Maybe everyone was saving their money for “Terminator 3” or “Legally Blonde 2.” Or maybe the nice weather throughout much of the country kept people outside. Whatever the reason, movie ticket sales slumped 22 percent this weekend as “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” opened lower than expected and “The Hulk” took one of the biggest tumbles in recent memory.
“Charlie’s Angels” did easily manage a No. 1 debut, premiering with $38 million, according to studio estimates. Surprisingly, the sequel starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu was not able to match the $40.1 opening of the first “Angels” film in 2000. That film did benefit from a less crowded November marketplace, but with all the nonstop coverage of the three Angels and costar Demi Moore, perhaps the sequel was overhyped.
“The Hulk,” meanwhile, took a nasty 70 percent fall from its $62.1 million opening last week, earning only $18.4 million in its second weekend. (Further down the box office chart, “From Justin to Kelly” plummeted 78 percent in week two.) Obviously word of mouth on the big green guy was mixed at best, resulting in such a huge drop. After 10 days, “The Hulk” has grossed $100.2 million and may have trouble recouping its reported $150 million budget.
“Finding Nemo,” on the other hand, saw another small drop of 34 percent to $13.9 million, bringing its total to $253.9 million, only $15 million behind the year’s top film so far, “The Matrix Reloaded.” Within the next two weeks, Nemo will top Neo for that honor.
Fourth place went to the week’s other new release, the horror thriller “28 Days Later,” which opened with an impressive $9.7 million despite playing in only around 1,250 theaters. Thanks to director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”) and some freaky TV ads, “28 Days” was able to siphon off much of “Charlie’s Angels’ ” young male audience. And rounding out the top five was “Bruce Almighty,” earning $6.2 million for a total of $221.3 million. The Jim Carrey comedy has shown, along with “Finding Nemo,” the best legs of the summer. But as of this Wednesday, it’ll be all about Arnold and Reese.