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Perry Hopes Reunion Returns him to the Top

February 24th, 2006

Three films open in some form of wide release this weekend. The widest of which only managed to secure 2319 theatres, and that was for a film that wasn't fully expected to earn a wide release at all. But it should be Madea's Family Reunion and its urban appeal that should lead the way this weekend.

Madea's Family Reunion, the sequel to last year's Diary of a Mad Black Woman, is expected to top the charts this weekend with ease. There are a couple of troubling spots to look out for, however. For instance, the film was not screened for critics and that usually means it is a dog. But on the bright side, the first film also earned terrible reviews so that won't affect its box office by too much. It is also aimed at a niche market without much in the way of crossover appeal and that could mean small or no box office growth. Look for Madea's Family Reunion to bring in $24 million over the weekend and between $50 and $60 million in total.

That will push last week's number on into second spot, but with a younger target audience and the best reviews in the top five, 8 Below should survive the post-holiday weekend better than most films. It should still lose about a third of its box office, but that will leave it with just shy of $14 million over the weekend and $43 million in total.

While The Pink Panther earned terrbile reviews, its director, Shawn Levy seems to have a knack of turning awful movies into reasonable hits. This weekend, The Pink Panther will add about $10 million pushing its total to $60 million and challenging Big Momma's House 2 for the overall lead for the year. That explains why ticket sales are down this year.

When it opened last weekend, Date Movie was in a pretty close race with 8 Below. But this film has none of the strength of the previous film, and that will leave it plummeting this weekend. A 50% drop-off to $9.5 million is expected, but it might luck out and reach $10 million over the weekend. That would put it on pace to top original expectations, but not by much.

Doogal's a hard movie to bin down. It is digitally animated and nearly every one of those movies turned out to be a big hit. But it is also very British, perhaps too British for an American audience. But many felt the same way about Nanny McPhee, and it succeeded. On the plus side, what little reviews the film has are mostly positive, but not overwhelmingly so. It all adds up to a $9 million weekend and a fifth place finish.

Running Scared has the smallest theatre count of any film opening wide this weekend. It was also the only one screened for critics but so far has only managed a Tomatometer reading of 37% positive. Add in a star that has never really been able to carry a film and the film will likely miss the top five with just $8 million. (Yes, I know a Paul Walker has been in several big hits, including the current number one film, but with 8 Below the dogs were the real stars while the cars were the main attraction for The Fast and the Furious films.)


Filed under: The Pink Panther, Eight Below, Madea's Family Reunion, Date Movie, Doogal, Running Scared