Weekend Wrap-Up for January 25-27 , 2008

Four New Releases Clobber Cloverfield

By John Hamann

January 17, 2008

Prepare the big dance number!

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As strange as it seems, 27 Dresses managed to get ahead of Cloverfield despite a $17 million difference between openings last weekend. 27 Dresses earned $13.6 million, off 41% compared to last weekend. Out to 3,074 venues, the Katherine Heigl starrer had a venue average of $4,424. All of a sudden the comedy is looking like it could be at least a $75 million earner, with $85 million not out of the question. Remember, J-Lo's The Wedding Planner opened to $13.5 million and went on to make $60 million domestically, giving it an open-to-finish multiplier of 4.44. If Dresses manages the same multiplier, it finishes just north of $100 million (however, a larger opener usually comes with a smaller multiplier). So far, 27 Dresses has earned $45.3 million, and Katherine Heigl will be getting work for a long time to come.

So, after finishing last weekend as the biggest January opener of all time ($40.1 million opening), Cloverfield got absolutely hammered this weekend. J.J. Abrams' ‘monster movie via camcorder' earned only $12.7 million in its second frame, giving this one a monstrous drop of 68%. We knew Cloverfield was going to be front-loaded, but no one saw this coming. With pop culture flicks like Meet the Spartans and Rambo opening, dollars were drawn away from the creature feature. As we discussed last weekend, what happens after the opening means little to Paramount. Cloverfield has a production budget of only $25 million, a figure it easily earned in its first two days of release. So far, Cloverfield has earned $64.3 million, and should finish with about $85 million.

Finishing fifth is a film I thought would do better - Screen Gems' Untraceable. The Diane Lane vehicle grossed $11.2 million from 2,368 venues, as this film that needed reviews failed to get them. At RottenTomatoes, only 12 reviewers out of a possible 84 liked this one enough to give it a thumbs up (one was Roger Ebert) leaving Untraceable with a rotten rating of 14%. Despite the critical drubbing, Diane Lane continues to pick films that open decently. Recent choices like Must Love Dogs, Unfaithful and Under the Tuscan Sun have opened between $9 and $14 million, and all finished in the $40 to $50 million range. With the negative reviews, we will have to wait and see if Lane can get Untraceable into the same range as some of her other films.

Juno finishes a strong sixth, as the little film that could continues to surprise. Juno earned $10.3 million from 2,426 venues (a drop of 108 venues from last weekend), and gains 3% of its audience from last weekend. With Oscar nominations now out, Juno continues to propel itself forward. Currently, Juno has racked up $100.2 million, a feat no one probably saw coming a couple of months ago.

Dropping to seventh is The Bucket List, a film that has turned into a little hit for Warner Bros. In its third weekend of wide release, the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman starrer earned $10.27 million, and was off 27% compared to last weekend. After critics drubbed this one out of any awards race, audiences have supported it to the tune of $57.7 million so far.


There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson's oil flick, expanded nicely, moving to 885 venues this weekend, an expansion of 496 theatres. With Oscar nominations in tow, There Will Be Blood grossed $4.9 million and garnered a venue average of $5,522. It increased its take over last weekend by 66%. While this one is never going to be huge, a gross so far of $14.8 million isn't bad. An Oscar win for Picture or Daniel Day Lewis is going to make this one a $50 million picture.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets slides to ninth as the Nic Cage starrer is running out of steam. Book of Secrets earned $4.7 million and was off 38%. Its total now has reached $205.4 million.

Tenth goes to Mad Money, the comedy starring Queen Latifah, Diane Keaton and Katie Holmes. After getting off to a sluggish start last weekend with $7.7 million, Mad Money drops 40% this weekend and earns $4.6 million. Mad Money has now earned $15.3 million against a production budget of about $22 million.

Our final new release, How She Move, finished outside of the top ten this weekend. The film about step dancing earned $4.2 million this weekend from 1,531 venues.

Overall, things are looking up at the box office, but down in terms of overall film quality. The top twelve this weekend earned $117.8 million, a solid total for a holiday-free January weekend. Last year, with Epic Movie on top, the top twelve earned a not so solid $89.2 million. Next weekend looks sloppy again with another Jessica Alba horror film in The Eye, Strange Wilderness with Steve Zahn and Justin Long, and Over Her Dead Body, a comedy from New Line. As odd as it sounds, my money might be on 27 Dresses to win.

Top Weekend Box Office for 1/25/08-1/27/08 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Meet the Spartans 20th Century Fox $18,725,000 $18,505,530 New $18,505,530
2 Rambo Lionsgate $18,150,000 $18,203,876 New $18,203,876
3 27 Dresses 20th Century Fox $13,600,000 $13,360,535 - 41.9% $45,107,889
4 Cloverfield Paramount Pictures $12,700,000 $12,712,134 - 68.3% $64,306,110
5 Untraceable Sony/Screen Gems $11,200,000 $11,354,069 New $11,354,069
6 The Bucket List Warner Bros. $10,275,000 $10,532,406 - 25.2% $58,006,449
7 Juno Fox Searchlight $10,300,000 $10,151,100 + 2.0% $100,003,577
8 National Treasure: Book of Secrets Walt Disney Pictures $4,664,000 $4,916,131 - 34.9% $205,672,738
9 There Will Be Blood Paramount Vantage $4,887,043 $4,869,383 + 65.5% $14,746,644
10 Mad Money Overture Films $4,610,000 $4,578,394 - 40.8% $15,252,568
11 Alvin and the Chipmunks 20th Century Fox $4,550,000 $4,512,318 - 35.1% $204,121,451
12 How She Move Paramount Vantage $4,158,327 $3,957,471 New $3,957,471
  Also Opening/Notables
  U23D National Geographic N/A $964,315 New $1,181,065
  4 Months, 3 Weeks, And 2 Days IFC Films N/A $51,712 New $51,712
  Shoot Down Magic Lamp Releasing N/A $51,408 New $51,408
  The Air I Breathe THINKFilm N/A $19,487 New $19,487
  Alice's House Vitagraph/figa Films N/A $19,083 New $19,083
  No Country for Old Men Paramount $2,503,000 $2,423,409 + 99.6% $51,956,842
  Michael Clayton Warner Bros. $2,100,000 $2,225,260 +4874.% $41,653,439
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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