Angels & Demons & Trekkers Rule the Box Office

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The ComingSoon.net 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.

Angels & Demons (Sony), Ron Howard and Tom Hanks’ adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel that acts as a sequel to their 2006 hit The Da Vinci Code, opened with an estimated $48 million in roughly 3,500 theatres, averaging $13,609 per site. That opening was 38% softer than “Da Vinci” opened on the same weekend three years ago, which could be due to the fact that Dan Brown’s original novel sold only half as many copies as its bestselling follow-up, while also lacking the controversy swirling around it. Even so, $48 million is nothing to be scoffed at, especially when you consider that it grossed more than twice that amount internationally, taking in $104 million from 96 other countries. Word-of-mouth has generally been better due to the sequel’s action-driven plot, which could help “Angels” get to $150 million domestically. Considering that The Da Vinci Code grossed $540 million internationally compared to the $217 million made in domestic grosses, it’s still very likely that Angels & Demons will be a profitable summer hit for Sony.

Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams’ relaunch of Star Trek (Paramount) had a fantastic second weekend, dropping just 43% to second place with an estimated $43 million and a total gross of $148 million, well ahead of even the highest-grossing movie in the franchise to date. Incidentally, Star Trek will not completely lose all IMAX screens when Fox’s Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian opens this weekend, as theaters will be allowed to continue to play “Trek” after midnight over Memorial Day weekend and one can expect that it may be able to get more screening times in June if demand continues.

Dropping to third, the 20th Century Fox superhero prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, also had a smaller drop than last weekend, adding another $14.8 million to its total gross of $151 million.

In fourth place, Matthew McConaughey’s romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (New Line/WB) grossed $6.9 million in its third weekend to bring its total to $40 million.

The Screen Gems thriller Obsessed took fifth place with $4.5 million and a total of just under $63 million, while Zac Efron’s age-switching comedy 17 Again (New Line/WB) dropped to sixth with $3.4 million and a total of $58 million.

The only movie up a notch from last weekend was DreamWorks Animation’s 3D hit Monsters vs. Aliens, adding another $3 million to its gross of $190.5 million, which keeps it in the top spot as the highest-grossing movie of 2009. (Expect Star Trek to pass it sometime in the next two weeks.)

The Top 10 grossed roughly $130 million, up 4% from the same weekend last year when Disney’s sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian also had a disappointing opening following the huge success of its predecessor.

In limited release, the Jennifer Aniston indie comedy Management (Samuel Goldwyn) opened with $378 thousand in 212 theaters, a weak per-theater average of under $2 thousand per venue. Rian Johnson’s second movie The Brothers Bloom (Summit) opened decently in four theaters in New York and L.A. with $82,000; it will expand into Top 10 markets on Friday, May 22.

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

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