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February 25th, 2008

It was a rather predictable weekend with none of the films missing or beating expectations by huge margins. This led to $110 million in overall box office takings, which was down 21% from last weekend and 6% from the same weekend last year. It is not time to panic as 2008 is still leading 2007, but after a couple weeks of declines, the margin has been cut to 9%.

As expected, Vantage Point led the way on the box office chart with $22.87 million, which is not substantially more than Thursday's predictions. Given its reviews and its genre, it is unlikely that the film will have the word-of-mouth needed for massive legs. (Perhaps if the film was better made, people would want to see it again to look for clues, and thus the genre would have helped its legs.) Even so, $60 million is likely and that would be enough to make it a midlevel hit while profitability should come on the home market.

Thanks to its reviews and target audience, The Spiderwick Chronicles remained in second place, earning $13.10 million over the weekend for a total of $44.08 million after two. Strong legs are a good sign, but this was an expensive movie to make and it will need a good international run if it is to earn a profit any time soon. Right now it is just way too soon to tell if that will happen.

Likewise, Jumper also cost a lot to make and while it started out faster than the previous film, it is also falling faster. This weekend it was down more than 53% to $12.71 million while its total rose to $56.26 million. It is on pace to match its production budget, more or less, and with a strong international run so far, it is on also pace to earn a profit, perhaps even enough to get a sequel out of it.

Step Up 2 the Streets just avoided a 50% drop-off, earning $9.61 million over the weekend, which gave it $41.24 million in total. This is already more than it reportedly cost to make, and it is a little ahead of the original film's pace. (Although due to the holidays, it is hard to compare the two film's box office runs.)

At $6.55 million, Fool's Gold earned just under $7 million over the weekend instead of just over $7 million that was predicted. Still, this is close enough to be considered a victory.

Moving onto the three semi-wide releases, Be Kind Rewind matched expectations nearly perfectly with $4.05 million in 808 theaters. This gives the film a per theater average of just over $5,000, which is probably not enough to convince a lot of theater owners to add the film over the coming weeks. But with reasonably good reviews, it should last in theaters longer than average while it should do even better on the home market.

Witless Protection also matched expectations perfectly with $2.12 million, placing 13th place in the process. The film wasn't screened for critics before its release, but even after the weekend it has still earned zero positive reviews. I don't expect that to change. I do expect it to sink next weekend while practically disappearing from theaters the weekend after.

Charlie Bartlett will go down as a lesson on how not to treat a movie. After pulling the movie from the release schedule less than a week before its release, MGM dumped the film in just over 1,000 theaters with zero TV advertising. Even better than average reviews couldn't help the film, and it opened with just $1.84 million. Hopefully it will find an audience on the home market, but at this rate it will be dumped on a featureless DVD.

Moving onto the sophomore class, Definitely, Maybe was the only member not to reach the top five this weekend although it came close by landing in sixth place. The film made $5.22 million over the weekend, giving it a 11-day total of $21.81 million.

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Filed under: Jumper, Vantage Point, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fool's Gold, Step Up 2 the Streets, Definitely, Maybe, Be Kind Rewind, Witless Protection, Charlie Bartlett