Spider-Man 3 drops precipitous 60% in second weekend

Spider-Man 3, which shattered box office records last weekend with over $150 million in weekend sales over three days, almost broke another, far-less-honorable box office record this weekend: the biggest drop-off of any blockbuster. The other two Spider-Man films have been especially good with weekend holdover, but both those films had excellent word-of-mouth and repeat viewing capabilities. Spider-Man 3, which a sluggish pace and a mess of a screenplay, does not have the luxury of the same glowing reviews and the potential for fan boys to run back to the theater to watch it a second or third time. Spider-Man 3 made $60 million over the weekend, a great take for most films. Just not the Spider-Man franchise. From $150 to $60 million is a 60% drop, a nasty number by anyone's imagination. It beat out previous weekend box office record holder Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (54%) and luckily for it avoided the crushing defeat another Marvel master franchise took at the hands of X-Men United, which fell 67% in its second weekend after an amazing opening. So we are starting to see a trend here... Studios have long ignored critical demands for good films during the summer months, but with openings getting bigger and bigger, blockbusters are getting more and more front loaded. If a studio can make $150 million in a weekend based on marketing efforts alone, then there's no need to make a good movie, right? WRONG! Had Spider-Man 3 been as good as Spider-Man 2, we'd probably be looking at $20 million more in the bank right now for the film, on the weekend alone - not to mention the day-by-day numbers during the week. The fumbling of Spider-Man 3 will cost its studio and Marvel tens of millions of dollars, which is a lot of zeros that add up quickly. And looking at the previously mentioned films in this article, neither X-Men United nor Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest were especially good (though sadly I must say X-Men United was the most entertaining of the three). Had X-Men United been as good of a film as X-Men 2, it wouldn't have suffered bad word-of-mouth and bad reviews. Dead Man's Chest was just the same. Bottom line: In the summer, movie reviews may not matter much on opening weekend, but all of those people who didn't want to see the movie enough to see the film on opening weekend are listening, both to movie reviews and, more importantly, word-of-mouth. Studios, get a clue!

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