Monday, June 8, 2009

Surprise!!! There is a new Box Office Champion this week!

Usually when we publish the Box Office Champion entry we usually base it on estimates made by the studios on Sunday morning. When the money is counted on Monday, usually the tally falls within the estimate. Not this time. This time the estimates were wrong...

The Box Office Champion in North America this week is...

LOS ANGELES – It turns out Hollywood's weekend hangover was bigger than expected.

The Warner Bros. comedy "The Hangover" drew larger audiences than earlier projected to raise its weekend ticket sales to $45 million, about $1.8 million more than the studio estimated Sunday.

That made it the No. 1 draw for the weekend instead of Disney and Pixar Animation's "Up," which came in second with $44.3 million. Sunday studio estimates had "Up" edging "The Hangover" by about $1 million.

It's rare that the first- and second-place movies on Sunday flip-flop when final numbers come out Monday. But strong attendance Sunday allowed "The Hangover" to pull ahead.

With heavy matinee traffic, family films such as "Up" usually hold on better through Sunday than adult movies like "The Hangover."

Warner Bros. had expected Sunday's NBA championship game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic to cut into business for the R-rated "The Hangover," the tale of four friends at an out-of-control bachelor party weekend in Las Vegas.

Yet more people turned up for the movie than anticipated, said Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution.

"The Lakers weren't the only winners," Fellman said. "We had an unbelievable day."

Disney spokeswoman Heidi Trotta said the studio was happy to come in at No. 2 with "Up," whose final weekend total came in about $100,000 higher than the studio estimated Sunday.

"Up" has topped $137 million in just 10 days and is on track to become the latest $200 million blockbuster from Disney and Pixar, whose hits include "WALL-E," "The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo" and the "Toy Story" movies.

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