1. Stomp the Yard $13.3M - $41.5M
2. Night at the Museum $13M - $205.8M
3. Dreamgirls $8.7M - $78.1M
4. The Hitcher $8.2M - $8.2M
5. The Pursuit of Happyness $6.7M - $146.5M
6. Freedom Writers $5.5M - $26.8M
7. Pan's Labyrinth $4.7M - $10.1M
8. The Queen $3.7M - $35.8M
9. Children of Men $3.7M - $27.4M
10. Arthur and the Invisibles $3.1M - $9.2M
Not much going on this weekend due to a lack of new releases. Stomp The Yard just about retains the top spot though that could be subject to change on Monday when final numbers are released. The movie has nearly tripled it's production budget and dropped a not too bad 39% from last weekend. Night at the Museum , in it's fifth weekend still manages an amazing $13M and crosses the $200M mark in the process. It can place that success on having the kid/family market pretty much to itself in the past month - anything that proved to be competition quickly faded. The movie should still have another few weeks in the top ten and may go on to see close to $250M.
Dreamgirls saw success this week at the Golden Globes and that helped boost its box office this weekend. It actually made more money this weekend than it did last one, and the movie is still only showing in 2,200 locations (compare that to 3,400 of Museum and the 2,800 of The Hitcher). This slow release method, which used to be the norm before Jaws, is really paying dividends though it can be a risky move - many people who are that desperate to see the movie will have made the effort to do so rather than waiting for a wider release. Strong word of mouth (and the award wins this week) is helping to fill those extra locations each weekend. A further boost might arrive with next weeks Oscar nominations.
The remake of The Hitcher drops in at disappointing no.4. Horror usually performs much stronger, and this one had something of a 'name' attached in star Sean Bean. The only redeeming feature is that movie probably cost around $15M to make so should make a profit by the time of DVD release. The movie wasn't screened for critics and lacklustre trailers haven't really helped either. Expect this one to drop hard and fast within the week.
Pursuit of Happyness edges on closer to $150M and may yet get a further boost should Will Smith score an Oscar nomination this week. This was Smith's first major film since Hitch but he's yet again proved to be an impressive box office draw. Meanwhile Freedom Writers, a movie that appeared to have been dropped into the release schedule without much thought or fanfare, has recouped its production budget with this weekend's take.
Pan's Labyrinth adds another 400+ locations this weekend and sees its take increase by over 100%. The movie had the best location/taking average of any movie in the top twenty and is still only being shown in 600 locations. This is a good result for the movie and word of mouth should secure it a stay in the top ten. With any luck this weeks success should see it add many more locations in the coming weeks, deservedly so.
Flushed with recent Golden Globe success, Miramax opted to increase The Queen's location count by 1200 this weekend and saw the movie crash back into the top ten. The movie had taken nearly $32M in its limited release (which began way back in September) and now, in its 17th week is actually at more locations than at any time in those previous weekends.
Children of Men is still struggling to find its market and drops another two places this weekend. With four new movie opening wide next weekend it'll sadly be its last week in the top ten. A real shame given how well the movie had been received by both critics and foreign markets. Perhaps the studio should have taken a chance with this fiercely intelligent movie and opened it as wide as Night at the Museum rather than starting with a limited capacity release.
Arthur and The Invisibles rounds out the top ten and will probably end up with a domestic total of around $15-18M.
Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima and the Last King of Scotland all saw degrees of success in limited release thanks to the Golden Globes.