It seems only fair to follow up yesterday's "Is 'Snakes on a Plane' Dead in the Air?" query with a solid answer:
Yes. Yes it is.
"Snakes" finished the weekend with a $15.25 million take.
All sorts of websites -- Zap2it included -- are documenting "Snakes" as the weekend's top movie, which I guess it technically is. But that "Snakes" total still includes the $1.4 million the movie made on Thursday night. That's not the weekend in my world. Take that out of the equation and "Snakes" made only $13.8 million, which would have put it second for the weekend, behind yet another frame for "Talladega Nights."
As I noted yesterday, "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid" made only a million less in its first weekend, and if you adjust for inflation and increased ticket prices and all that stuff? Well, there's just no sugar-coating the disappointment. Guess what? With a budget estimated between $35 and $40 million, "Snakes on a Plane" may not make its money back at the domestic box office. Sure, it's still gonna make money down the road. But not much. Who'd have predicted that?
"Snakes" made less money in its opening weekend than "Coach Carter" ($24 million) or "Deep Blue Sea" ($19 million). It made more than "The Man" and "XXX: State of the Union" and "Freedomland" made in their opening weekends. So it's got that going for it.
The simple fact is this: "Snakes on a Plane," despite the months of hype, buzz, magazine covers and endless discussion, did no better than you would expect a Samuel L. Jackson late-summer creature feature to do and may have even done worse.
It could easily be argued that had the Internet buzz never happened and had New Line just made up several traditional trailers of scary snakes, SamJack being authoritative and maybe Kenan Thompson being funny, that hypothetical film might well have had a superior box office performance.
In fact, I kinda made that argument yesterday.
[On a side note: I find it coincidental -- stupider people would probably call it "ironic" -- that this same weekend last year was won by an R-rated movie that initially stirred up interest entirely because it had a goofy, fun name. "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" made more than $21 million and had sufficient legs to carry to $100 million. That's a hit.]
Thoughs? Analysis? Disagreements? Wanna try to tell me that "Snakes" is still a huge hit and I'm just not understanding the numbers?