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Super Bowl Weekend Offers a Number of Surprises

February 5th, 2008

The New York Giants stopped the Patriots from completing a perfect season. However, from where I'm sitting, this isn't the biggest news of the weekend. Multiple records were broken by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour. This helped the overall box office hit $128 million over the weekend, which is down 10% from last weekend, but this is reasonable considering this is a post-holiday weekend and Super Bowl Weekend. More importantly, the overall box office was up 40% from the same weekend in 2007, and 2008 is off to an early 16% lead from last year.

Wow. The popularity of Miley Cyrus and her alter-ego Hannah Montana is simply unbelievable at times. This weekend the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour opened in first place with a record-breaking $31.12 million in just 683 theaters, which is more than $2 million more than Sunday's estimates. This set the record for biggest opening for a Super Bowl weekend, biggest Super Bowl weekend, biggest Super Bowl Sunday, highest per theater average for a film playing in more than 100 theaters, and highest opening for a film playing in less than 1,000 theaters. It was also the fewest theaters for a number one film since Platoon topped the chart for January 30, 1987. Some of these records, like the highest opening for a film playing in less than 1,000 theaters are less than a year old, as Miley Cyrus topped Borat's 2006 opening. Others are older, with Titanic's Super Bowl Sunday and weekend numbers going down after a decade in the record books. However, with a per theater average of $45,561, it broke The Empire Strikes Back's record for highest per theater average for a film playing in more than 100 theaters, which is nearly three decades old. Very impressive. Where does it go from here? Given the film's amazing reviews and stronger than expected internal multiplier, it could continue to sell out some shows during the week, while Disney has already extended its run, but it is not known how many theaters will be keeping it for another week or two.

The Eye opened in second place with a slightly weaker that expected, but still reasonable, figure of $12.43 million. Compared to other Jessica Alba films, this one made almost as much during its opening weekend as Awake made in total, while opening just below Good Luck Chuck. As for the film's reviews, they were as weak as expected and there is little chance this film will have strong legs.

Thanks to a surprisingly close Super Bowl, the female friendly 27 Dresses remained in third place with $8.53 million over the weekend and $57.25 million in total. It is unlikely that the film will survive in theaters long enough to earn a big boost from Valentine's Day, but it should still end its run north of $75 million, which is an excellent run for a January release.

Strangely, Meet the Spartans didn't completely collapse this week and was down just over 60% to $7.34 million over the weekend for a total of $28.54 million after two. This is more than enough for the studio to create more of these films.

Rambo also fell more than 60%, landing in fifth place with $7.12 million over the weekend while its total is now $29.92 million after 10 days. It will likely end its run with the lowest box office in the franchise, and that's before you take into account inflation. That said, if it does well internationally, it still has a shot at showing a profit some time during its home market run.

Juno just missed returning to the top five with $7.01 million over the weekend, but it does have $109.83 million in total.

The next wide release missed the top five. In fact, Over Her Dead Body missed the top ten with just $4.03 million, giving the film a per theater average of just $2,036, which is barely over the Mendoza line. Add in reviews that were also below acceptable, and this film will disappear as soon as theater owners are contractually allowed.

The last wide release of the week was Strange Wilderness, which slid into 12th place with $3.00 million. As for the film's reviews, since it wasn't screened for critics before the weekend it has zero positive reviews out of zero reviews. Now it has zero positive reviews out of 20 reviews. This is so bad that it could win Razzies next year, if people can remember it by the time the voting happens.

Moving onto the sophomore class, Untraceable was down just 55% to $5.08 million over the weekend and $19.13 million in total. On the other hand, How She Moves fell almost 63% to $1.47 million over the weekend and $6.08 million in total.

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Filed under: Juno, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, Rambo, Meet the Spartans, The Eye, Untraceable, Over Her Dead Body, How She Move, Strange Wilderness, 27 Dresses