Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drag Me Up to Hell: Movie Box Office Contest Update

For those of you following the 2009 Summer Movie Box Office Contest, this weekend brought the release of Disney/Pixar's "Up" and Sam Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell," which happened to be my second and seventh picks, respectively.

"Up" soared to $68.2 million, according to estimates provided by Box Office Mojo, which makes it the third-highest Pixar opening ever, behind "The Incredibles," which opened at $70.5 million in November 2004 and fought on to gross $261 million, and "Finding Nemo," which opened at $70.3 million in May 2003 and swam all the way to a domestic catch of $340 million.

In order for me to have any chance to win, I need "Up" to take on a decidedly "Nemo" trajectory, floating to north of $300 million.

"Drag Me to Hell" bowed with $16.6 million, which has to be viewed as a slight disappointment. A great trailer and some incredibly positive reviews had me hoping this one would crack the $20 million mark and be a nice, summer sleeper that would benefit from positive word of mouth and scare up close to $100 million before the end of its run. It still might prove to be leggy, but it could've used a bit of a better start.

Dave's "Star Trek" passed the $200 million mark, while "Terminator Salvation" is at $90.7 million.

Stu's sequels -- "Angels & Demons" and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" -- both reached the $100 million mark.

John's lone entry so far, "Dance Flick," has earned just $19.2 million to date, after a $5 million weekend.

As for my earlier entries, "Wolverine" grossed an anemic $3.9 million (wow) in its fifth weekend, for a total of $170.9 million. "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" has romanced its way past the $50 million threshold with a $1.9 million weekend, but it doesn't look like that date will bear more fruit.

Next week brings Stu's fourth and fifth picks -- "Land of the Lost" and Warner Bros.' "The Hangover" -- and my eighth pick, the Nia Vardalos-starrer "My Life in Ruins."

(Full disclosure: I chose it with my last selection, hoping to scoop up some counter-programming dollars from women dying to see anything but the other two male-skewing comedies being released. In my dreams, I told myself I'd be thrilled if it grossed a third of Vardalos' "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which would be $80 million or so. Then, I saw the trailer. Fat chance of that happening. I'll settle for $30 million at this point.)

Totals through May 31:

* Rob (four films): $305.7 million
* Dave (three films): $300.9 million
* Stu (two films): $209.5 million
* John (one film): $19.2 million

Click here for our complete list of picks and release dates.

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