Dude here again, with the first box office weekend of the new year, finally recovered from what can only be referred to as a "ridonkulous" New Years' celebration. Typically around this time of year we have the prestige pictures expanding onto more screens. But we also have what is commonly referred to as "The Dumping Ground", where movies that aren't that particularly great are given a form of release before being forgotten.
This weekend, we saw both happen. While the top two continued to dominate, a few new movies were released to not much acclaim nor money, while a few other films spread their wings and flew. That word doesn't look right when typed out like that. Flew. 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. Night At The Museum (Fox) - $24.0, 3730 screens, week 3, $164.097 total
2. The Pursuit of Happyness (Sony) - $13.0, 3027 screens, week 4, $124.159 total
3. Children Of Men (Uni) - $10.295, 1209 screens, week 2, $11.9 total
4. Freedom Writers (Par) - $9.7, 1360 screens, week 1, $9.7 total
5. Dreamgirls (Par/DW)- $8.8, 852 screens, week 4, $54.48 total
6. Happily N'Ever After (LGF) - $6.8, 2381 screens, week 1, $6.8 total
7. Charlotte's Web (Par) - $6.6, 3303 screens, week 4, $66.975 total
8. The Good Shepherd (Uni) - $6.5, 2250 screens, week 3, $48.4 total
9. Rocky Balboa (MGM)- $6.268, 3018 screens, week 3, $60.89 total
10. We Are Marshall (WB) - $5.1, 2502 screens, week 3, $35.4 total
Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that people really like Ben Stiller and Will Smith, and the ultimate motion picture event would contain the both of them. Possibly in a story with robots. It will make more than Titanic.
The big (and very cool) surprise here is Children of Men in third place with $10 million. This movie might have a chance at some recognition, because it deserves it. This movie is fan-freakin-tastic. I can't stress this enough.
Freedom Writers (or Dangerous Minds 2, as many outlets referred to it) fared slightly well for what it is. Happily N'Ever After didn't do quite as well, which makes me think that just because it's animated, doesn't mean people will see it. At least until the lucrative home video market. And Code Name: The Cleaner opened in 12th place with $4.6 million. The funniest review I read of this movie was in the LA Times, who claimed "It's not THAT bad!" Still, New Line has halted pre-production on the upcoming sequel "Dust Busted".
Below the radar, I have to point out the release of a film I had heard nothing about until this past Monday. The film is called Thr3e. You know, like Se7en. Only with half the grotesque imagery, or brain from what I hear. This film is of interest to me for two reasons. The first is that this is the first release (as I understand it) under the Fox Faith banner, which is a slightly condescending branch of Fox that plans to release more spiritually uplifting (read: Christian themed) films in a hope to make what they call "Passion Dollars". The film opened on 458 screens and took in $740,000, which isn't great, and probably might not bode well for future endeavors from the company.
The second point of interest deals with the movie Adaptation. In the film, Charlie Kaufman's twin brother Donald writes a script for a movie called "The Thr3e". It's about a killer, a cop, and a victim, who are all the same person and reside in the killer's mind. The ads for this movie made me think they actually went ahead and made the Donald Kaufman screenplay. Even to the point where the font on the cover page of Kaufman's script is the same logo used for this film. Conicidence? Don't look at me, I'm like Fox news. I report, YOU decide.
And in the "just because it's there and because I can" series: There was nothing interesting enough for me to put something here, so you get nothing.
There you have my break down. Next week brings a movie about a giant crocodile. I am first in line.
Until next weekend....