Unusually -- and this is just based on preliminary numbers, remember -- "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" both came in with the same 3-day weekend take: $43.5 million. How unusual is that? Per Box Office Mojo, the last time that happened was 11 years ago, with the dueling Leonardo DiCaprios of "Titanic" and "The Man in the Iron Mask".
Still, all craptastic summer sequels are not equal. Even with a stiff 61% drop-off from its opening weekend, "Revenge of the Fallen" has made almost $300 million in 12 days and is already the top-grossing movie of 2009 (be afraid; be very afraid). If you look at the five-day holiday weekend span, "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" made less ($67.5 million) than its immediate predecessor "Ice Age: The Meltdown" ($75.6 million, also on a 5-day holiday weekend). Over half (55%) of the new movie's grosses came from pricier 3D screenings, which further inflates the numbers. And, let's get this straight: It puts dinosaurs in the middle of the Ice Age. No self-respecting 8-year-old boy is going to give this movie the least bit of respect.
"Public Enemies" rolled out decently, given that it stars actual humans in a movie about actual humans. (What are these people thinking?) $26.1 million in about 1,000 fewer theaters than the weekend's big guns, for a tidy $7,850 per-theater-average. Over the five-day holiday haul, it made $41 million. Good-to-middling reviews might have impacted it a bit, but star Johnny Depp at this point is one of the few box office guarantees out there.
"Up" was down a sharp 50%, mostly because its 3D screens were cannibalized by the "Ice Age" sequel. (As more 3D blockbusters are released, expect to see a build-out in 3D-capable digital projectors; finally, a reason for theaters to unload those old=fashioned film projectors. Say goodbye to the wonders of celluloid, folks; 100 years old and they're putting it out on the ice floe.) "My Sister's Keeper" took a big hit -- 58% -- its second week because, let's face it, on a holiday weekend you want to go see the movie about the kid with cancer. Still holding on strong? "The Proposal" and "The Hangover," bless its androgen-soaked hide. In the land of CGI robots and dinosaurs, these must be the new mid-level "grown-up" pictures.
About Movie Nation
ContributorsTy Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.
Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.
Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.
Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.
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