Follow us on

Sick Selection for End of Month

January 27th, 2006

Three more films open wide this weekend, but only one of them will crack the 2,000 theater mark. This means that, while January will likely end on a soft note, there could be an interesting race or two in the top five. On a side note, this column was unfortunately delayed because I am really, really sick. How sick am I? Too sick to come up with a punch line for that joke. But I am starting to like the taste of NyQuil, if you can imagine.

When Big Momma's House came out in 2000, it became a surprise hit, easily crossing the $100 million mark on a budget of just $33 million. However, reviews were weak, as most critics complained that the simple premise ran out of steam well before the third act. This time around, Big Momma's House 2 suffers from the same over-stretched feel, and is even less fresh than before (although it is earning slightly better reviews than I was expecting). Add in a much weaker release date and it has almost no chance of repeated the original's performance. On the other hand, the chances are it was inexpensive enough to make that it should still show a small profit by the time it hits the ancillary market. Look for $14 million over the weekend and $35 million in total.

The film will have serious competition for top spot from Underworld: Evolution, which is expected to lose from 50% to 60% of its opening box office this weekend. The latter seems more likely at this point, which would give the film $11 million over the weekend and nearly $45 million in total, which is already more than initial expectations.

A pair of new openers should do battle for third place with Nanny McPhee holding a slight advantage over Annapolis. The former film is opening in slightly more theatres, (1,995 to 1,605), and much better reviews (74% positive to 11% positive), but it may have a, "too British" feel for audiences here. Both films should earn around $8 million, with Nanny McPhee finishing slightly above that mark while Annapolis finishes slightly below.

There should also be a tight battle for fifth between Hoodwinked and Brokeback Mountain, and again, the former holds a slight advantage over the latter. Both films look to pull in roughly $7 million, and, while Hoodwinked should take fifth place, Brokeback Mountain will cross $50 million over the weekend, which is more than enough for it to show a profit even before you take into account the millions it has made internationally.

One final note, Something New has another round of sneak peaks on Sunday before opening in roughly 1,200 theatres next weekend.


Filed under: Brokeback Mountain, Big Momma's House 2, Underworld: Evolution, Hoodwinked, Nanny McPhee, Annapolis, Something New