1. Stomp the Yard - $22M $22M
2. Night at the Museum - $17.1M $186M
3. The Pursuit of Happyness - $9.1M $136M
4. Dreamgirls - $8.12M $66.9M
5. Freedom Writers - $7.12M $19.9M
6. Children of Men - $6.43M $21.4M
7. Alpha Dog - $6.14M $6.14M
8. Primeval - $5.99M $5.99M
9. Arthur et les Minimoys - $4.3M $4.3M
10. The Good Shepherd - $3.91M $54.3M
This is a holiday weekend in the US so Monday takings will be higher than normal, giving some movies bigger 4 days totals than on a normal week.
Well this was a bit of a surprise for all concerned. It was heavily predicted that Night at the Museum would retain the number one spot for the fourth weekend in a row but a little dance movie with next to no hype, stars or budget changed all that. Similar to You Got Served and Step Up (both movies which opened big then faded quickly) Stomp The Yard takes the top spot with a huge $22M, probably double its budget & advertising costs. Furthermore, the movie did all this from just 2000 locations (compared to the 3,600 that museum has) and scored an average location take of over $10,000.
Early predictions had the movie breaking into the top five, but not performing with this kind of success. The film is typical teen drama fodder, with a guy, a brilliant street dancer, losing his brother and attending a local college, only for two other colleges to step in and try and poach him to help them win a dance competition. The movie played well to the teenage demographic but may suffer from heavy front-loading - a huge opening weekend then an equally huge drop off the next weekend. To be honest, for a movie like this with such a low budget and low expectations, it doesn't really matter if it loses 65% next weekend, it's had a fantastic opening and recouped the majority, if not all, of its costs.
Night and Pursuit of Happyness both drop one place but still have very respectable weekends, especially considering they're in their fourth and fifth weekend respectively. Night should see $200M within the next 3 weeks, helped on the way this weekend by the Monday holiday. Pursuit has now doubled its production budget and has yet to open in a number of foreign locations.
Dreamgirls drops just 6% from last weekend as it pushes towards $70M, adding another 1000 locations in the process. As mentioned last week, the movie might have been hurt somewhat by its limited opening, with those interested in seeing the movie having already travelled out of their way to do so. Expect the movie to hang in the charts for a while yet, seeing a boost when Golden Globes and Oscar nominations are announced in the next few weeks.
Freedom Writers drops a respectable 24%, taking it closer to recouping its $21M production budget, a task it should accomplish during the week. Star Hilary Swank will next be seen in biblical horror film The Reaping (another film, like Writers, that has suffered some lengthy delays). Children of Men loses a bit of pace in its second weekend of wide release, taking just over $6M. Total global box office, including the US, stands at $53M. The movie has received some of the best reviews of any movie in the past 12 months.
Two new entries join the charts next. Alphadog, a teen kidnap/murder drama starring Justin Timberlake falters badly, partly due to competition from Stomp The Yard and partly due to less than impressive word of mouth/trailers. Timberlake is still struggling to make his mark in Hollywood with his last film, Edison, starring Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, debuting on DVD.
The other release, giant crocodile horror film Primeval didn't fare much better, taking just a little less than Alpha Dog. When final numbers are released on Tuesday the films might even swap places in the current chart (in fact only $500,000 separates Children of Men, Alpha Dog and Primeval).
Luc Besson's CGI movie, Arthur & The Invisibles doesn't find the same success in the US that it did in France, taking just $4M from over 2000 locations. With no Pixar-style hype surrounding it and no obvious fast food/toy tie-in, the film was going to struggle to find its audience, most of whom seem to have gone to see Night at the Museum again. Someone must be happy with the results - two sequels have already been announced via a four-page ad in the French equivalent of Variety.
Rounding out the top ten is The Good Shephard. The movie struggled to find its market and only performed well thanks to the holiday period. A shame as reviews have been strong for the Robert De Niro directed movie which covers the start of the CIA.