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Eight Below Finishes Above Everyone

February 21st, 2006

Not only was there a surprise winner over the weekend, but every film in the top five beat expectations (although, some by smaller margins than others). This helped push the overall 3-day weekend to $129 million, which is 7.2% higher than last week but 2.5% lower than last year. Add in Monday and the total box office was $157 million, which was less than $1 million below last year's figure.

8 Below was a pleasant surprise, topping the weekend box office with $20.4 million from Friday to Sunday and just shy of $25 million if you include Monday. The long-weekend obviously helped, but so did the reviews - the film earned more critical acclaim then any other film in the top five. That should translate into better than average legs, and that in turn will have the film show a profit early in its international run.

On the one hand, Date Movie actually beat expectations with $19.1 million over the 3-day weekend and $21.8 million in total. On the other hand, it failed to capture first spot, despite starting the weekend with a rather healthy lead. Why did the film falter after Friday? I think one look at its reviews answers that question. Even so, it was a cheap movie to make and it should have no problem showing a profit by the time it hits the home market, despite legs that should be short and an international run that will likely be weak.

The holiday helped Pink Panther to $16.7 million / $20.9 million over the weekend and $46.5 million in total. This already puts it well ahead of original expectations and on pace to show a profit some time after its initial push into the home market. The studio must be breathing a sigh of relief over this result.

As expected, the holidays really helped Curious George at the box office, but its performance was even better than expected, with the animated tale pulling in $11.8 million / $15.4 million. With $33.5 million after two weeks, the film should also have no problem earning a profit after its initial push into the home market.

Final Destination 3 surprised most analysts by capturing a spot in the top ten with $10.1 million / $11.5 million. However, it did have the worst week-to-week drop-off in the top ten and should quickly shed theatres over the next couple of weeks.

Next up was Firewall with $8.9 million / $10.4 million. That result is not great, but it could have been much worse.

Finally, we get to Freedomland, which really struggled, bringing in just $5.8 million / $6.7 million. Most of the films in the top five earned more in 3 days than they were expected to earn in 4, but with this movie the opposite was true. Granted, the reviews were bad, but that doesn't completely explain its performance. Most likely, moviegoers just found the premise too stale and the marketing never came close to convincing them otherwise.


Filed under: The Pink Panther, Eight Below, Curious George, Final Destination 3, Firewall, Date Movie, Freedomland