Friday, July 14, 2006

Mid-Week Box Office Weirdness: 'Prada' Tops 'Superman'

On Thursday, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" made $12.36 million, moving its overall domestic gross to a mind-boggling $196 million for its first week in release. "Pirates 2" is going to be around $250 million after its first 10 days, which is pretty impressive for a movie that isn't really all that good.

That's interesting, but it's not noteworthy.

What *is* noteworthy is the fact that on Thursday, after getting close throughout the week, "The Devil Wears Prada" finally moved up to second place, moving head of "Superman Returns" for the day, by the slim margin of $2.46 million to $2.45 million. That's not much. In fact, there may be weird intricacies of Thursday box office that make an event like this more likely -- Are Thursday audiences particularly female or something? -- and "Superman Returns" may somehow manage to finish ahead of "Prada" for the weekend. But seriously, as the summer began, how many people would have found it particularly likely that after just two weeks in release, "Prada" would be making more money than "Superman"?

Overall, of course, "Superman Returns" has made more than twice the take for "Prada." The Man of Steel has made $152 million, while the Women of Silk and Cotton have made $73. Then again, "Superman Returns" cost $250-ish million to make. "Prada" cost $35 million. Which studio's executives are doing Happy Summer Box Office Dances right now?

"Prada" spent the entire week within a couple hundred-thousand bucks of "Superman," which was already pretty good given that the Fox comedy is in 2,882 theaters and the Warner Bros. superhero movie is in 4,065.

Or maybe this just seems like an amusing occurrence to me.

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