The long-awaited cinematic crossover of two potent science fiction franchises, Alien vs. Predator, topped the box office this weekend with an estimated take of $38.3 million.
Crossing over genre film franchises is getting to be an August tradition in Hollywood: last year New Line's Freddy vs. Jason 'slasherfest' earned some $36 million in its debut frame. Many box office prognosticators felt that Alien vs. Predator would have a hard time matching Freddy vs. Jason, but it appears they underestimated the appeal of the more natural science fiction match-up to comic book and video game fans.
With a potent per theater average of $11,266, Alien vs. Predator smoked its closest competitor, Princess Diary 2, which opened in more theaters, but took in just $23 million (which is not all that bad considering heavy competition in the film's female target demographic from the opening of the Olympics).
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, which was aided by a giveaway of four exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards (see 'Burger King Plans Major Yu-Gi-Oh Movie Promotion'), garnered an estimated $9.4 millio--good enough for the fourth spot on the weekend chart. While the performance of the Yu-Gi-Oh! movie represents a major advance over recent Pokemon movie releases, the first Pokemon film, which was also aided by a card giveaway, earned $31 million during its opening weekend.
Spider-Man 2 fell 37.4 % in its seventh week of release ending up at number 10. With a weekend gross of $3.4 million and a box office total of $360.8 million, the film will have a tough time matching the $403.7 million total of the first Spider-Man film. It is quite unlikely that any film released in 2004 will be able to best Shrek 2's $435.6 million total.