Kyle said...

    At the pace UP is going, it is actually locked to surpass The Incredibles 260mil(not adjusted for inflation), and if it keeps up the current pace, 300mil is within range. Up is going to hit 200mil this Thurs (6/18). It will have around 240+mil by the time Ice Age 3 comes. The question now is will it have enough steam to get that extra 60mil or so to hit 300. At least 275mil domestic is in the bag for UP which is remarkable since CG animated films have become a dime a dozen nowadays. It was more of a novelty back in 2003 when Nemo came out, and Nemo did not have the same competition that UP will be facing in the next few weeks.

    As for the Hangover, 215-230mil domestic. I liked it, but I did like Wedding Crashers a bit more