(Returning once again to my duties as the Moviesonline Box Office guy, here is my report. Enjoy)
Dude here again. Once again returning to report all the lovely numbers that movies made to you, the people. I do it out of love, even if I cry at how much money these movies make, while I sit in my apartment, broke as hell, charging friends for massages just to buy some gum. (SEND DUDE MONEY!!)
This week, Borat retains the top spot, and actually IMPROVES upon last week's opening, a feat rarely accomplished, especially at the number one spot, and especially on a non holiday weekend. And with four newcomers none of which nip at the heels, like they're supposed to. An odd weekend indeed. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday).
1. Borat (Fox) - $29.0, 2566 screens, week 2, $67.8 total
2. Santa Clause 3 (Disney) - $16.89, 3458 screens, week 2, $41.05 total
3. Flushed Away (Par/DW) - $16.7, 3707 screens, week 2, $39.9 total
4. Stranger Than Fiction (Sony)- $14.1, 2264 screens, week 1, $14.1 total
5. Saw III (LG) - $6.6, 3013 screens, week 3, $69.879 total
6. Babel (ParV) - $5.65, 1251 screens, week 3, $7.488 total
7. The Departed (WB)- $5.2, 2210 screens, week 6, $109.778 total
8. The Return (Rogue) - $4.776, 1986 screens, week 1, $4.776 total
9. The Prestige (BV/WB) - $4.6, 2236 screens, week 4, $46.0 total
10. A Good Year (Fox) - $3.775, 2066 screens, week 1, $3.775 total
Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? If you're Borat, you're going to be saying "Hi-five" quite a bit. In it's second week, after expanding to 1700 more screens, Borat improved 9.6% over last weekend's opening. This is quite good, as it seems Borat has tapped into something the people want to see. Not bad at all.
If you're Santa Clause and Flushed Away, you're the vicious pawns of a power struggle as old as the conception of DreamWorks itself. These two studios are always having a friendly rivalry, and if you notice, at the moment, both films are quite close (high $16 millions). I would expect these numbers to change when the actuals are released, with both boosting what they actually make. It's childish and stupid, but that's Hollywood. What's more remarkable about these films is that they both had VERY small percentage drops from last week (between 11 and 13%) which is rare, but not surprising given that they are family films and holidays are approaching.
If you're Stranger Than Fiction, be proud. Taking in $14 million dollars for a more off kilter, non mainstream film is pretty good. Granted, it had fierce competition, and a lot of people weren't expecting a non "wacky" Will Ferrell, but it could turn out to be a modest hit, especially with good word of mouth spreading.
If you're The Return, go back. The horror audience is tricky. What will sometimes hit will not do so again. People claiming the film looked a lot like The Grudge, even to the point of sharing it's star, decided to avoid it. And coming so close after the disappointing Grudge 2, people wanted something else to be scared. Like Saw.
If you're A Good Year, prepare yourself for too many awful puns tomorrow morning about how it wasn't a good weekend, or something equivalent and equally painful. (It pained me to write that example, actually, and I am flogging myself as I type). The Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott team up, the first since Gladiator, failed to inspire anybody wanting to see a movie where Crowe is a rich snob who discovers what's really important in life: Wine. I don't actually know if that's the plot, but that's what I gathered from the trailer.
And if you're the fourth wide release of the weekend, Harsh Times, you didn't even break the top ten. Boasting (from what I've heard) an impressive starring role from Christian Bale, the film pulled in a dismal $1.8 million dollars. I'm not going to dance on this, but I'm sure it's a film that will find an audience. Unless it's really bad.
Holdovers dropped. The Departed is now officially Martin Scorsese's biggest box office hit. The Prestige continues to make some cash. Saw 3 is dropping fast. Oh, and Babel opened wider and attracted a lot more people. Expect this one to constantly hover around through awards season.
Below the radar, not much to report. Fur, a movie starring Nicole Kidman, pulled in $30,000 on 4 screens. A movie with Ed Harris called Copying Beethoven made $72,000 on 26 screens. And none of their averages can compare to Borat's.
And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series: Little Miss Sunshine took in $195,000 on 161 screens, bringing it's grand total to $58,574,000 in 16 weeks
There you have my wonderful break down. Next week we have the return of Bond. James Bond. And that will most likely knock Borat from the top of the perch. We also have a movie about Dancing penguins, because people can't get enough of talking dancing animals, but this one has the distinction of being from George Miller, who brought us both Babe AND The Road Warrior. And we also have Let's Go To Prison, starring my favorite actor Will Arnett from TV's Arrested Development. I have a feeling this movie will be brilliant, and no one will see it. Much like Arrested Development.
Until next weekend.... ______ (Insert witty ending here)