1. Night At The Museum $30.8M - $30.8M
2. The Pursuit of Happyness - $15M - $53.3M
3. Rocky Balboa - $12.7M - $22.4M
4. The Good Shephard - $9.98M - $9.98M
5. Charlotte's Web - $8M - $26.8M
6. Eragon - $7.15M - $7.15M
7. We Are Marshall - $6.64M - $6.64M
8. Happy Feet - $5.14M - $159M
9. The Holiday - $5M - $35.1M
10. The Nativity Story - $4.75M - $31.4M
Well here we are, the penultimate box office report of 2006. I'd like to thank everyone for reading/commenting on the reports in the past year, I really appreciate you all taking the time out. I might skip the report next weekend and do a year round up of movies or the top ten movies of 2006, we'll see. On with the show.
As expected, the big Fox movie that had been tipped to take this weekend, Night at the Museum, cleans up with a take of $30M. Expect it add a few more million before the end of the holiday season as Christmas Day has quickly become a profitable cinema going day in the last few years. I'd imagine that Fox might have wanted a bit bigger of a weekend with the movie being FX heavy and thus probably costing north of $80M, but it's clearly the winner and should quickly pass the $50M mark. Faced with little competition in the coming weeks, especially on the family movie front, the film should see at least another weekend at the top spot.
The Pursuit of Happyness has a strong second outing, dropping off about 43% from opening weekend. The movie crossed the $50M mark this weekend and is only $2M shy of recouping its production budget, boosted further by the Oscar buzz that's surrounding Smith's performance. Like Museum, expect this movie to have a strong holiday taking.
The film that no one expected to see made, let alone have the film actually be any good, Rocky Balboa drops in at number 3 with a weekend take of $12M and impressive five day take of $22M. The movie only cost $24M to make but strong word of mouth, pretty good trailers and posters and Stallone even doing a 20 day Q&A over at Ain't It Cool News helped push the movie into the public eye and give it that impressive opening.
Stallone has long been out of favour in Hollywood, with his last few movies either not seeing a release except on DVD/Cable or being sat on the shelf and quietly released on a few screens before vanishing (Eye See You aka Detox, Avenging Angelo?). A comeback was on the cards but after Rocky 5 practically killed the series dead in the water, the good money was on Stallone returning as Rambo (which incidentally he'll do next year). But in the end Stallone went back to the role that made him a star and provided a solid movie gaining some strong word of mouth. It doesn't even matter if the movie drops quickly next week, Stallone is back.
The Good Shephard marks a return to directing for Robert De Niro. The film stars Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie and tells the story of the origins of the CIA. Perhaps being pitched for oscar contention is the reason the film has seen a release in this busy weekend and may go some way to explaining why it's takings have been less than stellar given the calibre of the movie. According to Comingsoon.net expect the studio to put a spin on those numbers and some how manage to scrape them past the $10M mark once finals are released on Wednesday. A prime example of a strong movie being released at the wrong time of year.
As predicted last weekend, Charlotte's Web, has managed to hold onto a good percentage of its market and should continue to do ok business through the holiday period, but did face increased competition from Night At The Museum. The movie sits at $26M and is on more screens than any other in the top ten so it needs to keep on packing them in. It'll probably get another weekend on that many screens before the studio decide whether to cut and run or continue to take up valuable locations hoping to turn the tide.
Eragon falls a huge 69% from last weekend and will struggle to make $50M at this rate. The movie isn't being billed as a flop yet but it had a huge budget, equally large advertising budget and needed to pack them in, something it didn't even achieve in its opening weekend. The movie will start to see some serious location slashing from next week and will almost certainly signal an end to any potential franchise. In total, worldwide (inc the US) the film has taken $70M, which is probably what is keeping it out of flop territory.
Our final new entry is yet another inspiring American football movie, again based on a true story. We Are Marshall opens with a disappointing $7M, failing to capitalize on the increased interest generated by being in the height of the college football season. Directed by McG, the movie has received mainly average reviews with one going so far as to say that the wikipedia entry for the story is more interesting than the movie.
Happy Feet & The Holiday sit at eight and nine respectively, with Feet bordering on $160M and a sure fire hit. The Holiday never really took off and is still nearly $50M short of its huge production budget. Happy Feet will also clean up on DVD, something else The Holiday doesn't really have going for it.
Rounding out the top ten The Nativity Story might have picked up a little business from the time of the season, allowing it to just about beat Casino Royale this weekend. (Royale currently sits on a worldwide total of $424M).
Numbers haven't been released this weekend for the Beyonce pic Dreamgirls, which had a stellar opening in a limited capacity last weekend. It's expected to open wide on Christmas Day. A number of films will open limited for Christmas Day so as to qualify for Oscar contention.
Merry Christmas All!