Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
December 15, 2007

Hey! His eyes are open!

The fourth of July, Valentine's Day, December. No matter what time of the year, Will Smith delivers the goods.

[tm:3002_]I Am Legend[/tm]

After weeks of build, the biggest December tentpole in awhile delivers in spades. I Am Legend raked in an incredible $30.7 million on Friday. While it doesn't touch any of the summer single-day records, this is still a phenominal figure. Only one other December release has ever scored a higher single day figure, the opening day of Return of the King back in 2003. Chalk it up to audiences that have been starved for much of anything for nearly a month now, and the ever-impressive drawing power of Will Smith. Even going with a very conservative multiplier of 2.6 since there's really nothing that could provide a legitimite comparison, that is still a fantastic opening weekend of $79.8 million.

[tm:1773_]Alvin and the Chipmunks[/tm]

Perhaps neck and neck with I Am Legend for the biggest box office story of the weekend is a film adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks, which inexplicably opened with $13.3 million on Friday. I'm not even going to attempt to figure this one out, but the even worse news is that being targeted squarely at the pre-teen set, it should have an above average multiplier this weekend. Let's call it 3.2, which is a $42.5 million weekend. I think I need to go lie down now.

The Perfect Holiday

Another [tm:3952_]This Christmas[/tm] it's not, as The Perfect Holiday could only muster $700,000 on Friday. Which is more than the $600,000 it made on Wednesday and Thursday. Expect about $2 million over the rest of the weekend.


Helped greatly by seven Golden Globe nominations, Atonement earned about $500,000 on just 117 screens on Friday. Your second mortal lock for a Best Picture nominee (following [tm:2106_]No Country for Old Men[/tm]) should come in this weekend with about $1.5 million and will only add more screens over the holidays.

Notable Holdovers

The Golden Compass goes from slight disappointment to out and out disaster as it plunges 69% from a week ago with only $2.7 million on Friday. There's no sugar-coating here anymore, this expensive mistake is going to cost somebody their job. Expect about $9.3 million in its second weekend.