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New Year was a Weekend to Celebrate

January 3rd, 2007

It was a fairly predictable weekend as far as box office numbers go. No film really beat expectations by a wide margin, nor did any fail to do so. This meant nearly every film in the top ten showed significant growth (the lone exception was Rocky Balboa), while the only film in the top twenty to see a serious drop-off was the Christmas film, The Nativity Story, which plummeted more than 67%.

Night at the Museum finished first for the second weekend in a row, but it likely won't be the last time the flick secures top spot. This film added $36.8 million over the weekend plus another $11.5 million on Monday. This gave it a 4-day total of $48.2 million and a running tally of $127.3 million. Museum has already beaten initial expectations and should top $150 million by this time next week. As for the film's profitability, it was an expensive one to make and will need to earn over $200 million domestically to show a profit or about $250 - $300 million worldwide. The former number might be optimistic, but the latter is not.

It was also a milestone weekend of sorts for Pursuit of Happyness. Friday to Sunday the film pulled in $19.6 million, putting its domestic box office at $98.4 million after 17 days. On Monday the film added another $6.1 million, pushing it over the $100 million mark and making it the 18th film of 2006 to reach that milestone, as well as the ninth film of Will Smith's career. At this point, I think it is safe to assume the big-budget vampire flick, I am Legend will also earn $100 million and that would make him the star with the fewest movie credits to be in 10 $100 million movies. Quite an accomplishment.

As expected, Dreamgirls was able to bounce back from weaker than expected midweek numbers to grab third place. In fact, it was able to bounce back better than expected with $14.1 million / $18.4 million. So far the film as made $41.3 million and continues to be a major contender for close to 10 Oscar nominations.

Charlotte's Web was the only film in the top five not to beat expectations, but at $11.7 million / $14.9 million, it came awfully close. After Monday, the film had earned $55.8 million, which is not a terrible total, but still low compared to its estimated production budget. If the film can perform well internationally, it could still show a profit shortly after it hits the home market, but it is not the massive hit some were anticipating.

The biggest shock of the weekend was The Good Shepherd beating Rocky Balboa for fifth place. However, even then it was a close race ($11.0 million to $10.6 million over three days and $14.2 million to $13.8 million over four), and I had suggested that very possibility on Thursday. As for the two film's long term chances, Rocky Balboa has earned more so far ($51.1 million to $38.3 million), and had a much, much smaller budget ($24 million to roughly $100 million). Because of this, Rocky Balboa will earn a profit possibly before its theatrical release is over while The Good Shepherd may never break even.

The final new release of the week (well, newish) was Black Christmas. During its first weekend of release the film made $3.7 million and placed 13th in the process. Adding in Monday and the film made $4.9 million over the weekend and $12.1 million in total. It's hard to call this a successful start, but it is in line with the other recent Christmas Day horror releases, and may in fact be more than it cost to make.

Finally we move on to the sophomore class, which has just one member not already mentioned. We Are... Marshall added $8.0 million / $10.4 million for a total of $27.5 million after two weeks. This is lower than originally predicted and the film will need a strong home market run to show a profit.


Filed under: Night at the Museum, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dreamgirls, Charlotte's Web, Rocky Balboa, The Good Shepherd, We Are Marshall, Black Christmas