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Road to Glory

January 17th, 2006

It was a very close race over the Martin Luther King long weekend, with the top three separated by just over $1 million over the 3-day weekend. However, the overall box office was still down 1.7% from last weekend and 9.0% from last year. Year-to-date, 2006 is still off to a strong start, but it's too early for those numbers to mean much.

Glory Road was able to win the three-day-weekend race as expected, but with weaker box office numbers. Over the three-day weekend it brought in $13.6 million, while it managed $16.9 million overall. Add in reviews that are just mediocre and the film is unlikely to have massive legs. It is also very unlikely to make any noise internationally. Even so, the film's below average budget should give the film a decent shot at a profit sometime during its home market run.

On the other hand, Last Holiday beat expectations, scoring a second place finish over the 3-day weekend with $12.8 million. However, the film had to settle for third place if you include Monday, as it took in $15.5 million. It was another film that earned merely mixed reviews, which is still better than most January releases, but it was more expensive than predicted with a production budget of $45 million. This one will have better luck internationally, but will still have to wait until the home market to show a profit.

Next up is Hoodwinked, which came in second or third place depending on whether you count Monday or not. Friday to Sunday the film managed $12.4 million, which was more than most analysts predicted it would earn over the four-day stretch. Add in Monday and its opening weekend box office was $16.9 million, which put it in a virtual tie Glory Road for first place. The bad news was that the reviews slipped below the 50% positive mark. The good news: the film cost just $15 million to make, making it the cheapest Digitally Animated movie to get a theatrical release since Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. That guarantees two things: A, this movie will make a profit and B, there will be a flood of cheaply made Digitally Animated movies coming out over the next few years.

Narnia matched expectations nearly perfectly taking in $10.1 million / $12.8 million for a total of $264.0 million so far. Next weekend's post-holiday drop-off will go a long way in determining whether or not it surpasses Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and into second place on 2005's chart.

Falling from first to fifth was Hostel, but even with its massive decline to $10.0 million / $11.4 million over the weekend, it still crossed over to the black sometime during its sophomore stint. In fact, if it had opened with $10.0 million, it would have still made a profit this weekend, it was that inexpensive to make.

Tristan & Isolde started out really well on Friday, but immediately showed weakness and by Monday had barely beaten expectations with $6.5 million / $7.6 million. Reviews did improve over the weekend and now sit at 33% positive, but that's still the weakest of the four wide releases.

One last note, King Kong crossed $200 million over the weekend and it should top its production budget by this time next week. This is still a disappointing result, but no one will lose their job because of it.

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Filed under: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, King Kong, Hoodwinked, Hostel, Glory Road, Last Holiday, Tristan & Isolde