Movies

Weekend Box Office: Poor Eddie Murphy, Happy 'Hangover'

Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha marching down a hallway in 'The Hango

hide captionThe Hangover: We could make a horrible joke about how it's hanging over at the box office, but we won't. At all. Really!

Warner Brothers Pictures

So the way the summer box office is supposed to work is that each weekend, new great big movies take over from the previous great big movies.

This weekend, specifically, The Taking Of Pelham 123 was supposed to take over the adults, and Imagine That was supposed to take over the children. (It's a slight oversimplification, but...just slight.)

Didn't so much turn out that way.

What happened, who had a good weekend, who had a bad weekend, and what to do with your long-term investments in Eddie Murphy, after the jump...

Last weekend's big winner, The Hangover, made another $33.4 million, while Up made another $30.5 million. Meanwhile, Pelham made about $25 million, and Imagine That made a Meet Dave-reminiscent $5.7 million. Ouch.

(If you are planning to retire on your share of Eddie Murphy family comedies, it might be time to move your money to something safer, like blackjack.)

For Pelham, it's not disastrous, it's just a little mushier than they may have hoped. But for Murphy, this can't be the way he hoped things were going to go after his Dreamgirls Oscar nomination.

As we talked about in relation to Will Ferrell, Murphy's had disasters before and survived, and if nothing else, there's another Shrek movie coming down the pipeline. It would be wildly premature to speculate about the cooking of his goose, as people will undoubtedly do. But two major flops in two successive summers when the audience's desire to see you personally be hilarious is perceived as the major draw in both? That's a bona fide rough patch, for sure.

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