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Summer Has Officially Ended

September 12th, 2006

The second weekend in September is quite often the slowest weekend of the year, and that appears to be the case here. Overall the total box office was a mere $71 million. To put that into perspective, if that was earned by just one film this weekend, it would only place fourth on the list of 2006's biggest openings. Needless to say, the overall box office was down this weekend, by a massive 31.3% from the last weekend. Compared to the same weekend last year the decline was smaller at 18.2%, but that was a more devastating result in the overall scheme of things.

On the one hand, The Covenant easily finished first. On the other hand, it could only bring in $8.9 million, making it the first film to open in first place with less than $10 million since Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star opened with just $6.7 million back in 2003. (On a side note, of the last five films to open with less than $10 million, all of them opened in September. That's pretty convincing evidence that September is the worst month to open a movie.) Add in reviews that are nearly universally negative and an incredibly fickle target audience and this film will plummet next weekend and will be practically out of theatres by October.

Hollywoodland was able to come in second place, despite missing expectations by the narrowest of margins at $5.9 million. This gives the film a per theatre average of just $3,828, but that still puts it at the top of the class for new wide releases. (It seems that even the positive news reinforces how weak the box office was this weekend.) As for the film's long term chances, its reviews are strong enough that word-of-mouth will help the film, but not before it hits the home market.

It seems the opening of the NFL season hurt Invincible a little more than expected as it fell to third with $5.6 million. The film has already pulled in $45.5 million, and even though this could be the film's last weekend in the top five, it should still cruise to nearly $60 million, perhaps even topping that milestone.

The Protector is a hard film to gauge in terms of success or failure. It did miss expectations with $5.0 million, but that was more than Tony Jaa's previous film earned in total and more than twice what Weinstein Co. paid for the rights. Its legs will likely be quite short given the niche market appeal of the film and its mixed reviews, but I expect the film will turn into a big hit on the home market.

With weaker than expected competition, Crank was able to score a position in the top five with $4.9 million. This is 53% lower than its opening weekend, but enough to lift its running tally to a hair below $20.0 million, which is already more than it cost to make.

While both The Illusionist and Little Miss Sunshine were knocked out of the top five, they both performed reasonably well with $4.5 million and $4.3 million respectively. This pushed the total for The Illusionist to $18.0 million, placing it ahead of such wide releases as Just My Luck and Beerfest. Meanwhile, Little Miss Sunshine has reached $41.5 million just above John Tucker Must Die and just below The Hills Have Eyes.

Moving on to the sophomore class, neither of the two films that missed the top five did well with The Wicker Man plummeting 57.73% to $4.0 million for the weekend and $17.4 million in total. Unless the film takes off internationally, the studio will end up hurting on this one. Lastly there's Crossover, which fell a massive 65.12% to land in 17th place with just $1.3 million. So far the film has made just $6.0 million but that is in line with some production budget estimates.

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Filed under: Little Miss Sunshine, Invincible, The Illusionist, Crank, The Wicker Man, The Covenant, Hollywoodland, Tom yum goong, Crossover