Step Brothers Steps Well; X-Files Is X-Pired - Week 13 | The Dark Knight | Iron Man | Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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Step Brothers Steps Well; X-Files Is X-Pired - Week 13

The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Kung Fu Panda
Mamma Mia!
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Step Brothers
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
Will Farrell avoided the perils fellow SNL alums Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy fell into this summer as his Step Brothers film debuted with $30.9 million. You'd think with that kind of money the step brothers wouldn't half to share the same room, yet the success here for Farrell certainly puts his agent and other studios at ease after wondering if the "magic" was over. This is why Myers and Murphy's agents are cooking up Austin Power 4 and Beverly Hills Cop 4 projects for their clients. When the magic is gone, find a way to resell DVD collections!

I'm not sure the X-Files movie could have opened any worse. Barely making $10 million in its first weekend, you'd have thought people confused this movie with Duchovny's 1997 Playing God movie and the practically record setting opening of a $1.9 million. Even the last X-Files movie found a $30 million opening out there 10 years ago. Bad buzz and lousy trailers did little to stir up interest. Even though the film has slipped for me from "maybe as a matinee" to "I'll check it out on DVD," I'm haunted by the words a friend of mine said after watching the movie: "I liked it better when Mulder and Scully were in the X-Files." Gulp.

Meanwhile, it's all sunshine and rainbows for The Dark Knight. Smashing the record by six days to become the fastest film to cross the $300 million mark, it's already at $313.8 million after 10 days. Yes, it only took 10 days to make as much as Indiana Jones has made all summer. Helped by the largest second weekend total ever of $74.2 million, the caped crusader has all but assured the #1 slot in this pool and has a good shot at moving past Star Wars (or Episode IV to the losers) as the second biggest grossing film of all-time.

Wait, Matt, don't you think it can pass Titanic's $600 million domestic gross? Nope. Not even if there was a scene where Christian Bale drew a picture of a topless Maggie Gyllenhaal. I mean, sure, I think that scene would've made the characters in Dark Knight a lot more real to me, but the lack of a Celine Dion here makes this feat all but impossible.

With the huge cast in Mamma Mia it's not surprising the film had some real legs. Dropping only 36%, the top-tapping-fest looks to be the second summer musical in a row to cross the $100 million mark after last year's Hairspray. If someone hasn't made a YouTube mash-up yet of The Devil Wears ABBA featuring dueling Meryl Streeps, there is no hope for this future generation.

On an interesting note, Journey to the blah blah blah slipped only 21% in it's third weekend, the smallest drop of any of the top ten films. Maybe the U2-3D movie that came out earlier this year should've asked Brendan Fraser to join them on stage.

The race that doesn't seem as important right now took a slight turn, however. Indy is still $1.3 million behind Iron Man, yet it only made $250,000 more in this latest weekend. Maybe Iron Man'll be a Marvel after-all and hold off the geriatric adventurer.
The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:

#1. Iron Man - $314.9 million
#2. Dark Knight - $313.8 million
#3. Indiana Jones - $313.6 million
#4. Kung Fu Panda - $209 million
#5. Hancock - $206.5 million

This Week
Last Summer New Line threw out a sequel no one really was asking for in Rush Hour 3. It was able to open with nearly $50 million and quietly did alright for itself. I say quietly because did anyone even remember that film even came out?

This summer Universal's giving that a try with The Mummy franchise and they will be just as pleased if they can match Rush Hour 3's numbers. Are audiences ready to lighten up a little bit and roll with a fun popcorn movie or are they going to prefer to keep getting their angst on with The Dark Knight?

On the "counter-programming" side of life comes a Kevin Costner comedy called Swing Vote. While it seems like this movie would've been timelier in the Spring when people were primary crazy or in the Fall where the elections are actually happening, logic and Hollywood rarely go together. Costner films can still do moderately well, yet I think the public will be voting for a different movie this weekend.

by Matt Neuenburg on 07/28/2008

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Hancock, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Kung Fu Panda, Mamma Mia!, Step Brothers, The Dark Knight, The X-Files: I Want to Believe
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