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Asleep at the Wheel

November 29th, 2007

The weekend after Thanksgiving is the only slow weekend during the entire Holiday Season. So it comes as no surprise that only one movie is opening wide, but it is a bit surprising that the weekend is a weak as it is.

With no direct competition, and precious little competition in total, Enchanted should have no trouble remaining in top spot on the charts this weekend. Unfortunately, it is so rare for a film to open in first place during the Thanksgiving weekend that it is difficult to judge how well it will hold up during its second weekend. Along with the lack of competition, the film is buoyed by its amazing reviews and its target demographic. On the other hand, the boost from the holiday the previous weekend will likely result in a 50% drop-off, more or less, giving it $17 to $18 million over the weekend and just over $70 million in total. At this point, it is hard to image the film won't get to $100 million in total.

After a surprisingly perky start, This Christmas looks to hold on strongly this weekend. With reviews that are good, but not great, it could do well, but a lot depends on the depth of its appeal. Niche market films tend to burn out fast and the more crossover appeal in the product, the better legs it has. A 50% drop-off is likely, but that's a good performance for a post-holiday weekend and would give the film just under $9 million over three days and $37 million in total.

Beowulf's slow start was compounded by a steeper-than-expected slide last weekend, and it is unlikely that things will turn around now. A drop-off of 50% seems very likely and that would give the film just over $8 million over the weekend and $68 million in total. Even worse, it would give the film a per theater average of just under $2,500, meaning there won't be many theater owners willing to keep it around during the lucrative holidays coming up, which will be the final blow to the film. Reaching $100 million is likely out of the question and that's especially bad news for a film with a $150 million budget. Better holds internationally could help the film's bottom like, but it will likely be a long time before this movie pays for itself, if it ever does.

We finally come to the first, and only, wide release of the week, Awake. I was never expecting this movie to be a big hit, but I was expecting a theater count of more than 2,002. In addition to the small theater count, there has been a total lack of advertising and absolutely no reviews. The film only needs a per theater average of $3,000 to earn fourth place, but it might not manage even that. It could open with less than $2,000 and I wouldn't be shocked. A little more than $3,000 and $6.5 million is a more likely, but missing the top five it not out of the question either.

There should be a pile-up for fifth place with Hitman, Bee Movie, Fred Claus, No Country for Old Men, August Rush, American Gangster, and The Mist all finishing within a rounding error of $5 million. Hitman has the best shot at $6 million and fifth place, but with the worst reviews of the bunch, it could also drop more than 60%. On the other end, The Mist is the most likely film to miss the top ten.


Filed under: Enchanted, Bee Movie, Beowulf, No Country for Old Men, Fred Claus, This Christmas, Hitman, August Rush, The Mist, Awake, American Gangster