News

'Sex and City' beats 'Indy' for top box-office draw

Russ Britt
MarketWatch (MCT)

LOS ANGELES - Never underestimate the power of women - and a good strong Cosmopolitan.

"Sex and the City" fans turned out in droves over the weekend to propel the movie adaptation of the popular HBO series past the $55 million mark in domestic box-office sales over the weekend, and past last weekend's blockbuster "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," preliminary figures show.

"Sex and the City," a release from Time Warner Inc.'s New Line unit, not only prompted thousands of Cosmopolitan-fueled cocktail parties focused on its Friday debut, it also made nearly $27 million in its first day in theaters, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers.

It went on to rake in more than $17 million on Saturday and was expected to make more than $11 million on Sunday, Dergarabedian said. That's a surprise, considering the movie was expected to make somewhere around $35 million to $40 million for the entire weekend. "Sex and the City" went off the air in 2004.

"We should never underestimate the clout of the female audience and the power of `Sex and the City,'" Dergarabedian said. "This is the first real surprise of the summer."

"Sex and the City" became the top-grossing female-oriented film of all time for an opening weekend, soaring well past "The Break Up," which made $39.2 million in domestic receipts. Released by General Electric Co.'s Universal Studios unit, "Break Up" also was released in the first post-Memorial Day weekend in 2006.

Online ticket seller Fandango reported that it sold more than 1 million advance tickets for the film, making it the top-selling romantic comedy of all time for the service. The company said it sold 16 percent of tickets for the film, the highest proportion that Fandango has sold.

It also accounted for 90 percent of Fandango's ticket sales as of Sunday morning, and helped account for more than 1,000 weekend showings of the film, Fandango said. Prior to Friday, Fandango reported that a survey of "Sex and the City" ticket buyers showed that 80 percent of all purchasers planned to attend a party devoted to the movie, and two-thirds planned to have Cosmopolitans, the signature drink of the television series' characters.

"Internet ticket sales for `Sex and the City' have been nothing short of extraordinary for a female-driven picture," Rick Butler, Fandango's chief operating officer, said in a press release.

"Indiana Jones," from Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures unit, made roughly $151 million during the five-day Memorial Day weekend, but ended up with $46 million during this past weekend, Dergarabedian said. That represents a 54 percent drop from last week's Friday-to-Sunday period, which came in at $101 million.

Dergarabedian said the drop wasn't terribly large, considering the film had massive numbers for its first weekend. But the power of "Sex and the City" just seemed to overwhelm it. "Indiana Jones" has made $216.9 million in domestic receipts thus far.

Preliminary figures for the rest of the top five finishers in domestic receipts showed new release "The Strangers" with $20.7 million. The film is distributed by New York-based Rogue Pictures.

Fourth and continuing strong was Paramount's "Iron Man" with $14 million. The film's legs, or staying power, propelled it past fifth-place finisher "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," which had an estimated $13 million.

"Narnia" from Walt Disney Co. was released two weeks after "Iron Man" and had outperformed it until this past weekend. Produced for $200 million, "Narnia" has made $115.7 million in the U.S. thus far.

Fox's "What Happens in Vegas" turned in $6.9 million for sixth place. Next was "Baby Mama" from Universal at $2.2 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was "Speed Racer" from Time Warner's Warner Bros. studios at $2.1 million, Sony Corp.'s "Made of Honor" at $2 million and Universal's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" at $1 million.

"Sex and the City" helped propel domestic receipts well past last year's mark, Dergarabedian said. The industry's top 12 films made $164.8 million over the weekend, up nearly 28 percent from last year's $129 million.

Dergarabedian said the weekend was the first up period after two down weekends. The gain from last year is notable in that this year's lineup of films beat last year's array, which included three big releases: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Shrek the Third" and "Spider-Man 3."

In fact, this year's second-place finisher "Indiana Jones" came out ahead of last year's first-place finisher, "Pirates," which was in its second weekend in theaters at the time. "Pirates" made $44.2 million a year ago and stood at $217.5 million in cumulative receipts.

Year-to-date, revenue is down 2.8 percent and attendance is off 5.5 percent.

Music
Music

Billy Corgan Brainwashed Me: '90s Alternative Rock and the Introspective Abyss

Once in its thrall, these days I find the overriding message of '90s alt-rock especially naïve and even dangerous.

Music

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.

Music

Jennah Barry Offers Up a Warm, Sublime Collection of Memorable Tunes on 'Holiday'

Canadian indie folkster Jennah Barry returns with her long-awaited sophomore album, Holiday, which takes on a looser, more relaxed approach.

Music

Maria McKee Puts Down Her Electric Guitar and Picks up Dante on 'La Vita Nuova'

"Show Me Heaven" was another country. Maria McKee has moved to England, immersed herself in the Classics and turned away from the 21st century.

Music

PopMatters Seeks Music Critics and Essayists

If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by the quality readership of PopMatters.

Music

Fotocrime's '80s-Inspired Rock Is Often Half-Baked

Fotocrime's South of Heaven is interesting mostly in that it's one of the most mediocre rock records I've heard in a long time.

Music

Salsa Band LPT Hints at the Genre's Future

LPT's debut album, Sin Parar, hits all the right notes for a contemporary salsa album.

Music

The Killers - "Caution" (Singles Going Steady)

The Killers go for the big hooks and singable anthems on "Caution", but opinion is sharply divided about the song's merits amongst our Singles Going Steady panel.

Books
Books

Phuc Tran's Existential Trip of a Memoir, 'Sigh, Gone'

Phuc Tran's smart, tough memoir, Sigh, Gone, might launch a broken down kid to read 150 great books—for free, at the local library.

Books

Classic Shōjo Today: Moto Hagio's 'The Poe Clan'

Moto Hagio's The Poe Clan manga series a gender-fluid melodrama marked by deep psychological trauma.

Books

John Pham's ​J​&K​​ - It's a Matter of Perspective

In J&K, John Pham explores perspectives in the psychological sense. Like Picasso, he views things from more than one angle.

Books

The American Robot: A Cultural History [By the Book]

In The American Robot, Dustin A. Abnet explores how robots have not only conceptually connected but literally embodied some of the most critical questions in modern culture, as seen in this excerpt from chapter 5 "Building the Slaves of Tomorrow", courtesy of University of Chicago Press.

Dustin A. Abnet
Film
Film

The Road to Murder in Love and War: Three Films from Claude Chabrol

The character's in Claude Chabrol's The Third Lover, Line of Demarcation, and The Champagne Murders are obsessively doubled and mirrored, reflecting and refracting their hunger for sex, love, money, and power.

Film

'Memento' Is the Movie of the Attention Economy

We are afraid of time, and so like Leonard in Memento, we kill it, compulsively and indiscriminately.

Film

What Lurks Beneath: 'Jaws' and Political Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

Boris Johnson admires the Mayor in Spielberg's Jaws. Remember him? He was the guy who wouldn't close the beaches -- and sacrifice that revenue source -- during a public crisis.

Film

'The Serpent's Egg' Marks One of Ingmar Bergman's Strangest Efforts

The Serpent's Egg bares many of the Bergman's trademark features – the suffocating auras of despair and an underdog's sense of triumph over tragedy – but falls short of a more intelligent rendering of human drama.

Recent
Music

The Killers - "Caution" (Singles Going Steady)

The Killers go for the big hooks and singable anthems on "Caution", but opinion is sharply divided about the song's merits amongst our Singles Going Steady panel.

Music

Lilly Hiatt - "Some Kind of Drug" (Singles Going Steady)

Lilly Hiatt sings about a different kind of love on "Some Kind of Drug". Hers is for a city and the impact gentrification has had its soul.

Music

There's Never Enough Time for Folk Music's James Elkington

The sometimes Wilco and Richard Thompson sideman, in-demand producer, and songwriter, James Elkington, muses on why it's taking longer than he expects to achieve more in a week than most of us get done in a lifetime.

Music

Billy Corgan Brainwashed Me: '90s Alternative Rock and the Introspective Abyss

Once in its thrall, these days I find the overriding message of '90s alt-rock especially naïve and even dangerous.

Books

Classic Shōjo Today: Moto Hagio's 'The Poe Clan'

Moto Hagio's The Poe Clan manga series a gender-fluid melodrama marked by deep psychological trauma.

Music

Salsa Band LPT Hints at the Genre's Future

LPT's debut album, Sin Parar, hits all the right notes for a contemporary salsa album.

Music

Jennah Barry Offers Up a Warm, Sublime Collection of Memorable Tunes on 'Holiday'

Canadian indie folkster Jennah Barry returns with her long-awaited sophomore album, Holiday, which takes on a looser, more relaxed approach.

Music

Fotocrime's '80s-Inspired Rock Is Often Half-Baked

Fotocrime's South of Heaven is interesting mostly in that it's one of the most mediocre rock records I've heard in a long time.

Music

Maria McKee Puts Down Her Electric Guitar and Picks up Dante on 'La Vita Nuova'

"Show Me Heaven" was another country. Maria McKee has moved to England, immersed herself in the Classics and turned away from the 21st century.

Books

Phuc Tran's Existential Trip of a Memoir, 'Sigh, Gone'

Phuc Tran's smart, tough memoir, Sigh, Gone, might launch a broken down kid to read 150 great books—for free, at the local library.

Music

Weeks Island's 'Droste' Is a New High Water Mark in Ambient Steel (EP stream) (premiere)

Lost Bayou Ramblers' Jonny Campos turns up as Weeks Island with Brian Eno/Cluster-inspired music straight from the bayou. Hear Droste in full ahead of its release on Friday.

Music

Ireland's Junk Drawer Share New Krautrock Meets Post-Punk Song, "Temporary Day" (premiere)

Junk Drawer's "Temporary Day" is a simple yet compelling video for a gripping song that shows why the band have earned such acclaim in their native Ireland.

Books

John Pham's ​J​&K​​ - It's a Matter of Perspective

In J&K, John Pham explores perspectives in the psychological sense. Like Picasso, he views things from more than one angle.

Music

Miranda Lambert - "Bluebird" (Singles Going Steady)

Miranda Lambert sings her blues the way an artist paints with them on her latest single, "Bluebird".

Music

'Stone Crush' Proves (Again) That Memphis Is Ground Zero for Soul and R&B

Stone Crush shines a light on the forgotten -- or never known -- artists that passed through the doors of Memphis' most storied studios in an attempt at just one fleeting moment of fame.

Music

Circles Around the Sun Shoot for the Stars on New Album

Jamrockers Circles Around the Sun's self-titled third album finds the band transcending darkness after losing their founder in 2019 to chart a groovy new course.

Music

Jazz's Kandace Springs Pays Tribute to 'The Women Who Raised Me'

Singer and pianist Kandace Springs tackles a dozen songs associated with her jazz vocal heroes, and the combination of simplicity and sincerity is winning.

Music

Coronavirus Tunes: A Brief Playlist for Our Times of Self-Isolation

As coronavirus spreads throughout the world and many of us hunker down with online media, we offer eight songs that share our feeling of seclusion.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews
Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.