Archive for the ‘November 23-25’ Category

Weekend Fix: Enchanted Charms Its Way To #1

November 29, 2007

   Dinsney’s Enchanted cast a bit of magic over the Thanksgiving holiday, finally giving the Fall box office the uptick it has needed since the explosive summer ended.  With five new wide relesases, and a major expansion for some Oscar bait, the top 12 movies grossed a solid $150.5 million over the 3-day weekend, putting it about 2.6% ahead of last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, and up a whopping 70% from last weekend.

   Enchanted opened with an absolutely wonderful $34.4 million ($49 million over the 5-day weekend), and with strong reviews, a solid $9233 per theatre average, and the lucrative holiday season ahead, it should power its way well past $100 million, and possibly even to $200 million, given the quality of the film.  The performances by Amy Adams, Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey, James Marsden, and Susan Sarandon have been lauded by critics, who hail the spoof/tribute as a return-to-form for Disney.  
   It’s nice to see such a well-received movie recapture the #1 spot for Disney over Thanksgiving, a weekend they used used to consistently dominate.  It seems that Disney’s efforts to streamline its feature films is paying off in a big way, and the Disney brand is earning back its all-powerful credibility.  Disney is making fewer films each year, but the films it chooses to make are family friendly, “Disneyish” pictures that have wide appeal.  Between Pirates, Wild Hogs, Bridge to Terabithia, The Game Plan, Hannah Montana, and the High School Musical monster, Disney is certainly having a banner year and earning the trust of parents everywhere.
   Opening at number two with $18 million ($26.3 over the 5-day) is This Christmas, a Screen Gems production that many analysts overlooked going into this weekend.  Featuring a predominantly black cast, This Christmas played to a predominantly black audience, though not to the extent of a Tyler Perry movie.  The comedy, rather unique in its genre- an African American Christmas comedy- received fairly mixed, but good reviews, which should give it more longevity than Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?  Debuting in just 1,858 theatres (vs. Enchanted’s 3,730), This Christmas earned $9665 per theatre, the strongest average in the top 20.
   At number three this weekend, is former champ Beowulf, which earned $16.5 million ($23.6 over the 5-day) this weekend.  The film dropped 40% from last weekend, the steepest drop in the top 10.  Paramount, who shelled out $150 million for Robert Zemeckis and his beloved motion-capture CGI, has to be disappointed with these results.  With $56.6 million in the till, Beowulf is going to have to majorly redeem itself overseas if it hopes to see a profit anytime in the near future.  Personally, I hope Zemeckis stops making these weird, pseudo-animated movies, with their waxy-faced, emotionless characters.
   At fourth we have Hitman, the video game adaptation that did about as well as a generic-looking, poorly reviewed, star-free video game movie could expect to do.  Hitman shot up a solid $13.2 million over the weekend, and  $21.1 million over the 5-day, a sure sign of front loading.  As with most fanboy flicks, I expect Hitman to deteriorate pretty quickly from here, but the film was cheap to make and will turn out a success for Fox.
   Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie buzzes in at fifth place, adding another $11.8 million ($15.8 over the 5-day)  to its total gross of $111.8 million.  Senifeld’s animated feature has been met with a resounding “blah” from critics and audiences, and while it is not losing money for Paramount/Dreamworks, it’s not the smash success the studio hoped for, either.  In the next few weeks, Enchanted should outshine the rather lackluster family offerings in theaters.
   Speaking of lackluster family films, at number six this weekend was Fred Claus, the Vince Vaughn Christmas movie that just isn’t quite clicking.  Warner Bros.’ Fred Claus bagged another $10.6 million ($14.9 over the 5-day), bringing its total to a disappointing $52.9 million after 3 weekends.  It seems to be taking the same trajectory of last year’s Santa Clause 3, which finished with an underwhelming $84 million.
   Warner Bros.’ small film August Rush did relatively well this weekend, earning $9.4 million ($13.2 million over the 5-day).  Made for just $30 million, this is a pretty good start for the film.  Although critics praised the music and acting in August Rush, it received somewhat poor reviews because of its abundant sentimentality.  However, saccharine tends to do well around the holidays (e.g. Dan in Real Life), so I don’t think this will hurt the film’s box office.
   In eighth, American Gangster continues to chug along, pulling in another $9 million ($12.5 million over the 5-day) this weekend.  Audiences have loved the Russell Crowe/Denzel Washington film, and it has grossed $115.5 million over 4 weeks for Universal.
   The weekend’s final new wide release, The Mist, got off to a frightening start, debuting in ninth place with $8.9 million ($12.9 million over the 5-day).  The heavily promoted Stephen King adaptation has received positive reviews from critics, but its tepid $3,686 per theater average won’t keep it playing for very long.  Thankfully, the film cost MGM just $18 million to make, so it will probably show a profit on the home market.
   In tenth place is Dustin Hoffman’s attempt to play Willy Wonka, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium with $7.9 million ($10.8 million over the 5-day).  Trashed by critics, the film has not been widely accepted by audiences either, with a poor $22.1 million after ten days.  While this may have looked like another Night at the Museum, it certainly isn’t performing on the same level.
   No Country For Old Men had a very successful expansion into 860 theaters, grossing $7.8 million ($10.7 over the 5-day) for a $16.3 million total.  The Coen Brothers’ film had a terrific average of $9,042 per theater, and its award recognition, amazing reviews, and word-of-mouth will continue to carry it financially.
   Proving to be quite the leggy movie, Dan in Real Life pulled in another $3 million ($4.3 million over the 5-day) this weekend.  Steve Carrell’s rom-com has impressed with its holds each week, and after a quiet $11.8 million dollar start, it has grossed $42.2 million.  Audiences seem to really enjoy this movie, and it could get to $50 million by the end of its run.
Top Twelve for Nov 23-25
1. Enchanted – $34.4 million
2. This Christmas – $18 million
3. Beowulf – $16.5 million
4. Hitman – $13.1 million
5. Bee Movie – $11.8 million
6. Fred Claus – $10.6 million
7. August Rush – $9.4 million
8. American Gangster – $9 million
9. The Mist – $8.9 million
10. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium – $7.9 million
11. No Country For Old Men – $7.8 million
12. Dan in Real Life – $3 million