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Angels Overtakes Star Trek in a Barn Burner

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | May 17, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | May 17, 2009 |

The box-office race turned out to be much closer this weekend than many had expected. Angels and Demons ultimately took the top spot with $48 million, narrowly beating out Star Trek’s $43 million in its second weekend. Most had predicted that Angels would win the weekend box-office, but it didn’t perform quite up to expectations (The Da Vinci Code had a $70 million bow), and Star Trek held on strong in its second week, dropping only 42 percent, is exceptional for a summer blockbuster, which tend to earn a third of their total box-office in their opening weekend.

In fact, though Wolverine — which came in third this weekend with a $15 million haul — opened with a $10 million more than Star Trek, and even though it’s had 7 more days in theaters, it’s only grossed $4 million more than Star Trek overall ($151 million to $147 million, respectively). Looking back at my total box-office predictions for the year, which I made last December, both Wolverine ($175 million prediction) and Star Trek ($192 million) are aligning well with my predictions, although my $185 million prediction for Watchmen is seriously off target ($107 million cume), and Angels and Demons may have difficulty fetching the $142 million predicted.

So, why the semi-disappointing performance for Angels and Demons? You could blame it on the increased competition from Star Trek, or you could blame it on the recession, which has hurt adult-targeted films (although, total box-office receipts are up 16 percent on the year). Personally, I think it’s because millions of people were suckered into seeing The Da Vinci Code and they weren’t about to make the same mistake twice. I wouldn’t feel too bad for Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, though. It put up over $100 million internationally, and is expected to still pull down half a billion before its run ends.

Dropping to number four this weekend was Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, which has managed to put up decent numbers since it’s lackluster debut, mostly because it’s been the only pure rom com in the marketplace (and that won’t change until mid June’s The Proposal). Rounding out the top five was Obsessed putting up another $5 million to bring its total to $62 million.

In limited release, we do have some fan-fucking-tastic news. The Brothers Bloom, which opened in only four theaters this weekend, earned $82,000 and had a whopping $20,500 per screen average (compare that to Angels and Demons $13,000), which bodes very well for its platform release strategy. It should expand into most large metro areas next weekend before expanding wider the weekend after. Look out for it.

1. Angels & Demons ($48 million).

2. Star Trek ($43 million, $147 million).

3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, ($14.8 million, $151 million)

4. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past ($6.9 million, $40 million)

5. Obsessed ($4.6 million, $62 million)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.