The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.
As the fifth comic book or superhero-based movie of the summer, Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal) was coming into the weekend with questions whether it might beat Will Smith’s own superhero movie Hancock (Sony). Another strong marketing campaign from Universal paid off as the second movie based on Mike Mignola’s comic character topped the box office with an opening weekend of just under $36 million, a 55% increase above the opening of the original Hellboy in April 2004, as well as surpassing the opening of del Toro’s previous dark comic book sequel Blade II two years prior. The movie averaged $11,200 in 3,204 theaters, and it will be vying to make $100 million over the summer despite heavy competition in the next few weeks.
Hancock (Sony) held up well after its 4th of July opening, grossing $33 million in its second weekend for a strong second place. It dropped just 47% from last weekend, bringing its total gross to $165 million and making it the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year after just 13 days.
The second movie to capitalize on the recent merger of New Line into Warner Bros., the 3D family adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Brendan Fraser grossed $20.6 million in 2,811 theaters, averaging $7,321 per theater. It’s been reported that the 3D locations grossed 3 times as much as the 2D locations, proving that this daring experiment might be successful enough to justify the many 3D live action movies being planned for 2009.
Pixar Animation’s WALLE (Disney) grossed $18.5 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $162.8 million, putting it slightly ahead of 2006′s Cars, but it was already falling behind Hancock despite opening four days earlier and making more its opening weekend.
Dropping to fifth place, another Universal comic book movie, Wanted, starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, took in $11.6 million in its own third weekend, bringing its total to $112 million. That gross is just slightly ahead of Warner Bros.’ action-comedy Get Smart, starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, which added another $7.11 million this weekend in sixth place.
Opening way down in 7th place, Eddie Murphy’s sci-fi comedy Meet Dave (20th Century Fox) brought in a pathetic $5.3 million, averaging less than $2,000 per site. With an estimated production budget of over $60 million, it will be considered one of the biggest bombs of the summer, even compared to The Love Guru, starring Murphy’s “Shrek-mate” Mike Myers, and the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer.
DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda crossed the $200 million mark this weekend with an additional $4.3 million, while Picturehouse’s Kit Kittredge: An American Girl held up well in its second weekend of wide release with a 28.5% drop-off and $2.4 million for ninth place. The Abigail Breslin vehicle has grossed $11 million thus far.
Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount) rounded out the Top 10 with an additional $2.2 million and a total gross of $310 million.
The Top 10 grossed $141 million down 20% from the same weekend last year where Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix grossed $77 million in first place despite opening on Wednesday.
Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.