|We're not entirely sure that this qualifies as news, but just in case there is anyone at the back who didn't see it coming, here it is. Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds has gotten off to a planet-beating start, with an opening day total of $21.3 million at the US box office, and $34.6 million worldwide. And in other news, it was alleged yesterday that the Pope is, in fact, Catholic. Who'd'a thunk it?|
While War's opening day is nowhere near Episode III's $50 million, it's impressive for a mid-week release on a non-sequel. In fact, it's the biggest-ever opening day gross for both the studio behind the film, Paramount, and for star Tom Cruise. It's also the seventh biggest Wednesday gross in history, surpassed only by sequels and the box-office oddity that is The Passion of the Christ.
The question, as we go into the weekend, is how the film will stand up. Generally, films that have a big mid-week opening just about manage to match their opening day gross on their first Saturday, but otherwise can only expect to steadily decline from there, until they're left making 50p on one screen somewhere in Kansas. However, that pattern occurs, for the most part, with sequels / comic book movies where the fan base rushes to see the film on the first day, having camped out in front of the cinema for weeks before. Since this is neither a sequel nor based on a comic, War might build its grosses into the weekend and stay strong into next week. In the US, it will face competition next week from Fantastic Four and Dark Water, but expect the 'Berg's dark and deadly invasion movie to keep drawing the crowds for some time to come.
We'll bring you the full weekend box office report on Monday. Until then, what are you doing reading this? Get to a cinema and see what all the fuss is about!