House Bunny Beaten by Ben’s Boys at Box Office


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

There were a number of close calls this weekend but the success of Anna Faris’ new comedy The House Bunny (Sony) on Friday, winning the top spot with $5.8 million, wasn’t enough to keep it from losing the weekend to Ben Stiller’s war comedy Tropic Thunder (DreamWorks), co-starring Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. The ensemble comedy remained at #1 for its 2nd weekend in a row, grossing $16.1 million and bringing its total to $65.7 million. The House Bunny ended up with an estimated $15.1 million in 2,714 theaters, averaging $5,500 per site, the best per-theater average for any movie playing this weekend.

Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson starred in Universal’s fourth action movie of the summer, Paul W.S. Anderson’s remake of Roger Corman’s Death Race, projected to win the weekend but having to settle for third place with an estimated $12.3 million in 2,532 theaters.

Dropping to fourth place, Christopher Nolan’s mega-blockbuster The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) continues to thrive with $10.3 million in its sixth weekend, the first time since opening where it’s not in the Top 5 for its respective weekend compared to other movies. (See the corresponding comparisons here.) Even so, its running total domestically is up to $489 million, which means it could hit that elusive $500 million mark by Labor Day. That amount has only been seen once before domestically, by James Cameron’s Titanic, which made more than twice “Dark Knight’s” weekend gross in its own sixth weekend.

Internationally, The Dark Knight added another $34 million from 7,700 theaters in 62 markets. The overseas total has hit $381.2 million and the film has reached $870.4 million worldwide, climbing to 15th on the all-time worldwide blockbuster list.

The top 5 was rounded out by George Lucas’ animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros.) with $5.6 million, nearly a 60% drop from its disappointing opening weekend, having amassed just $25 million. It came out just ahead of Sony’s stoner comedy Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which has grossed $73.9 million to date, a considerable success compared to its cost. The 20th Century Fox horror movie Mirrors with Keifer Sutherland, followed at #7 with $4.9 million, a sizable drop from its opening weekend with a total gross of $20 million.

The other two new movies in wide release, Ice Cube’s family football drama The Longshots (MGM/Dimension) and Rainn Wilson’s rock comedy The Rocker (20th Century Fox) both bombed. The former opened in eighth place with $4.3 million (less than $1,000 more than the hit musical Mamma Mia!) while the latter opened outside the Top 10 at #12 with $2.7 million, averaging less than a million per site in the widest release of the new movies.

This weekend, Universal Pictures’ two movies reversed order as the musical Mamma Mia! came out ahead of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, both grossing just over $4 million on the weekend. The Meryl Streep musical brings its box office total to $124 million while the Brendan Fraser action flick has grossed just $93.8 million after four weeks, compared to its reported production budget of $145 million.

Opening in limited release in 103 theaters, the weekend’s third comedy Hamlet 2 (Focus Features) starring Steve Coogan (also in Tropic Thunder), opened with a disappointing $435 thousand, averaging just $4,223 per site. Focus still plans on expanding the movie nationwide on Wednesday in hopes of bringing in some word-of-mouth business over the extended Labor Day weekend next week.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $82.6 million, down just 2% from the same period last year.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.