Twelve Days of Box Office
By David Mumpower
December 30, 2008

Thumpity thump this!

The second half of this year's Twelve Days of Box Office started in much the same way the first half ended as Marley & Me spent its fifth consecutive day in first place. Its Monday box office of $7.5 million gives it a running tally of $58.2 million after only five days in theaters. Given the fact that it's pacing at over $11.6 million a day, there is not much to criticize here.

I still should note that this is the second consecutive day the movie has had a drop in excess of 20%. After earning $14.4 million during its Christmas debut and following that with $14.0 million on Friday and $12.7 million on Saturday, Marley and Me fell 24% to $9.7 million on Sunday then 23% to $7.5 million today. None of this is completely out of line with historical precedents, but it could be slowing down a bit. That just means $7 million a day is the base moving forward instead of $10 million a day. Factoring in the New Year's Eve anti-holiday, this is only going to wind up being a $10 million or so difference over the weekdays, which isn't much for Fox to cry over. Marley and Me has already made best case scenario box office, a mystifying turn of events.

For the third consecutive day, Bedtime Stories winds up as the box office silver medalist. After being edged by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button its first two days in release, the Adam Sandler family film has behaved just as a family film should. It has held up better since its debut and the proof of this is that another $6.4 million on Monday, a 14% drop from Sunday's $7.4 million, gives the title current receipts of $44.4 million.

Simultaneously, Benjamin Button finishes in third place again with $5.0 million. After $22.0 million over its first two days compared to Bedtime Stories' $20.6 million, the Brad Pitt reverse-aging drama slipped a bit with $9.3 million on Saturday, $7.4 million on Sunday and now this $5.0 million result. Due to the most recent two daily drops of 21% and 32%, Benjamin Button has been passed by Bedtime Stories in total box office. It has earned $43.7 million, which is still a magnificent result to date. Button just isn't holding up as well as Bedtime Stories at the moment, but that could change once we get to New Year's Day.

Fourth place goes to Valkyrie for the fifth straight day. Another $4.0 million in revenue gives the Paramount release $33.6 million thus far. The measurables on this one have been a bit confusing thus far. It was initially the most consistent of the new releases, earning $8.5 million, $8.2 million and $7.4 million in its first three days. Since then, it fell 28% to $5.4 million and now 25% to $4.0 million. Frontloading has suddenly become a primary concern after three days where it had looked like Nazi Titanic.

The rest of the top ten has played out as expected. Most of the titles in release last Monday have seen either slight gains or only modest losses. Among the three new openers from then, Yes Man and Seven Pounds gained 6% and 8% from Monday to Monday while The Tale of Despereaux dropped 9% to $2.3 million. In fact, the only significant loser from returning titles is, unsurprisingly, The Day The Earth Stood Still. Another $1.4 million on Monday gives the Keanu Reeves film a running total of $64.9 million. That's the "good" news; the bad news is that it's off 23% from Monday to Monday at a time where all films should have at least a 90% retention rate. Keanu needs to accept that it's time for Bill and Ted's Triumphant Return.