Aug 12, 2007

'Rush Hour' Threequel Won't Top Sequel; 'Bourne 3' Still Big; 'Stardust' Big Bomb

SATURDAY AM: No speeding tickets at the box office this weekend. I'm told traffic for Rush Hour 3 was only between $18.4 and $18.9 million Friday from 3,778 theaters. (New Line Cinema is claiming its pic did $19.1 mil, but no other studio has figures that high for it._ The action buddy comedy is on track to generate $55 mil this weekend as my gurus predicted. But this means the poorly reviewed movie, directed by Brett Ratner and starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, won't do as well as Rush Hour 2, bourne13.jpgwhich in 2001 opened to $67.4 mil (and went on to make $226.1 domestic and $347.3 worldwide). Other problems for the troubled studio is that the film went wildly overbudget and set a new Hollywood salary high. Tucker earns $20 million against 20% of gross, and his deal comes with a second-picture commitment for the same salary on a film to be determined later. Chan gets around $15 million against 15% of gross, but he also owns the film's distribution rights in China and Hong Kong (but the Beijing government nixed the pic's distribution). Ratner gets a jump on the upfront part of the $5 million-against-5% gross deal he had on "Rush Hour 2." And screenwriter Jeff Nathanson is paid seven figures. How can the studio make money when it gives away 40% of the gross?

No doubt having another big action movie still at the top of the box office hurt RH3. Universal's holdover The Bourne Ultimatum was a strong No. 2, raking in $10.4 mil Friday from 3,686 runs. That's down 58% from a week ago, but its new cume is already $131.9 mil. The pic should do around $32 mil this weekend. Ending its third Friday in release, 20th Century Fox's The Simpsons Movie hung in for #3, earning $3.5 mil from 3,552 venues for a new cume of $144.6 mil. Expect a nice $11 mil weekend. Overseas, The Bourne Ultimatum just opened in 11 international territories and 313 locations and is 81% ahead of the original Bourne and 49% ahead of the second installment in the franchise.

stardust3.jpgWhich brings me to the No. 4 film, Paramount's Stardust which totally tanked at its 2,540 venues Friday, making only $3 mil despite decent reviews. Its opening should be just $8.7 mil, or half what even the studio was hoping for. But the romantic action fantasy starring Claire Danes, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sienna Miller was a difficult movie to market (and the trailers were lousy). The only good news is that the studio is on the hook for only 50% of the $70 mil budget, and its overseas numbers should be better thanks to an international cast.

The rest of the Top 10 had the air sucked out of their gross ticket receipts. At No. 5, Disney's bow-wow of a live action movie, Underdog, continues to disappoint, taking in just $2.2 mil Friday from 3,013 plays. Its cume is now a meager $25.1 mil. New Line's Hairspray hangs on for #6 with $2.1 mil Friday from 2,805 dates and a new cume of $92.4 mil. Universal's comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry finished in the 7th spot with $1.9 mil Friday from 2,799 venues and a new cume of $104 mil. Warner's Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix has slowed at the box office making only $1.6 mil Friday from 2,585 theaters. With a new cume of $272.2 million, this fivequel looks to finish either the second or third biggest domestically of the Harry Potter franchise.

daycamp256.jpgWarner's No Reservations starring Catherine Zeta-Jones eked out 9th place with $1.3 mil Friday from 2,053 runs for a new cume of $32.1 mil. And, in the 10th spot, Sony / Revolution's sequel Daddy Day Camp with Cuba Gooding Jr. already had a stillborn debut on Wednesday. It earned only $1.2 mil Friday from 2,332 venues for a paltry new cume of $5.2 mil. Meanwhile, Miramax's Becoming Jane finished just out of the Top 10 Friday with $1 mil from only 601 theaters for a new cume of $4.7 mil.


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