1. Night at the Museum - $24M - $164M
2. The Pursuit of Happyness - $13M - $124.1M
3. Children of Men - $10.2M - $11.9M
4. Freedom Writers - $9.7M - $9.7M
5. Dreamgirls - $8.8M - $54.4M
6. Happily N'Ever After - $6.8M - $6.8M
7. Charlotte's Web - $6.6M - $66.9M
8. The Good Shepherd - $6.5M - $48.4M
9. Rocky Balboa - $6.2M - $60.8M
10. We Are Marshall - $5.1M - $25.4M
Welcome to the first box office report of 2007. The holiday period has been a very busy time and as we enter January we'll see a repeat of August - studios dumping anything onto the market to be rid of it. At least two of the movies released this week fall into that category.
Night At The Museum still reigns supreme and is fast approaching $170M. It should end up with over $200M by the end of its theatrical run. It has had the holiday market all to itself, with only minor competition from Charlotte's Web. The family cinema visit over the holidays has really helped push what many have seen as a lacklustre movie into one of the biggest of 2006/early 2007. It faces no serious competition in the coming weeks so should continue to stay atop of the charts for now.
Locked in right behind it is the inspirational Pursuit of Happyness, another movie that has performed well over the seasonal period. The movie, now in its fourth weekend, has nearly doubled its production budget and still has to open in a number of foreign territories, where Will Smith movie often perform strongly.
Released in a limited capacity last week, Children of Men sees an impressive take from its expanded 1200 locations. Having exceptionally good word of mouth from its UK release along with some of the best reviews of any movie release in 2006, there were more than enough patrons ready to see what all the fuss was about. Only Dreamgirls had a higher location/taking average. With little competition in the coming weeks, hopefully Children will find the market and success it deserves rather than being lost in a deluge of new releases.
Our first new entry is the Dangerous Minds-like Freedom Writers, in which Hilary Swank stars as a teacher in charge of a class of at risk students, pushing them to discover tolerance, apply themselves and pursue further education. A $9M weekend from 1300 locations isn't too bad for a movie that probably didn't feature on most people's radars until recently, if at all. While the movie didn't receive great reviews, Swank's performance has been singled out for praise.
Dreamgirls, which opened wider on Christmas Day continues to perform very well indeed from just 852 locations. Last weekend the movie had location averages of over $21,000 and currently sits at $54M. There's a very strong chance that the movie will take in more locations in the coming weekends but the studio must tread cautiously and not leave any further proposed expansions too late - anyone who wanted to see the movie may well have travelled out of their way to already see it. Oscar buzz for Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson isn't doing any harm either.
Our second new entry is the disappointing Happily N'ever After, another CGI cartoon in the same vein as last years Hoodwinked - take a well now fairytale and apply a contemporary shine. While Hoodwinked performed decently, Happily has really struggled for the family market against Night at the Museum. Furthermore, Charlotte's Web, another competitor, sits just a few thousand dollars behind - and that movie is in its fourth weekend of general release. Happily may benefit from the lack of new releases in the next week or so but will still struggle to stay afloat. It should see another couple of weeks in the charts.
The aforementioned Charlotte's Web sits at $66M, a not bad total after its disappointing opening weekend. As predicted it really found its market during the holiday period and was really the only other family choice after Museum. It still has a long way to go before reaching its production budget and with most schools already back in attendance, it'll struggle to hold its advantage for many more weeks.
The Good Shephard has continued to take good, if not impressive, amounts during the holiday season but has struggled due to it's subject matter (the birth of the CIA) not really appealing to cinema-goers at this time of year. As we've seen time and time again, a decently reviewed, impressively cast movie can struggle for a valuable market share if it's released at the wrong time of the year into a packed market. The movie should finish up with around $75M.
Rounding out the top ten are Rocky Balboa and We Are Marshall. Rocky has performed far better than expected and should finish up with around $75-80M - and its still to open in a number of global markets. Meanwhile We Are Marshall, yet another inspirational American football movie had a couple of better weekends over the seasonal period but failed to make much of a splash. It'll leave the top ten next weekend.
Codename: The Cleaner, a 'comedy' starring Cedric The Entertainer failed to break into the top ten.
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