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Box Office Breakdown: Cloverfield Attacks the Charts

Cloverfield

Final numbers for the three-day weekend revealed what many had suspected: toppled New York and the competition.  The strong numbers were a result of smart marketing.  In addition to the eerie trailers, the film debuted in January - usually a fairly quiet month for decent films.  Cloverfield’s $46 million take has already covered the movie’s budget (estimated at around $25 million).  That dollar amount also earned the flick the title for best MLK and January opener ever.

Although raked in $20 million less than the horror flick, had nothing to cry about.  Thanks to more strategic marketing - this time by - the film was able to take advantage of those looking for something less dark.  Dresses was originally scheduled to debut last week but was repositioned so it could open during the busy weekend.

Unfortunately, female focus on the romantic comedy didn’t help the female-filled .  The movie - co-starring , and - cashed out in 8th place.  This makes two disappointing debuts in a row for the Clan (the first being Tom’s ).  Let us not forget that Katie opted to do this film instead of the for her post-Tom movie return.  Come to think of it, maybe it was for the best.  I could just hear Tom telling us now that if he had known Heath was doing drugs, he would have cured Ledger himself.

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Box Office Breakdown: The Bucket List Rises to the Top

Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson

After placing 23rd last week, - starring and -  soared 22 spots to take the #1 spot this past weekend.  It seems a simple case of addition was all that was needed to accomplish this feat.  Up until now, the movie had only been playing in 16 theaters total; it expanded to nearly 3000 on Friday.  Bucket’s impressive finish was not only a win for 70-year-olds everywhere, it was a win for director .  His biggest opener had been 1992’s .  (That film grossed $15.5 million.)  Maybe Reiner should write Jack into all his films.

Debuting at #2 was the latest comedy.  , co-starring (30 Rock), earned an impressive $8000 per screen average.  That was the best median performance for any movie in this week’s Top Ten.  (, this week’s #17, averaged $14,421 over the past three days.)

Will this yesterday’s Golden Globes have any effect on financial future?  After only 4 weeks in release, the dark feature dropped off the chart and landed at #12.  Assuming theatergoers are still interested in watching potential nominees, I’m guessing the win for Best Comedy/Musical will give the movie a nice boost next weekend.

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Box Office Breakdown: Juno Makes An Impressive Surge

Juno

Come Wednesday morning, the box office chart saw very few changes at the top.  That’s not to say the five-day holiday weekend didn’t have any notable moments at all:

  • Strong word of mouth helped boost last week’s #10, , up five whole spaces.  The movie - already in it’s 4th week - continues to soar despite its fairly limited release.  It’s $15,788 per screen average even topped $14,232.
  • Golden Globes buzz also contributed to the success of seven-time nominee .  Although it only placed 14th overall, the romantic weeper scored a $15,764 average.
  • outmuscled last week’s #2, .  The family-friendly flick traded spots with the blockbuster thanks to its $2.5 million edge.
  • narrowly missed a place in the Top Ten despite its connection to both and .  You heard it right - the talk show host’s touch does not always mean gold.
  • followed up its disappointing debut with another out of tune performance.  The musical satire plummeted five spots all the way down to #13.

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Box Office Breakdown: Book of Secrets a National Hit

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

This holiday weekend introduced a slew of big-ticket features in our cineplexes.  It also brought us a wide cast of former Oscar-winners competing for our theater dollars.  By Monday, , , , , and Oscar-nominee had all made entries into the Top Ten - but it was who wound up striking gold.

earned $45 million, an increase of $10 million over the 2004 original.  This was the second hit for Cage this year, following the critically-panned Ghost Rider.  In addition to having the weekend’s best gross, Secrets also had the best average of any movie over those three days.  Although ‘s fourth place was respectable (especially for a politically-based film these days), its $3760 per screen take clearly set it apart from this week’s champ.  In contrast, earned an $11,184 average for an impressive 10th place finish.

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In Theaters This Weekend (12/14)

The Kite Runner

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

In Theaters This Weekend (12/7)

The Golden Compass

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

  • The Golden Compass (PG-13):  starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue (directed by Chris Weitz)
  • Atonement* (R):  starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Saorise Ronan (directed by Joe Wright)
  • Billy the Kid* (NR):  (directed by Jennifer Venditti)
  • Dirty Laundry* (PG-13):  starring Loretta Devine, Rockmond Dunbar, Jenifer Lewis (directed by Maurice Jamal)
  • Grace is Gone* (PG-13):  starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Zach Grey (directed by James C. Strouse)

Click to continue reading In Theaters This Weekend (12/7)


Box Office Breakdown: Tyler Perry vs. George Clooney

Michael Clayton

This weekend saw , , and all fighting for your box office dollars—so who would have thought would come out the big winner?

Even though two of his last three films opened with impressive numbers, very few predicted the writer/actor/producer/director would topple the competition.  Now the number crunchers know better.  Though the debut underperformed 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($21.9 million) and 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion ($30 million), Tyler Perry’s still scored $10 million more than its nearest competitor.

Additionally surprising was the lasting success of Disney’s .  The film finally dropped one notch to #2 in its third week—also beating out and .  Although kid-friendly fare is rarity these days, the movie’s ability to remain so strong is quite impressive.

 

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Box Office Breakdown: The Rock Upsets The Heartbreak Kid

The Heartbreak Kid

Despite what you may have learned in school, + The Farrelly Brothers does not necessarily equal box office gold.

The team behind There’s Something About Mary took a backseat to last weekend’s winner:  The Game PlanThe Heartbreak Kid, a remake of the 1972 Neil Simon comedy, raked in only $14 million.  While Mary did open with a smaller gross back in 1998 ($13.7M), it’s doubtful this critically-panned movie will become another sleeper hit for the trio.  Thankfully co-star will have the upcoming Gone Baby Gone to wash this disappointment away.

The only other new entries into the Top 10 included the fantasy flick, The Seeker ($3.7M), and the J.Lo-produced dance film, Feel the Noise ($3.1M).  Meanwhile, the well-reviewed Michael Clayton pulled impressive numbers in limited release ($46,000 per screen).  Expect the vehicle to open wide this weekend.

 

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Box Office Breakdown:  The Game Plan Scores the Win

The Game Plan

The execs at Disney must be loving themselves this week.  Not only are are they attached to one of hottest concert tours of the year, they have just taken a surprise win at the box office.  Although many had predicted good things for the terrorism thriller, The Kingdom, a simple father/daughter bonding film moved theatergoers this weekend.

At $22.9 million, The Game Plan took in almost $6 million more than the / vehicle. The movie about a football player who meets the daughter he never knew he had (how exactly is that a Disney storyline?) gave “The Rock” his second best opening (behind 2002’s The Scorpion King).

Meanwhile, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe made its first entry into the Top 10.  After several weeks in limited release, the musical—which uses 33 Beatles songs to tell its story—will expand into more theaters come October 12th. 

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In Theaters This Weekend (9/28)

The Kingdom

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

  • The Game Plan (PG):  starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Madison Pettis (directed by Andy Fickman)
  • The Kingdom (R):  starring Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner (directed by Peter Berg)
  • The Darjeeling Limited* (R):  starring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson (directed by Wes Anderson)
  • Feast of Love* (R):  starring Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear (directed by Robert Benton)
  • Lust, Caution* (NC-17):  starring Tony Leung, Tang Wei (directed by Ang Lee)
  • Outsourced* (PG-13):  starring Larry Pine, Asif Basra (directed by John Jeffcoat)
  • Trade* (R):  starring Kevin Kline, Cesar Ramos (directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner)


*limited or gradual release


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