This morning, both EW.com and the LA Times were predicting that despite the pent-up anticipation for Sex and The City‘s big-screen debut, its R rating, long running time and (have you heard?) largely female audience meant that it would finish a distant second behind last week’s champ, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with approximately $30 million.
Then reports started coming in that Sex is turning out to be more popular than expected. Now, studio insiders are saying that SATC will make roughly $20 million on Friday, the biggest opening-day tally for a romantic comedy ever, on track for a $40 million+ weekend, assuming there are significant drop-offs on Saturday and Sunday as analysts are predicting. Still, that’s not enough to put it above Indy, which is projected to make more than $45 million, but if Sex does better than expected on Saturday and Sunday, there could be a major upset.
EW.com predicts the rest of the top 5 will consist of Iron Man with $13 million, the new Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman horror film The Strangers with $11 million and Prince Caspian with $10 million. Nikki Finke, however, says The Strangers will only pull in $8 million, but even that would be a decent finish for a film that only cost $9 million to make.
Meanwhile, thanks to its duo of summer blockbusters (Indy and Iron Man), Paramount has eclipsed 20th Century Fox as the studio with the largest market share, according to Box Office Mojo, now accounting for 18.6 per cent of this year’s total box-office gross to Fox’s 16.1 per cent. This is a major victory for Paramount, which has suffered through strings of bad films in recent years, much to the chagrin of the Wall Street investors who helped pay for them. But more importantly, 20th Century Fox had the largest box-office market share all year thanks to hits like 27 Dresses and Alvin and the Chipmunks and probably held on to that lead thanks to What Happens in Vegas‘ strong performance. But Fox only has two major tentpoles this summer (The Happening and the X-Files sequel), and The Happening is already getting awful reviews. So, it’s unlikely that News Corp’s film division will climb back atop the studio market-share chart this summer.
Who do you think will win in this weekend’s box-office battle of the sexes? How much will The Strangers pull in? And, finally, what sort of cringe-worthy “Big” and archeological puns will we wake up to on Monday?
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