Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opened on more screens than any of its franchise predecessors, but had the weakest opening weekend (unless you count the Scorpion King spin-off), running about one million behind the 1999 original. (The Mummy Returns opened to $68 million back in 2001.) Next weekend doesn't offer much direct competition -- except The Dark Knight, natch -- so maybe it can make up some ground, though I don't reckon word-of-mouth will be its friend.
Things did not go well for Swing Vote, which had to make do with $6.3 million and sixth place. I'd say this means viewers are wary of politics right now (which wouldn't bode well for W), but I don't think too many people knew that Swing Vote opened. You have to market summer counter-programming.
My heart breaks as I peruse the back end of the top 10, where The X-Files: I Want to Believe -- for my money, the most undervalued movie of the summer -- falls to ninth with a painful 66% drop. What can I say? I get why it didn't work out. But I'm not happy about it.
The full estimates after the jump.
1 - The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.) - $43.8 ($10,267) - $394.89
2 - The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Universal) - $42.45 ($11,289) - $42.45
3 - Step Brothers (Columbia) - $16.30 ($5,268) - $62.97
4 - Mamma Mia! (Universal) - $13.12 ($4,285) - $87.98
5 - Journey to the Center of the Earth (New Line) - $11.91 ($4,208) - $43.07
6 - Swing Vote (Touchstone) - $6.30 ($2,846) - $6.30
7 - Hancock (Columbia) - $5.20 ($1,869) - $216.00
8 - Wall-E (Disney) - $4.75 ($1,857) - $204.22
9 - The X-Files: I Want to Believe (Fox) - $3.43 ($1,075) - $17.06
10 - Space Chimps (Fox) - $2.84 ($1,330) - $22.09
Numbers from Box Office Mojo.
Pineapple Express and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 both open on Wednesday. Sisterhood might hit a demographic sweet spot and Pineapple has been brilliantly marketed, so it'll be an interesting weekend.