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Will Momma Stay Big or will Something New Finish First?

February 3rd, 2006

January saw 2006 start on a positive note and everyone hopes February can continue the winning streak. While the two films opening this weekend don't have box office smash written all over them, and no one film seems as strong as Boogeyman, the overall box office could still top last year's, but it will be a close race.

When a Stranger Calls looks like the only film capable of stopping Big Momma's House 2 from becoming the first repeat winner of 2006, but it has a tough challenge ahead of it. It is playing in fewer theatres (2999 to 3261) and is, incredibly, earning weaker reviews (0% positive to 8% positive), but it should be able to take the weekend race with $15 million.

In one week Big Momma's House 2 earned nearly as much as most people were expecting it would earn in total. This weekend it looks set to plummet 50%, but that will still give it nearly $14 million, which is about what most people were predicting for its opening. It might also be enough for the film to repeat as box office champion, but it'll probably be too close to call until Sunday, or possible even Monday.

With strong reviews and a family friendly target audience, Nanny McPhee should hold up well enough to capture third place with $9 million. I am surprise however, that the studio didn't try to take advantage of the film's surprise opening and try and push it into more theatres. Granted, it is increasing its theatre count, but only by 150.

The only other new release of the week is Something New, which should benefit from the distraction of Super Bowl weekend. Its target audience is the least likely to be interested in the championship game, while its reviews are actually positive enough to be a selling point. However, that tiny theatre count really hurts, and that will keep the film from reaching any higher than fourth place with $8 million.

After receiving 9 Oscar Nominations Brokeback Mountain is expanding its theatre count past the 2000 mark. This should also help it bounce back into the top five with $7 million, giving the film $60 million during its run. How much more it can earn depends heavily on how well the studio can capitalize on the publicity, and how many Oscars the film can actually win.


Filed under: Brokeback Mountain, Big Momma's House 2, When a Stranger Calls, Nanny McPhee, Something New