Comedy cornered the weekend box office as Sony’s lewd R-rated teen laffer “Superbad” showed super hold in retaining the weekend crown and Universal-Working Title’s family pic “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” unexpectedly won among new entries.
“Superbad,” produced by Judd Apatow, grossed an estimated $18 million from 2,948 playdates in its second frame, a narrow decline of 46%, according to Rentrak. In its first 10 days, “Superbad” has grossed $68.6 million, the second best showing this year for an R-rated pic after Warner Bros.’ “300.”
At this point in its run, “Superbad” is running ahead of the summer’s other R-rated laffer, Universal’s “Knocked Up,” which Apatow directed and which is one of the season’s most profitable pics. In its first 10 days, “Knocked Up” grossed roughly $65.8 million.
In its U.S. debut, British pic “Mr. Bean” — which has grossed nearly $190 million overseas — took in an estimated $10.1 million from 1,714 locations. Pic sees Rowan Atkinson return to the bigscreen in the popular role he first created for U.K. television.
“Bean” bested Lionsgate’s Jet Li-Jason Statham starrer “War,” which took in an estimated $10 million from 2,277 runs. Per-screen average was $4,392, while “Mr. Bean” nabbed a per-location average of $5,905.
“Nanny Diaries,” toplining Scarlett Johansson and based on the book of the same name, grossed an estimated $7.8 million from 2,629 locations, proving another difficult release for TWC and distrib partner MGM.
In its second frame, Warner’s Nicole Kidman-Daniel Craig starrer “Invasion” failed to rally after a disappointing opening. Film, taking the No. 10 spot, declined 47% to an estimated $3.1 million from 2,776 runs for a cume of $11.5 million.
Newbies weren’t able to scale the upper reaches of the weekend box office chart as “Superbad” teamed with holdovers “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Rush Hour 3” to nab the top three spots. “Rush 3” crossed the $100 million mark, becoming the 19th title this summer to do so.
Yari Film Group’s Samuel L. Jackson-Josh Hartnett starrer “Resurrecting the Champ” wasn’t able to muster much of an audience at all, grossing an estimated $1.8 million from 1,605 runs.
While the market was on the softer side for new entries, the box office overall continued its record-breaking pace as Hollywood’s best summer on record headed toward the Labor Day finish line. Summer to date, the domestic box office is running 11% ahead of last year and 7% over 2004, the previous record-holder, according to Nielsen EDI.
With this weekend’s perf, the summer box office is poised to cross the $4 billion mark at the box office for the first time ever. According to Nielsen EDI estimates, receipts totaled $3.7 billion through Sunday.
Among the top 10 films, the weekend was up 10% vs. the same frame in 2006, when “Invincible” led in its $18 million bow, according to Rentrak.
In celebrating its $18 million second weekend for “Superbad,” Sony said the film is on its way to being very profitable for the studio, since it cost less than $20 million to make. After “Spider-Man 3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “Superbad” is only the third movie this summer to win two frames in a row.
“It’s a great bookend for us,” Sony prexy of distribution Rory Bruer said. “We opened this summer with ‘Spider-Man 3,’ and we’re finishing with ‘Superbad.’ ”
Between “Bourne” and “Mr. Bean,” the weekend is expected to provide enough punch for Universal to edge out Disney and take No. 2 in summer market share after Paramount, which has stayed at No. 1 since the release of “Transformers.”
While an R-rating certainly hasn’t impeded “Superbad” or “Knocked Up,” U worked diligently to ensure that “Mr. Bean” got a G rating, agreeing to cut out some mild language for which the pic originally received a PG rating.
“Bean,” the first feature adaptation of the U.K. television series, was rated PG-13 in the U.S. for risque humor. It debuted in 1997 at $2.1 million in limited release on its way to a domestic cume of roughly $45 million after expanding. “Bean” was released in the U.S. by Gramercy Pictures, which was later absorbed by U.
Working Title began rolling out “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” in March overseas.
“Don’t forget, this is a movie that stormed the international marketplace. To do this kind of business, it shows how much of a following that Rowan has. It’s a G-rated family comedy,” Universal prexy of distribution Nikki Rocco said.
When it came to chick film “Nanny Diaries,” the film took in most of its haul from bigger cities, with audiences in smaller cities and towns largely failing to turn out. TWC is expected to tweak its media buying campaign to target locales where the nanny concept isn’t as prevalent as in big cities.
TWC co-chair Harvey Weinstein said word-of-mouth and an increased targeted marketing campaign should build buzz and turnout in those smaller markets. Pic also stars Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti.
“As we head into the Labor Day weekend holiday, we are committed to marketing the film to audiences all over the country and expect that it will continue to play,” Weinstein said.
“War” fared better than “Diaries” in meeting expectations, appealing predominately to males. Film posed a challenge to market in that it wasn’t a traditional martial arts title.
A clear casualty of the weekend was Slowhand’s Jon Voight starrer “September Dawn,” about Mormon extremism in 1850s Utah. Film grossed an estimated $617,000 from 857 runs for a paltry per-screen average of $720.
On the specialty side, John Singleton-produced Latin crime drama “Illegal Tender” grossed an estimated $1.4 million from 512 locations for a per screen average of $2,805. Film, written and directed by Franc Reyes, is being distributed by U per its output deal with Singleton.
Roadside Attractions was unable to find much traction with dirty bomb drama “Right at Your Door,” which opened at an estimated $31,768 from 20 locations for a per-screen average of $1,588. It’s the first pic distributed by Roadside under its new deal with Lionsgate, which had picked up the edgy thriller at Sundance.
TWC’s “Dedication” grossed an estimated $24,000 from four screens in Gotham and Los Angeles for a per location average of $6,000. Drama was helmed by Justin Theroux in his directorial debut.
IFC’s “Hannah Takes the Stairs” took in an estimated $6,454 from one location in its opening weekend for a five-day cume of $10,726, and a per-screen average of $6,454.
IFC also bowed adventure docu “Deep Water,” which pulled in an estimated $21,728 from two locations for a per-screen average of $10,864.
Screen Media’s docu “Skid Row,” about the nine days Pras Michel spent as a homeless man in downtown Los Angeles, debuted at an estimated $7,723 from three locations in L.A., Gotham and San Francisco for a per-screen average of $2,574.
Among holdovers, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and MGM’s “Death at a Funeral” grossed an estimated $1 million from 261 locations in its second frame for a cume of $2.9 million and a per-screen average of $4,149.
Also in its second frame, Picturehouse docu “The King of Kong” grossed an estimated $76,747 as it expanded to 14 locations for a per-screen average of $5,482 and a cume of $156,457. Warner Indpendent Pictures’ environmental docu “The 11th Hour,” produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, grossed an estimated $70,000 as it expanded to 20 locations for a cume of $150,413 and a per screen average of $3,500. In its bow, docu grossed $60,853 from four locations for per screen average of $15,213.