Box Office: Hollywood Realizes Women Like Movies

June 3, 2008 | By Clint Froehlich | Creative

Anita Bugge / WireImage/Getty Images

Last week, from my cubicle, I out-predicted all the major box office analysts by foretelling a $28 million opening day for a movie about four fortysomething women wandering Manhattan in high heels. The actual number was about $27 million, or close to double what everyone else was predicting. Haha!

I’m a bit puzzled as to why Hollywood is in such a frenzy over the $57 million opening weekend of Sex and the City. It was an enormously popular series. Its fan base is fiercely loyal, and excitement was at fever pitch. Sure, it’s impressive that a film with a niche audience (roughly 85% of attendees this weekend were women, which is astoundingly high) pulled in these kind of numbers, but it shows once again how much contempt the Hollywood powers-that-be have for their female audience. Nikki Finke has an interesting ongoing post over at Deadline Hollywood about Warner chief Jeff Robinov’s idiotic comments about female-driven movies, and how Warner may now reconsider the marketing push for The Women, which is already looking very promising. Why a low-budget ($16.5 million, reportedly), star-studded (Eva Mendes, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, etc.) rom-com with a great script wouldn’t receive a major marketing push is beyond me. The (male) studio cronies don’t want the ladies encroaching on their superhero tentpoles, apparently.

Beyond SATC, the marketplace is showing a lot of depth after a so-so May. Indiana Jones ranked second with $44.8 million (down 55%), The Strangers beat predictions with a $21 million opening (the biggest for a horror flick this year), Iron Man continued showing great legs with $13.5 million in its fifth outing, and other films showed small declines. The box office was up substantially over last year, and will continue on its up streak this coming weekend with the openings of Kung Fu Panda and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Last year’s #1 on that frame was Ocean’s 13 with less than $40 million. Indiana Jones and SATC will do at least that much together, ignoring the two big openers and better-than-average drops for The Strangers and Iron Man.

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