Box Office Booty: 2007-08-13

by Paul William Tenny

The only two big players this past weekend were Stardust, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, and Rush Hour 3, the all-action no-plot third installment of the franchise from Brett Ratner. Stardust didn't inspire me very much with its trailers, even with all the stars in the cast, and it looks like it didn't catch the eyes of anyone else, either. On a $70 million dollar budget, the fantasy flick just barely cleared the $9m mark for the three-day weekend, making it a certified flop that probably won't be saved even by strong DVD sales. Remember, 44% of that $9m goes to the theaters, leaving just a shade under $5m for Paramount. I imagine they must be devastated, but it wasn't exactly surprising. This looked like a story that should have remained in book for from the outset with a story more complex than you'd find in the pages of Lord of the Rings.
Rush Hour 3 took in $50 million for New Line, which should just about pay for Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker's fees, but only if New Line actually got to keep the full weekend booty. It's $27.5 million for the studio on a $140m budget, which is not really very good news, especially with the pic having been banned in China. According to Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood, the third installment fell off the previous flicks pace by nearly $17 million while it cost almost $50 million less to make. That's a tough hit to take, and it's obvious that this "franchise" had already been played out after just two films.

The real winner this weekend was The Bourne Ultimatum, which pulled an impressive $33 million in booty in its second weekend, bringing its worldwide gross to $132 million on costs of $110m, not including marketing. Ultimatum may end up with a profit before it ends its theatrical run, but will certainly bring it home when it hits DVD.

Here is this weekends top 10, care of Box Office Mojo.

  1. Rush Hour 3 ($50.2m)
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum ($33.6m)
  3. The Simpsons Movie ($11.1m)
  4. Stardust ($9m)
  5. Underdog ($6.4m)
  6. Hairspray (2007) ($6.3m)
  7. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry ($5.9m)
  8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($5.3m)
  9. No Reservations ($3.9m)
  10. Daddy Day Camp ($3.5m)


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