Daily Box Office Analysis for December 27, 2007

By David Mumpower

December 28, 2007

Ah, the good ol' days. When women were women and cell phones were ridiculous.

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The good times at the box office continued yesterday as the revenue for the top ten combined for $45,632,622. For those of you who did not read yesterday's column (for shame, for shame), this amount surpasses the composite total for Sunday's top ten of $44,734,073. This marks the third consecutive day that a weekday's box office performance has proven superior to one of the prior weekend's days. This is particularly noteworthy when we consider that this past weekend's top ten accrued a stellar $148.3 million over three days.

If you are unsure how great a performance last weekend's top ten managed, here is one further informative tidbit. $148.3 million, the amount made by the top ten alone rather than the entirety of films in release, would have been the 16th largest weekend of the year on its own. So, the numbers we are using as a jumping off point for comparison against recent weekdays are among the best of 2007. The fact that a Thursday, historically the weakest of the weekdays, is surpassing the previous Sunday is the type of box office phenomenon that only occurs at this time of the year.

We can prove this point in a different way as well. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week had top ten box office receipts of $58,159,595, $50,436,946 and $45,632,622 respectively. This is a combined total of $154,229,163, a number 4% higher than the top ten for the weekend. Putting that total in perspective, had Tuesday-Thursday's top ten box office counted as a weekend total, it would have been the 14th biggest weekend of the year. If we include the entirety of titles in release for the past three days, the total surges into the top ten. Folks, these are weekdays we are talking about. This sort of box office behavior should not be possible, but such is phenomenon of the period between December 21st and January 1st that the behavior holds each and every year.


Another way to gain an understanding of the behavior is to examine individual titles in order to gauge their daily fluctuations. Let's do exactly this with a couple of surprising choices. Rather than focus on blockbusters like I Am Legend and Enchanted right now, let's focus upon the bombs of the holidays, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The Golden Compass. These are the titles that have done much less at the box office than had been expected. The theory here is that if any releases are going to see less of an impact from holiday box office inflation, it would be these two. Let's see if this is the case.

The Golden Compass is a movie I discussed last week in BOP's Daily Box Office Analysis columns. The Nicole Kidman movie's first Monday was a lackluster $1.7 million, and it followed that up with $1.6 million on Tuesday, $1.4 million on Wednesday and $1.3 million on Thursday. This is a four-weekday total of right at $6 million for the period of December 10-13. This past weekend, the failed fantasy epic had performances of $1.36 million on Friday, $1.76 million on Saturday, and $1.43 million on Sunday. As you can see, its third weekend in release saw box office roughly equivalent to its first set of weekdays.

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