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February 6th, 2007

The first weekend in February lived up to muted expectations with four of the top five meeting or exceeding Thursday's predictions. However, this still led to a massive 22% drop-off from the previous weekend, with a total box office of just $93 million. While the Superbowl certainly had something to do with that, it can't take all of the blame as the box office was down 12% from the same weekend last year, which also played host to the Superbowl. So far, 2007 hasn't gotten off to a strong start, but it is way too early to push any panic buttons just yet.

The Messengers got off to a faster than expected start, pulling in $14.7 million during its opening weekend. More impressively, various reports have the film's production budget in the $15 million to $20 million range, meaning the film could pay for itself by this time next week. (It will likely have to wait untill the home market to cover P&A, on the other hand.) As for the rest of the film's theatrical run, its terrible reviews, finicky target audience, and genre all suggest a sharp decline this weekend and a relatively quick exit from theaters.

Because I Said So was able to live up to expectations at the box office, pulling in $13.2 million during its opening, but that wasn't enough to eke out a win. Where it goes from here is a bit of a mystery. On the one hand, romantic comedies and films aimed at a more mature audience tend to have strong legs. On the other hand, 6% positive reviews are not that much better than what Epic Movie earned. Perhaps if the film had a lower than expected production budget it might work out OK for the studio, but this is not something the people involved will want to put on their resumes.

Surprisingly, Epic Movie didn't completely collapse at the box office. In fact, it had the best week-to-week drop-off of the four sophomore class films. That is not to say it did particularly well as it fell 55% to $8.4 million over the weekend and a total of $29.6 million after 10 days. This is more than enough to guarantee that yet another installment in this pseudo-franchise will be released sometime next year. All they need to do now is figure out which genre to name the movie after.

Night at the Museum managed fourth place with $6.4 million and now has $225.0 million in total. The film could remain in the top five next weekend with no direct competition and a very likely 50% decline by Epic Movie.

I can't believe Smokin' Aces had a worse week-to-week hold than Epic Movie. Granted, Smokin' Aces' reviews were not good, but a 58% drop-off to $6.1 million is still disappointing. The film can still be a box office success if it can perform well on the international charts and on the home market, both of which seem relatively likely at this point.

There were two other members of the sophomore class: Catch and Release and Blood and Chocolate. Catch and Release fell out of the top ten, down more than 66% to $2.6 million while Blood and Chocolate plummeted more than 70% to just $600,000. If that film doesn't lose 1,000 theaters this Friday I will be amazed.


Filed under: Night at the Museum, Because I Said So, Epic Movie, Smokin' Aces, The Messengers, Catch and Release, Blood and Chocolate