Friday Report: ‘Up’ Floats to the Top

by Brandon Gray

May 30, 2009

On Friday, Up arrived with a buoyant estimated $21.4 million on approximately 6,700 screens at 3,766 sites (including a record 1,530 3D presentations). The Pixar comedy adventure ranks as the second-highest grossing opening day for a Disney-animated title, behind WALL-E's $23.2 million, although the first days of The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Cars and Monsters, Inc. rate higher in terms of attendance.

Up and Finding Nemo are the only Pixar movies to debut on the post-Memorial Day weekend, and Nemo's $20.2 million is the equivalent of over $24 million adjusted for ticket-price inflation. Now, if Up follows a similar pattern as early June releases like Cars or Kung Fu Panda, it's weekend would come in close to $65 million, but if it's more akin to Finding Nemo, its weekend would soar well above $70 million.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian subsided by more than half from last Friday, grossing an estimated $7.5 million for an $87.3 million total in eight days. It now trails the first Night at the Museum, which made $13.5 million in its second Friday for a $92.6 million eight-day tally (during the Christmas holiday period). Battle of the Smithsonian's on track for a second weekend in the $28 million range.

The weekend's other nationwide debut, Drag Me to Hell, nabbed an estimated $6.4 million on around 2,900 screens at 2,508 sites. On the same weekend last year, another horror movie, The Strangers, fared better with $7.7 million on its first day, while a similar horror movie from Summer 2007, 1408, began with $7.6 million. Should Drag Me to Hell see a pattern like The Strangers or 1408, its weekend would come in at around $17.5 million. That would rate as a slightly above average start for a supernatural horror, and the picture will vie for third place this weekend with Terminator Salvation.

Falling harder than its predecessors, Terminator Salvation faded 66 percent to an estimated $5.1 million for a $79.6 million tally in nine days. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was off 54 percent to $6 million in its second Friday and had $90.8 million in its first nine days.

Star Trek had its smallest Friday-to-Friday drop yet, easing 38 percent to over $3.6 million. In the process, it crossed the $200 million milestone in 22 days, and it has stood as the top-grossing picture of 2009 since Wednesday, when it eclipsed Monsters Vs. Aliens. For the weekend, Star Trek is headed for around $13 million.

Meanwhile, Angels & Demons held better than The Da Vinci Code again, though with lower grosses. The thriller sequel bagged an estimated $3.4 million for $97 million in 15 days, down 43 percent from last Friday.

Related Chart
• Grosses for Friday, May 29

1/17 'Glass' Ready to Crack Open a $50+ Million Holiday Debut
1/13 'The Upside' is #1 at the Weekend Box Office While 'Aquaman' Tops $1 Billion Worldwide
1/10 'Aquaman' Ready for Fourth Week at #1; 'Dog's Way Home' & 'Upside' Compete for Runner-Up
1/6 'Aquaman' Tops $940 Million Worldwide; Sony's 'Escape Room' Unlocks $18M Debut
1/3 'Aquaman' Ready to Threepeat Over First Weekend in 2019
12/30 'Aquaman' is King of the Box Office Seas for a Second Weekend in a Row
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DAILY: Wednesday, 1/16 (34 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 1/15 (34 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 1/7 (33 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'The Upside' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'The Upside' #1
WEEKLY: 'Aquaman' Tops the Week with $41.5m
DAILY: Thursday 1/10, (40 tracked)