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Family Tops Tepid Box Office

February 27th, 2006

Despite Madea's Family Reunion beating expectations by a substantial margin, the overall box office was still lower for the weekend, hitting just $120 million. That's down by 7.1% from last week, and nearly 2% from the same weekend last year. This means all the gains earned in January were erased in February.

With $30.0 million over the weekend, Madea's Family Reunion easily beat expectations, and topped its $10 million production budget after just one day of release. Even with short legs that its poor reviews and franchise history would seem to indicate, the film should have no trouble showing a serious profit by the time it finishes its domestic run. (In fact, depending on its P&A Budget and exhibitioners' share, it might have already shown a profit.) On the other hand, the film will have no impact on the international market.

8 Below had the best week-to-week drop-off in the top ten, falling just over 21% to $15.8 million, which was also significantly above predictions. So far the film has made $45.2 million in just 10 days and should have no problem showing a profit by the time it hits the home market, if not sooner.

With another $11.1 million earned over the weekend, The Pink Panther has now made $60.8 million at the box office. However, unlike the other films in the top five, this one was an expensive film to make, costing an estimated $80 million. Topping its production budget is the target domestically, while profit will have to wait until the home market, given its early international returns.

Date Movie saw the worst week-to-week drop off in the top ten, falling just over 52% to $9.1 million for the weekend and $33.8 million during its run. That's just a little lower than expected, but close enough to call it a victory.

In a surprise result, Curious George was able to round out the top five with $7.2 million. It was able to place in the top five not because it beat expectations, but because the competition was much, much weaker than expected.

In fact, the second new release didn't place sixth either. That went to Firewall with $6.7 million, and the film had the second best week-to-week drop-off in the top ten, down just 25%. With strong legs and a stronger international box office, it could salvage its box office run and show a profit early during its initial push into the home market.

Seventh place went to another holdover, Final Destination 3, with $5.5 million for the weekend and $44.9 million overall. This film was cheap enough to make that even after taking into consideration the exhibitor's share, the studio has recouped enough to pay for the production budget.

We finally get to the second new release of the week. Doogal did reasonably well in its native U.K., but flopped hard here with just $3.6 million. You don't need to look any farther than the reviews to figure out why. It wasn't greeted with such scorn when it opened in Britain, so it might be a cultural thing.

Finishing one spot lower was Running Scared with a mere $3.4 million, proving once again that almost nobody goes to see a movie because of Paul Walker. The reviews remained poor and there's little hope the film will have any legs. On the plus side, it might disappear from theatres so fast that nobody will remember the movie and that might mean it won't hurt anyone's career.

Since the top nine have already been mentioned, I might as well make it an even 10. Freedomland finished in 10th place with $2.9 million, just over 50% less than its disappointing opening.

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Filed under: The Pink Panther, Eight Below, Madea's Family Reunion, Curious George, Final Destination 3, Firewall, Date Movie, Freedomland, Doogal, Running Scared