Weekend Wrap-Up for October 19-21, 2007

Seven New Films Fail to Stimulate Box Office; Night Rules

By John Hamann

October 21, 2007

It could get cold and lonely during those days on the set...

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Finishing second is Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, last weekend's top earner at the box office. Tyler Perry can open his films, but he can't keep them from drowning in their second weekend. Why Did I Get Married plunged 43%, earning $12.1 million from 2,034 venues, only 23 more than last weekend. The percentage drop is a bit better than his other films like Madea's Family Reunion (58% second weekend drop), Daddy's Little Girls (57%), and Diary of a Mad Black Woman (50%). The good news for Perry is that Why Did I Get Married? has already earned $38.9 million, and will finish with at least $50 million.

The Game Plan, another holdover amongst a sea of new releases, finishes third. The Rock's family comedy, now in its fourth weekend, earned $8.1 million for Disney, and was off a quite respectable 26%. With a lack of choices for families over the last few weekends, The Game Plan has excelled, and now has an outside shot of making it to $100 million. So far, The Game Plan has earned $69.2 million.

Michael Clayton, another holdover from last weekend, finishes fourth. The George Clooney thriller held fairly this weekend against a lot of Oscar bait, earning $7.1 million from 2,585 venues, about 75 more than last weekend. Despite the increased venue count, Michael Clayton still fell 32%. Clooney and company are most likely going to have to settle for about $50 million from this one, not unlike the actor's Syriana.


Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone settles for fifth spot. Gone Baby Gone earned $6 million from a small venue count of 1,713. It had a venue average of $3,503. Gone Baby Gone is by far the best reviewed film in the top ten, as Ben and little brother Casey Affleck took critics by storm. The drama found a fantastic fresh rating of 92% after 94 out of 102 critics found something to like about this one. As much as I don't like to, you have to give Ben Affleck some credit for sticking around. He's made some of the worst movies ever (Gigli, Surviving Christmas) and went through the career killing J-Lo thing, but has come back to his roots (Good Will Hunting) to write and direct this Mystic River look-a-like. Oscar buzz is abounding for this one, but business is going to have to pick up for it to be remembered during awards season.

The Comebacks, Fox Atomic's anti-Oscar release this weekend, crashed and burned, finishing sixth despite tracking looking for a $10 million frame. The unnecessary and unfunny sports parody flick earned $5.9 million from 2,812 venues this weekend, giving it a laughable opening weekend venue average of $2,080. Much like the rise and fall of the horror film, these spoof/parody films seem to be heading the same way. While the Scary Movie franchise excelled, the lesser-thans like Date Movie ($19 million opening), Epic Movie ($18 million opening) and now The Comebacks seem to be waning in popularity. The 0% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes can't help either. One of the critics at RT said it right: "Created by the brain dead for the brain dead".

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