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Momma's So Big

January 30th, 2006

Practically every film in the top five was able to beat, or at least meet expectations, and that helped the month end on a strong note. Overall the weekend box office take was $126 million, up 5.1% from last weekend and more importantly, up 2.2% from last year. So far 2006 has brought in $662 million, which 1.4% ahead of last year's pace.

OK, I admit, Big Momma's House 2 took me completely by surprise. It seemed to have nothing going for it. Sure, the original was a surprise hit back in 2000, but that was a long time ago and such a long gap between the original and the sequel usually means a sharp drop-off at the box office. But Big Momma's House 2 opened with $27.7 million, compared with the first film's $25.7. That's even more impressive when you compare the relative times of the year the two movies opened in. In fact, it is the ninth best January Weekend ever, and the best January opening. As for the film's long term box office health, its terrible reviews suggest it will disappear quickly and won't come anywhere near the $117.6 million the first brought in, but it will still earn enough to show a profit after its initial push into the home market.

Nanny McPhee also beat expectations, but not to the same degree. With $14.5 million over the weekend, the film was able to finish in second place, and with the best reviews of any wide release this weekend, it should have enough legs to cover its production budget shortly. In the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if a sequel was already in the planning stages.

Even though it didn't finish as high on the charts as expected, Underworld: Evolution actually beat expectations with $11.4 million. That was down 57.5% from its opening, but more than enough to put the film on track for a healthy profit.

Next up was Annapolis with $7.7 million, which came close enough to Friday's predictions that I'm calling it a victory. Given its release date and its disastrous reviews, this film could have really bombed. However, the marketing was just what the film needed, and Buena Vista should be happy that it could at least match lowered expectations, as opposed to completely bombing, as some were expecting.

Rounding out the top five was Hoodwinked with $7.5 million, with Brokeback Mountain slightly farther behind than expected at $6.5 million. Both of those results were very close to predictions.

Lastly, The Matador expanded into an additional 800 theatres and grabbed the final spot in the top ten with $3.6 million. That's a lot more than I would have expected given its low per theatre average the week before and it shows the movie may have some mainstream success ahead of it.


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