Sunday, July 02, 2006

Here Comes the JULY 4TH Weekend!!

Hey, it's getting crowded at the top! And it looks like, this holiday weekend, #2 "Cars" might tap the brakes and decelerate to #3 before it's all over... "Superman" flies again, and has already raked in some nice coin, but note that its per-screen average is good, not great. (Warners, of course, is praying for great.) UPDATE #1: "Superman" flies in at first for the Friday estimate, garnering $16,765,000. The Meryl Streep move -- "The Devil Wears Prada" -- comes in at $9,730,000 to nab number two. "Click settles into the third position, with "Cars" coming in fourth. Box Office Mojo has the details here. Except for "The Devil Wears Prada" which is being projected on 2,847 screens, the other films all have over three thousand theatres each. A half century ago, blockbuster movies were shown in one or two big theatres in a city, with reserved seats. This was called "roadshowing" a picture, and most high-end flicks got shown in one or two venues for six months or more. As an eighth grader, this is the way I saw "Lawrence of Arabia." My parents took me to a Saturday matinee at a big posh theatre, and I was swept up in the wide screen and stereophonic soundtrack. Then, a long while later, these big pictures would be rolled out to less fancy theatres at "popular prices." They might even be in three or four hundred theatres nationwide! All at the same time! Today, if your movie isn't up on three thousand screens, your movie is a small-time loser. UPDATE #2: The full weekend estimate is now in, and "Cars" is now ensconsed at #4, with a 39.7% decline for the week. (By next weekend, it should be above $200 million.) "Superman Returns" collected $52,150,00 occupying the top slot. Now we can wave goodbye to the caped one, as Mr. Kent makes way for "Pirates of the Caribbean" -- which will no doubt have the biggest opening of the summer. ("Garfield" is on life support, stalled out at $21.5 million. And "Over the Hedge" is going to have to settle for a domestic total a little north of $150 million. It's a little south of there now.)


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