SUNDAY UPDATE: It’s official: I’m told that Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest is breaking every record in Hollywood’s history books for a movie opening. Biggest one-day gross of all time. Biggest opening day gross of all time. And, now I’m told that Disney’s juggernaut has the biggest weekend gross and the biggest opening weekend gross of all time and the fastest-to-$100-million-gross record. After amassing what even rivals say was a staggering $43+ million at the box office on Saturday to make it the second biggest ever, plus another gargantuan $55 mil on Friday (buoyed by those midnight shows) for the biggest ever, that’s going to put the total take for this film at $133 mil by weekend’s end (if estimates for a $35 mil Sunday hold, which they should, though it’s unclear how much the World Cup Final impacts). That buries previous record-holder Sony’s Spiderman. (I can hear the arguments now among movie fans over the next few days: who’s tougher — Spidey or Sparrow? Not to worry: they’ll fight each other in Summer 2007) I’m told the movie was “pretty much operating at capacity” in its 4,133 theaters. It’s truly an historic moment in Hollywood: even rival studios are calling the dollars being taken in by the Johnny Depp-starrer “astounding. Disney almost hit $100 mil on Day 2. We will see what happens when the final numbers shake out. Anyway you look at it, it’s rare air.” It simply never happens in Hollywood that competitors , who usually hope the other guy fails, are this gleeful about someone else’s success. That’s because theaters posted the all-time biggest non-holiday weekend gross ever from all movies playing — over $205 million. Another record! Up 50% over last year. Internationally, Pirates 2 opened in just in a handful of markets this weekend but did a phenominal $46.6 million. Because of today’s World Cup Final, Disney is waiting to open in most foreign markets.
As for the other movies, Warner’s Superman Returns ended the weekend with an estimated $21.8 mil (ouch, that’s almost -60%). Fox’s The Devil Wears Prada made close to $15 mil (clearly that designer is still popular). Sony’s Adam Sandler vehicle Click had one of the best holds on the board with $12 mil (only -40% its third weekend out). This is Sandler’s 7th film to cross the $100 mil mark. And Disney/Pixar’s Cars speeds past $200 with a $9 mil for week #5 (down only 38%).
SATURDAY UPDATE: I’m told that Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest, made a gargantuan $54 million on its opening day Friday — the biggest one-day gross in history! Rival studios are predicting Disney’s juggernaut playing in 4,133 theaters will do at least $130 million for its opening weekend, easily destroying Spiderman‘s No. 1 three-day weekend record of $114.8 million. As for the other movies faring at the box office, Warner’s Superman Returns was down 57% with $7 million, Fox’s The Devil Wears Prada (-47%) with $5 mil, Sony’s Adam Samdler vehicle Click (-36%) held up with $4 mil, and Disney/Pixar’s Cars (-34%) squealed in with $2.7 mil. That means this weekend’s top 5 Hollywood movies will total a whopping $190 mil — another record. Click, meanwhile, passes $100 mil today — the 7th Sandler film to do that. Cars speeds to $200 mil today, and could pass X-Men 3‘s $235 mil to give Disney the summer’s #1 and #2 movies. It’s been so darn long since Disney shareholders have had something to cheer about when it comes to the company’s product: let’s see if, on Monday, the company’s stock price spikes or stays the same. (Usually, Wall Street ain’t impressed with the performance of individual movies, and that’s probably a sensible attitude.) Hard to believe that, last summer, everyone was talking about the box office slump and predicting Hollywood was finito. It’s now abundantly clear that the studio suits wised up and decided this time around to give the public what it wants: fun movies to go see. This isn’t rocket science, after all; you’d think that would be a No. 1 priority.
FRIDAY: I’m told already that, based on today’s matinees, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest will have the biggest opening of any movie in history. Since May 24th, I’ve been predicting that it was gonna kill everything at the theaters this summer, and then, based on the early tracking, that it was going to be the all-time record-breaker. Now Pirates 2 is set to steal away Spiderman‘s No. 1 opening gross of $114.8 million. (Sorry, HBO, but Entourage’s Aquaman didn’t actually beat Spidey because that’s a FAKE movie.) Not only will there be a Pirates 3, but Depp has said he’s eager to do Pirates 4. That ka-ching, ka-ching sound you’re hearing in Beverly Hills is United Talent Agency’s Tracey Jacobs calculating her end-of-year bonus now that her longtime client Johnny Depp could rightly be considered America’s most popular actor. You go, girl! Meanwhile, I’m just sitting back and appreciating Pirates 2‘s gargantuan box office haul. I’m told the movie could take in $45+ million more today if the shows from last night are included in the total. Right now, matinees are headed that way. Meanwhile, I’m told Warner Bros.’ Superman Returns will take a big hit (again as I predicted), down at least 50% to $25 million or so. Think about it: in one sector of Burbank, Disney’s celebrating while in another part of Burbank, Warner’s mourning. Dontcha just love Hollywood?
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