Box Office Shocker: 'War' Beaten by Indie 'Hustle'
The bottom fell out for Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" on Friday night.
The $182 million horror epic, struggling to hold its own among new releases, was beaten at the box office by an indie film about a pimp-turned-rapper.
"Hustle and Flow" (search), a Sundance favorite this year, is playing in only 1,013 theaters. "War" is on 3,265 screens. But the former film took in $2,750,000 on Friday night, beating the latter by about $300,000.
"War of the Worlds," finishing in the eighth spot Friday night, has just passed the $200 million mark domestically. Internationally it's made a little more than that, giving the Tom Cruise (search) pic a total worldwide take of $500 million. Believe it or not, that means it's just about broken even. If it weren't for the foreign audiences, though, War would have been a money loser for Paramount Pictures.
"Hustle and Flow" wasn't the only film that beat "War" at the box office on Friday night. So did newcomers "The Island", "Bad News Bears", and a Lions Gate film called "Devil's Rejects". The Top 8 was filled out by "Fantastic Four", "Wedding Crashers", and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the latter at number 1.
All eyes will be on "The Island" this weekend. The Dreamworks release will likely take in around $14 million by Sunday. Its budget is around $100 million, which means it too will depend on foreign audiences to save it from financial ruin.