The record breaking Memorial Day weekend box office brings some surprises. “The Hangover Part II” is a gigantic hit, bigger than its predecessor with a $118 million take from Thursday through Sunday. Add in Monday, tomorrow, and the comedy lands at around $138 million. That does mean we’ll see a part III, and maybe even IV and V. You can bet “The Hangover” will be a franchise that never ends.
At the same time, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Distant Shores,” is not so popular in the US. With just $152 million domestically, “Pirates” has had to depend on foreign sales to make it a blockbuster. Abroad, this “Pirates” made an astounding amount of money–nearly $500 million. But here, the Johnny Depp-Penelope Cruz adventure is lagging waaaaay behind its predecessor from 2007. Disney probably doesn’t care, as those international figures are booming. So what the heck? And the movie promotes Disney World and Disneyland and Euro Disney, so it’s all good.
And then there’s Woody Allen. “Midnight in Paris” is turning into Woody’s biggest hit ever. The time travel comedy, perhaps the first film of the year to be a possible Best Picture nominee, is captivating audiences. “Midnight” has made over $2.8 million in the U.S. on only 58 screens. Sony Pictures Classics is taking its release slowly, which is wise. But at this rate, “Midnight” –when it goes into wide release– will eclipse Woody’s biggest hit, “Vicki Cristina Barcelona,” which did an impressive $23 million.
A couple more box office observations: Morgan Spurlock’s “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” has not worked out at the box office. It’s such a refreshing and funny doc, but I guess the hook didn’t catch on. In six weeks it’s made only $566,000. And “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson didn’t do much to help “Water for Elephants.” Even though the dramedy will probably make a little money in the end, Pattinson’s teen idol status didn’t draw anyone in. The “Twilight” doesn’t seem to extend beyond itself for its popular stars, as “The Runaways” didn’t bring out Kristen Stewart’s supposed legion of fans.