The box office results for the weekend of May 13th – 15th sees “Thor” keeping a bunch of “Bridesmaids” and a “Priest” at bay. Meanwhile, the rest of the top ten are just happy to rake in whatever they could during a rare summer weekend without any major release. Or more specifically, the calm before the “Pirates” storm. Here are the studio estimates:

1. Thor ($34.5 million)

2. Bridesmaids ($24.4 million)

3. Fast Five ($19.5 million)

4. Priest ($14.5 million)

5. Rio ($8 million)

6. Jumping the Broom ($7.3 million)

7. Something Borrowed ($7 million)

8. Water for Elephants ($4.1 million)

9. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family ($2.2 million)

10. Soul Surfer ($1.8 million)

Analysis

While “Thor” will be more than alright – when factoring in overseas totals – the current domestic gross of $119 million after two weeks in release, will lead to discussions -via studio execs – revolving around the profitability of the “2nd tier” comic properties. Of course “Thor” is not the only litmus test (“Green Lantern & Captain America” are still on deck), but by the end of the month, the future budgeting of these projects may get slightly cut. Also, there wasn’t any true competition that assisted in the flick’s 48% drop. That said, “Thor” should see the black ink when it’s all said and done.

Another black ink hopeful – more like sure thing – is the Judd Apatow produced “Bridesmaids.” Coming in with a production budget of $32.5 million, the Kristen Wiig led R-rated comedy is off to a fantastic opening. History shows that R-rated comedies are not usually mega-grossers at the box office, especially ones dominated by women (just the facts). Well the idealogy in Hollywood may change, for this is going to hang around for some time in the top ten and earn a few piles of cash for Universal; who had a horrible 2010 summer by the way.

Speaking of Universal’s mild rejuvenation, “Fast Five” is now up to $168 million on the domestic front. The studio’s above mentioned wounds from 2010 have been healed by the excellent 2011 they are having. Worldwide, this piece has quickly risen to over $440 million.

Flop Alert: “Priest.” Considering the genre (action/horror) and the timeframe of its release, Priest didn’t completely crap out. And these products typically have a decent DVD and On-Demand run. What will be an issue is the $60 million that was spent on this sucker. Many audiences are opting not to see this in 3D and that is taking its toll on Screen Gems’ bottom line.

Sleeper Hit: “Jumping the Broom.” Even with the 52% tumble it took in round 2, Sony is already seeing revenue since this critcally panned comedy only rang up a $7 million production bill. It has now reached over $25 million in the U.S.

“Soul Surfer” currently has the longest streak in the top ten with 6 weeks. It is now up to $39 million off a $18 million budget.

There is only one newbie this Friday and it is arguably the biggest release of the 2011 summer movie season. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” will look to embark on another $300 million domestic campaign at the box office. Disney’s entire year, in some respects, is banking on the fourth installment of one the biggest franchises of all-time. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shocker.

Report by Joe Belcastro

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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