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Box Office Breakdown: Christmas Carol Wins, Precious Soars

Disney's A Christmas Carol

We’re still weeks away from Thanksgiving, but theatergoers already have Christmas on their minds.

, the umpteenth version of the Charles Dickens tale, brought the story back to life with a visual rendition. Robert Zemeckis’ latest holiday creation earned over $30 million, surpassing Polar Express’ open by $7 million. Although the Jim Carrey film didn’t come close to its reported $180 million budget, Carol still has weeks to go before Avatar takes over 3D screens.

Meanwhile, a film with no bells or whistles made an impact just outside the Top 10. , Sundance’s Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize winner, broke a record while in limited release. The 12th place entry averaged a whopping $104,025 this weekend over only 18 theaters. That’s the largest per screen average for any film opening in more than 10 locations.

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Box Office Breakdown: That Was It for Paranormal Activity

Michael Jackson's This Is It

Based on the numbers from the past week, it looks like This Is It should remain in theaters longer than two weeks. Oh wait - it will.

Since opening late Tuesday night, the concert film has generated a total of $34.4 million domestically - $23.2 million just over the weekend - and approximately $101 worldwide. Although Michael Jackson technically didn’t beat the opener for Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour (that entry earned more over 5 days), had the best international debut ever for any concert film.

Sony’s win meant a short victory for . After a steady climb, and only 1 week at the top, the horror film slipped down to second place. Of course, the word-of-mouth hit has nothing to complain about. Not only has the movie grossed $84.6 million to date, it also had the best per screen average of any Top 10 charter.

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Box Office Breakdown: Saw Outdone by Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity

Have audiences seen enough Saw?

Although Jigsaw is known for slaying his competition, the serial killer was no match for Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat. This weekend, those two unknowns saw their small project, , finally top the box office charts. The movie, which was produced for approximately $15,000, reached that position after a steady climb up the ranks. (Aren’t films supposed to go down?) The horror flick also had a higher per screen average than any entry in the Top 10 despite fewer engagements.

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In Theaters This Weekend: October 23, 2009

Amelia

Here are a few selections in theaters this weekend:

  • Amelia (PG): starring Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor (directed by Mira Nair)
  • Astro Boy (PG): starring Nicolas Cage, Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell (directed by David Bowers)
  • Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (PG-13): starring John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Josh Hutcherson (directed by Paul Weitz)
  • Saw VI (R): starring Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith (directed by Kevin Greutert)

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Box Office Breakdown: Horton Hears a Who Has Largest 2008 Debut

Horton Hears a Who

Thankfully, ‘s embarrassing stint on American Idol wasn’t all in vain.

earned $45 million dollars over the past weekend, trouncing the competition.  Although the kid-friendly flick has had the biggest opening of 2008 so far, the film falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to Dr. Seuss adaptations.  How The Grinch Stole Christmas opened with $55 million back in 2000; A Cat in the Hat took in $38.3 just three years later.

Horton‘s premiere also made a nice statement for non-Pixar related films overall.  This animated movie found itself in fifth place behind other cartoon debuts.  (Disney’s Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Cars and rank one through four.)

The only other new entries in this week’s Top Ten were the mixed-martial arts pic and the post-apocalyptic thriller .

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Box Office Breakdown: Theatergoers Take a Trip to 10,000 BC

10,000 BC

One year ago, pulled in an astounding $70 million dollars.  This past weekend, another period drama grossed exactly half that much.  Half, schmalf—it was still enough for a win.

Warner Bros.’ easily topped its futuristic competitors with a $35 million take over this last weekend.  The total was leaps and bounds better than the amount produced by second place finisher, College Road Trip.  The Disney flick, starring Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone, rang up only $13.6 million.

Meanwhile, last week’s #1, , was already showing signs of fatigue.  The basketball comedy fell to 5th place and earned a disappointing $5.7 million.  Does this mean the Will Ferrell sports era is finally over?

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Yahoo! Movies


Box Office Breakdown: Semi-Pro Scores the Win

Semi-Pro

What comes up, must eventually come down.  That goes for ‘s sports career as well.

Even though netted this weekend’s #1 spot, the basketball flick earned a measly $15 million.  That gross trails far behind 2006’s Talledega Nights ($47 million) and 2007’s ($33 million).  Sadly, Semi‘s debut also takes a backseat to Kicking and Screaming and Bewitched.  (In Ferrell’s defense, this movie was the only one of his sports films to be rated R.)

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Variety


Box Office Breakdown: Vantage Point Peaks at Number One

Vantage Point

Star-studded raised $22.8 million over the past three days making it this weekend’s clear winner.  The film, starring Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox, gives viewers multiple perspectives of a presidential assassination attempt.  Although the Pete Travis movie received less than positive reviews, the action thriller easily outearned its nearest competitor, The Spiderwick Chronicles.

The only other new entry in the Top Ten was Michel Gondry’s .  The Jack Black/Mos Def comedy opened in limited release and averaged over $5000 per screen.  Aside from Vantage, every other chart topper earned less than $4000 per theater.

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Variety


Box Office Breakdown: Jumper Leaps to #1

Jumper

This President’s Day weekend, a good number of theatergoers honored their country’s leaders by taking in a showing of .  The sci-fi film, starring Hayden Christensen and Jamie Bell, took in approximately $27.3 million and earned itself a first place berth.  Although the gross did not break any holiday records, the movie did put about $8 million between itself and its nearest competitor ().

Third place-finisher, , also had something to brag about this weekend.  The dance spectacle averaged $7,655 per screen, just behind Jumper’s $7,980 figure.  The other eight films had to settle for $5000 or less.

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Variety


In Theaters This Holiday Weekend (2/14)

Definitely, Maybe

Here are some possible suggestions for Valentine’s Day weekend:

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