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Box office: 'Angels and Demons' launches big overseas; 'Star Trek' at warp speed [Update]

May 17, 2009 |  8:50 am


A huge launch overseas helped “Angels and Demons” overcome a soft first weekend in the U.S., where “Star Trek” was hot on it heels.

Sony Pictures’ $150-million Tom Hanks vehicle based on the bestselling Dan Brown novel opened to $48 million, significantly below the $77 million that "The Da Vinci Code" grossed on its first weekend three years ago. Although nobody in the industry was predicting “Angels" would beat its predecessor, given that the book sold fewer than half as many copies and there was much less public controversy, pre-release tracking had indicated it would open closer to $60 million.

But there’s no denying “Angels’ ” heavenly performance overseas, where it grossed $104.3 million in 96 countries, the biggest foreign opening since “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” last May. "Da Vinci" opened to a then-record-setting $152.6 million internationally, though it had the benefit of three major markets -- Mexico, India and China -- whose launches were delayed for the new film.

The total worldwide opening for “Angels and Demons was $152.3 million, the second biggest of the year, just behind “Wolverine’s” $158 million.

Excellent word-of-mouth and an expanding audience drove “Star Trek” to a $43-million second weekend. Its decline was only 43%,  a sign that Paramount’s $140-million sci-fi reboot directed by J.J. Abrams will have a long and prosperous run at the domestic box office, making up for a relatively weak foreign performance. The final tally for the U.S. and Canada now looks likely to be around $250 million.

Also opening this weekend at a modest 212 locations was the Jennifer Aniston indie comedy “Management,” which bombed with just $378,420, or $1,785 per theater.

Summit Entertainment’s “The Brothers Bloom,” starring Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz, opened to a much healthier $82,000 at four theaters in Los Angeles and New York.

Here are the top 10 films at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates and

1. "Angels and Demons" (Sony): Opened to $48 million. Worldwide opening: $152.3 million.

2. "Star Trek" (Paramount): $43 million on its second weekend, down 43%. Total domestic gross: $147.6 million. Total worldwide gross: $217.6 million.

3. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (Fox): $14.8 million, down 44% on its third weekend. Total domestic gross: $151.1 million. Total worldwide gross: $295.6 million.

4. "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" (Warner Bros./New Line): $6.9 million, down 33% on its third weekend. Total domestic gross: $40.1 million.

5. "Obsessed" (Sony/Screen Gems): $4.6 million on its fourth weekend, down 31%. Total domestic gross: $62.6 million.

6. "17 Again" (Warner Bros./New Line): $3.4 million, down only 20% on its fifth weekend. Total domestic gross: $58.4 million.

7. "Monsters vs. Aliens" (Paramount/DreamWorks Animation): $3 million on its eighth weekend, down just 8%. Total weekend gross: $190.6 million.

8. "The Soloist" (Paramount/DreamWorks): $2.4 million, down 39% on its fourth weekend. Total domestic gross: $27.5 million.

9. "Next Day Air" (Summit): $2.3 million on its second weekend ,down 45%. Total domestic gross: $7.6 million.

10. "Earth" (Disney): $1.7 million, down 37% on its fourth weekend. Total domestic gross: $29.1 million.

Read the weekend box office analysis from Monday's paper here.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Tom Hanks in "Angels and Demons." Credit: Columbia Pictures