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Box Office Bounces Back

September 25th, 2007

It was a rather predictable weekend with no result shocking analysts too much. Overall, we did see a rather large boost in the box office as the weekend ticket sales were close to $98 million, which was a 24% jump from the last weekend. However, it was also roughly 1% lower than the same weekend last year. This means 2007's winning streak is over (assuming nothing significant changes after the chart is certified later in the week), but year-to-date there has been a 7% growth over last year and we are still on a record-setting pace.

On Thursday we predicted Resident Evil: Extinction would earn just under $24 million, and that's exactly what it earned. With an opening of $23.68 million, the film just topped Apocalypse despite the three years of ticket price inflation that should have added more than $2 million to its opening weekend. The reviews did bounce back from that film's 21% positive, but not by enough to assume significantly better legs. So look for just under $50 million domestically, but a weaker American dollar should help it internationally, giving it the biggest worldwide box office of the trilogy.

Good Luck Chuck managed to earn on the high end of my expectations, which were the low end of industry expectations, by taking in $13.65 million. Early ads made the movie look like a buddy comedy with Dane Cook and Dan Fogler that promised a lot of sex. Later ads pushed Jessica Alba's role in the movie more at the expense of Dane Cook (while Dan Fogler was completely absent), making it seem like a sweet romantic comedy. This change might explain why the movie did a little better than I expected over the weekend, however, the deceptive advertising plus some of the worst reviews of the year will likely lead to a crash at the box office during the coming weeks.

The Brave One met expectations nearly perfectly with $7.31 million over the weekend for a total of $25.00 million after two. This drop-off is higher than Jodie Foster's previous September headliner; in fact, Flightplan earned more during its second weekend than The Brave One opened with, so there's a tremendous decline in box office performance here. However, I suspect this is a momentary glitch and that she will return to her winning streak shortly.

3:10 to Yuma was a surprise entry in the top five thanks partly to its better than expected performance and partly due to weaker than expected competition. The film was down just 31.05% to $6.16 million, which was within a rounding error of expectations.

It looks like the expansion for Eastern Promises was too fast as it managed just fifth place with $5.64 million, which is significantly less than the $8.10 million A History of Violence earned during its first weekend of wide release. Additionally, its per theater average of $4,018 doesn't suggest further expansion, in fact, it suggests a rather quick decline despite its award-worthy reviews. This is even more puzzling as I was expecting people who discovered A History of Violence on DVD to watch Eastern Promises in theaters boosting its box office numbers, but that obviously didn't happen.

Lastly we get to Sydney White, the best-reviewed wide release of the week. Granted, 38% positive isn't exactly glowing, but it is better than most September releases get. That said, it was the worst opening for Amanda Bynes's career with just $5.20 million (however, that was still within a rounding error of expectations). There is good news, the film only cost $16.5 million to make, and it should end its run with close to that amount while earning a profit sometime during its home market run. However, Amanda Bynes is going to need to look for more adult roles if she wants to avoid being seen as just a child actress.

Neither of the two remaining members of the sophomore class collapsed as I expected with Mr. Woodcock down just 43.80% to $4.92 million over the weekend and $15.65 million in total. Meanwhile, D-War was down just 48.50% to $2.60 million over the weekend and $8.66 million in total.


Filed under: Resident Evil: Extinction, The Brave One, Good Luck Chuck, Mr. Woodcock, Eastern Promises, Sydney White, Dragon Wars: D-War, 3:10 to Yuma