Hot Hollywood Box Office Cools 5%: Pirates Sequel Still Warm At Box Office; Disappointing You Me & Dupree Loses #2 To Little Man; Superman Only #4

SUNDAY: Hollywood’s hot, hot, hot box office cooled this weekend, slumping for the first time in 9 weeks: down around 5% compared to last year’s disastrous summer. I’m told Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest took in $64 million (one rival studio, though, put it at $60.5 mil) for the 3-day weekend, or down -52% from its phenomenal opening a week ago. With total gross already $260 mil, the Disney sequel will have no trouble surging past $300 mil next weekend. Still, rival studios had expected the Johnny Depp starrer to make in the mid-$70s mil this weekend, so, even though that’s a lot o’ loot, box office gurus tell me the downturn may be due to watercooler talk: how the sequel doesn’t live up to expectations generated by the first Pirates installment. UPDATE: So is this glass half full or half empty? Disney sources note that, given P2‘s $55.5 million opening day with $9.0 million in midnight screenings, there was bound to be a large drop. They say the sequel came back nicely Saturday and Sunday and posted only a 54% drop from last weekend. “If you back out the midnight revenue, we dropped only 50% which is by far the lowest slide of huge movies this summer. Take a look at Da Vinci and X Men 3‘s drop and you will see it is much greater. Our 10-day number shattered Revenge of the Sith‘s by over $20 million. Tell that to your gurus!” Well, as I said, it’s still mucho moolah.

The big surprise this weekend was that Universal’s You, Me and Dupree was beaten by #2, Sony’s Little Man, with $21.7 in 2500 theaters, — 600 fewer than the Owen Wilson laugher. This was the Wayans brothers best recent showing, compared to White Chicks ($19.6 mil) and Scary Movie 2 ($20.5 mil). You Me and Dupree finished its opening weekend #3 with just over $21 mil — about what was expected but suffering in comparison with the studio’s earlier summer break-out, The Break Up ($39 mil). Warner’s Superman Returns ended #4 with $12 mil (-45%) for a cume of $164 mil. It’s still a big question mark if the superhero can speed past $200 mil this summer. Fox’s The Devil Wears Prada continues to be the surprise of the summer: The #5 movie earned $10.2 mil (-32%) for an amazing cume of $83 mil. Sony’s Click and Dsney/Pixar’s Cars both tied for 6th place at $7 mil. Meanwhile, Sony looks to have a sleeper hit with Monster House: its weekend sneaks were near full (70% of capacity ) and played great with families. Already, critics are touting it as a really fresh animated pic with real kids instead of furry animals.

SATURDAY: I’m told Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest didn’t shake its booty at the box office Friday as big as it had during its opening weekend. With only a $18.4 million haul (down 67%), the Disney pic was doing better on Saturday. Still, it’s expected to take in $62-65 its 2nd weekend out. That’s lower than the expected mid-$70s mil gross which rival studios predicted. And it’s somewhat surprising, considering that the Johnny Depp starrer broke records with its all-time opening weekly gross of $196.0 million. Box office gurus tell me the downturn may be due to watercooler talk: how the sequel doesn’t live up to expectations generated by the first Pirates installment. Still, that’s a lot o’ loot, no matter how you look at it. In other movies opening this weekend, Universal’s You, Me and Dupree and Sony’s Little Man were in a dead heat for 2nd place, with the Owen Wilson laugher earning $7.4 mil and the Wayans Brothers’ comedy $7.5 mil. Both flicks, which got hammered by the critics, are expecting weekend totals around $21+ mil. With 3.3 mil on Friday, Warner’s Superman Returns was tied with Fox’s The Devil Wears Prada. Again, my sources look dead-on: they told me previously that Superman will not make $200 million. Overall, the weekend box office was down 7% from last year — the first drop in 9 weeks.

Friday: I’m told Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest this weekend is expected to haul in box office in the mid-$70s million range. That will be a hefty bonus to what already has been the movie’s record-breaking all-time opening week of $196.0 million. (But the movie still hasn’t opened wide overseas yet, even though it’s doing very well in those foreign territories it’s playing.) Rival studios tell me that the newest movie debuting this week, Universal’s You, Me and Dupree, should rake in a weekend total in the low-$20s mil, the same amount for Sony’s Little Man.

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