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Celebrate Thanksgiving with Food, Family, and Films

November 21st, 2007

The five-day Thanksgiving long weekend officially starts tonight, as does the lucrative holiday weekend. From now until the New Year, there we should see hit after hit released, as well as a number of Oscar contenders. With the box office slowing down, this couldn't come at a better time.

Thanksgiving is one of the best times at the box office, especially for family films, and Enchanted hopes to take advantage of the holiday to win the 5-day weekend. However, while there have been plenty of family films that earned huge sums of money during the Thanksgiving weekend, they mostly opened the weekend before that. In fact, the last new release to top the charts over the long weekend was Toy Story 2 back in 1999. That film started with nearly $10 million on opening Wednesday before earning $57 million over the weekend and $80 million in total. Enchanted, on the other hand, would be a big hit if it could pull in $50 million over five days. With Disney's marketing might and some of the best reviews of the year, it could get there starting tonight with $6 million while pulling in $9 million on Thursday and $35 million over the weekend. This is a little higher than industry expectations, but the box office has a lot of pent-up demand with the past two family films missing expectations, especially one with a Tomatometer score of better than 90% positive. On the other hand, if this film fails to make an impact, it will be past the time to panic.

Beowulf has to deal with direct competition, but thanks to the holidays it should see a shallow drop-off over the weekend and even a little growth over 5 days. Look for $4 million tonight, $6 million tomorrow, and $20 million over the weekend for a total of just over $60 million after 10 days. With Christmas around the corner, $100 million isn't out of the question, but even that milestone won't be enough to save this film and cover its production budget.

Frank Darabont returns to Stephen King, who has been the source material for three of his first four films. Considering his only non-Stephen King movie was The Majestic, which was his worst movie, there's little surprise he went back to his favorite author. The Mist isn't earning as good reviews as either The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile did, but at 69% positive, they are still strong enough to be a selling point. However, with little in the way of star power, it will have to wait to find its audience. In the meantime, look for just under $3 million tonight, just over $4 million tomorrow, and about $12 million from Friday to Sunday.

Two family film holdovers, Bee Movie and Fred Claus, will be in a close battle for the final two spots in the top five. Bee Movie should maintain its edge at the box office, but it will be close with both earning just over $2 million tonight, roughly $4 million on Thursday, and just over $11 million over the weekend.

The next wide release is Hitman, which has at least a shot at placing in the top five; however, it will be an uphill battle. First of all, it is based on a video game and it is rare for those films to succeed. Secondly, its star has never been asked to carry a movie before. And finally, it is earning terrible reviews. It should start out in the top five tonight, maybe even challenging The Mist for third place tonight with close to $3 million. However, as the weekend progresses, it will slip down the chart and earn $4 million on Thursday and $10 million over the weekend.

This Christmas is being compared to the films of Tyler Perry, at least when it comes to target demographic. The film is earning better reviews than any film by Tyler Perry, but conversely, it is tracking for a much lower box office than anything Tyler Perry has starred in. There is a lot of uncertainty here, but it appears to be tracking for just under $2 million tonight, just under $3 million tomorrow, and just over $8 million over the weekend.

The final wide release of the week is August Rush, which appears to be the odd man out at the box office this week. Five new releases is at least one too many, and with poor reviews and an anemic ad campaign August Rush could struggle just to make the top ten. It will only need about $5 to $6 million over the weekend to earn that, and it if can make more than $1 million tonight, it should be able to reach that goal. However, it will be close. Look for just over $1 million tonight, just under $2 million tomorrow, and $5 million over the weekend.

On a side note, Christmas in Wonderland was supposed to open this week, in fact, some sources still have it opening tonight. However, it was pulled at the last minute and removed from the schedule. It is highly unlikely it will come out this year, and could be dumped direct-to-DVD.


Filed under: Enchanted, Bee Movie, Beowulf, Fred Claus, This Christmas, Hitman, August Rush, The Mist, Christmas in Wonderland