2009 Box Office Update: Through June

By at June 30, 2009 | 11:38 pm | Print

UPDATE (07.02.09) The summer box office numbers do move fast… The dollars below have been updated to reflect business on June 30 and July 1. The biggest additions affected — no surprise — Transformers and Up.

In June, four new films landed on the box office Top Ten list for the year. The newest opened last Wednesday (and is doing astounding business); the movie with the most longevity has been hanging around since late January — and is still out in theaters.

Of the genres in the Top Ten, there are three sci-fi, three comedy, two animated, two action. Not a drama in the bunch, unless you consider a “serious” action film a drama. Hey, and only four sequels! Happy Fourth of July weekend to everyone in the Lobby.

:: 2009 Movie Releases Top Ten

1. Up ($255 million)
This Pixar mega-hit just ascended to the top spot this past weekend (but will quickly be knocked out this week by Transformers). After five weeks in theaters, Up is doing remarkably steady business, still in the weekly Top Five. This past week, the animated adventure handily outearned newer movies, including Year One and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

Scene from the Pixar movie Up

2. Star Trek ($247 mil.)
The box office take for J.J. Abrams’ super-successful franchise rejiggering is just starting to slow after two months. Star Trek’s still chugging along on just under 2000 screens, and will finally fall out of the weekly Top Ten this coming weekend.

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($228 mil.)
I always predicted Star Trek would be in the company of The Dark Knight this year, but I stand corrected. That honor falls to Transformers, leaping to $200 million in just five days (in fact, the film is now the #64 highest grosser of all time); and the global take is around $390 million. Say what you will about this Michael Bay kiddie epic, but it will keep rolling for a while. $500 million in North America?

4. Monsters vs. Aliens ($196 mil.)
If this were Paramount’s real biggie of the year, well okay… But the enormous success of other Paramount titles Star Trek and Transformers makes this just another strong entry in the catalog. The film’s still doing okay on fewer than 400 screens, performing better than Terminator: Salvation and Wolverine on a per-screen basis.

5. The Hangover ($188 mil.)
Here’s the real hit of Summer 2009. A party-hardy comedy of errors benefiting from amazing word-of-mouth power, chill marketing and buzzworthy word of a sequel. This one’s heading for Bruce Almighty’s comedy record of $243 million.

6. X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($178 mil.)
Fox’s top entry this year proves that X-Men fans will easily accept a prequel. To a point. The take for Wolverine is strong, but this will be the first X-Men film since the 2000 original to gross under $200 million.

7. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ($164 mil.)
This family comedy may get some overflow business during the busy July 4th weekend, but its per-screen average last week was the lowest of any movie in the weekly Top Ten. The original, a 2006 Christmas hit, earned over $250 million.

8. Fast and Furious ($155 mil.)
After thin kiddie fare like The Pacifier and weak sci-fi like Babylon A.D., who knew Vin Diesel could still carry an action movie? Seems like fans were just waiting for the original cast to pop up again: this is the highest grossing entry in the four-film series.

9. Paul Blart: Mall Cop ($146 mil.)
Here’s the only film in the Top Ten not still in theaters, ending its run in late May. Its Top Ten stay will end soon, but what a run. One of the more remarkable success stories of the year.

10. Taken ($145 mil.)
This revenge thriller has been playing in theaters since January 30, and could still be found on a few big screens this past week. Business is wayyy down (just a few hundred dollars per screen in about 15 theaters) but it’s been out there for 22 weeks. And it’s on DVD.  I think most of America pictures Liam Neeson taking his anger out on Bank of America or Bernie Madoff…

:: Indie Winners

Sunshine Cleaning: About $12 million on under 650 screns
Sin Nombre: $2.5 million on 87 screens
Sugar: Just over $1 million on 51 screens

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