Weekend Wrap-Up for November 21-25, 2007

Enchanted Saves Box Office From Disaster

By John Hamann

November 25, 2007

Are you Chip or Dale?

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Finishing a surprise second this weekend is This Christmas, an urban holiday comedy that was released to a very small amount of theaters at only 1,802 venues. It had a very strong opening over three days of $18.6 million, and a fantastic five-day effort of $27.1 million. This is another flick that cashed in on an available demographic over the long weekend, as Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married had just finished up after opening to $21.3 million about five weekends ago. Screen Gems is having a fairly good year, after solid openings in 2007 for Stomp the Yard ($21.8 million opening), The Messengers ($14.7 million opening), Resident Evil: Extinction ($23.7 million opening) and now This Christmas. I would be surprised if This Christmas lasted in the top 12 until Christmas, but this is a very good start, and a big surprise over opening weekend nonetheless.

After dropping all the way down to fourth on Wednesday, Beowulf climbs back into the action over the weekend, earning $16.2 million. Out to 3,218 venues, Beowulf had a three-day venue average of $5,047 and drops 41% compared to last weekend. There was no doubt that Beowulf was going to hold well on IMAX 3-D and other 3-D capable cinemas, but the question was how it would hold in the rest of the continent's theaters. Paramount and partners can only be feeling okay about this effort, as Beowulf cost $150 million to make, and has now earned $56.4 million.

Opening in fourth this weekend is Fox's violent video game adaptation, Hitman, which looks like it could have been originally shot in a European language. Opening on 2,401 venues, Hitman earned $13 million over three days and $21 million over five. It had a three-day venue average of $5,303. The marketing here was slick, but the writing is already on the wall for Hitman, as it slipped from a $4.5 million Wednesday to a $3.5 million Thursday, the biggest Wednesday-to-Thursday drop in the top ten. Not surprisingly, this one was only 11% fresh with critics at RT, but users at the site gave it a 72% fresh rating so far. That could give this $70 million effort some life on DVD, but probably won't save it from a quit exit from the top ten.


Fifth spot goes to Bee Movie, as Jerry Seinfeld's...well, Bee movie, falls from second place last weekend to fifth place this weekend. Pushed slightly by competition from Enchanted and to a small degree August Rush, Bee Movie earned $12 million this weekend from 3,507 venues. So far, the $150 million Paramount production has earned $112.1 million, as Bee Movie crossed the $100 million mark on Thursday, its 21st day of release.

Fred Claus ends the long weekend as our number six flick, but sees a good hold compared to last weekend thanks to the holiday frame. Fred Claus earned $10.7 million over the three-day portion of the weekend, off only 10% from the previous frame. Unfortunately for Warner Bros., this uptick isn't going to save Fred, but will keep Santa's brother busy for at least another weekend. So far, Fred Claus has earned an okay $53.1 million.

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