Will Smith Returns as the Summer Box Office King

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the four-day Memorial Day holiday 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.

It’s been over three years since we’ve seen Will Smith on the big screen, but he reminded us why he’s one of the biggest box office stars in the universe this extended holiday weekend as his new movie Men in Black 3 (Sony), co-starring Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, debuted at #1 with an estimated $70 million over the four-day weekend, while taking in $203 million globally. It averaged roughly $16.5 thousand per site in a combination of 2D, 3D and 3D IMAX.

Opening in 4,248 locations on Friday, Men in Black grossed $55 million over the three-day portion of the weekend, which is just slightly higher than the previous two installments made in their first weekends–although both previous movies also opened two or three days before the weekend over the 4th of July holiday. It may have been expected to do bigger business considering the ten years of ticket price inflation since Men in Black 2, which grossed $190 million domestically, as well as the higher prices for IMAX and 3D tickets.

The other $133.2 million made by MIB3 was brought in from 106 international territories, opening #1 in all of them. IMAX reported yesterday that $12.5 million of that four-day worldwide gross was amassed from the 473 IMAX screens on which Smith’s action-comedy was shown.

After three weeks at #1, Marvel’s The Avengers (Walt Disney Pictures) graciously gave way for another movie, still holding up strong over the holiday weekend with $46.9 million in 3,918 locations, down just 16% from last weekend. In case you were wondering, the $37 million it made over the three-day weekend makes it the second-highest fourth weekend, right between James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic.

Over the weekend, the movie crossed the $500 million mark, only the fourth movie in history to do so. Globally, the film has brought in $1.3 billion, putting it just $28 million behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 to become the third-highest grossing movie ever globally. (Cameron’s two movies have little to worry about, having grossed over $2 billion globally each.)

Peter Berg’s Battleship (Universal), a movie that celebrates our fighting men in the Navy, dropped to third place with roughly $13.8 million over the four days, down 46% from its disappointing opening weekend and bringing its ten-day gross to $47.3 million.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy The Dictator (Paramount) grossed $11.8 million for fifth place, as it closes the gap with Battleship with $43.6 million. (Of course, it also cost nearly a third of what Battleship cost, too.)

The only other new wide release of the weekend, the Oren (Paranormal Activity) Peli-produced horror movie Chernobyl Diaries (Warner Bros.) opened in sixth place with $9.3 million, less than $4,000 per location. By Monday, it had fallen behind Warner Bros.’ other movie, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.), which came out ahead with $9.4 million to take fifth place in 2,433 theaters with a total gross of $64.9 million.

The self-help book-inspired ensemble comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Lionsgate) dropped to seventh place with $8.8 million and $23.9 million total.

Expanding nationwide into 1233 theaters, the sleeper comedy hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight), starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and Maggie Smith, and directed by John Madden, still dropped two spots to eighth place with $8.2 million over the four days and a total gross of $18.4 million in its first month in theaters.

Lionsgate’s blockbuster hit The Hunger Games remained in the Top 10 hit with $2.8 million, but it still is sitting just under the $400 million mark with $395.8 million.

The Top 10 grossed $181 million over the four-day weekend, down a massive 32% from last year Memorial Day when The Hangover Part II and Kung Fu Panda 2 grossed $160 million between them over the four-day holiday.

Film auteur Wes Anderson may be in line to have his biggest hit ever as his quirky comedy Moonrise Kingdom, which opened the Cannes Film Festival last week, opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles and brought in a whopping $670 thousand, nearly twice what his last movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox grossed in the same number of theaters in November 2009. Starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand, it averaged $167 thousand per site, giving it the highest per-theater average for a non-animated film, as well as bring in enough money to place the movie in 14th place among all the movies currently in theaters.

By comparison, the French comedy hit The Intouchables (The Weinstein Company), which has grossed over $300 million internationally, brought in $137 thousand in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles or roughly $34 thousand per location.

Another limited release to note is Richard Linklater’s Bernie (Millennium), reuniting him with his School of Rock star Jack Black, which moved into the Top 12 with $1.2 million while playing in just 194 theaters, bringing its gross to $2.5 million.

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


Marvel and DC