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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We Own the Night lands in seventh as it grapples with a surprisingly large drop. The Mark Wahlberg/Joaquin Phoenix drama settled for a second weekend take of $5.5 million, off a large 49% compared to its soft opening frame last weekend ($10.8 million opening). This one looks like it will struggle to earn $40 million at the domestic box office.

Finishing a surprise eighth is the 3-D re-release of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Out to only 564 3-D theatres, the updated vision of the classic 1993 film earned $5.1 million, giving it a healthy venue average of $9,122. This is the perfect time to release the Henry Selick directed film, as the 1993 stop motion release has done well both last year and this year with the new technology to give it some extra oomph. It will be interesting to see if this has any staying power in the weekends to come.

Ninth place goes to Rendition, a star-studded film that didn't work on any level. Rendition earned only $4.2 million from 2,250 venues (despite a tracking estimate of just short of $10 million), giving it an average of $1,856. The cast members all had recent hits, including Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain), and Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada). Critics didn't care, and Rendition only found 50 positive reviews out of 117, giving it a rotten rating of 43%.


Sticking around for another week in the top ten is The Heartbreak Kid, which earned another $3.9 million. It fell an additional 46% from last week and shows that audiences are pretty savvy when it comes to good Ben Stiller product and crappy Ben Stiller product. Considering that this project reunited Stiller with the Farrelly Brothers, who made him a true star with There's Something About Mary, the $32.1 million the movie has earned so far has to be a disappointment for DreamWorks/Paramount.

As for the other new openers, Things We Lost in the Fire, the Halle Berry/Benicio Del Toro film, earned only $1.6 million from 1,142 venues, another big tracking miss. While critics weren't exactly keen on it (66% fresh at RottenTomatoes), Del Toro's performance is getting raves even from critics that didn't like the film. Freestyle Releasing put Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour in 1,115 venues, but it managed only $560,500 a $500 per location average. And the animated The Ten Commandments, from Rocky Mountain Pictures, earned $474,760 from its 830 locations, good for a venue average of $572. Those are some pathetic numbers for the weekend.

Overall, the top 12 saw a healthier total that it has had in the last few weekends. It still wasn't enough to keep it ahead of last year, when the top 12 earned $88.8 million on the backs of The Prestige, The Departed, and the slower than expected Flags of our Fathers. This year, with 30 Days of Night leading the way, the top ten tallied $79.7 million, off 10% compared to last year. Next weekend pits 2007's Saw IV versus 2006's Saw III, is the torture porn era over? Check back next weekend to find out.

Top Weekend Box Office for 10/19/07-10/21/07 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 30 Days of Night Sony/Columbia $16,000,000 $15,951,902 New $15,951,902
2 Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? Lionsgate $12,100,000 $12,186,014 - 42.9% $38,950,821
3 The Game Plan Walt Disney Pictures $8,122,000 $8,178,646 - 25.9% $69,206,626
4 Michael Clayton Warner Bros. $7,100,000 $6,677,272 - 35.6% $21,563,586
5 The Comebacks Fox Atomic $5,850,000 $5,554,594 New $5,554,594
6 Gone Baby Gone Miramax Films $6,000,018 $5,501,406 New $5,501,406
7 We Own the Night Sony/Columbia $5,500,000 $5,420,793 - 49.9% $19,704,516
8 The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D Walt Disney Pictures $5,145,000 $5,330,101 New $5,330,101
9 Rendition New Line Cinema $4,175,000 $4,060,012 New $4,060,012
10 The Heartbreak Kid DreamWorks $3,900,000 $3,814,636 - 47.6% $32,025,396
11 Elizabeth: The Golden Age Universal $3,139,390 $3,150,180 - 48.8% $11,224,145
12 Across the Universe Sony/Revolution Studios $2,700,000 $2,653,475 - 30.6% $16,720,931
  Also Opening/Notables
Things We Lost in the Fire DreamWorks $1,604,000 $1,561,949 New $1,561,949
The Ten Commandments Paramount N/A $478,910 New $478,910
Wristcutters: A Love Story After Dark Films $38,443 $42,808 New $42,808
Reservation Road Focus Features $36,821 $36,269 New $36,269
Moondance Alexander Rocky Mountain Pictures $17,192 $17,427 New $17,427
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
Continued:       1       2       3



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