Disappointing 2nd Weekend for Hulk Movie

Universal's Hulk Movie dropped a massive 70% from its opening weekend with just $18.4 million to bring its total to $100.2 million in 10 days. Still not chump change, but making some very disappointed studio executives nonetheless. The outlook for a comeb
'Angels' Wings Clipped at U.S. Box Office
Sunday June 29, 3:03 pm ET
By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" snatched the weekend box office halo from reigning champion "The Hulk," but the feisty action comedy sequel failed to match the performance of its predecessor, surprising an industry accustomed to inexorably rising ticket sales.
The Angels movie, starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu as unlikely crime-fighters in a story as skimpy as some of their outfits, sold $38 million worth of tickets in its first three days of release across North America, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The film's hit predecessor, "Charlie's Angels," opened with $40.1 million in November 2000, a slower time at the box office, and went on to generate $125 million. It also grossed $138 million outside of North America.

There were some other trouble spots at the box office. "The Hulk" slipped to No. 2 with $18.4 million in its second weekend, losing a stunning 70 percent of its audience, one of the steepest slides in recent memory. And overall ticket sales fell for the third consecutive weekend when compared with the year-ago period.

"There's a lack of depth" among films, with big openings followed by big drops, said industry analyst Paul Dergerabedian at box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.

He estimated ticket sales this year were off by about 3.5 percent at $4.3 billion, when compared with the year-ago period. Attendance was down by about 7 percent. Sales this summer are about even with last year, while attendance is down by 4 percent, he added.


"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" managed to end an intriguing winning streak at the box office. The last six movies to open at No. 1 all did so by selling more than $50 million worth of tickets.

An executive at the film's distributor, Columbia Pictures, said he had merely hoped to open in the same range as the first movie, and said he was not disappointed.

"To us, at least, if we can exceed the worldwide total of the first one, we'll be happy," said Jeff Blake, Columbia's head of worldwide marketing and distribution. Columbia is a unit of Sony Corp (Tokyo:6758.T - News; NYSE:SNE - News).

Blake said the film also opened this weekend in Japan, doubling the bow of the first one by selling $6.2 million worth of tickets.

Dergerabedian said it had become "the new reality" that a sequel will outperform its predecessor, as indicated by recent films "The Matrix Reloaded," "2 Fast 2 Furious" and "X2: X-Men United."

The 10-day total for "The Hulk," a $150 million adaptation of the Marvel comic book, rose to $100.2 million. The film was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of Vivendi Universal SA (Paris:EAUG.PA - News; NYSE:V - News).

Its 70 percent tumble compares with a 63 percent second-weekend drop for "2 Fast 2 Furious" a 45 percent dip for "Bruce Almighty" and a 34 percent erosion for "Finding Nemo."

"Obviously we're very disappointed," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's president of distribution. "You never want to see this kind of drop."

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS - News)-distributed computer-animated "Finding Nemo," which was produced by Pixar Animated Studios Inc. (NasdaqNM:PIXR - News), was at No. 3 with $13.9 million and just days away from surpassing the $255 million haul of Disney/Pixar record-holder "Monsters, Inc."

The top 10 contained one other new release, the apocalyptic British thriller "28 Days Later," which opened at No. 4 with $9.7 million. The film, budgeted at just $8 million, far exceeded the expectations of executives at its distributor, Fox Searchlight Pictures. Fox Searchlight is a unit of News Corp.'s (Australia:NCP.AX - News; NYSE:NWS - News) Fox Entertainment Group Inc (NYSE:FOX - News).
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