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Who Helps End Slump

March 18th, 2008

The slump is over after four weeks. During the weekend, the overall box office was $121 million, which was 12% more than last weekend and 3% more than the same weekend last year. Paradoxically, 2008 slipped behind 2007's pace when it comes to ticket sales, albeit by less than 1%.

Horton Hears a Who earned the best opening of the year and the fourth best March opening ever with $45.01 million over. To put this into perspective, this is a little below the original Ice Age, which opened six years ago, and a third less than Ice Age: The Meltdown which opened in 2006. That said, the film earned strong reviews and should have better than average legs. And even with weak weekday numbers, it should beat Cloverfield and become the biggest hit of 2008, probably by this time next week.

10,000 B.C. held on better than expected and added $16.77 million over the weekend for a total of $61.58 million after two. This puts $100 million in its sights, barely. It could make it to that milestone, or it could pull a Norbit and stall at $95 million or so. It depends greatly on how well it holds on to its theater count during the next few weeks.

Never Back Down has a fickle target audience and it is nearly impossible to predict what will and will not attract their attention. The film opened with $8.60 million over the weekend, which was a little above expectations but still weak for its theater count. Also, the reviews were poor and that could result is a steep drop-off next weekend, which would in turn result in a quick exodus from theaters over the following weeks. Even so, it could have been much worse.

College Road Trip nailed Thursday's predictions with $7.81 million over the weekend for a total of $24.20 million. This is likely close to what the film cost, which means the studio should be happy so far.

Vantage Point surprised analysts by placing fifth with $5.46 million over the weekend, which was down less than 26% from last weekend. So far the film has earned $59.26 million, and it is well on its way to profitability.

Strangely Doomsday was able to match predictions nearly perfectly, however, due to stiffer than expected competition, it had to settle for seventh place. It opened with $4.93 million in 1,936 screens for a poor per theater average of $2,545. Even with reviews that were as bad as most people thought they would be (it wasn't screened for critics), it won't last in theaters long. It will need strong international and home market numbers to earn a profit now.

Moving onto the sophomore class, there was only one such film this week that didn't reach the top five. The Bank Job landed in sixth place with $5.05 million, which was down less than 15% from its opening. This is an excellent result, however, it is likely a case of too little too late as its per theater average suggests that many theater owners will not be will to keep it around too much longer. That said, look for it to become a big hit on the home market.

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Filed under: Horton Hears a Who, Vantage Point, College Road Trip, The Bank Job, Never Back Down, Doomsday, 10,000 B.C.