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Weekend Wrap-Up for November 30 - December 2, 2007

Leftovers Enchanted at the Box Office

By John Hamann

December 2, 2007

Now, McDreamy, I thought I told you I like *Chicago* style pizza.

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The post-Thanksgiving weekend at the box office brought exactly what was expected; low box office totals, and a single opener that barely finished in the top five. Awake, the lone new opener from MGM and the Weinstein Brothers, tried to take advantage of a weekend with no other new releases, but the post-Thanksgiving weekend is notorious for its bah humbug-ishness. The winner of the weekend, much like last weekend, was Enchanted, as Disney's mix of live action and animation is captivating audiences across the continent.

The post-Thanksgiving weekend is a killer. Last year, the top 12 films went from earning $146.5 million over the turkey weekend, and then dropped to $81.2 million the weekend after. Three films decided to open, and like Awake, tried to take advantage of a quiet weekend. The Nativity Story, Turistas, and Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, all flopped, with $8 million, $3.5 million, and $2 million openings. The nine holdovers in the top 12 dropped an average of 51%, with Flushed Away, an animated family film, dropping a weekend-worst 62%. In 2005 things were even worse. The heavily advertised Charlize Theron starrer, Aeon Flux, was the only opener at $12.6 million, and the rest of the top 12 dropped an average of 54%. Simply put, the post-turkey frame is not a friendly one for openers or returning films, and it was no different this year.




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Our number one film is again Enchanted from Disney, which follows up its domination last weekend with more of the same this weekend. Enchanted earned $17 million from a same-as-last-weekend venue count of 3,730. Enchanted dropped 51% from its three-day haul last weekend of $34.4 million, and had a venue average of $4,564. How does this compare with other Thanksgiving openers? Last year, films that opened over Thanksgiving fared the best compared to their top 12 compatriots, as Deck the Halls dropped 44% and Déjà Vu fell 47%. What's different with Enchanted, though, is the demographic. Deck and Deja were both looking for older audiences than Enchanted, as the Disney target market opened Enchanted strongly last Friday, a day off for the kidlets. Without that daytime showing possibility this weekend, the percentage drop inherently goes up. Still, these are two solid weekends for Disney and Enchanted, and I have a feeling they will want to earn as much as possible before New Line's The Golden Compass shows up next weekend. Speaking of the Compass, sneak previews this weekend would have burned into Enchanted's core audience as well. Currently, the gross for the most-likely inexpensive production stands at $70.6 million. At this point, I would say $100 million is a given for Enchanted.

Landing in second is This Christmas, Screen Gems' surprise second place finisher over the long weekend with a three-day take of $18 million and a five-day haul of $26.3 million. Things aren't quite as happy this weekend, but last weekend's haul doubled the production budget, so no one will be too upset. This Christmas earned $8.4 million from a tiny venue count of only 1,858, and had a venue average of $4,521. With a budget of only $13 million, and a total so far of $36.9 million, This Christmas is making it a happy season for the folks at Screen Gems. In fact, This Christmas could be Screen Gems' biggest film of the year, if it can get past the $61 million that Stomp The Yard earned last January. That one cost the studio only $14 million to make, so maybe Screen Gems is becoming the new Lionsgate.


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