Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
January 20, 2007

How exactly do you get your nails to look so nice?

It's an eerie calm before the Academy Award nominations storm, as there's just one new wide release. The real excitement of the week comes from notable expansions, though.

The Hitcher

The weekend's one new wide release checks in with $2.7 million. We're not even out of January, yet this feels like the ninth horror film released this year, even if it didn't look all that bad. Audiences might just be tired of this stuff for awhile, with an opening night like that. Expect an overall weekend performance of $7.3 million, placing it smack in the middle of the pack.

Notable Holdovers

Last week's champ, Stomp the Yard, drops an unsurprising 48% from last Friday, but it should be able to eke out a second weekend at the top, despite a challenge from Night at the Museum (which will hit $200 million on Sunday, by the way. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. I thought so.) to regain its throne. Give it $11.3 million in weekend number two.

On the heels of its Golden Globe wins, Dreamgirls adds a few more screens and actually increases its Friday take from last week by about 5%. After some slightly erratic behavior during Christmas week, Dreamgirls has stabilized and become one of the big smashes of the season, and it probably hasn't even peaked yet. A weekend total of $7.8 million should be in store.

The biggest increase among films in the top ten, Pan's Labyrinth adds a few hundred screens and is rewarded with a 121% increase from last Friday with $1.3 million. Amazing critical acclaim is going to make this one to watch over the next few weeks. Look for a weekend of $4.3 million