Snakes Goes "Hisssss"
New Line Cinema landed on its asp over the weekend as the highly hyped Snakes on a Plane, which analysts had expected would take in more than $30 million, earned only about half of that -- an estimated $15.2 million. (Several reports mentioned that the figure also included $1.4 million from Thursday night's 10:00 p.m. screenings.) The studio had hoped that using the Internet as its chief marketing tool would boost ticket sales and save it millions of dollars in traditional costs. New Line's distribution chief, David Tuckerman, told today's (Monday) New York Times that the studio was "a little disappointed" with the box office results. "We'll make money with this picture, it's just more disappointing because of all the inflated expectations," he told the newspaper. "It basically performed like a normal horror movie." Added Exhibitor Relations chief Paul Dergarabedian: "We see that Internet interest in a movie doesn't necessarily translate to good box office." The results no doubt came as a particular disappointment to New Line's parent, Time Warner, whose other film studio, Warner Bros., has been experiencing one of its worst years in recent memory. Meanwhile, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean added another $5 million to its booty, putting it past the $400 million mark with $401 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Snakes on a Plane, $15.25 million; 2. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, $14.1 million; 3. World Trade Center, $10.8 million; 4. Accepted, $10.1 million; 5. Step Up, $9.9 million; 6. Barnyard, $7.5 million; 7. Little Miss Sunshine, $5.7 million; 8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, $5 million; 9. Material Girls, $4.6 million; 10. Pulse, $3.5 million.