Brendan Fraser and Kevin Costner headline their new films The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Swing Vote this weekend with hopes of being known as the movie that took down The Dark Knight. For the The Mummy, maybe. Swing Vote doesn’t stand a chance, though.
The latest Mummy is perhaps the summer’s first unnecessary sequel. There’s already been a spin-off, The Scorpion King, and that film’s reviews were sub-par at best, and it had weak legs at the box office. At least the main star has returned for this installment so that factor should help it some. The opening weekend tallies for The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and The Scorpion King were $43.4 million, $68.1 million, and $36.1 million respectively. All of these films debuted six to nine years ago so the franchise may not be as topical as it used to be. Those films also had far less competiton to deal with since they opened in early May / late April. Of course, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has Batman to contend with.
Rush Hour 3 encountered many of the same problems last August when opened to just $49.1 million compared to $67.4 million for Rush Hour 2. Six years had passed between Rush Hour 2 and 3 which is about the same amount of town since the last Mummy movie. Rush Hour 3‘s reviews were a franchise worst. Tomb‘s reviews are even worse at just 10% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the lowest for its franchise as well. Debuting in 3,759 theaters, Tomb should open to around $44 million.
That might be low enough for The Dark Knight to reign for a third straight week but probably not. The record for the largest third weekend ever is the first Spider-Man with $45 million. Even more amazing is that Spidey did it on the same weekend that Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones debuted. That record will be hard to beat. I’m going with about a $40 million third weekend and $391 million running total for Knight, which would be the highest total ever after three weekends.
Swing Vote is gunning for an older demographic which is often under served this time of year. This movie won’t do much to draw them in because of a weak ad campaign and weak reviews. This is targeting a group that usually pays attention to reviews so 35% positive is not going to cut it. Launching in 2,213 theaters, Swing Vote will be lucky to hit $8 million.
Predictions for the weekend of August 1-3, 2008:
- The Mummy 3 – $44.2 million
- The Dark Knight – $40.1 million, -47%
- Step Brothers – $16.2 million, -48%
- Mamma Mia! – $12.2 million, -31%
- Swing Vote – $7.9 million
- Journey to the Center of the Earth – $6.3 million, -35%
- Hancock – $4.8 million, -42%
- Wall-E – $4.3 million, -33%
- X-Files: I Want to Believe – $3.9 million, -61%
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army – $2.7 million, -47%
- ‘Step Bros.’, ‘X-Files’ Try to Take Down ‘The Dark Knight’
- Predictions for ‘Wall-E’, ‘Wanted’
- Steve Carell vs. Mike Myers
Box Office Data Source: The Numbers