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First Long Weekend of the Year

January 13th, 2006

It's another busy weekend with four wide releases, but unlike last week, none are earning terrible reviews. Of course, none of these films are being championed by the critics and none look like they will be runaway hits at the box office either. Still, it should be a close contest for top spot with several interesting races along the way.

It's becoming a tradition to have a Inspirational Coach movie released on Martin Luther King long weekend, and this year's entry in that genre is Glory Road. Compared to last year's Coach Carter, Glory Road is earning slightly weaker reviews while also having less star power. That will result in the film starting slower, but it should still take top spot with $15 million over the three day weekend and $18 million in total.

Two films, Last Holiday and Hostel will battle it out for second place and it will be so close that I predict Hostel will win the three-day portion but Last Holiday will come out ahead when you include Monday. The new film is earning mixed reviews, which is still better than most films that are released wide this month and is good enough to not hurt the film's box office. Over the 3-day weekend both films should take in roughly $12 million with Hostel having the advantage, but including Monday Last Holiday should take the lead with both films earning just under $15 million.

Holidays should help Narnia's quest to overtake Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for second place on the year. Right now it's about $31 million behind and after bringing in $10 million / $12 million this weekend it's pace will be slipping. However, if it outperforms expectations and the studio gives it a boost, it could still catch up.

Fifth place should go to another newcomer, Hoodwinked. Originally, this film was scheduled for a December release, but when it was pushed back to January everyone assumed it would be a disaster. And while a Tomatometer reading of 50% positive is nothing to be proud of, it certainly isn't the horror story some were expecting. That should help the film to $8 million / $10 million, which is not enough given its $50 million production budget. On the other hand, it should do well enough on the home market that the studio should be happy.

Lastly there's Tristan & Isolde, which I honestly didn't think would get a wide release. But since it is earning the weakest reviews and the smallest theatre count of the four wide releases this weekend, it will likely struggle just to make the top ten. Give it $5 million over the next three days and $6 million from now until Monday.


Filed under: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Hoodwinked, Hostel, Glory Road, Last Holiday, Tristan & Isolde