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Strange Weekend at the Box Office

February 6th, 2006

For the second weekend a row a critically panned film was able to beat expectations while topping the box office chart. While most of the rest of the top five missed expectations, it was still a good weekend at the box office. Granted, at $105 million, the overall box office was down 16.6% from last week, but that can be explained by the Super Bowl weekend. However, it was up 2.7% from last year, which is much more important.

As expected, When a Stranger Calls topped the weekend race, but it did so with a much more powerful $21.6 million, which is the best ever opening for a film going up against the Super Bowl. As for the film's long-term chances, it's reviews are terrible and its genre is known for quick exits from theatres, so it could miss $50 million. However, it has already earned enough to cover its $15 million production budget, so the studio has no reason to complain.

Big Momma's House 2 fell just over 50% to $13.6 million, which would be an awful result, if everyone wasn't expecting it. Since the film has made more in 10 days than most people expected it would make during its entire run, the studio must be happy with its performance so far.

Finishing in third place, and within a rounding error of expectations, was Nanny McPhee. The film added $9.8 million over the weekend to its $26.5 million running tally, and it should top its British box office by Friday.

Brokeback Mountain didn't quite live up to expectations this weekend with $6.0 million, but thanks to weaker competition is finished in fourth place. $100 million isn't out of the question, but the film is going to need to win a lot of Oscars and perhaps get a little extra push from the studio.

Rounding out the top five was Hoodwinked! with $5.3 million. That gives the film a running tally of $44.1 million on a production budget of just $15 million.

This means Something New missed the top five during its debut. In fact, the film finished seventh with just $4.9 million. Even with a theatre count of just 1,266, the film has a substandard per theatre average and even overall positive reviews wont be enough to save this film's run.

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