Hulk Smash Box Office! Well, Kinda.

Hulk 2.0 took first place at the box office over the weekend with a solid $54 million in its opening week. Not bad, right? Well, not really. Despite how Marvel will try to spin this (Marvel chairman David Maisel is already out there spinning his butt off as I type this), consider this: Ang Lee’s 2003 “Hulk” took in $62.1 in its opening weekend, before bad word of mouth by fanboys sank the movie in its second week. With that little barely-history lesson in perspective, Louis Leterrier’s “The Incredible Hulk’s” #1 box office weekend showing is not altogether very impressive, by which I mean Marvel better hope the second week drop-off isn’t as bad as the Lee version. We’ll know for sure in week 2 if reviving the Green Goliath with anger management issues after just 5 years was a good idea.

Meanwhile, the chopsocky goodness of cartoon animals continue its strong showing at the box office, with “Kung Fu Panda” taking another $34 million in its second week, good enough for second place. The Dreamworks animated film has made $118 million in its two weeks of release. It’ll need another $12 million or so to surpass its budget, but that doesn’t sound like much of a challenge for Po and his buddies.

The week’s only other big opening, M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening”, bucked poor reviews and the nearly universal slamming of star Mark Wahlberg’s non-performance to land at #3 with a solid $30 million dollar take in its first weekend. The film is fortunate to be saddled with only a middling budget of $60 million, so it’s looking pretty good that FOX will go in the green with their little green film. As for Shyamalan, this is looking like a solid double, but nowhere near the homerun he was probably hoping for.

Round out the Top 5 were “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” ($16 million for a 2-week total of $68 million), and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull” ($13 million for a 4-week total of $275 million).

Here’s how the rest of the box office broke down over the weekend (via):

1 —–The Incredible Hulk —–$54,538,000 —–$54,538,000
2 —–Kung Fu Panda —–$34,321,000 —–$117,998,000
3 —–The Happening —–$30,500,000 —–$30,500,000
4 —–You Don’t Mess with the Zohan —–$16,400,000 —– $68,790,000
5 —–Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull —– $13,547,000 —–$275,329,000
6 —–Sex and the City —–$10,185,000 —– $119,919,000
7 —–Iron Man —–$5,130,000 —–$297,428,000
8 —–The Strangers —–$4,097,000 —–$45,360,000
9 —–The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian —–$3,004,000 —– $131,744,000
10 —–What Happens in Vegas —–$1,700,000 —–$75,788,000

Hulk Movie